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Hi,
I just joined your forum 5 minutes ago, but I did visit it quite a lot in the past months, and I was impressed by the quality information that can be found here.. I am from Romania (that is a country in Eastern Europe).

I upgraded to a Panasonic PT-AE3000E (E from the European version, but I think that it's almost identical to the 3000U, the USA version), from an old Sanyo PLV-Z1.
I must confess that I was a bit disappointed with the image quality that the Panny produced in a room that had white walls and ceilings, especially after reading all the glowing reviews about it (I was projecting on a plain wall, 100'' diagonal, no screen borders)
So, I decided to turn one of my bedrooms into a home theater room, and I bought a black carpet, and put black curtains on all the walls and the ceiling. I must admit that the black level that I get now is nothing short of spectacular.

The only problem that I must solve now is the screen. I made a fixed 96'' DIY screen using a wooden frame and a white fabric. The problem is that because of the texture of the fabric, the image looks very dirty compared to the image that I was getting on the plain wall. I have a couple of questions, and I really would appreciate if you would find the time to help me with those :

1). Do you think that a BW screen would be good for me in that conditions (very dark room, 96'' diagonal, Panasonic AE-3000, primary use : movies). If not, what would you recommend ? (I will always use the projector with the lights out, and the room is totally dark even in the middle of the day)
2). If 1) would be true, and also in general, can BW be painted over a fabric, or over paper ? or does it require a more solid surface ?
3) If I would not go for the BW option, and I would want a 1.0 gain screen, what material would you recommend for that ? Would white matte paper or carton be a good choice ?
4) If I go for the BW (that would be the preferred option for me, but I need also your opinion on that), I think I can order the Auto-Air fine aluminium base from Germany, but I still would have to find an equivalent for the other ingredient of the mix (the Bermuda Beige). I have some local stores that can mix paint for me, but I do not know what to ask from them. From what I have read here, what I need would be a water-based paint that can be defined as (using different color systems):
RGB : 233-211-199 or
NCS : S0907-y70r
RAL equivalent : 0568610 (though this RAL color does not exist).
Is that correct ? I am 100% sure that they are not using the US color system, so I hope that they could be using one of the three color systems noted above.
5) My projector is ceiling-mounted. Is there a minimum distance from the back wall ? The manual says (pages 12-13) that I must have at least 20'' (50 cm) from the back wall, but I only have 12'' (30 cm). I assumed that would be sufficient, because the intake is in the back, and the exhaust is in the front, where I have plenty of room. Also, the projector is suspended, so it has plenty of air all around it.

Thanks for reading my first (and long) post, and I also thank you in advance for your answers.
 

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Ady,

1. If you've liked a white screen before and you have a light controlled room, I'd stick with white. :T The only reason to consider Black Widow would be improved black levels. But I'd stick to a white painted screen.

2. Most fabrics can be painted. The preferable method would be to spray it. However it can be rolled but it's a bit more difficult.

3. I'd look for a good matte white paint. Look here for Dulux.

4. You'd use the NCS number I believe. Harpmaker is closing in on a simple way to mix your own Bermuda Beige with matte white latex and a tube of Liquitex Burnt Sienna IIRC. If you can get Liquitex, you may be able to make your own Bermuda Beige. But I'd still go with the white if you liked it. ;)

5. This one I'm a bit unsure of. If the manual says 20", I would try and achieve that. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. :dontknow:

Welcome to the Shack! :bigsmile: :wave:
 

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Another hardy welcome Ady!

I agree with mech; if you were happy with a white painted wall then white is your color. The main reasons to use a gray screen are to fight ambient light problems or to increase black levels or perceived contrast in the projected image. If I read your post right you don't have those problems. Get the brightest white paint you can find and you will probably be close to the 1.0 gain you are seeking and will have a screen that can be viewed from any angle and still be nice and bright.

What Black Widow does is give back some of the whites that using a gray screen takes away, but not all of them.

Also, if I understand correctly, your problem is that your current fabric screen has too much texture and this is showing up as a dirty image. I don't think you can paint your way to a better screen using this fabric. While I could be wrong, unless you would put many coats of paint on that fabric, and sand between coats, I think most of the problem texture would still be there.

I must ashamedly admit to totally forgetting about the RAL stuff I was working on before I had to go out-of-state for a week! My bad. I just had a look at existing RAL colors and I think (but could be wrong :rolleyes:) that the closest true RAL DESIGN color to Bermuda Beige is 0609010.

Mech is correct, I am working on a method that will allow people to make an accurate Bermuda Beige clone from white paint they can get at their local paint store and Liquitex BASICS Matte 'Burnt Sienna'. It is in the early stages, but looks very promising. Liquitex is an internationally available brand of artist paints and mediums.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you for your quick response Mech !

I was leaning to Black Widow because I thought it would give me (quote from the BW thread) :
# Better Blacks
# Bolder Colors
# Whiter Whites
I was hoping that I would be able to further improve the already excellent image that the ae-3000 can deliver. Does BW have any disadvantage compared to a white screen ? You would stick to a white painted screen for simplicity reasons, or do you have other reasons ?

Thanks for the Dulux link, unfortunately the dealer that is listed for Romania is actually from Hungary. Do you have a NCS or RGB equivalent for the Dulux matte white paint that you did recommend to me ?

About the back wall distance , the manual says 20'' away in all directions, and I would totally agree that it needs that space in the front (where the hot air is), but not in the back. Any experience with this from other users ? Maybe with similar projectors (ae-1000 or 2000) ?

Later edit:
I did see Harpmaker's post after I finished editing my post, I think that it answers some of my questions. So, the disadvantage of BW would be that the "blacker blacks" will be there, but the "whiter whites" may not be whiter, in fact the whites may be a little bit duller. Did I understand this correctly Don ?
Thanks
 

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Black Widow has blacker blacks than it's equivalent gray for whites. Which would be around a N8-N8.25ish gray. And it has whiter whites than a gray of it's equivalent, which is N7.5. It would definitely have blacker blacks than a white screen. But there's a shock involved when looking at whites between a white and a dark gray screen. :yikes:

I would have a white screen if I always used my theater with the lights out. But my wife and I like the lights on, so we have a Black Widow screen.

The standard matter white would do just fine. Ask the dealer which white is the brightest and get it in a matte finish. :T Also, find something smooth to paint on since the texture your fabric has doesn't appeal to you.

As for the pj question, throw that question up here. I'm certain someone will be able to give you an answer. :yes:
 

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I did see Harpmaker's post after I finished editing my post, I think that it answers some of my questions. So, the disadvantage of BW would be that the "blacker blacks" will be there, but the "whiter whites" may not be whiter, in fact the whites may be a little bit duller. Did I understand this correctly Don ?
Thanks
Mech explained it in his reply quite well. BW performs like a lighter gray screen than it really is, but it still is a gray screen. A white screen will have physically whiter whites than a gray screen (any gray screen), that is just Physics; just as a gray screen will have blacker blacks than a white screen, again it's just Physics. If you are viewing the screens in a totally dark room you probably wouldn't notice any difference between them if you swapped one for the other AND calibrated your PJ to the screen in use.

Where a gray screen comes into it's own is when the projector needs some help in the area of image contrast or if any other light would be hitting the screen. The light from a single candle burning in a room can affect the image quality of a pure white screen.

What it ultimately comes down to is our individual preferences. I, personally, have a PJ that needs all the help it can get when it comes to image contrast. I was testing a composite screen made of panels ranging from N8.9 to N9.3 (essentially a white screen, but not a bright white) and watched a number of movies on it. The image didn't look that bad, but then I played a movie that I had used to make screen photos of a BW screen and it just didn't look right. I took the composite white screen down and put up a BW screen and the movie looked MUCH better to my eyes. The colors were bolder and the entire image had more color saturation and 'snap', but it was a bit dimmer overall than the white screen had been. I preferred the appearance of the BW screen, but others may have given up those snappy colors to get that small bit of brightness back. I also need to say that my PJ have VERY poor adjustments for color and brightness; better PJ's may have been able to make the BW screen the same brightness as the white one.

To answer your question, the whites on a BW screen are plenty bright if you are projecting an image with at least 12 foot-lamberts of brightness. Your PJ can do this with no problem with the screen size you state. Because of my personal likes I would go with a BW screen in almost any situation, it will look good in a dark home theater and it will give you the ability to have some lights on in the room without totally messing up your image quality (but it can't work miracles). What mech and I were telling you is that in a "bat cave" like your theater room a white screen will work well as long as the room remains dark.

I still feel like I haven't explained the situation well enough, but my mind is turning to jelly so I think I'll stop here. :)

Please feel free to ask any, and as many, questions as you want. If a question hasn't been answered to your satisfaction please ask it again. :bigsmile:
 
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