Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 33 Old 06-16-07, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate

I've had a 3' X 6' piece of Designer White for some time now and I've done a few comparisons. Here are some resulting shots of these comparisons. Be advised that these pictures are 1024X768. If you need me to or think I should downsize them let me know.








Each is the same frame one with lights on and one with lights out. I have yet to do a good comparison of whites but I have an inkling that the DW will have a much better whites than FG.

Designer White is on the left.

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post #2 of 33 Old 06-17-07, 11:14 PM
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Re: Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate

Hmmm... at first glance it appears FG might look a little better, but I'm not sure the blacks are up to par with the DW with the lights off. After looking closer it seems like I see more detail on the DW.

Although FG looks better with the lights on, they both still look washed out.


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post #3 of 33 Old 06-17-07, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate

Sonnie,

That DW's still not hung up yet?!?!?! You can blame the washed out look on my picture taking ability. I just never had enough time to sit down and learn the basics with my new camera. But I just got back from vacation and I took over 600 pictures while I was gone. I'm a bit more comfortable with it now. I need to come up with a better manual white balancing but that's another story.

What did you think about the thumbnails vs. a full picture?

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post #4 of 33 Old 06-18-07, 11:05 AM
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Re: Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate

Man... I know... I have procrastinated like never before. It is lying on the floor in our HT room though. It's been one thing after another. We have Vacation Bible School going on this week, moving our office this weekend, vacation the next. It's like it never ends, between here and there and everything I have to get done. It may be winter...

The full pics are definitely easier to tell what's going on for me.


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post #5 of 33 Old 06-18-07, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate

I know the feeling...

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post #6 of 33 Old 06-19-07, 03:41 PM
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Re: Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate

It's hard to judge, it's more of a trade off - do you like the color depth or the brightness.

It's great you put these two together, i've been wondering about DW. Is your FG with the poly top coat and DW untouched? It would be great if you can show some whites.
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post #7 of 33 Old 06-19-07, 04:35 PM
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Re: Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate

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ktaillon wrote: View Post
It's hard to judge, it's more of a trade off - do you like the color depth or the brightness.

It's great you put these two together, i've been wondering about DW. Is your FG with the poly top coat and DW untouched? It would be great if you can show some whites.
It is pretty much a trade off and a matter of personal tastes and preference. Both are excellent screens, and DW will work with minor amounts of room lighting on, but it does wash out. FG works in both situations, so for those that do tend to have some viewing with lights on, that's where it excels and why it's recommended Not that I'm saying anything you didn't already know.

DW can actually be TOO bright in some situations. By that I mean I have off white walls and a white tile ceiling. It lit my room up and created it's own ambient lighting. The picture looked fantastic, but I like watching movies in a dark setting and this was some room lighting I couldn't just 'turn off'.

Now once I get my room painted a darker color, I may put the DW screen back up and check it out again.
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post #8 of 33 Old 06-20-07, 04:57 AM
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Re: Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate

There is one thing I would like to point out with a comparison like this... and that is projector calibration.

Those that know me know I am not a big fan of side by side comparisons of two completely different color shades. Not that I want to 'hide' anything, in fact it is almost the opposite, I don't feel that either the white screen or gray screen get a fair comparison as far as their optimal performance levels. When comparing a white screen to a gray screen, the gray screen will always take a hit with white levels as compared to the white screen, and there will be certain performance areas where the white screen will not fare well. Colors should remain accurate between the two, but a bit deeper and darker. To some this disparity between the screens immediately swings them to the white, or some snap judgments are made about the performance of the gray being better.

The white screen acts as a white reference for our eyes. This is the same as having a black border on a screen. When a gray screen is directly compared to a white screen, the whites will not look as good, or in some cases even white. However once the white reference is removed and all we see is the full gray screen, our eyes no longer have a reference point and the whites now appear as white again on the darker screen.

Calibration is a big factor too. I have seen people with their projectors calibrated for a gray shade screen, and when a white was directly compared, sure the whites looked better, but the rest of the image didn't fare well. The same is true of the opposite, if a projector is calibrated for a white screen and a side by side is done like this, the gray screen will not show its true potential. I believe Mech originally had a Parkland screen, or he was testing Parkland. At first when he did side by side testing, Fashion Grey looked pretty bad by comparison. So bad if I remember correctly that mech almost didn't go with FG. Once he calibrated the projector to the darker screen, everything changed. Now the lighter white Parkland screen did not look nearly as good and Fashion Grey was dramatically better than how it initially looked.

So when looking at side by side comparisons between two screens with a huge disparity between their shades, the biggest items to look for are black levels, ambient performance, and picture detail. Colors should be close between the two, one should not have blues that look blue and the other look purple, that would be an indicator of a gray that is out of balance. The colors on the gray should look darker, and yes somewhat muddy with a direct comparison to a bright white screen. As I mentioned though once that huge white reference is removed, our eyes will then see white as white again on the darker screen, and colors should now look clean and crisp.

I am by no means trying to dissuade anyone from using a white screen. I am only pointing out that in a direct side by side comparison they are going to look vastly different from each other. If your projector can produce deep blacks, and it is a dedicated theater with light control, a white screen is the logical choice. White washes out quickly with ambient lighting though, and for those that will be viewing with some lights on from time to time that is also something to take into consideration. For that situation a gray screen will probably be the best all around performing screen- one that provides deep blacks and good colors in both lights off and lights on viewing. If a person's projector does not produce deep inky blacks, they may actually want to look into a gray screen even if they only do their viewing with total light control. Lumens are also a factor with grays, and part of another discussion...

The key is calibration and projector limitations. The variables are how good a projector is at creating blacks and what your personal preferences are, as well as what the room setting and viewing conditions will be. I have a discussion about grays over in the Neutral Gray thread going and am going over this exact topic in there too. Both screens have their purpose in life and both serve their purpose extremely well, however there are factors and decisions a person needs to consider when chosing a screen.

Mech, do you still have those side by side comparison shots you originally did? The ones where your projector was calibrated to a white screen, and then you re-calibrated it for the darker Fashion Grey? That will demonstrate what I am saying better than any words can. Also if you have the time, throw some hockey shots up, both full screen shots of FG, and then a side by side. People may be surprised at some of these shots and how white the whites look when there is no reference point.
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post #9 of 33 Old 06-20-07, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate

Quote:
ktaillon wrote: View Post
It's hard to judge, it's more of a trade off - do you like the color depth or the brightness.

It's great you put these two together, i've been wondering about DW. Is your FG with the poly top coat and DW untouched? It would be great if you can show some whites.
That's correct, matte poly on the FG and DW untouched. I always hate doing whites because it makes my FG screen look gray! I will get to this shortly though and add some white shots.

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post #10 of 33 Old 06-20-07, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Designer White vs. Fashion Grey Laminate

Quote:
wbassett wrote: View Post
Mech, do you still have those side by side comparison shots you originally did? The ones where your projector was calibrated to a white screen, and then you re-calibrated it for the darker Fashion Grey? That will demonstrate what I am saying better than any words can. Also if you have the time, throw some hockey shots up, both full screen shots of FG, and then a side by side. People may be surprised at some of these shots and how white the whites look when there is no reference point.
I don't believe that I do, I'll go hunting for them though. I believe you're talking about the original shots with the Parkland Plastics Polywall and the FG, right? And it's a good thing I saved that last Stanley Cup game!

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