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#330848 - 07/03/2010 13:27 Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY?
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
So, I just bought my first HDTV and soon I'll be making a built-in shelving unit to surround it (from wall to wall in the room). I've been playing with the idea of having something in front of the TV to hide it when not in use, but commercial solutions are hideously expensive ($1000 - $15000).

I'm thinking something like a piece of art, photograph or mirror. Framed or unframed.

I'd really like to make my own solution. Has anyone done anything like this before? Or, has anyone got any commercial product that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?
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#330850 - 07/03/2010 13:52 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13012
Loc: Canada
Lee Valley sells the hardware required for slide-away covers like that. Personally, I'd just make a "roll top desk" style of cover for it, either from scratch (strips of wood glued to canvas), or perhaps just buy that part from Lee Valley too.

Cheers

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#330852 - 07/03/2010 13:56 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13012
Loc: Canada
Concealed Door Slides.

Not motorized, but how essential would that be here ?


Edited by mlord (07/03/2010 13:59)

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#330853 - 07/03/2010 14:04 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: mlord]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4097
Loc: Cambridge, England
"Motorised" is the hard bit. Apart from that you could just use Ikea Kvartal panel curtains on one of the three-way tracks.

Peter

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#330862 - 07/03/2010 17:16 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: peter]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
I'm actually thinking about possibly using a motorized roll shade, like something from Hunter Douglas. Then replacing the plain shade with something I'd have custom printed. That would be fitted behind a panel so that it rests flush with the panel. The opening would be framed.

When down it would look like a framed picture of some sort and when open the TV would be seen, also framed, the panel and frame mentioned above covering the TV's own bezel. I'd make the whole panel assembly each to take out,by making it essentially a box that just sits on the shelf of the unit I'm building wall-to-wall.

The motorized aspect is kind of critical because I'd like to automate it with my remote, so that when I turn on the TV and source components, the screen is revealed. Then hidden when everything powers off.

This is all an "ideal" of course. I'm perfectly happy to just build out the whole wall unit and leave the TV visible at all times. This is icing on the cake and I'm sure my wife would really love it.

Here are some commercial products:

ArtScreen by Vutec

Art Lift by MediaDecor

This is definitely a high-priced niche market.
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Bruno
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#330864 - 07/03/2010 17:27 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13012
Loc: Canada
Mmmm.. I don't think it would be terribly difficult to motorize a non-motorized screen roll-shade, especially if the unit already has a return spring of some kind.

The desire for I/R control warrants dedicating a $5 PIC to the task. The other parts would consist of a small, geared DC motor, LM293D H-Bridge, a couple of microswitches (for end stops), two pulleys, some string, and a long metal rod for the driveshaft. Plus a regulated AC/DC brick to power it all.

Cheers


Edited by mlord (07/03/2010 17:36)

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#330865 - 07/03/2010 17:31 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: mlord]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13012
Loc: Canada
Or instead of a PIC, your SageTV box could handle the I/R, and control the LM293D/motor/switches via some USB/GPIO pins -- a SparkFun FTDI breakout board could do that.

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#330867 - 07/03/2010 20:59 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: mlord]
MarkH
member

Registered: 06/04/2000
Posts: 153
Or a pair of linear actuators ? This kind of thing

http://www.homeline.linak.com/Products/?id2=184

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#330869 - 07/03/2010 21:51 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
How about hiding it under the bed?
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#330871 - 07/03/2010 23:01 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: Robotic]
Folsom
member

Registered: 12/08/2001
Posts: 171
Loc: Atlanta
An electric projector screen might work, they usually have 12V inputs, but you may have problems finding a small size.

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#330876 - 08/03/2010 00:05 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: Folsom]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
I don't know if I want to put a bed in my family room though. Not to mention dropping $20k on the under-bed mount.
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Bruno
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#330965 - 11/03/2010 20:27 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Mark, you clearly overestimate my geekiness. smile I'm trying as hard as possible to Macguyver a solution, not actually, you know, develop something quite so sophisticated from scratch.

So far here's what I'm looking at:

Canvas Photo Printing (best prices and most versatile sizing I've found): http://www.uprinting.com/index.php?main_page=confirm_digital_specs&type=order

Decent prices on Somfy motors and roller parts: http://www.av-outlet.com/index.html?target=dept_418.html&lang=en-us


EDIT. Ok, looks like I may go with a Somfy motor that features integrated IR sensor. This would probably require the least amount of hacking because I'd be doing only assembly instead of having to first tear down something that's already put together in a specific configuration (like a pre-built window shade).


Edited by hybrid8 (11/03/2010 21:15)
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#330998 - 12/03/2010 23:53 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13012
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Mark, you clearly overestimate my geekiness. smile


Oddly, I've been hearing that a lot lately. smile

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#331522 - 28/03/2010 22:02 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
This is the design so far for the wall unit - the middle section will house the motorized panel. The ceiling height is 9ft and the width of the wall where the unit is mounted is about 12.5ft. Each of the patterned areas on the center unit is 55" diagonal.

No wires or components will be visible. Components are housed in the base unit behind doors and all control is handled through repeated/distributed IR, with a single sensor mounted under the framed area in the center of the panel - very discrete surface mount unit.

I was originally going to make the artwork roll up and around the roller tube. What I'll do instead of mount the art on a rigid backing (1/8" hardboard) and that will be lifted by the roller which will be mounted at the top of the large center panel. Only the support lines will actually roll around the roller tube this way. The main factor here was to make sure the artwork has enough mass to move smoothly down in front of the TV and to make sure it's always flat (can't get bunched up or develop a curve due to being on the roller too often).

The motor can lift over 8lbs with the 1.5" diameter tubing I'll be using. The artwork will way considerably less than that, even once mounted on the hardboard. To make sure it's under weight, I'm putting holes in the hardboard backing.

The part that will actually move up/down is the bottom panel inside that dual framed area. The pattern represents where the custom artwork will be visible. Still haven't decided what the imagery will be nor if the top and bottom will form one larger image or simply be complimentary, but both will be printed on the same type of canvas.


Attachments
wallunit_sm.jpg




Edited by hybrid8 (28/03/2010 22:12)
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Bruno
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#331532 - 29/03/2010 01:49 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
Sounds cool, waiting to see pictures of the finished product.
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#331534 - 29/03/2010 02:01 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: msaeger]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Next step is to buy the new table saw and biscuit joiner as well as the materials for construction. I don't really have any concerns/worries with the building aspects right now, only the finishing. Most of the material will be MDF. I'm thinking of putting in a RFQ to get all the parts powder coated locally. Might be worth it to avoid the work of finishing the parts to the level of quality I'm after.

My wife will of course just be glad when it's finished. Even though I haven't started, I think she's already tired of me designing. smile
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Bruno
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#331541 - 29/03/2010 07:39 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
StigOE
addict

Registered: 28/10/2002
Posts: 552
Looks good, but if you're planning to put all components in the base unit, will you get enough cooling for them? Normally, components don't like too confined spaces.

Stig

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#331546 - 29/03/2010 14:17 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: StigOE]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Not all components will go in the base unit. The biggest heat generating one, the power amp, will be in the basement roughly below the left wall you see in the image. That's where my equipment rack is which also contains the computer and NAS that serve and record my media/TV. The computer/server is the next biggest heat generator as well as noise maker, so it's been in the basement all along.

The base unit will only contain a pre-amp in the left cupboard and in the right cupboard the IR distribution block, the SageTV HD Theater (extender), a Wii and probably a DVDO Edge video scaler. I've got vents cut into the bottom and back of the base unit as well - the doors on the front will also sit about 1/8" from the front of the unit. Not a ton of ventilation, but it should be OK for the components that will be housed in there. The unit is 15" tall and 20" deep with each compartment being 24" wide. Lots of room. The side with the pre-amp has only a half back and the wall behind it will actually be recessed an additional few inches to make extra room for the XLR connectors that go down to the basement through the wall.

There are still a few specifics to work out in the design, but I'm getting there.
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#332651 - 01/05/2010 15:40 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
It's been a little slow going, mostly in the time leading up to starting the work. Right now I've got all the wooden panels up on the wall (the brown background) and I've got all the hollow components made for constructing the shelving units.

The paneled background was made with 3/8" fir plywood which I ripped to 6.25" and then stained in an espresso/chocolate finish (dark brown). It has just the right balance of visible grain and matches amazingly well with my sectional. The staining took one day and then another two days were spent on two coats of clear satin finish. It came out fairly well, but given the instability of 3/8" ply, I'm not sure it's something I would do again. It would cost a lot more to use something like pre-finished flooring, but the results would be better and make it a lot easier to work with the material. I had a lot of struggles getting the planks to fit together on the wall due to slight warpage/shrinkage/expansion in various dimensions. The panels are held primarily by construction adhesive and tacked with brad nails to studs. That said, it does look very nice on the wall - it was just a shit-load of work. wink

To get the shelving unit constructed with 1.5" thickness all around, I've made some hollow components instead of actually using 1.5" thick material. This saves a ton of weight, which is super important, considering even the hollow panels are quite heavy overall. They're constructed (faced) with 1/4" MDF with edge and internal ribs made of 3/4" MDF ripped to 1" width. Everything is glued and tacked together using brad nails - the pneumatic nailer was a lifesaver (especially for the wall paneling).

This was all done over the past two weeks. It took me a day and a half to get the paneling on the wall - longer than I expected, but mostly due to the issues I had with panel deformation, plus the many cut-outs I had to make.

Next week, I'm finally getting my biscuit joiner, so I should be able to finish the shelving units and start on the base cabinet. Over the next two weeks I also have to go interview (and get quotes from) two painters I've gotten recommendations for to decide who will be finishing this stuff.

We're also pretty sure we know what kind of artwork we want, so now I just have to produce it - unless I can find something pre-designed in the next three weeks. smile Funnily enough, I got the inspiration for the artwork from "Mother's" office in the animated series Archer. Basically an abstract water color/staining on canvas. I'll produce a few more complimentary pieces which will be used as art elsewhere in the room. This other art will actually be insulated acoustic treatments to cut down on sound reflections and hopefully dramatically improve the sound in the room.

Some updated Sketchup designs. You can see how the components will fit in place. I've also made some small adjustments to various dimensions, including the width of the center panel that covers the TV.


Attachments
wallunit-elec.jpg

wallunit.jpg




Edited by hybrid8 (01/05/2010 16:09)
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Bruno
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#332656 - 01/05/2010 16:06 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Yesterday I started on another project for that room and finished it the same afternoon. A storage ottoman. Built the underlying frame which I'm going to have professionally upholstered to compliment my sectional. I've also luckily found suitable gas springs to hold up the heavy top, so it should all go together well. It's going to cost as much as a high quality store-bought ottoman, but I was never able to find anything with the specs I wanted on the market.

The parts of the ottoman that sill take screws (for the hinges) are built up with solid oak so as to firmly hold the screw. There's going to be a lot of torque on the hinges with the heavy top and relatively stiff gas springs. The feet are solid beech which I actually still have to buy (mail-order turns out to be the easiest/cheapest option).

Getting there...


Attachments
Ottomanframe.jpg

Ottoman.jpg




Edited by hybrid8 (01/05/2010 16:12)
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Bruno
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#332658 - 01/05/2010 16:48 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Here's a detail, from the back, of the panel that moves up and down revealing the TV. The frame around the panel keeps it square/flat and also prevents it from moving horizontally, even when it's positioned above the TV. The bottom edge of the panel will always be in front of the top bezel of the TV, ensuring that it comes down in front of the TV and not on top of it, getting stuck.

The panel is attached to the roller via high-strength woven cord that's set at a slight angle. This will allow the cord to roll around the roller without rolling onto itself. There will probably be only a single cord that goes from one end of the roller, comes down into the panel frame and then back up to the other end of the roller. This should make it easier to set the panel level without having to keep playing with cord length.


Attachments
motorpanel.jpg


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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#332957 - 14/05/2010 18:12 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Update report...

Finished building both left and right shelving units, as well as the upper middle shelf that spans between them.

All the MDF is cut (including biscuit slots) and currently dry-assembled for the base cabinet - I'll be gluing it up tomorrow.

Next is the facade for the TV and then some sanding, plaster work, and more sanding before dropping the pieces off to be painted. I'm hoping to go evaluate one of the possible paint shops tonight or tomorrow.

I'm currently missing a couple of clips to attach the roller for the art lift, so that's probably going to have to wait two weeks for testing. The motor itself and remote seem to be working fine as I rolled them around on the floor a bit already. wink
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Bruno
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#333079 - 19/05/2010 00:27 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Got a quote from the first place for paint. Spray application of latex. Using Benjamin Moore Aura paint (which is their top product). $1500. Too rich for me - at that price I'd buy myself a floor-standing compressor and a bunch of tools, including a very nice spray gun.

A neighbor said she'd get a quote for me from two companies that do this type of work for her employer. Another neighbor said they'd get me a quote at their autobody shop (his family owns a dealership/shop).

Fingers crossed I get something under $500 which is the DIY barrier point I've set.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#333080 - 19/05/2010 00:33 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: hybrid8]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 4976
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: hybrid8
Fingers crossed I get something under $500

Uhhh... can you say "Krylon"?

smile J u u s s tt kidding!

tanstaafl.
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#333087 - 19/05/2010 02:16 Re: Motorized cover/screen/art to hide flat screen TV - DIY? [Re: tanstaafl.]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
If I have to do it myself (ie. have my brother do the painting), I'm probably going to go lacquer. It's what a paint specialty place I go to recommends and they have the necessary tools and supplies I can buy.
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Bruno
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