Lot has changed from the beginning. I moved the whole theater to a bigger room, to my living room/kitchen complex. This means bigger screen, some 73″ now. Anymore I’m not disappointed about having too small screen 🙂 What else.. my sound system got an update, a new fresh set of speakers, so now I have 4 speakers connected, which is kind of cool, I can keep volume lower and still hear well. I think my neighbors also appreciate this. But picture and sound is not everything so I bought a new sofa from flea market and TV shelf for my amplifier and speakers as well. Oh, and I almost forgot, new media pc (thousand thanks Sessio and Jasse!).
My home theater project got an update as I found stereo music center straight from the 70’s from the flea market. It includes LP- and cassette players, radio and supports Matrix 4-channel sound and external audio source (my computer at the time). I don’t have audio cassettes, so I don’t know if the player works. LP-player makes so odd sound, but I bet I could fix it if I wanted (I checked, there is spare parts available on internet), but I don’t have LP’s, and no plan of starting to collect those, so I think I won’t fix it. I ordered audio cable from amazon.co.uk, once it arrives I’ll test the system with my computer. In worst case I have bought expensive radio. Which is not completely a bad thing, as waiting for the cable to arrive, I have started to listening radio, first time in my life, and I like it! But I think the amplifier part must work, as the radio works, and I can use it to the original purpose, as an audio system to watch movies. I have to buy couple more speakers and I get a nice 4-channel audio for movies.
My idea was and is, to make home more pleasant place to be, get a hobby and enjoy watching movies more. So, I decided to buy a data projector. As I had limited amount of funding, I had to choose from the very cheapest. Doesn’t matter, this is my first projector and I don’t know about better, so I’m happy! 🙂 And second thought is that I never want to start from the top, always from the bottom and with time build up. Only then, I believe, you can appreciate the differences of more expensive projectors, sound systems, whatever. This applies to almost everything, but here as well. So, I made an order, waited couple of days and ta-da! I had a projector.
But projector itself is not enough. I projected Simpsons to my white wall, which has some pattern. Soon, pattern started to irritate me and my eyes felt they were burning, the painting on the wall was far too bright. So I had to get a white screen. I had two options: buy one or build one. As I had limited funding, and prices of white screens are little too costly in my opinion. And I had read that if you buy a pull down screen, with time it wont stay straight. There is many many more reasons to build also, but one for me is to learn new things. I always like to use my hands to build something. And I conciser this screen as version 1.0, next version will be bigger and better, as I will avoid the mistakes made with the first one. Start of a hobby, I would say.
OK, let the reason be whatever, lets start. First I read forums what other people had done, looked their amazing pictures and build a list of things I would need to build my own screen. Finally, I measured the size of image projected to my wall and started from there. I e-mailed to store nearby selling all kinds of wood-products and explained what I needed. One 6 mm mdf-board, 970 mm x 820 mm. I measured this three times. When I finally got my board, I noticed it is 100 mm too small, measured once more and again ordered my board, 1070 x 820 mm this time. This time it was correct 🙂
Now I got a properly sized board, then I went and bought everything else needed. After this it was easy, I painted the board three times with light gray paint. Glued some boards behind the board so it comes little off from the wall, attached some wall hangers, and the screen was ready. Now only things was to install it to its place, and voila, everything was ready.
When I compare my new data projector + white screen to my 19″ monitor, I’m more than happy with the results! There is also so much difference between before and after the white screen. I think the version 1.0 was a success!
But I’m not completely satisfied with the results though, there is always some room for improvement. One thing is, that the screen is couple of centimeters too big. Idea was, that the image fills the whole screen, or even goes couple or millimeter over the edge. This would provided a neat cut to the picture, and the contrast between the picture and black background would looked nice. The error here was mine, I measured the size of image projected to empty wall. Now, the final screen is 5 cm off the wall, and hence the projected image is smaller. The other thing is, that the screen and image could be even bigger. This screen is only 55″, although it is big, but it is not big for the white screen. This is because the size or my room is small, and there is simply not enough space to move the projector more far away to project bigger image. To this I have a solution though, version 2.0 will be in my kitchen, but for that I need some more materials. Maybe later, now I’m happy with my small home theater.
So, what next? When I get money I will buy 5.1 sound system and then this project is done. Afterwards, move the whole thing to kitchen, cover the whole wall with black velvet or something, build a bigger screen, make the image fill the screen even better, buy a better projector, buy better sound system etc.. I think once you go to this road, you have always something to improve :). OK, lets attach pictures and wrap this thing up!