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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have started finishing my basement a few weeks ago with the intent of creating a dedicated home theater. I have stud walls in place and I have got 85% of my electrical done. I plan to start the AV wiring soon.

I just got my projector in (HD20) and I and know where a bouts I need it mounted to get my desired screen size of approximately 100" diagonal.

I have been trying to plan ahead and have been looking at screens lately. My entire basement project has and will be DIY, so I have been looking at DIY screens. I am torn between doing a BOC with a simple frame and painting the drywall to be hung.

BOC: If I do a BOC screen I do not plan to paint the fabric. Simply stretch over frame and then put a boarder on it.

Paint: If I do a painted screen I plan to roll the paint directly on the drywall and then boarder it.

Which of these will give me the best looking screen? I haven't priced both out yet, going to guess similar cost for either. Both screens seem to be well with in my talents. I will have full control over light should that factor into any decisions.

Thanks
 

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Hi sagerion, welcome to the forum! :wave:

In the scenario you present you would be limiting yourself to an approximately N9 (almost white) gray screen with the BOC. This might be all you need, but from what I have read about it your PJ can use some help getting black blacks; this is done by using a gray screen. Painting your wall would give you the most control over the final screen shade.

Even in low-lamp mode your PJ is quite bright with about 500 lumens in Cinema mode. At your 100" screen size that gives you almost 17 fL. of light on the screen. If I have it figured correctly, even at the end-of-life of your PJ lamp it would still be giving over 12 fL. of illumination. This is bright enough to use any of the screen mixes you will find here at HTS including our darkest so far, Black Widow™.

Having a darker gray screen will allow you to have a better image if you want to have some lights on in the room so people can move around safely during viewing, say at a Super Bowl party.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Never really thought about anything other than white, I always see at least what I think is a "white" screen in conference rooms, not exactly a HT setting.

Would choosing a gray screen over a white screen influence colors throughout the rest of the room?

I was planning of black for the projection wall (minus the screen of course), pretty sure I can get that one by the wife. Don't think she will let me go black on any other surfaces.

Thanks again, glad I came across this forum.
 

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Never really thought about anything other than white, I always see at least what I think is a "white" screen in conference rooms, not exactly a HT setting.
Right, the goals of a conference room and a home theater are quite different. The brightest screens are white (unless we start talking about specialty screens such as glass beaded ones) and this is the goal of the conference room, they don't really care about image contrast or quality as long as everyone in the room can see the image and tell what it is.

The home theater is quite different, here we want to make our screen look as much like a giant television set as we can. A more realistic goal for the home theater is to make your screen look like the image from a movie theater and not a TV set.

You would do well to take a gander at the Sticky thread at the top of this forum, there is lots of good info there.

In a nutshell, if you're home theater had flat black walls, floor and ceiling you could probably use a pure white screen and get a fantastic image that looks like a window into another world, but the sad truth is that it takes precious little "ambient" light to ruin this effect by lowering the contrast of the image. Ambient light is usually light that comes from another source than the projector (such as windows or room lights), but it can also be light that is reflected off the screen that gets reflected back onto the screen due to the surrounding walls/ceiling/floor being too light a color.

And while projectors get better every year many of them still need a bit of help in getting black areas of the image to appear black and not a dark gray. The way to do that is to use a screen that is a shade of neutral gray and not white. A form of optical illusion takes place when a gray screen is used, if we see an image that our brain "knows" is supposed to be white, such as a white dress or a snow covered field, we will see those as true white as long as there is no brighter reference within view.

Gray screens also absorb some of the ambient light rather than reflect it like a white screen would, this helps conserve image contrast and color depth.

You will read a lot about N values here. This is a number that comes from the Munsell color space that is used by artists to define paint colors. In said color space brightness values for neutral grays go from N10 for pure white down to N0 for pure black.

Would choosing a gray screen over a white screen influence colors throughout the rest of the room?
Yes, but not a lot. The screen paints and mixes we advocate here are all neutral grays so they would not fight or conflict with other room colors, but could mute or enhance them a little compared to a pure white screen. Even the darkest gray screen is still a light gray compared to room colors.

I was planning of black for the projection wall (minus the screen of course), pretty sure I can get that one by the wife. Don't think she will let me go black on any other surfaces.
Actually, the color of the wall the screen is on has very little to do with screen image quality since very little of the light reflected from the screen gets back to it. Of much greater import is the color of the walls and ceiling close to the screen. These should be flat black, but since that is rarely the case a dark color can be used to good effect as well.

Since you are building this room as a dedicated HT, you should design the room lighting so that as little direct light as possible falls on the screen itself. Spot lighting can be used to great effect here.

Thanks again, glad I came across this forum.
It's great to have you here!
 
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