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Discussion Starter #1
I have up for offer two 4'x8' sheets of Wilsonart D388 60 & D427 60 laminates (one of each) free to whoever wants a sheet- but this will be pickup only, sorry.

Anyone in the Capital District NY that's interested let me know.

Not sure what D388 60 & D427 60 are? You won't find them online, so don't bother looking. They are special sheets Wilsonart sent me that are N8.5 and N9.25 in shade and in a matte finish. I'll have to take them out of the carton again to see which one is what shade, but whoever is interested can pick the shade they want. One sheet per person, don't be greedy ;)

Only one condition to the giveaway... do a writeup and photo journal of your screen build and present it here. Also send a sample of the section you trim off to mech for measuring and adding to the screen database. Okay so that was two conditions so shoot me! :p
 

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Hi Bill, I was just referred to this thread by mech. Unfortunately, I can't PM you yet, but wanted to make contact about possibly taking you up on this laminate offer. I currently have a very cheap Infocus pulldown and it has ripples in it. I was going to buy a sheet of DW and build a screen. I was posting at AVS about it and got the referral. I'd love to work up a kind of interchangeable screen and test both materials out that you have available. I could make the short trip out to the Albany area to pick it up. Please get in touch with me and we will see what we can do. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome to the Shack Ben!

Couple of things... I have way too much on the go to build a test rig for these right now. I could get to it but it wouldn't be for awhile. I'm working on a new screen frame design, doing work with using the PS3 as a media server, gearing up to build a HTPC from the ground up as an HTS tutorial... and somewhere in there will be building an arcade machine... Then there is still work and family!

2007 did not turn out anywhere near how I thought it would, bad year all around including the death of my sister, so things have been hectic and I am WAY behind schedule.

If nobody else wants a sheet, if you want to do a dual screen, then sure, you can have both sheets. The box they are both in is pretty big, so make sure you have the room to transport them. Also keep in mind you're restricted to a 98" diagonal 16:9 screen, so if you were looking for something bigger than that I can't help you out.

Only requirement is as stated... send the trimmed pieces to mech for color testing, and do a full photo journal and write up and post the results here. :) I certainly don't mind if you post it elsewhere either, but let's try to post it here first, fair enough? ;)

As far as a flip screen though, I'm not a big fan of unlimited step grays. I really don't think most people would see a difference between an N9 shade and an N8.5 shade of gray. N8, yes they will see a difference between the two, but when we start getting .5 and under our eyes have a hard time picking up the subtle differences. With that said, one sample sheet is around N9.25 and the other is around N8.5 (and a little warm, but Wilsonart said not bad). That's far enough apart that you should see some difference in performance with lights on, but I personally would go with the N9.25 and FG or Platinum if you really want the benefits of using the screen with lights on or ambient conditions. Still... free is free right?

Mainly we need this tested and I can't work it in right now. If they end up viable screen options, then we now have very simple and excellent performing one step non-painted screen options that go from N6.75, N7.75, N8, N8.5, N9.25 and one of the best white screens in DIY, Designer White.

Some people complained that the problem with laminates and what made paint better (beside the price) is that laminates basically came in White (DW) and an N8 shade range of gray (FG). If these check out, we'll have a laminate screen for any person's setting and tastes...

Well... not totally free ;) You have to do a presentation!
 

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Thanks for the reply! First off, I'm sorry to hear about the past year and the loss of your sister. I hope 2008 treats you better.

I was under the impression that you had various shades (IE: white and gray). If these are both grays, I'd be happy with whatever you feel would perform well in my setup. Some info from my end. This would be my first DIY screen. I was going to do a pegboard mount with poplar frame and either leave a wood finish with felt tape border or use an actual felt wrap around the border. It would be about 70-72" simply because of the room size and throw distance. Much bigger and SDE becomes noticeable. I have curtains and can control the room light, but at the same time this is our primary viewing room. So, when we have a movie night I'll draw the curtains and kill all the light. However, for general viewing and during say a party, there is ambient light in the room (Mostly just 40 watt soft white). From all I've read on DW I was pretty much set on using that, but if these are specifically designed for HT, I'd be willing to try it out. I have a minivan, so transport shouldn't be too much an issue and I could measure first or even bring my jigsaw to trim them down if needed. I have no problem sending mech the remnants for testing. I'm technically inclined, but far from a carpenter! I'm looking at doing this screen setup the same time I add in my additional cable runs because I've got to take down the current screen to run cable behind it as well as replace all my raceway with a larger diameter. I would gladly do a "end user" write up with photos and post it here for you and go as far as adding anything particular you'd like to see.

So, once again, thank you for your time and keep in touch. I have all of next week off and plan to do some work on this then. :T
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the reply! First off, I'm sorry to hear about the past year and the loss of your sister. I hope 2008 treats you better.

I was under the impression that you had various shades (IE: white and gray). If these are both grays, I'd be happy with whatever you feel would perform well in my setup. Some info from my end. This would be my first DIY screen. I was going to do a pegboard mount with poplar frame and either leave a wood finish with felt tape border or use an actual felt wrap around the border. It would be about 70-72" simply because of the room size and throw distance. Much bigger and SDE becomes noticeable. I have curtains and can control the room light, but at the same time this is our primary viewing room. So, when we have a movie night I'll draw the curtains and kill all the light. However, for general viewing and during say a party, there is ambient light in the room (Mostly just 40 watt soft white). From all I've read on DW I was pretty much set on using that, but if these are specifically designed for HT, I'd be willing to try it out. I have a minivan, so transport shouldn't be too much an issue and I could measure first or even bring my jigsaw to trim them down if needed. I have no problem sending mech the remnants for testing. I'm technically inclined, but far from a carpenter! I'm looking at doing this screen setup the same time I add in my additional cable runs because I've got to take down the current screen to run cable behind it as well as replace all my raceway with a larger diameter. I would gladly do a "end user" write up with photos and post it here for you and go as far as adding anything particular you'd like to see.

So, once again, thank you for your time and keep in touch. I have all of next week off and plan to do some work on this then. :T
N9 is a very light gray. In fact there are many commercial screen manufacturers that have screens that measure as an N9 but they still call it 'white'. The lighter of the two is an N9.25 shade as per the lab engineers at Wilsonart. To give you an idea of that shade it would be 234 234 234, so that is pretty light and most would call it a white. N8.5 would be around 215 215 215 in shade.

As far as being specifically designed for HT, they are special production runs. I talked to the company and engineers and explained that we needed a couple of extra shades between Fashion Gray and Designer White but made sure they understood they needed to be neutral and close to a Munsell N8.5 and N9 as possible.

What projector do you have?
 

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I have an Infocus Play Big IN72. It was my first stab at a Home Theater room, so I went based on other user reviews and price. I have been very pleased thus far. MY biggest concern would be hotspotting, etc. I'd hate to build it only to find out that I would have been better off with the DW. But as you said and I agree with, free is free! I could just "hang" the sheet temporarily to see how it looks in various lights. I'm by no means a screen expert. I based my opinions off what my eyes see. My general review (for anything) is an "out of the box" type. In other word, when I initially did the set up for my IN72 and pull down screen, I noted that it still looked good and the image from the 72 was spectacular without any tweaking. I figured I can get a better image with a better screen material as it won't get ripples or waves like a pull down. I really appreciate the input from you.

PS: Does Wilsonart see a completely untapped market here? I mean, they could produces low cost fixed frame screens based from their laminates and have an instant market!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
PS: Does Wilsonart see a completely untapped market here? I mean, they could produces low cost fixed frame screens based from their laminates and have an instant market!
Ben when you say 70-72", do you mean the screen width or the diagonal size?

You have a bright projector!

Wilsonart does see the sales of full size sheets, that's why they sent me these sheets at no cost. They don't have any plans of going into the screen business though, and that's actually a good thing.

Parkland knew people were using their product for HT screens. They proceeded to increase the price and stopped selling directly to individuals. Needless to say sales slowed down and Parkland decided it must have been a passing fad or something. The word is they slightly changed the Polywall panel people were using, but many still buy it and are using it.

The last thing any of us want to see is Wilsonart follow that same path because of greed. They make their money selling to home renovators and do like this extra business but don't plan on getting into the screen business. If they ever do, I hope they offer me a job or bonus ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
okay next question... (shoulda asked this already, sorry) how far back will the projector be mounted?
 

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The projector sits right above the primary viewing spot @ about 11 feet from the screen. The room is not typical in that there is an entrance (rarely used) as well as the kitchen and dining room off to either side. Initially I was going to just mount a plasma up on the wall, but a 60" was too pricey. I ended up doing the whole room fixtures and all equipment for under $1500. The down side is I have to replace expensive bulbs, but the upside is I get that "big screen" movie theater feel.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ben I have to be honest with you and say I need to put a little thought into your setup.

Your screen size will be roughly 35x62 for a 71" diagonal image. Your projector puts out video optimized lumens of 625 in high mode, and 478 in low lamp mode. That works out to an insane fL at the screen of 41fL in high mode and 31fL in economy mode. This is going to hot spot on just about anything... DIY or commercial.

Most people go the opposite route and want a screen as big as they can get and don't have enough lumens to properly light it up. You don't have to worry about that! Ben my concern is hot spotting and eye fatigue.

I just got off the phone with someone and I can give you an immediate recommendation of something that won't hot spot on you. I explained the situation and setup as well as my concern and they said you won't have a hot spotting problem. Thing is it's going to cost you bit more. I want to be clear that I'm not pushing anything or doing a bait and switch on you, I just don't want you ending up with problems and unhappy. This is a unique situation and setup.

Let me know if you're interested in any alternate suggestions. No commitments or anything like that, just some other avenues to look at is all if you're interested.
 

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Well, I always run the projector in low power mode and so far with my cheap Infocus pulldown I have seen no hot spotting and the image looks outstanding. In fact, the screen material is almost an identical match to the sample of DW I got from Home Depot. I may put a different mount up to recenter the projector because right now it keystones slightly and I can't correct it with the menu adjustment. I usually just crop the picture and that hides it at the edges. I'm open to any and all suggestions you may have. I even thought about just dismantling the current screen and cutting the material to fit a type of backerboard. The bottom line is that I'm happy with the image quality, but the material is too flimsy and has waves/ripples in it. That is what I need to do something about. I really do appreciate your time and input Bill.

I also have a quick question for you Bill, where can I pick up an inexpensive M1 to USB cable? I want to up the firmware to 3.0 (from 2.6). I wish Infocus would have been more thoughtful and used a standard USB to USB setup, but I guess they can make an extra $25 pushing a cable most people will use only once or twice!
 

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Hey Ben, how about if you test the laminate(s) out without cutting first and if they won't work for your situation you give them back so that someone else can try them. If the Infocus screen is the same as DW though... what's it's gain?

mech
 

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Gain on the Infocus screen is 1.0, the DW would be a little better. If you mean what do I hope to gain, it would be a perfectly flat screen with no ripples or waves. That's whats driving me nuts. Especially the running tickers on some channels, it looks like the are going up and down hills! My idea was something that would look great in the dark, but have a decent balance with ambient light as well. I've also got the bug to upgrade to a full HD projector sometime (possibly an IN81 or 82 though I really want an LED based lamp) and want a screen solution that I won't have to mess with again. My main reason for considering the DW was so many positive reports coming in from many different sources.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
DW is an excellent choice. The one sheet I have that's an N9.25 is only slightly darker than DW. If you're screen is working well, this should work too then.

I am concerned about going darker and ending up with specular gain and your brightness causing hot spotting. You are more than welcome to give it a try if you want, I'm not going back on the offer just making sure you get what you need.
 

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Not a problem Bill, I appreciate your time and knowledge. I was open to hearing what your other option is and depending on cost would consider it. Initially, I just wanted a pre-fab fixed frame for simplicity. Just hang it and be done! So, if that's a feasible option, I'll consider it. Just give me the details.

I would even do what mech has stated - try it out and if it's not what I'm looking for, give it back to you. My thing is that, if I'm going to be making trips out toward Albany, it might just be more cost efective to order a sheet of DW or FG from Home Depot. At the same time, I love these types of projects and wouldn't mind contributing to the further testing of a new product. I'm off all next week and could possibly make a trip out Monday.
 

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Heya Bill! i was referred here by Mech concerning the laminate you have available. I live in Latham, NY and this happens to be good timing for me. Im in the process of rebuilding my home theater and its screen time.

I have no issues with tracking my progress with the screen, specially since im doing it already with my rebuild. I also could easily send leftover scrap for testing to Mech. I intend on building a 92" screen and using my brand new Epson HC720 on it at a distance of approx 11'.

If you still have it available please let me know, I would have pm'd you but i dont have enough posts yet :(
 

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Discussion Starter #19
First, welcome to the Shack Tritonman!

Hey guys, looks like you are the only two wanting these.

I have two sheets, one is around N8.5, the other around N9.25. Ben it sounds like from our previous conversations you may want the lighter shade? I'll let you guys decide.

Let me know when is good for you guys, any time after Wednesday is good for me, and I'll be home so any time during the day is good too. Let me know when you guys would like to come get them and I'll give you directions and my cell number incase you get lost.
 

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First, welcome to the Shack Tritonman!

Hey guys, looks like you are the only two wanting these.

I have two sheets, one is around N8.5, the other around N9.25. Ben it sounds like from our previous conversations you may want the lighter shade? I'll let you guys decide.

Let me know when is good for you guys, any time after Wednesday is good for me, and I'll be home so any time during the day is good too. Let me know when you guys would like to come get them and I'll give you directions and my cell number incase you get lost.
Thanks for the greeting!

I would prefer the lighter shade personally, but Ben called it first :) I would be willing to try the other shade though of course.

I get out of work around 3ish so Im available anytime after that to pick up the sheet (I can leave early if needed). It depends on when you are available so I dont impose. You can email me your info and we can work out the details.
 
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