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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone :)

I'd like to have your take on a screen for a Sanyo Z700 as mentionned in the title.

It is my first projector and it's currently in the mail so I should be getting it shortly.

My room configuration would be as follows :

Room size is 14' x 30' with 92" Ceilings.
Half of it will be for the home theatre.
Dark Walls, Light Ceilings.
I'd like to ceiling mount the projector and shoot an image no smaller than 92" and no bigger than 106".
Seating area will be around 14' away from the screen.

Thanks in advance for the suggestions.
 

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Hi Denis, Welcome to the Shack!

Your screen size is going to be perfect for that projector I would say a 100" is plenty big and mounting the projector at about 14' from the screen will accomplish that and give you some wiggle room of the lens adjustment.
 

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Welcome to the Shack Denis! :wave:

How about lighting? Any windows? Do you or wife prefer the lights on a little while viewing? Or is this a bat cave theater type room? Are you leaning diy or commercial? What's the budget?

I may think of more questions later... :whistling:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick replies :)

It'll be in my basement. Two small windows, one that is far enough away. The closest one will be controlled. The ambient light should be at a minimum. The wife likes to watch TV without any lights on. We'd like a fixed screen and I'm ok with either DIY or commercial. If commercial, it would be around 500$ budget.

PS. The wife doubts DIY. She's the kind that thinks more expensive = better. I work in manufacturing and know for a fact that it isn't always the case ;)
 

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Well I had a long post done and ready to go and I guess I hit the wrong key combo on my laptop and the tab closed. :thumbsdown:

I'd recommend a white screen since light will not be an issue. Commercial products within your budget include the Elite Silver Frame and the EZFrame. The Silver Frame is a bit cheaper since Elite stopped making those - their aluminum frame supplier went out of business. But both of these will be well under budget, even with shipping.

If you can extend into the $600-700 range, you can add the major players to the mix as well - Da-Lite, Vutec, Draper, Carada, etc. They all make fine products but they're a bit more in cost. Performance wise, there will be very little, if any, difference between the white screens (not the premium materials - just the basic 1.0 gain matte white material) from these manufacturers. Carada might give you a touch more gain but it probably wouldn't be noticeable. Spectrally, they'll all be very similar too.

DIY can be just as good as any of these options. Is your time worth more than what you'd pay for these screens? For diy, I'd recommend Cream & Sugar.
 

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Hi Dennis,

You have a number of screen choices open to you. If you're going to be viewing with no lights on and have dark walls you could go with a lighter, or even white, screen, but if you want to have "walking around" light in the room (say during a party), or need to increase the constrast of your projected image, some type of gray screen would be the best answer.

You can save some money by going DIY, but good commercial screens can be had for around a $150 difference compared to a good DIY screen if you have to buy all new materials for the DIY screen. If you can simply paint a wall the cost will plummet to just the cost of the paint, rollers and your time.

For ease of contruction, most DIY'ers go with sheetgoods such as tempered hardboard or MDF and then paint them then make a boarder and wrap it in black velvet. Such screens are every bit as good (and sometimes better ;)) than many commercial screens, but unless you simply enjoy the DIY process, or like to have "braggin' rights" to your new screen and enjoy the looks on your family and friends faces when you proudly say "I made that!" then commercial might be the way to go.

I, personally, like gray screens because many times what a projected image lacks for one reason or another is contrast and "snap" or "pop" (let us hope you never have "crackle"! :bigsmile:). A commercial screen that might meet your needs would be a High Contrast Gray from Elite Screens: http://www.provantage.com/elite-screens-silverframe106h1~7ELSC00L.htm. Mech has samples of most of the Elite screen materials so he can give you better advice along that line.

If building a DIY screen and painting it is no problem, it sounds like Cream&Sugar would be a good screen for you. This mix is inexpensive and easy to make with all ingredients being available locally in most areas of the U.S. and Canada. While at N9 on the Munsell Gray Scale (N10 is pure white) it is really a light gray, it has the advantage of having a bit more contrast and richer colors than a true white screen, but has very similar whites as a white screen.

If you need more help in image contrast or combating ambient light problems then you could go with Scorpion or Black Widow which are darker grays. All our mixes here at HTS are designed to be easy to mix and apply. The only ingredient that might have to be ordered from a non-local source would be the Auto Air Aluminum paint used in Black Widow, but it is easily purchased from a number of sources via the internet.

One other thing I will say about our mixes is that they have been scientifically developed and documented to work with the documentation published in the named threads of the mixes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It sounds very good :) At least, it makes me feel better that you guys are recommending a greyish type screen, since I thought I'd need something along those line.

Only trouble is getting the Craft Smart Metallic Silver closeby... I don't feel like spending 3-4 hours and 100$ in gas for a tube of metallic paint :p

Thank you very much for the advice. I'll be sure to let you know what happens with that screen of mine when it does happen. It'll have to be somewhat quick, I should receive the PJ tomorrow.
 

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Only trouble is getting the Craft Smart Metallic Silver closeby... I don't feel like spending 3-4 hours and 100$ in gas for a tube of metallic paint :p
Wow... you have to drive that far to go to a Michael's? I was under the impression they were like RadioShack stores in availability in the U.S.. Bummer...

Just out of curiosity, do you have a Lowe's nearby?

Oops! I missed that you are in Quebec Canada. That explains it. I bet that's a no about the Lowe's too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Quebec is special (those French ;))

We have Rona, Home Depot, Reno Depot, but no Lowes. And for Crafts, we have Omer DeSerres, but they don't carry Craft Smart from what I understand.

PS. I'm French, so I guess I'm allowed those jokes :D
 

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Home depot has a craft paint section and I found a 458ml bottle of Metallic silver (#743) that is a close match to the craft smart.
Lows is in Canada but mostly southern Ontario so far they have not come into the rest of Canada
 

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So I'd go on and mix the Sherwin Williams LW with the Home Depot Metallic?

What substrate would you guys recommend? Hardboard/MDF I gather?
 

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With all due respect to Tony, I've never tried using the silver paint he mentioned to make C&S and no one has sent me a sample of C&S made with it, so I can't vouch for the neutrality of a C&S mix using it.

Tony, could you post a photo of the bottle or can of that silver? I would like to find some of it down here in the "lower 48". A brand-name and stock number would be good to. :T

Craft Smart Metallic Silver turned out to be a quite singular beast since it doesn't use mica flakes to make it appear metallic like most other "silver" paints do. I'm having a devil of a time finding a replacement for it for folks that want to make C&S in countries that don't have Micheal's stores!

As for using hardboard or MDF; MDF would be thicker and heavier so it would resist warping better than hardboard, but it's weight can make it troublesome to handle if you're working alone. In my experience, hardboard makes a fine screen. I usually use the 1/8" material and prime before applying the screen paint. The primer helps seal the hardboard so it won't suck up the more expensive screen paint and gives a nice bright white surface that paint will easily adhere to.
 

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Tony, could you post a photo of the bottle or can of that silver? I would like to find some of it down here in the "lower 48". A brand-name and stock number would be good to. :T
I will have a look tonight, I think I saved the bottle. If not, the next time I go to Home depot I will pick another one up as I may be redoing my screen a bit larger.
By the way We do have Micheal's here in Canada we have several stores in Edmonton.
 

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Good thinking Denis, but no, those paints wouldn't work as a CSMS replacement in making C&S. The Stainless Steel is way too dark and by the time enough has been added to latex paint to make it reflect enough to be a good screen paint the mix is much darker than N9. While I haven't tried the Coarse Alumina I can see that it isn't silvery in color (notice how brown it looks in the sample). C&S depends on the actual blueness of a silver-colored paint to neutralize the yellow-red push of white latex paint.

It's not hard to make a screen paint that is reflective. What is difficult is to make a screen paint that is reflective AND color-neutral; and as much as a few others in the field of DIY screen mixes want to down-play the desirability of screen neutrality, such has been recognized by the commercial screen makers for a long time - and even they have problems achieving that goal.

The closest thing I have found so far as a CSMS replacement is Liquitex BASICS Silver. The problem I've had with this is two-fold; first, it seems it can't be added to simple white latex paints as it acts differently with different brands (different shades of gray and different levels of reflectiveness). Second, when I've used Liquitex BASICS Titanium White paint as the white base the mix has been too shiny and would hot-spot in normal use. I'm now going to try the BASICS MATTE versions (the BASICS versions are a satin sheen). I had hoped to stay away from the BASICS MATTE since it is only available in 75 ml and 200 ml tubes. However, I have found that it is relatively easy to flush out these tubes to get all the paint out so that might not be that big a deal.
 

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It's not hard to make a screen paint that is reflective. What is difficult is to make a screen paint that is reflective AND color-neutral; and as much as a few others in the field of DIY screen mixes want to down-play the desirability of screen neutrality, such has been recognized by the commercial screen makers for a long time - and even they have problems achieving that goal.
You said it! And even harder is making it reflective without hot spotting! That is the real trick. I know a few that after years of trying still haven't quite mastered that basic principle yet. Their solution was rather unique though... instead of perfecting a screen that is reflective and diffusive, they started a never ending quest to try and convince people that hot spotting is actually a good thing and even invented some terms and science along the way!

Anyway, you summed it up pretty good. A reflective, neutral, matte finish is the idea screen. Too many people get caught up in gain and think gain defines how well a screen works. Maybe some day we'll finally get people educated on that topic and that myth can be put to bed once and for all! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I think I found what Tony was talking about.

Looks like Home Depot carries something called Sophisticated Finishes. It looks like the company is Triangle.

http://www.modernoptions.com/

They are stating the following :

"Metallic Surfacers are an ingenious blend of fine metallic particles that are suspended in a water-based acrylic sealing compound."

Now whether or not these particles are Mica, I couldn't answer that.

On the Silver Color screenshot http://www.modernoptions.com/SFpages/Silverangel.html , they say that the color is obtained through crushed aluminium particles. It might be a suitable replacement then.
 

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Thanks Denis!

I'll be at a Michael's today and have a look for Sophisticated Finishes. :T

Being a true aluminum flaked paint is a good thing, but if it is like AAA-F that means it will greatly darken whatever mix it is added to. While I don't know for sure yet, I highly suspect that the "metallic" element in CSMS is aluminum coated polyester flakes; these maintain much of the characteristics of pure aluminum, but are not as darkening when added to other paints.
 

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Just to update this thread a bit, the silver paint Tony was talking about is actually a paint that was sold under the Behr name at Home Depot stores. It is/was a mica-based silver, and it might have been usable to make C&S, but it has been discontinued and is no longer available; the only source being existing stock in individual stores. Something similar happened when the inventors of Black Widow were just about to introduce it! Just after they got the proper mix figured out they learned the aluminum paint manufacturer had discontinued the paint! So the search was on for another water-based aluminum paint which finally lead to finding AAA-F.

I'm still trying to find a local source for the silver 'Sophisticated Finishes' paint. Other than the copper and bronze colors all my closest Michael's had was 'pewter' which is too dark to make C&S with.
 
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