Hack your rear projection TV to be bigger

Want to get a bigger tv but can’t afford it? If you Have a rear projection TV, why not just get a bigger screen? That’s exactly what was done here. They dismantled the old TV, mounted it and enclosed it theater style, with curtains. They then mounted a new screen in front of it and voala, bigger TV. He doesn’t talk about how much brightness was lost, but there had to be some. The final picture looks great.

[thanks BonMul]

21 thoughts on “Hack your rear projection TV to be bigger

  1. That is a great hack! Presumably it’s now 1/4 of the intensity, but with a screen that size you probably want a cinema feel anyway, so you’re going to have the lights down to watch.

  2. Very, very cool.

    How long before your house burns down?

    (Actually, that’s a real question – Should the television casing be extended to prevent dust, etc from being a fire/exposed electrical hazard?)

  3. I saw a thing in a magazine article not too long ago about a teeny tiny little projector that is the size of a pack of cigarettes. The cool thing is that it uses lasers to project the image, so focusing and brightness are never issues except at longer distances.

  4. @cde – yeah, but still.. the mirror cavity is gernally not sitting open, and is not always part of the open cab/fan circulated space.
    Not to mention, the occasional rugrat will get back there and put fingerprints all over it.
    I`d add a thin plexy face. sure, that adds a little interface interferance, but it also makes for less mirror surface cleaning. Who knows what could happen with rugrats around (broken mirror, cola on the projector tubes, sandwiches in the VCR… ohh.. wait, that was the 80s.)

  5. I would have thought the same projector is used in various sized rear projection tele’s so it would have an adjustable focus with is just locked off at installation. Nice hack and a great source of parts for a Multitouch table!

  6. If he doubles his source-screen distance, he’d quadruple the viewing area but quarter the brightness. It’s just a simple 1/(distance^2) relation. I’m willing to bet that this relation holds quite well.

    Perceived brightness may well be a different matter entirely. This is a guess, but as a general rule human perception seems to follow log functions, so I’ll bet the screen *seems* more like 60% original brightness. Some compensation may be available through the TV’s original controls, saturation notwithstanding.

  7. You could sell the TV and buy a projector, but you wouldn’t get a 1080 capable projector for that amount of money. The cheapest 1080 projectors are really expensive. Most of the sub-$2k projectors out there can barely do 720.

    I’d be interested in seeing if its possible to put in a different light source. Definitely not going to be simple and I wonder how color rendition would turn out and whether the TV offers enoguh adjustment range.

  8. I agree that brightness probably won’t be a problem — this is clearly meant for movies, which most people watch in the dark anyway.

    Ingenious way to get top resolution without paying the (usual) price!

  9. Great Idea…but where do I find the larger screen material(s)? As I understand it, there are two screen materials used to focus the picture. Thanks.

  10. Dave.

    Yes there are 2 materials, I think one is an Neutral Density + Diffuser, and one is a big Fresnel lens, a giant magnifying glass that focuses the light in the required pattern over the screen. Like a hologram, it catches light at different angles depending on the position.

    I snagged this screen off a progection tv headed for the dump, and the lens part of it acts as a magnifying glass. Curve the entire screen to focus and viola! pretty impressive, im going to put it in the trunk of my car as an emergency firestarter.

  11. Does anyone know where he got his screen? Or what material it is made out of? His site is down and I can’t find a good explanation online.

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