Last weekend’s project: mounting our new Silver Ticket projector screen!
The booklet and videos make it look easier than it is and some steps are left out. Here’s what I learned in the hours it took me to set up my home’s new Silver Ticket 120″ projector screen.
The screen itself is amazing, by the way – I highly recommend it, and it’s definitely worth the setup time especially if you were previously using a white wall as your screen like I was – it’s a huge upgrade!
You should have:
- Two people
- Good drill (I love and recommend my DEWALT drill) with a variety of drill bits
- Stud finder (here’s my Zircon MultiScanner that I love)
- Bubble level
- Measuring tape
- Rubber mallet (or if you’re brave, a normal hammer)
- Several large towels or blankets to go between your floor and the screen as you unfurl it and affix it to the frame (unless you have super pristine carpet, I guess)
- About 3-4 hours
You should also watch this video before proceeding, it’s only 4 minutes long (shorter if you watch it on 1.5x!) and gives a good overview of the installation, start to finish.
Unboxing the Silver Ticket screen parts
You’ll find several cardboard boxes containing the frame pieces, an instruction booklet, a bundle of thin white plastic sticks (tension rods), a box of misc. hardware, and a box with the screen rolled up inside it.
Inside those cardboard boxes are the black velvet frame pieces that’ll make up the border of your Silver Ticket projector screen. Put the rolled up screen somewhere safe and away from children, dogs, cats, etc – you won’t need it until you’re almost done putting this thing together.
Here’s the hardware they give you. Note that there are two kinds of short screws: 16 of them have rounded heads and 8 of them have flat heads. This will be important later and the printed instructions do not tell you which is which!
Here’s all the parts along with the nicknames my partner and I gave them as we assembled the screen, which I will refer back to in the instructions to follow.
Unfortunately, the instruction booklet does not name these pieces.
Fortunately, I was able to assemble and install my screen without adding any hardware that wasn’t originally included.
Silver Ticket screen assembly
Step 1: Connect the straight-edge pieces
Here’s a diagram of how the velvet border pieces fit together. (The seams are not at all noticeable in real life, they’re just exaggerated here for this diagram.)
There are six velvet pieces total: two short pieces with straight edges and two pieces with pointy edges. The two straight metal brackets with holes are used to hold the straight pieces together, and the L-shaped metal brackets with holes are for holding the corners together.
The first step is to connect the long straight pieces that make up the top and bottom edges of the frame. Slide in the straight metal connector piece into the flat-edged end of one half of the top/bottom of the frame, and then slide on the opposite half of the frame.
Here’s mine halfway done (with the wrong screw in place):
Use the flat-head screws for the middle joints (the rounded screws are for the corner joints). The included instruction booklet doesn’t really make it clear which screws to use here. You should use the flat-head screws for the straight pieces.
I foolishly used the round-headed screws for the straight joining pieces. That is bad! Don’t do as I did.
Here’s the diagram that should’ve been in the manual, showing which screws go where:
What if the holes don’t line up?
On mine, the holes on the frame pieces didn’t line up with the holes in the brackets (and apparently neither did some others, judging by the occasional negative Amazon reviews on this screen).
Misaligned holes look like this, and it’s not a matter of mixing and matching pieces differently (or at least it wasn’t for me) nor does it mean you have to push the pieces together harder (we tried).
I ended up using my drill to widen the holes by chiseling them along the edges. Probably not the best use of my nice drill bits but it got the job done.
Hold that sucker down and drill, baby, drill…
(Not shown: use a vacuum to get all the little metal bits vacuumed up before you move on)
My corner pieces in particular were pretty poorly aligned. Here’s an “after” showing off our handiwork:
The misaligned holes were the only frustrating part of the screen assembly process and it added an hour or so to the setup time. While this screen is well-reviewed on Amazon, it seems most of the (relatively few) negative reviews come from this misaligned hole problem.
Silver Ticket should definitely look into why this is affecting people, as not everyone’s going to have the ability (or desire) to just bore bigger holes into their frame pieces and the screen is awesome otherwise.
Anyway, just screw the long straight top/bottom pieces of the frame together. Don’t do the corners until you’ve added the plastic pegs (screen hooks).
This is what you should leave this step with: the top and bottom edges of the frame held together with the “flat” head screws.
Step 2: Slide in the plastic pegs
Each metal frame piece has a sticker telling you how many little plastic screen hooks to slide onto each frame. Don’t worry about aligning them, just get the right number on. The round nub points up.
Your peg baggie will probably have a ton left over when you’re done.
Once the plastic pegs are in, you can screw the corner pieces together using the L-shaped corner brackets.
Step 3: Slide in the “snowman” brackets
You’ve got four of these metal “snowman” brackets that are designed to slide into the tracks on the back sides of each of the velvet frame pieces. The “head” of the snowman should point towards the ceiling – this is where the screw on the wall will rest when the frame is hanging.
Step 4: Connect the corners
Remember to use the 16 “round” headed screws for the four corners.
Once it’s all together, you should have a fully contiguous frame with the correct quantity of plastic pegs in each track.
Step 5: Screw the mounting screws into your wall
- two studs (use the stud finder to get the center of each of them)
- that are 48-60″ apart
- and reasonably in the center of your screen
- don’t drill into metal or electrical wires (turn off your breaker if you’re concerned)
Remember, the “snowman” brackets can slide left/right in their tracks, so you can still center your screen even if your studs aren’t equidistant from your screen’s intended center.
The instructions provided aren’t terrible for helping with placement, but they won’t help you with screwing into studs. Screwing into studs generally requires more pressure and care than screwing into plain old drywall, but for this screen you definitely want to screw into studs for the extra stability (or maybe use some toggle bolts if it has to be drywall).
For my installation, I first drilled a pilot hole into the drywall and stud. The drill bit I chose for making the pilot holes was as wide as the “valleys” on the provided screws.
For more help with drilling into studs, this question and answer thread helped us a lot when we were having trouble.
We just did the top two screws and then we moved on to testing it out.
Step 6: Hang it up and see if it’s level!
Hang your frame on your top two screws and see how you did. This is why you shouldn’t do all four before testing it: if you’ve messed up and it’s not level, you only have to re-do one screw, not three.
We were quite lucky and the frame came out level on the first try. Glad we measured repeatedly before drilling.
Step 7: Do the bottom two mounting screws
You can now use the placement of the bottom two “snowman” brackets to determine where to put the last two screws. Go ahead and take the frame down and put those last two screws into the wall.
Step 8: Unroll the screen
This part’s easy, just roll it out white-side down. Try to align it as close to its final location as possible during this step.
Here’s a video of what NOT to do when stretching out the screen.
Step 9: Feed in the tension rods
You have six of these thin plastic tension rods. Two of them have rubber caps on both ends; four of them have rubber caps on just one end.
The “dual cap” rods belong on the left/right sides of your frame (the shorter sides). You can feed these in rubber-cap-first.
The other four have one plastic end and one capped end. The capped ends belong on the corners of the frame, meaning they go in plastic-end first and are harder to feed through.
We found it helpful to have one person feed the rod and one use a small tool to widen the vinyl tunnel the rod was going through.
When it’s done, you’ll have two capped tips in every corner of the frame.
Step 10: Pull the screen edges over each peg
I started in the center of each side of the frame, doing opposite sides in pairs.
In this pic, you can see I pinned the center of each edge first. I then worked my way out from the centers, doing one side then its opposite side. The corners were the last parts to get hooked onto their pegs. This process was easy and didn’t require as much force as some of the tutorial videos seemed to suggest.
With the screen stretched and held in place by the pegs, there is just one major step left…
Step 11: Install the center support bar
This part was easier than I expected. Have your helper hold one end of the support bar in place at the center of the screen. On your end, pop the screen off two pegs (or just never hook them in the first place) and lock the support bar into the frame track.
Don’t worry, the screen sitting on top of the pegs looks worse than it really is…
The bar will now be at an angle and tough to slide into place without a rubber mallet or hammer of some type. Carefully pound it (from the side) along the track until it is centered and straight. (This is why you used the flat screws here, so the support bar can pass over them.)
Take your time – don’t hit the screen!
Ta-dah! Your support bar is done once it’s square with the rest of the frame. Put the screen back on the pegs.
Step 12: Put that bad boy on the wall
Marvel at your accomplishment – looks great!
That’s it! Silver Ticket projector screens are definitely awesome and worth the setup effort, even if you have to manually widen some holes on the frame.