New Projector - need advice on screen gain - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-13-07, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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New Projector - need advice on screen gain

Hi:

I am in the process of moving and building my second home theater. The first was built about 8 or 9 years ago..and I relied on the dealer to select the screen to go with a DWIN.

I just purchased the new projector - a Sony "Pearl" . I've been reading a lot about gain ratio's for projectors and am getting more confused. Based on some reviews I've read, it seems that a gain of less than 1.0 would be preferrable to a gain of greater than 1.0 in a dedicated room, and the I should seriously look into a light gray screen.

The new home will have a dedicated theater, with no light leakage, (windowless room off of a lower level). Based on the room size I am probably going to go with something like 110" diagonal 1: 1.78 screen

Based on some the threads posted I was looking at high contrast gray Carada with a 0.8 gain.

Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-13-07, 05:17 PM
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Re: New Projector - need advice on screen gain

is it the VW100 or VW50?

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post #3 of 8 Old 08-15-07, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New Projector - need advice on screen gain

Its a VW 50
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-18-07, 12:20 AM
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Re: New Projector - need advice on screen gain

srsmith I agree about holding off just a bit for the Da-Lite screen reviews, they have some very interesting screen options.

For a 110" diagonal image with the VPL-VW50 you're going to have around 9fL of light at the screen with a 1.0 unity gain white screen.

I think a mistake most people do when they are thinking about gain is they aren't always looking at the big picture. You want a minimum of 12fL at the screen for a total light controlled environment. If you have ambient light issues you will need even more foot Lamberts.

So gain is used as needed to hit the desired level of screen image brightness based on your situation. For you, right out of the gate you need some gain for a 110" diagonal screen. To hit that you are going to need something 1.4 or higher.

The Video Spectra is a 1.5 gain white screen with a 35 degree viewing cone.

You can possibly get away with Da-Lite's Silver Matte screen which is a 1.3 gain screen but it is rather dark and I am afraid your whites will go muddy with it. You could always request a sample and try it, but with 11fL I think you may not like it.

Their Pearlescent screen is also a contender, darker than the Video Spectra, but not too dark. I estimate it around an N9 in shade. It also has a gain of 1.5. Again, request a sample, you may like this one a lot.

I'll get some information on some other screen materials for you, but the Pearlescent and the Video Spectra are my top picks and recommendation for Da-Lite screens.

I concur with mech, for Carada the only one you really want to be looking at is their bright white. It has the gain you need to get you up to the desired brightness level.

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post #5 of 8 Old 08-19-07, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Smile Re: New Projector - need advice on screen gain

Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate. Its all become quite a bit clearer.
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post #6 of 8 Old 08-19-07, 02:35 PM
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Re: New Projector - need advice on screen gain

Here are some excerpts from ProjectorCentral's review on the VPL-VW50.

I highlighted some of the key statements-
Quote:
ProjectorCentral wrote:
Since this projector has a long zoom lens, its lumen output will depend in part on where you install it. If it is installed as close to the screen as possible so that the zoom is in its widest angle setting, lumen output is maximized for all operating modes. If the projector is moved back so that the zoom lens is set to its longest throw distance, lumen output for all operating modes is reduced by 25%. Ceiling mounting will let you position the projector closer to the screen and allow you to use the brighter end of the zoom lens.

...

Overall, when set up to get the best image possible, the VW50 is capable of delivering a dazzling, high contrast picture with extremely deep black levels. Color saturation is outstanding, and color balance is close to ideal. As noted previously, pixelation is non-existent. These performance factors combine to give the picture a rich, natural quality that is easy to enjoy for hours on end.

With the projector's supremely high contrast, one does not need an exceptional amount of lumen output to generate a satisfying picture. That is a good thing, because at video optimized settings most people will opt for, lumen output can drop to lower than average levels. The maximum lumen output we were able to measure on our test unit was 562 ANSI lumens. That was with the projector set to "Dynamic" mode (not ideal color), the lamp on full power, the zoom lens set to its widest angle position, and lens shift set to neutral.

From that starting point, lumen output can be curtailed in any of several ways. As noted previously, using the telephoto end of the zoom range will cut lumen output by 25%. Switching to low lamp mode reduces light output by 35%. Switching from Dynamic to video-optimized Cinema mode reduces light output by 28%. Moving the lens shift from neutral position to maximum offshift up or down reduces light output by 5%. So as you experiment with combinations of these various options, the VW50 will produce anything from a reasonably bright 500+ lumens to well below 200 lumens.

...

The bottom line is that the VW50 has an adequate amount of lumen power to deliver a beautiful high contrast picture in a dark theater. With color balance optimized and the lens in its long throw configuration from a back wall, the user should expect to net about 300 ANSI lumens out of the box. We would not go too large with the screen size, ideally keeping it to no more than about 100" diagonal. If you are viewing nothing but bright, high contrast source material, it will light up a 120" screen quite easily. But with a lot of darker standard definition material in the mix, users with larger screen sizes will find themselves wishing the projector was a bit brighter.

Contrast and black levels are two of the VW50's strongest attributes. With either HD or standard def material, black level was deeper than on any of the other new 1080p projectors we are currently evaluating.
Based on the fact your projector has a fantastic contrast ratio and can also produce blacks very well, my recommendation is to skip a gray screen and stay with something N9 or lighter in shade, preferably a good quality white screen with a gain around 1.4.

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post #7 of 8 Old 08-20-07, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: New Projector - need advice on screen gain

Based on the review and comments I 've been reading - it seems like I should position the PJ somewhat closer to the screen to maximize brightness, and try to avoid lens shift as much as is practical.

If I bring the PJ closer to the screen wouldn't that cause some potential hotspotting?

Again, thanks - I am now looking at the Stewart Studiotek 130. Seems like it might be a good (albeit more expensive) way to go.
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post #8 of 8 Old 08-20-07, 09:26 PM
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Re: New Projector - need advice on screen gain

With the options and lumens your projector has I think you will be fine in that area (hot spotting) seeing that you don't have excessive lumens, but an incredible image quality.

Bringing the projector closer and if you reduce your zoom, will decrease the image size and increase the brightness, but let's work on options for a 110" screen, I don't think that is out of the question. You could drop to a 106" screen, but you'd only come up around 1 fL, so that drop doesn't seem advantageous.

With your projector and the size screen you desire it can be done and give you an exceptional image, and I think that's what you're looking for.

Hit Smokey up for the calibration part of things, and he will also be able to give you some ideas and tips on screens as well. The StudioTek 130 is a very nice screen and would serve you well, but I would kind of like to see you hit around 1.4 to 1.5 for your gain to give you a more vibrant image and the ST130 is a 1.3 gain.

If it is at all possible, shoot an image onto a matte white unity gain screen or wall and do a calibration to get a baseline. That way you really will know how much of an improvement you get with samples or the screen you ultimately go with.

"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

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