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Topic: Best screen for Panasonic AE-700
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Joined: Dec 1, 2004
Posts: 1
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My Carada screen is excellent.
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Joined: Mar 29, 2005
Posts: 9
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white...

get the least expensive one you can find if your room is 100% dark... it will not matter

i like the automatic ones... I got a nice 100" auto job for about $300
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Joined: Mar 29, 2005
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If you're still shopping... any good Da-lite dealer can also custom order just the screen material for you, in any size and configuration you want. I just put together a 106" screen for my AE700 using a swatch of High Contrast Cinema Vision material. I opted for "all the options" in the material, being a black vinyl back layer (the HCCV isn't 100% opaque by itself), plus a reinforced black stitched-on binding around the edges with velcro factory mounted to the screen. This cost about $9.30 per square foot, and with an overall (including border) size of 96x56 it came out to be like $360 including drop shipping. If you're less interested in having the surface be removeable (binding and velcro), you can get the HCCV for as cheap as about $5.75/ft^2 and just use a staple gun to permanently mount it to a piece of MDF or stretched across the back of a frame. That'd be < $150 for real optically treated vinyl screen.

I'm a handy guy so I built the frame myself, using 1x6 poplar (hard wood less likely to warp the screen all crooked 6mo from now), ripped to a 45 so the frame tapers into the screen, covered the frame in black cotton/spandex twill that's EXTREMELY black matte in finish, and fixed the other side of the velcro on the back of the frame. A little sweat and tears to stretch the material into place and velcro it down, and voila, I have a screen that's every bit as nice as Da-lite's $1500 Cinema Contour w/ Pro Trim in appearance and performance, using the exact same screen surface, for less than $500 in materials plus a weekend of sawing, gluing, stapling, and cursing.

A lot of people talk about using "blackout cloth" or some other screen material they got off eBay for $50, and different individuals might be extremely satisfied with a $100 DIY screen, but to my mind a $2000 projector with $1500 of HT electronics and a couple grand in speakers (pending your tastes, of course), it only makes sense to spend a little money on the surface that you're going to be spending all that time looking at, the focus of the entire theatre. And while I think it's just stupid overpriced to pay $1200 for 25 feet of aluminum extrusion with some velvet stuck to it, spending a few hundred bones on a "real" screen material with proven optical performance is justified, IMHO.

I've got a beautiful, bright, crisp, accurate image due to the use of real screen material, and with an attractive 5.5" matte black masking border around the edges it looks very professional and it's a blast to watch. I just got it put together this week and built the PJ ceiling mount, and now I can't help but stay up into the wee hours of the morning watching all my favorite movies again Sleep deprivation!

PS - rgsim, my room is very similar in size to yours, 16x23 with seating ~13' back from the screen. I also use dim lights in the back and opted for the HCCV material for better contrast. Movies with the lights completely out are flat-out phenominal, bright scenes have me squinting. Having some light on in the room does wash out the darker scenes but it's a good bit better than the white sheet I was temporarily using in the week between buying the PJ and building the screen. You can always jack up the PJ into Dynamic mode (one of the less-accurate-but-more-firepower modes) when you're watching with lights on and the image accuracy is compromised anyways.
[Edited by ETTsiAWD on Apr 8, 2005 at 12:12 PM]
Cheers,
-Mark
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Joined: Nov 25, 2003
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Quote (ETTsiAWD on Apr 8, 2005 12:08 PM):
If you're still shopping... any good Da-lite dealer can also custom order just the screen material for you, in any size and configuration you want. I just put together a 106" screen for my AE700 using a swatch of High Contrast Cinema Vision material. I opted for "all the options" in the material, being a black vinyl back layer (the HCCV isn't 100% opaque by itself), plus a reinforced black stitched-on binding around the edges with velcro factory mounted to the screen. This cost about $9.30 per square foot, and with an overall (including border) size of 96x56 it came out to be like $360 including drop shipping. If you're less interested in having the surface be removeable (binding and velcro), you can get the HCCV for as cheap as about $5.75/ft^2 and just use a staple gun to permanently mount it to a piece of MDF or stretched across the back of a frame. That'd be < $150 for real optically treated vinyl screen.

I'm a handy guy so I built the frame myself, using 1x6 poplar (hard wood less likely to warp the screen all crooked 6mo from now), ripped to a 45 so the frame tapers into the screen, covered the frame in black cotton/spandex twill that's EXTREMELY black matte in finish, and fixed the other side of the velcro on the back of the frame. A little sweat and tears to stretch the material into place and velcro it down, and voila, I have a screen that's every bit as nice as Da-lite's $1500 Cinema Contour w/ Pro Trim in appearance and performance, using the exact same screen surface, for less than $500 in materials plus a weekend of sawing, gluing, stapling, and cursing.

A lot of people talk about using "blackout cloth" or some other screen material they got off eBay for $50, and different individuals might be extremely satisfied with a $100 DIY screen, but to my mind a $2000 projector with $1500 of HT electronics and a couple grand in speakers (pending your tastes, of course), it only makes sense to spend a little money on the surface that you're going to be spending all that time looking at, the focus of the entire theatre. And while I think it's just stupid overpriced to pay $1200 for 25 feet of aluminum extrusion with some velvet stuck to it, spending a few hundred bones on a "real" screen material with proven optical performance is justified, IMHO.

I've got a beautiful, bright, crisp, accurate image due to the use of real screen material, and with an attractive 5.5" matte black masking border around the edges it looks very professional and it's a blast to watch. I just got it put together this week and built the PJ ceiling mount, and now I can't help but stay up into the wee hours of the morning watching all my favorite movies again Sleep deprivation!

PS - rgsim, my room is very similar in size to yours, 16x23 with seating ~13' back from the screen. I also use dim lights in the back and opted for the HCCV material for better contrast. Movies with the lights completely out are flat-out phenominal, bright scenes have me squinting. Having some light on in the room does wash out the darker scenes but it's a good bit better than the white sheet I was temporarily using in the week between buying the PJ and building the screen. You can always jack up the PJ into Dynamic mode (one of the less-accurate-but-more-firepower modes) when you're watching with lights on and the image accuracy is compromised anyways.

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Joined: Nov 25, 2003
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Can you recommend a dealer for the HCCV fabric?
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