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We are moving to our first home, Basement is being finished and we already have an AV receiver, 5.1 speakers and a PJ. We would like to have a fixed screen in the basement, but to buy one, its so damn expensive. I read at AVForum that if u paint your wall with Kilz2 Primer, you can project directly on to the wall. I do see 2 options, correct me if Im wrong.

1. To paint Kilz2 primer at a fixed screen size and put borders with wood from Home depot, wrapped in black velveteen.

2. There's an Elite 120 inch pull down screen available in the US for $128. Make a wooden frame wrapped in black velveteen and cut the screen material from the pull down screen and staple it behind the frame to make it look like a fixed frame screen.

Plz tell us what might work well and give your valuable thoughts and inputs on this idea. Thanks for your time.
 

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Painting is tricky. The smallest uneven area will show up amplified 10 times under a projector light. You have to be sure to be even and leave no streaks at all. Plus, it's also better to have black flat borders to catch any light spills and increase the perceived contrast ratio. Without that, you'll have issues watching very dark scenes where you won't know where the image really ends.

If you're on a budget, build yourself a wooden frame and stretch a blackout cloth over it. My 106" screen cost be $21 in blackout cloth at Fabric Land and maybe 15$ in lumber. Or buy a large sheet of melamine and stretch the cloth over it, but you have to have a truck to bring that home.

My issue with pull down screen is that over time, they develop ripples and once you start noticing them.... you can't stop staring at them.

The elite screen may be $128, but check shipping costs. Those things are huge, heavy and are typically expensive to ship.

I have a electric screen now.
 

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Lol... No, not the cloth. I stretch it over the frame and made a black velvet border around it. If you have full lighting control, the cloth works very well for the price. Plus I don't have to worry about my 4yr old son playing around it. It's only $21. It's slightly elastic so stretching it was easy and with a hollow frame, you're guaranteed a very flat surface.
 

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A light silver is good, but you have to be good painting it. The smallest little uneven spot will really show.

I'm not sure how you'd paint blackout cloth, though...
 

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Not sure if this helps..but have you looked here?

Not sure if you have checked Eastsporters out

The key advantage to these guys is you can arrange for a local pickup (cash only) in the Hamilton area.

I just bought one of the older Elune Vision 135" fixed frame cinema grey projection from them two weeks ago. I have put it together but had to do some painting before I could put it up (darken the walls a bit) and still have to install black out cloth over a couple of windows before I can comment on the image quality. Pretty happy withe construstion of the unit compared to other cheaper screens I have seen out there.

Matt

PS The new units are supposed to be quite a bit nicer than the one I bought...for what it is worth.
 

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Some additional things....

Here are some other potential "snags" to be aware of.

Measure...Measure...don't do what I did...
Is that when using a projection calculator...also look at the actual screen dimenions as outlined by the retailer. The projection calculator measurement (Diagnol, height, width) is is the actual screen size you project on. It does not include the border/frame. So when doing you measurements be careful. When I did mine I asked for the screen size over the phone and was given the 118 inches length measurement but with frame it came out to approx 124 inches. Guess who is rejigging his room because the screen won't fit on the wall I was using...(wife is not amused..laugh).


The other thing to be careful of is make sure you use a projection calculator to figure out what height you can mount the screen from.

I use an Optoma HD65 projector. With my ceiling mount and projector mounted on the ceiling..the centre of my lens is 7 7/8 inches from the ceiling. Based on projecting on the 135" screen I have to mount the top of the screen material (again be careful as this is not the top of the screen but the top of the screen material that you will be projecting on) at 19 7/8 inches from the ceiling. With an 8 foot ceiling this means I have just over 3 inches of clearance from the floor.

For myself and my home theatre room this now means I have to mount my centre channel above my screen (unless I had bought an accoustically transparent screen).

Also don't forget to factor in having speakers (their width) on either side (and how far from the wall you want to mount the speakers) and how bright you want your image to be based on screen size/light control/ and screen gain (a projection calculator can help you with this.

I used masking tape to help figure all this out by doing an outline of the screen on the wall..several times.

Just some things to think about and hope this helps.

Matt
 

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If you have a good wall, I would start with painting - lots of ideas on what kind/colour paint to use. This will get you started at low cost, and make sure you have the dimensions to your liking (easy to change after).

If you want a better screen, you could move up to Black Out cloth. Despite its name, it is white on both sides (usually gloss on one side, mat on the other). It is best to stretch the blackout cloth over a frame (lots of good info on this too). One challenge will all DIY is finding material of sufficient size (for example it is hard to find Blackout cloth > 60" wide)

These options will get you started and then when you become more picky or have some extra cash, you might consider a professional screen.
 

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gentle_man100

cant you modify your mount to be closer to the ceiling?
that will raise your screen

or have it tilt upwards then correct using the keystone correction
 

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I would avoid keystone unless it is optical keystoning, but that would mean you have an expensive projector and therefore screen price shouldn't be an issue. :)

Most inexpensive projectors do a very bad job at digital keystoning. End-result quality suffers greatly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Guys,
Thank you and we really appreciate all the help. If we were to paint it, what kinda paint should we use.? Thanks again.
 

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I painted the screen in my home theatre and everyone tells me it looks great. I can post some pics if you're interested.

Anyway, I used a 4x8 sheet of particle board melamine and cut it to the maximum 16x9 dimension I could. I painted it with Behr 4850. It is a paint and primer all in one and is available at Home Depot. It levels out to a very smooth finish.

If you want a white screen then just use it as is out of the can. If you think there is a chance you might want to be able to use the screen with some ambient light then you could go with a very light gray. This is what I used as my room has dark walls and a flat black ceiling.

Here is a tint for a very light gray:
Quart Custom Tint
Behr ULTRA UPW #4850
0 4 0 Lamp Black
0 0 1 Brown Oxide
0 0 1 Yellow Oxide

~ OR ~

Gallon Custom Tint
Behr ULTRA UPW #4850
0 15 1 Lamp Black
0 03 1 Brown Oxide
0 01 1 Medium Yellow

Just take one of these tint formulas to Home Depot, and they will mix it.
You might get away with one quart but a gallon only cost twice the price of a quart so if you need to apply more than two coats a gallon is more economical. You should not need a primer but be sure to clean the surface really well with Windex with Ammonia D.

If your room is fairly bright under normal viewing conditions, you may want to go with a dark grey screen. This also depends on the brightness of your projector as well.

Here is a darker gray tint
Quart Custom Tint
Behr ULTRA UPW #4850
0 8 0 Lamp Black
0 1 1 Brown Oxide
0 0 1 Medium Yellow

~ OR ~

Gallon Custom Tint
Behr ULTRA UPW #4850
0 31 0 Lamp Black
0 07 0 Brown Oxide
0 03 0 Medium Yellow

If you can't decide between the lighter or darker then just compromise and go with:
Quart Custom Tint
Behr ULTRA UPW #4850
0 6 0 Lamp Black
0 1 1 Brown Oxide
0 0 1 Medium Yellow

~ OR ~

Gallon Custom Tint
Behr ULTRA UPW #4850
0 24 0 Lamp Black
0 05 1 Brown Oxide
0 02 1 Medium Yellow

Be sure to do a contrast & brightness calibration. There is a THX Optimiser utility on some DVDs. Terminator II, Cars, and Nemo have it. It is great for doing a simple contrast & brightness calibration. I calibrated my projector in bright mode with ambient lights on and then calibrated it in cinema mode without any lights on. This really made a big difference.

Best of luck!!
 

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Hi Whitefish,

I am already using a fairly shallow projector mount. The problem I discovered in the past was the projector overheating/heating up when it was too close to the ceiling.

One other thing I should probably mention is be careful of dry wall dust and your projector. You will be be amazed at how far that it can travel. (from drilling or cleaning up imperfections) Don't ask how I know this. I am sure you guys are much smarter than I am...but I thought I would mention this anyway.


Matt
 
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