DIY Screen Material Help

F

Filmgeek47

Enthusiast
Hi all,
Doing some research for a new screen, and I’m hoping to get some advice.

I’m currently running a silver ticket 16:9 120” white screen, with a DIY masking system for scope movies. Room is fully light controlled. I’m reasonably happy with the performance of what I have, but having disassembled and rebuilt the screen a few times has left a few marks on the material I’ve been unable to remove.

It’s a smallish room, so the speakers have to be in front of the screen, so no AT fabric necessary.

I’ve also just upgraded to a RS540 and my gut says that I’m sacrificing some picture quality with such a cheap screen and a comparatively high end projector.

On a budget, hence the DIY route. Happy to save up for material that would make for a real upgrade, but I’ve read conflicting reports about some of the top players.

Over on AVSforum I’m getting some votes for painting silver fire as a screen, but I’ve seen some mixed reports about that elsewhere.

Any thoughts on the best way to go RE paint vs material? Should I just be sucking it up and saving up for a $k + screen. will I even see a difference?
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
I'm not sure how many of the DiY crowd at AVS has really had a chance to compare, in a properly dark room, the differences between DaLite's HD Progressive, Stewarts better home theater materials, Draper's, and their DiY paint mixes.

I think if you have ever marked your screen by mistake, then painting is a bad choice. Painted surfaces tend to not be durable in the least and it's a fair bit of work to get a DiY screen, painted or otherwise, up in action.

I made a screen once. It was a fair bit of work. Making the frame was easy enough. A few hours one evening. Not bad at all. But, then stretching the canvas onto it was a bit more serious amount of work. Then making a black velvet frame for it. Well, the time added up quickly. The end result, while good, I think was no better than what SilverTicket does.

I have issues with some of the claims of the DiY screens. A lot of people take a ton of pride in their DiY formulas, and there's a million of them out there. But, when you go to DaLite and Stewart, their top of the line screens are white, low gain, and neutral in color. They aren't ALR screens, they are just white screens. They will explain it clearly that you don't want color, you don't want gain, you want a smooth surface with high diffusion for the best results. So, when I read about a DiY painted formula which has all the properties of a ALR screen... I cringe. ALR screens really suck. That doesn't mean that the paint formula doesn't do a good job and look excellent, it just makes me wonder. Unfortunately, I haven't seen more than 1 or 2 painted screens in my life, and they looked fine as they were not ALR formulas. But, not one bit better than a $300 SilverTicket screen either.

If I marked up my SilverTicket screen material, I would reach out to SilverTicket to find out about replacement material as the solution. They may offer it directly to you even though it isn't a separate line item on their website.

I really struggle with spending a ton on a nice screen unless you already have an amazing room. So, before saving, or spending, on a $2,000+ screen, first do everything you can to make the room the projector is in the absolute best that it can be.
 
S

Scott44

Audiophyte
I
.........I’ve also just upgraded to a RS540 and my gut says that I’m sacrificing some picture quality with such a cheap screen and a comparatively high end projector.

On a budget, hence the DIY route. Happy to save up for material that would make for a real upgrade, but I’ve read conflicting reports about some of the top players.

Over on AVSforum I’m getting some votes for painting silver fire as a screen, but I’ve seen some mixed reports about that elsewhere.

Any thoughts on the best way to go RE paint vs material? Should I just be sucking it up and saving up for a $k + screen. will I even see a difference?
with that nice of a projector you need to pony up for a good screen ....lol. You can call SeymourAV and they can hook you up even if you want to DIY it. Tell them your specific setup and he will tell you which is best. My thought is they will suggest the Glacier White material!
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Spartan
I actually used two layers of spandex for my screen and it works great as an AT screen. Is it better/as good/worse than purchased options? No idea, but it looks good to my eyes.
 
F

Filmgeek47

Enthusiast
Thanks all. BMXtrix, you’re argument RE the top recommended screens from high end makers being neutral makes a lot of sense to me.

I’d honestly consider just replacing the material I have now with like for like, except that the silver ticket frame is also bowing (due in part to its construction as multiple joined pieces for the horizontals).

My new plan as of now is to build a simple frame from poplar, wrap it in some sy triple black velvet, and then order some of Silver ticket’s 1.3 gain premium raw material (OR possible seymour’s glacier white). Dominic Chan over on AVSforum has a close up photo comparing that to typical 1.1 gain silver ticket, and the premium raw material is noticeably smoother in texture. It’s also a steal at $100 shipped.
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
I’d honestly consider just replacing the material I have now with like for like, except that the silver ticket frame is also bowing (due in part to its construction as multiple joined pieces for the horizontals).
Bowing???? There is hardly any tension!

For me, this is why I didn't pay for a cheap screen. I painted my first, still use it downstairs, and bought a Stewart Cima Perforado (Acoustically transparent) screen for our bedroom.

The Cima line uses standard sizes to keep costs down. But make no mistake, perforated from anyone can and SHOULD cost a lot more than a standard screen, if you factor longevity in to your purchase.

Seeing the close up pics of other entry level perforated screens should give anyone a pretty good perspective on how the lower end companies keep their margins. It looks like an open weave cloth, with all the little 'nooks and crannies' of a painted wall. The Stewart material almost looks like smooth white leather, with impossibly small pin holes in it.

But since you need a better screen AND better frame, you may want to price out a Stewart Cima for your space. Your projector is certainly worthy of a screen upgrade and if all you need is a plain white screen, 120" screen shouldn't cost $2k. And believe me, the frame probably wouldn't bow, even if the roof collapsed on it!
 
F

Filmgeek47

Enthusiast
The Stewart’s look great, although I’d be shocked if I could get one for under 1K. I Should be able to build a screen With Silver Ticket’s “premium” 1.3 gain material for about $200 though, so it’s still a vast price difference, and I’m fairly confident whatever I build will be more resilient than my first screen.

I‘ve asked for a quote from stewart, and I’ve ordered samples from several places, so I’ll see what I like the look of and go from there.

Thanks for the help everyone!
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
The Stewart’s look great, although I’d be shocked if I could get one for under 1K. I Should be able to build a screen With Silver Ticket’s “premium” 1.3 gain material for about $200 though, so it’s still a vast price difference, and I’m fairly confident whatever I build will be more resilient than my first screen.

I‘ve asked for a quote from stewart, and I’ve ordered samples from several places, so I’ll see what I like the look of and go from there.

Thanks for the help everyone!
If you do end up building it, please be sure to share it! Good luck!
 
F

Filmgeek47

Enthusiast
Thanks! It’s probably gonna be a little while, as I’m currently getting setup to build a hush box for my projector, but once I get around to it I’ll definitely post some shots.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
I'm surprised your SilverTicket is able to bow as it ships with upper and lower mounting hooks. If you find any bowing, you should lower the bolts on your wall at the lower mounting points to add more tension to the frame.

The upper and lower mounting points have been used by all manufacturers for years to fight bowing. This includes Stewart, Draper, DaLite, Carada, and a long list of others as bowing is a core issue with all frames.

If your screen setup doesn't allow for upper and lower mounting points, you should cut wood slats down to the proper length, and put them behind your screen and mount to them to act as the upper/lower mounting points and keep the screen straight.

I just don't want people to think that these cheap screens miss a basic issue that screens have, which is bowing. These are very well thought out and engineered product, and have tensioning mounts included with them.

Just a link so people who may wonder can see the lower mounting bracket instructions that are included...
 
TheWarrior

TheWarrior

Audioholic Ninja
Thanks! It’s probably gonna be a little while, as I’m currently getting setup to build a hush box for my projector, but once I get around to it I’ll definitely post some shots.
Cool! I built platforms for my Epson's out of some plywood cut offs and gave them a nice finish. I am not sure they would handle the increased weight of a JVC tho... You said 'hush' - is fan noise an issue?

It appears I failed to take pictures when I set up the screen, but in looking at the difference in construction, there is NO way these Stewart Cima frames are going to bow.

https://www.stewartfilmscreen.com/Files/files/Support Material/OwnersManuals/Cima FF.pdf

It appears the additional cost of the Stewart is also made up for in the ease of installation. The frame is 4 parts that slide and screw right to together. The mounting lip gets leveled and screwed to the wall. The bottom is held in place with 2 Neo magnets with single screw steel pucks on the wall. I had zero difficulty in stretching the screen to the snap tabs. It took longer to remove all the packaging than it did to assemble and hang.

I know nothing about any other type of screen, brand, or their history. I just can see with my eyes that there is a significant difference in the quality of construction between a Cima frame and the Silver Ticket, and I would say that justifies the price difference, but it's up to you to justify the cost. To that end, I would rather stick with my painted wall than buy any screen that I may have to pay to recycle in a couple years...
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
I can say that I've had my hands on about half a dozen different brands, Stewart, Carada, Elite, SilverTicket, Draper, Dalite, Seymour, and others...

At the end, if you tension the top and the bottom per the instructions, a frame will never bow, and while the extra cost may be for that heavy duty frame, it remains a question of whether or not the screen is installed properly.

Then it comes down to how good the materials are. The screen material matters far more then the frame.
 

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