White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 16 Old 12-10-12, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams

Cross-posting from AVS:

Long story short, I painted my BOC screen with RS-MaxxMudd-LL. I also made panels of C&S Ultra from Hometheatershack, the Sherwin Williams ProClassic recommended in the Projector Central article, and unpainted BOC to compare them directly.

I guess I shouldn't really be surprised by the results. In order from least light to most light, they go: BOC, C&S-U, RS-MM-LL, SW. And by "light" I mean both brighter whites and lighter blacks. The closest of the four are RS-MM-LL and SW, with the Sherwin Williams edging it out a bit in lightness. The SW is actually not quite 100% dry yet so I'll check it again in a few days.

Given the fact that presumably someone wanting a screen of these shades is probably after brightness, I give the nod for now to Sherwin Williams. I should point out that though none of these had both brighter whites AND darker blacks than any of the others, for me there is more apparent difference between a brighter white and a dimmer white than between one shade of black and a slightly lighter one. Not only that, but the brighter whites made that panel's corresponding blacks seem darker in comparison. In other words, as far as perception goes, I saw far less difference between the blacks of the four than between the whites, so for me at least, going up the scale in lightness actually improved perceived contrast. On many scenes, for example a hallway of the Nostromo in Alien, a scene from the Road, or heavily detailed scenes like the royal court in the sacrificial scene in Apocalypto, I had to really look hard to see where one panel ended and another began; while on brighter scenes, like snowboarding in Art of Flight, the difference was immediately and significantly apparent.

Color was noticeably different on all four on a blank white screen, but in every movie scene I put up, any color differences were for all practical purposes undetectable to my eye. The guys at HTS seem to be the only ones who bother to actually test/measure this kind of thing, and I believe C&S and BOC are both very neutral with SW and then RS-MM-LL coming in behind.

Sherwin Williams is off the shelf, costs $20 a quart, and supposedly rolls on like a dream if you don't want to bother spraying.

The RS-MM-LL costs about $80 at a minimum, although this gives you a much greater quantity. It is not an open the can and go solution, due to requiring 4 ingredients and more particular quantities.

C&S Ultra is around $32 for a quart or something like $52 iirc for two quarts, assuming you get the BASICS silver with a 40-50% off coupon (that goes for my stated cost of RS-MM-LL as well). Only two ingredients and simple to measure though, just equal amounts of each of the two ingredients. Note: I might be mis-remembering and the BASICS might have been $2.50 with the coupon rather than $5. If so, it would be $22 for a quart and $32 for two quarts. I can't remember if the regular Michael's price is $10 or $5 per 4oz tube.

BOC is almost always on sale at Joann's and there are almost always half off coupons as well, so usually work out to $7 a yard or less (54" high).

BOC requires a frame which is around $20 of material at Home Depot. The total costs to build my frame for a 126" x 54" 2.35 screen and get the BOC were around $40.

The paint solutions can be applied directly to a good wall or another material. If your wall is in rough shape and you want to paint on the ideal surface, a sheet of Sintra, that will cost you; a 5x10 sheet to almost-but-not-quite match the dimensions of my BOC screen would run you $95-100. I went with spraying and personally found it an enormous chore. The time and effort to dropcloth off the area so the paint dust doesn't get all over the place, the cleaning of the gun between every coat, and the (for me) difficulty of getting a good smooth result had me wishing I had rolled or just stuck with BOC, to be honest. Not to mention $80+ for the sprayer, mask, dropcloths, and other supplies. I should add that I'm not handy at all, though.

Personally I'm not sure why BOC gets kind of short shrift as a "passable starter screen". It seems to me that it has a niche just like any other solution regardless of cost, that it fits right into the spectrum, having darker blacks than the brightest white and white+metallic screens, but better whites than the grey screens. Add in the extremely low cost and the ease of putting a screen of pretty much any size together, and I don't see why seemingly everybody rushes to either a grey screen or a paint solution. I would imagine there'd be many projectors, screen sizes, etc for which BOC would be the sweet spot of white/black performance, just like any other solution.

I'm sticking with the RS-MM-LL because it's brighter than my original BOC -- important on a 10.5 ft wide 2.35 screen with a Mits HC4000 -- and like I said, the hassle and expense of painting is enough that I don't want to repaint it. When I move next year, if I have a good wall available and the same projector, I'll most likely paint the wall with the Sherwin-Williams. My new screen is significantly brighter than my original BOC in bright scenes, as I said, but honestly I wouldn't have known it if I didn't have a BOC panel to compare it directly to.

Thanks to MississippiMan and Harpmaker at HTS for all the help and suggestions.
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-10-12, 06:45 AM
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Re: White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams

Quote:
curttard wrote: View Post

I guess I shouldn't really be surprised by the results. In order from least light to most light, they go: BOC, C&S-U, RS-MM-LL, SW. And by "light" I mean both brighter whites and lighter blacks. The closest of the four are RS-MM-LL and SW, with the Sherwin Williams edging it out a bit in lightness. The SW is actually not quite 100% dry yet so I'll check it again in a few days.

Given the fact that presumably someone wanting a screen of these shades is probably after brightness, I give the nod for now to Sherwin Williams. I should point out that though none of these had both brighter whites AND darker blacks than any of the others, for me there is more apparent difference between a brighter white and a dimmer white than between one shade of black and a slightly lighter one. Not only that, but the brighter whites made that panel's corresponding blacks seem darker in comparison. In other words, as far as perception goes, I saw far less difference between the blacks of the four than between the whites, so for me at least, going up the scale in lightness actually improved perceived contrast. On many scenes, for example a hallway of the Nostromo in Alien, a scene from the Road, or heavily detailed scenes like the royal court in the sacrificial scene in Apocalypto, I had to really look hard to see where one panel ended and another began; while on brighter scenes, like snowboarding in Art of Flight, the difference was immediately and significantly apparent.

Color was noticeably different on all four on a blank white screen, but in every movie scene I put up, any color differences were for all practical purposes undetectable to my eye. The guys at HTS seem to be the only ones who bother to actually test/measure this kind of thing, and I believe C&S and BOC are both very neutral with SW and then RS-MM-LL coming in behind.
curttard, it's a nice topic for debate!!

I 'll try to be as clear as possible (as far as my knowledge in english language permits...) on why have a different opinion.

Some preliminary thoughts and questions. Did you measure the boards with a sensor (spectro or colorimeter)? Did you calibrate your projector for each board or projected simultaneously the same image on all four of them?

As i understand you put the four boards one next to the other and spotted the differences. Well, you won't reach to safe conclusions by doing so, because you don't have a reference point. You can't compare two screens or two displays with different luminosity, different contrast/brightness settings, different gamma point, different RGB and color values, because the right setting for the one will be faulty for the other. A side by side comparison must be done having some stable reference point.

Now, regarding contrast, perceived contrast and and how our eye iris works.

Our eye concieves much easier the differences on low part of the scale (1-10 IRE) than in high end (90-100 IRE). Forget for just one moment the comparison with the boards one next to the other and do a little test. Display the 1-10 IRE patterns and then the 90-100 ones. Play them by one step at a time (1%, 2%, 3%, 90%, 91%, 92% etc) and see where you perceive better and easier the changes in luminosity values.

The reason is because of our eye iris way to operate. In darkness our iris will open completely meanwhile in extreme light will close completely (or almost...) allowing to pass only the amount of light necessary in order to see things. This open-closing of the iris does not work analogicly in light and darkness. Therefore, in darkness the slightest change of luminosity values becomes noticeable immediately.

(i will return with movie APL and why is the black point so crucial for contrast. Meanwhile consider this...our CRTS were capable of producing an infinite on/off contrast but a poor ansi like 150 or 200:1 due to blooming effect. Why do you think their image is quite acceptable till today with modern displays delivering ansi contrast 10 or 20 times more??)
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-10-12, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams

I am judging relative difference in white and blacks not only in simultaneous viewing, but in photos taken with identical 100% manual settings (including white balance), cropped to show only the panel area.

I began calibrating contrast and brightness for each but the settings did not change, and honestly, why would they? The point at which I can't distinguish black from blacker-than-black did not change just because one screen is a bit brighter than another, and the same went for white and whiter-than-white. I didn't bother with color/greyscale because I trust mech and harp etc's measurements as far as which are actually accurate, for those who want the purest reference color.

As far as discerning differences between light and dark, all I can do is repeat that in dark scenes I literally found it very difficult, if not impossible, to see where one panel ended and another began (aside from spotting the shadow of a panel of course); while in bright scenes it was very obvious.
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-10-12, 10:46 AM
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Re: White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams

Considering a white paint only, You may want to consider the Glidden Diamond 450 Titanium White (It's the base with no tint). Here's a test I did some time back.

Quote:
Nak wrote: View Post
Here's some data from some testing I did tonight.

I did all the maximum cd/m2 tests without touching the meter between materials. I then lowered the meter aproximetely 25 or 30 degrees for another cd/m2 reading and ran all the materials through again, also without touching the meter between readings. I used an Eye1 Pro and HCFR. I used BabelColor CTA and the Eye1 Pro for the color data.

The first number is cd/m2 with the sensor adjusted for maximum reading. The second number is cd/m2 with the meter lowered about 25 - 30 degrees. the third fourth and fifth numbers are the RGB values. The last number is deltaE from perfect neutral. A deltaE of less than 1.0 is considered perfect. Less than 3.0 is considered to be so close as to be indistinguishable from neutral by the human eye, at least according to what I've read.

I've included readings from my SF HG screen for reference. Check this thread: http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...velopment.html and you can see the hotspotting on that screen. Then note the variance between cd/m2 high and low numbers. I've included some data from some Cream & Suger paint that I have. Please note that we have determined that the sample I have is a first version, and not representative of C&S in general. There were most certainly some issues either with the base or the silver paint. But you can see how it's possible to have ZERO variance in cd/m2 for normal viewing angles. The cost, of course, is low gain.

Titanium Sintra:
37.5 32.2 246,246,242 2.36

Glidden Diamond 450 Titanium White:
36.35 31.6 245,246,243 1.43

behr 1850 UPW:
35.3 32.05 249,249,246 1.95

Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Smooth Enamel Satin Extra White:
31.25 29.5 240,241,236 2.58

Carrada Brilliant White 1.4 Gain:
36.1 30.8 242,242,236 3.22

C&S:
22.6 22.5

SF HG:
33.1 22.5

One note: This really opened my eyes. Comparing the Behr and the Glidden visually, I would have said the Behr is slightly brighter. The slight color variance can fool the eye; it really truly takes instrumentation to tell the tale.

Visually, I can detect absolutely no hotspotting with the Glidden, Behr, or SW. The Carrada sample is too small for me to really tell. The Titanium Sintra is possibly warm in the center. I don't believe a full screen would show a hot spot, but I guess it's possible. I just don't have the experience to tell for certain.

I wanted the Titanium Sintra to be the clear winner, but I can't say that it is right now. I think the extra 3% brightness it has over the second brightest paint--the Glidden--is worth investigating. (At least for me.) But it isn't there yet. The Glidden is only 3% dimmer, and is off the shelf and easy to apply.

Personally, I think the Glidden and the Behr are both better choices than the Carrada BW sample I have. Similar gain characteristics and more color neutral. I'd give a slight nod to the Glidden over the Behr, and I'd rate the Sherwin Williams a distant number four. Distant at least when you consider how close the top three are.

So, here are my ratings:
#1 Gliddon Diamond 450, Titanium White, Velvet Matte
#2 Behr UPW 1850, Interior Flat Enamel
#3 Carrada Brilliant White 1.4 Gain Manufactured screen.
#4 Sherwin-Williams ProClassic Smooth Enamel Satin Extra White

Titanium Sintra: Not ready for release.

BTW: I did do reflectance curves of all the white paints, they are all equally good with the Behr being the brightest white, N9.78. I'm just too lazy to post the graphs.
Visually, with side by side panels, the Glidden is significantly brighter than the SW, confirming the instrumented results. Also, I have seen postings that Behr paints have had QC issues that result in variable results from the paint? I have no idea as I've not looked into it at all. However, that may invalidate my results with the Behr paint.

Here's my screen build thread with the Glidden:
http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...#axzz2EfSVxrIT
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-10-12, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams

Yeah, I'm aware of the Glidden but by the time I did these, I didn't want to do another. I just did the SW as a lark since it's cheap and I wanted to see how it compared to the mixes. Thank you for reminding me; I'll probably go with the Glidden in the new house assuming I still have a projector that is somewhat hurting for lumens for my screen size.

I'm pretty much done with spraying, I honestly hate it and can't get good results. I'm going to stick with the RS-MM-LL screen just out of "DIY fatigue" until I move. Hopefully I will have a good wall then and can just roll.

Last edited by curttard; 12-10-12 at 11:17 AM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-10-12, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams

This stuff made me wonder: Why isn't there a suitable matte white fabric at Joann's/etc that is "whiter" than BOC?
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-10-12, 02:46 PM
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Re: White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams

Quote:
curttard wrote: View Post
As far as discerning differences between light and dark, all I can do is repeat that in dark scenes I literally found it very difficult, if not impossible, to see where one panel ended and another began (aside from spotting the shadow of a panel of course); while in bright scenes it was very obvious.
Have you tried the test i proposed? I 'm not talking about side by side comparison with different boards. Use only your screen and display the patterns (near black) 1 to 10 IRE and then do the same with the 90 to 100 IRE patterns (near white).

As i said before, just forget for a minute the side by side comparison. You wouldn't believe how many people think that the bright levels of the projector (bulb's performance) is the same after let's say 500 or 800 hours, meanwhile the sensor reads a drop of 30 or 40%. On the other hand, i have heard many times complaints about the ''veil'' in dark scenes although the drop of luminosity inflicts the same amount of change in both sides (0-10 Ire, 90-100 Ire).





Nak, thanks for the info!!
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-10-12, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams

As promised, here is the first image: This is 100% white, taken at 1/4 sec exposure, ISO 80, f 4.0.



The SW is only a bit brighter than the RS-MM-LL; the difference between the others is more noticeable.

Measuring a large square in the center of that with Photshop's luminosity histogram (I would have done the whole frame but the BOC wrinkles would have thrown it off), we get median luminosities of:

SW: 186
RS: 182
CS: 173
BOC: 162

And the same thing for black at 15sec exposure. I should probably do this one over at a greater exposure to get more differentiation, but you get the idea:



SW: 19
RS: 18
CS: 17
BOC: 16

Edit: The black one shows almost no differentiation between them in my browser while the gif looked correct in Photoshop, I'll have to look into that.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-11-12, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams

I thought his name was Maurice?

But no, I don't notice hotspotting with the RS-MM-LL. Bizarrely, I do with the SW. I did a worse than usual job of spraying that one, though; but even so, I would think a rougher or less even coat would decrease glare rather than increase. Don't know what's going on there.
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-12-12, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: White screen: BOC vs RS-MM-LL vs C&S Ultra vs Sherwin-Williams

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