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Discussion Starter #1
I asked this same question in another forum. The answer was great, but I didn't know about Scorpion and C&S at the time, so I'm asking about those now.

I currently have a basic gray N9.0 painted screen. It's fine, but it just lacks. My projector is an Optoma HD70. The screen size is the basic 48x85 98" screen. It's not a dedicated theater area, but most watching is done at night. 98% of the time the only ambient light is from the white ceiling, which my wife says is staying. The walls are dark.

The suggestion over there was a darker screen to help with the white ceiling, and some gain since my projector isn't the brightest. (Am I allowed to say the name of the suggested mix over here?)

I think C&S is too "white" for me, so how would Scorpion 8.0 or BW do for me? Do they possess the gain that I might need?

Thanks for the help.

Karl
 

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I asked this same question in another forum. The answer was great, but I didn't know about Scorpion and C&S at the time, so I'm asking about those now.

I currently have a basic gray N9.0 painted screen. It's fine, but it just lacks. My projector is an Optoma HD70. The screen size is the basic 48x85 98" screen. It's not a dedicated theater area, but most watching is done at night. 98% of the time the only ambient light is from the white ceiling, which my wife says is staying. The walls are dark.
Lacks what? Darker blacks? If someone new were to ask for a new screen given your specifics I'd recommend C&S.

The suggestion over there was a darker screen to help with the white ceiling, and some gain since my projector isn't the brightest.
:scratch: According to PJCentral, you have 17fL at the screen with your pj. Why would you need gain? Does the bulb have a lot of hours on it?

(Am I allowed to say the name of the suggested mix over here?)
Yeppers! :) More than likely I have actually reviewed said mix here. :T If it's from avs, the only thing we do not allow is links to avs. It's kind of a long story but the moderator of the diy screen forum there doesn't allow links to the Shack there. So we don't allow them here in the screen forum. And Shack links are allowed in the rest of avs' forums as well as the rest of our forum.

There are some Silver fire pics in the Supernova review. And I'll have some more this weekend more than likely. They changed the formula so I'll be retesting it this week. I don't believe there is anything else at avs other than this, that's dark anyways. Unless someone suggested a neutral gray with 25% polyurethane?

I think C&S is too "white" for me, so how would Scorpion 8.0 or BW do for me? Do they possess the gain that I might need?

Thanks for the help.

Karl
I'm still a bit flummoxed about this gain that you supposedly need. :huh: The standard is 12fL at the screen. Even with Black Widow you're at 15fL. Is the calc at PJCentral off? I know we've talked to them a couple of times regarding it. But we were happy with their answers regarding it. :dontknow:

Welcome to the Shack Karl! Good to have you here. :T
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply.

Lacks what? Darker blacks?
Definitely not darker blacks. The screen just lacks. I guess it's called "pop". Like I said, it's a basic N9.0 gray painted on TWB. Tinted Behr #4850.
If someone new were to ask for a new screen given your specifics I'd recommend C&S.
I'd like to watch football down there more than just at night. That + the white ceiling are why I was thinking BW or Scorpion.
:scratch: According to PJCentral, you have 17fL at the screen with your pj. Why would you need gain? Does the bulb have a lot of hours on it?
Only 600 hours. The bulb is rated 3000 hours/2000 in bright mode. I watch in normal mode. I'm only saying I need gain because the response at avs said I do. I'm just muddying the waters by bringing another opinion into this probably. His wording seemed to assume the bulb is older but I don't think it is at 600 hours.
Yeppers! :) More than likely I have actually reviewed said mix here. :T If it's from avs, the only thing we do not allow is links to avs. It's kind of a long story but the moderator of the diy screen forum there doesn't allow links to the Shack there. So we don't allow them here in the screen forum. And Shack links are allowed in the rest of avs' forums as well as the rest of our forum.

There are some Silver fire pics in the Supernova review. And I'll have some more this weekend more than likely. They changed the formula so I'll be retesting it this week. I don't believe there is anything else at avs other than this, that's dark anyways. Unless someone suggested a neutral gray with 25% polyurethane?
It was SilverFire.


I'm still a bit flummoxed about this gain that you supposedly need. :huh: The standard is 12fL at the screen. Even with Black Widow you're at 15fL. Is the calc at PJCentral off? I know we've talked to them a couple of times regarding it. But we were happy with their answers regarding it. :dontknow:

Welcome to the Shack Karl! Good to have you here. :T
 

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Is the image too dim? Have you tried adjusting your black levels with Avia, DVE, THX Optimizer? If the blacks aren't washed out then you definitely do not need a darker screen. And contrary to what you may hear from Maurice, silver fire is not a high gain option. The gain of silver fire as well as other diy and commercial applications can be found at the link in my signature. There are also some basic spectrophotmeter readings in the other link as well.

It sounds to me like you have a trade off to make. Go with a darker screen to improve daytime performance and go with gray whites (this is what I like ;) ) and deep dark blacks. Or stick with what you have. You have to weigh the pros and cons of each. I wouldn't recommend BW for you as most of your viewing is at night with no ambient lighting and you said your blacks are fine. And you do have more than enough lumens if you do decide to go lighter.

When I first painted my Black Widow screen, my Mitsubishi HC3000 bulb had over a 1000 hours on it and it produced a wonderful image. This pj has less lumens than yours - 14fL. I believe I measured something like 10fL though from the actual pj. Maurice tells everyone they don't have enough lumens. I don't know why he does it but the rare occasions I check in at avs that's what it seems like he tells everyone. :dontknow: But according to a known source, PJCentral, and the standards, you have enough lumens. Maurice will make things up to get you to use his product. Has he pm'd you yet? If you wait long enough the sales pitch will come via pm. It happened to wbassett, myself and I guess a few new ones over there. Funny how the rules apply to everyone but him. :hush: But that would be another story.

Gain is needed to give you a brighter image. It sounds like you don't need a brighter image though. And if you did I would first look into adjusting your black/white levels with one of the calibration dvds.

If you really want to go with a slightly darker screen, you cannot beat what is here at the Shack. If you have any doubts, go to the calibration forum at avs and ask them if they would prefer a D65 screen or a screen which is not D65. Silver fire is not D65 or neutral. And the corrections needed would be more than Pete and Maurice offer. If for some reason you do want to go with Silver fire, let me know. I know how to cheat the formula a bit so that you don't have to mix or buy a bunch of different paints. ;) You can skip buying all the Liquitex tubes of paint and save a bunch of $$. :T
 

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I'm only saying I need gain because the response at avs said I do.
I'm not sure if you've read through my thread about gain and other confusing topics.
Gain is often misunderstood and way over used as the 'ultimate' screen spec. It is a tool needed only if a particular setup doesn't meet the mininum required brightness for the setting it is in. It isn't a knob at the screen like the guys at AVS like to make it sound. Anyone that needs a screen over there gets the same answer, and it always has a big comment about gain.

Funny thing is when they talk about gain there, they haven't even done a measurement. It's just a guess and that's it.

Based on what I've seen from your post you could even handle Black Widow and that screen works exceptionally well with direct sunlight hitting it let alone some minor room lighting being on. It also works extremely well with the lights off and in a totally dark room. At the size screen you have and fL you're dealing with I'd have no problem recommending Black Widow.

If you're not sure though, then Scorpion would definitely work. You can handle a regular OTS N8 gray as is and these simple mixes are more reflective than an off the shelf paint. Just so you know, I had an OTS neutral gray screen up for over two years because everything I tested against it wasn't as good, and that includes the commercial and DIY screens I tested. It was Sherwin Williams Gray Screen in the Duration finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. I do have Avia, but I haven't used it in months, maybe even a year or more. I'll recalibrate, probably tomorrow night. But I still want a new screen. My screen looks like garbage. It fell off the wall once so the bottom edge is banged up, and the backing board is bigger than the screen itself by a 1/2" or so, so there's no border either. I'm looking to do the whole thing over again.

Now I'm thinking I should mix up some C&S and BW and some Scorpion, and paint 3 test panels and see what I like best. But it sounds like any of them would work for me. I am leaning towards Scorpion N8.0.
 

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Now I'm thinking I should mix up some C&S and BW and some Scorpion, and paint 3 test panels and see what I like best. But it sounds like any of them would work for me. I am leaning towards Scorpion N8.0.
What's nice about this is that these are all very easy to mix - no measurements by the ml - and the whole thing will cost less than silver fire. :T

Keep us posted! :yes:
 

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I got here a bit late and don't have much to add other than to also welcome you to the Shack Karl! :wave:

Be careful about "pop", it can mean different things to different people. MM uses it like a stick to beat any competing mix with, but never really defines it.

I keep reading about how your PJ image (not yours personally Karl) can look like a plasma TV... the image from a front projector won't look like a plasma TV. A PJ screen is reflective while a plasma TV is emissive - two very different technologies.

Let me tell you about what I call "pop". While I was testing the C&S mixes (they are all about equal in shade and performance, but differ in components) I had a "screen" that consisted of 5 C&S panels each 1 foot wide. While the room was totally dark the walls and ceiling are bright white so I still had a significant amount of ambient light hitting that composite screen. I watched parts of several movies on it and was surprised at how good the image looked (I'm a BW fan). The blacks seemed to be about a black as my PJ will allow (it's not a good one), but then I started watching a movie I use to take screen photos with (The Fifth Element) and I just got the feeling that something was lacking, but couldn't put my finger on what it was. I took the C&S panels down and replaced them with various BW test panels (going from a N9 screen to a N7.5) and started the movie again. I then realized what was missing - in a word, CONTRAST. While the image on the BW screen was a bit dimmer, the colors were more saturated and vivid and overall were what I would term "richer". I tried to recreate this look with the C&S composite screen by adjusting the controls on my PJ, but couldn't do it. Now all of this testing was subjective, and different people prefer different image properties so I can't tell you you would have made the same decision I did.

If you have the time and desire to really find the screen you are looking for, I would recommend making a new screen, prime it and then use it for awhile as is as a white screen. Calibrate your PJ to it and take note of what you like and dislike about the screen image you get. If you think you need something darker put on some C&S and recalibrate and reevaluate. If it still isn't what you want then go darker yet; you could paint Scorpion or Black Widow over the C&S without re-priming.

To save time and bother you might be thinking about making up small panels of the mixes involved and doing a side-by-side comparison of them. This won't work. There is an optical illusion that takes place with a gray screen that makes us see an image of snow, a white dress or other "white" object as really being white when in fact it is really gray. The illusion works great, but only works if there is no lighter white "screen" in the same image (as there would be having two or more screens side-by-side). Under those conditions, the darker screen will always have the blacker blacks and the lighter screen will always have the whiter whites.

As for Silver Fire and the Mudd mixes (their name for them not mine), feel free to try them if you want to, but I think you would be disappointed. My first screen was made with Silver Fire, and I did a test panel of a RS-MM mix that MM recommended in the C&S thread here. Both of these screens hot-spotted and were not neutral in color. Screen color neutrality is really important to me since my PJ has very few adjustment controls (about the same as a 1990 era cheap TV set). Also, these mixes most definitely have viewing cones no matter how much they want to disavow that. The proof is in mech's gain readings (see the link in his sig). These are objective readings, not personal opinions. We are all about facts and testing to find them here at HTS. The science is real, not made up.

Again, Welcome aboard!
 

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I can tell you that I started off in AVS looking at Silverfire (and a few of their earlier formulas which they will also promote) and was going down that path until I found my way over here. I am now considering a Scorpion formula for my screen. My issues are similar to yours (white ceiling, want some good ambient light performance, etc), although my PJ is an Epson 6500UB and my "screen" is simply my wall.

The guys here (all of whom have now posted in your thread: harpmaker, mechman, wbassett) are extremely friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.

The explanations I was provided in my thread (here) are logical and "scientific" (to my brain) such that before even looking at results, I am more confident in the formulas here than I am in some of the others I was considering. In other words, I will not be testing anything but Shack formulas and simply need to decide which N# formula from the Shack I want.

Right now, I am just setting up my HT and am shooting on a Kilz2 primered wall. I am hoping to do some calibration work against this wall before I get to playing with formulas, but I am also fairly confident that Scorpion is the one for me.

Hopefully in a couple of weeks I can provide some "real-world" opinions on this.

Also, if you want to read the discussion that led me over here, you can search my username "1canuck2" on AVS or read from post 544 onwards of the "Silver Fire mix" thread over there...
 

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What's sad is how few realize the reality of the situation. :huh: The diy forum at avs has almost always been a one man show. That particular individual has run off all the real diy'ers (benven, brucecan, tiddler, us - to name but a few). And he's done it with wild claims, doctored pictures and no real measures. :scratch: And when someone does show proof, they're obviously biased. :rolleyes: What's funny is that particular person is not supposed to be allowed under their rules to be there. He is a commercial/professional (I use these terms loosely ;) ) screen painter with a mix that they sell commercially. That is against their rules. The moderator is a commercial seller as well. I believe he has said that his son runs the business now. But it's still listed as his company last I checked. So why is it allowed? I can only hypothesize that maybe they don't want real diy to flourish. :dunno: I do know that one of the owners of avs was shocked when I told him some of these things. But nothing was ever done about it. :scratch: I think that the owners look at the diy screen forum as their mentally challenged sub forum and ignore it. I also think that there are some things about avs that their advertisers aren't aware of - like the fact that less than half of their members are actual members. Most haven't been their in years. I think it was something like less than a quarter or more could actually be considered active members. I haven't checked in quite some time as I rarely, if ever, go there - I do enjoy the calibration forum though. I mentioned this lack of active members to a couple screen companies I've talked to recently. They were surprised to hear that. I know that if it was my forum they (the commercial folks) wouldn't be allowed to post there. And I'd probably shut off a certain individual's pm privileges, as that's how he gets a lot of his customers. But hey! We're here at the Shack! And we couldn't be any happier! :yay: :jiggy: :dancebanana:

Have you gotten any pms from him yet? :bigsmile:
 

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Let me just say that I put on a coat of BW last night. Using PJC, with a .9 gain screen (approximate for BW) at a 12 ft throw distance I was at 16 fL. It's super bright. The kilz premium was blinding.

The best layman's explanation (since that's all I've got) regarding contrast vs brilliant whites is that there is always going to be a black reference next to or near the screen. Whether it be a velvet border or just a dark cinema room, you can always count on having a point of reference for the black levels of your PJ/screen. The same does not hold true for white levels. Even with white walls the reflected light isn't strong enough to provide a brilliant white that will make your whites look "crushed." So for me, I understood that as long as I had a solid grayscale that went from the deepest blacks possible to a bright enough white that it didn't compete with a white reference in the room, my eyes would adjust and believe they were seeing white, not gray. That was exactly what happened. And that's why I think the only people who demand brilliant whites are the ones who see different screens every day and have a continual point of reference for those whites. As long as you don't have a panel of kilz premium hanging right next to your screen, you won't miss a thing. And the trade-offs are astounding.
 

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Let me just say that I put on a coat of BW last night. Using PJC, with a .9 gain screen (approximate for BW) at a 12 ft throw distance I was at 16 fL. It's super bright. The kilz premium was blinding.

The best layman's explanation (since that's all I've got) regarding contrast vs brilliant whites is that there is always going to be a black reference next to or near the screen. Whether it be a velvet border or just a dark cinema room, you can always count on having a point of reference for the black levels of your PJ/screen. The same does not hold true for white levels. Even with white walls the reflected light isn't strong enough to provide a brilliant white that will make your whites look "crushed." So for me, I understood that as long as I had a solid grayscale that went from the deepest blacks possible to a bright enough white that it didn't compete with a white reference in the room, my eyes would adjust and believe they were seeing white, not gray. That was exactly what happened. And that's why I think the only people who demand brilliant whites are the ones who see different screens every day and have a continual point of reference for those whites. As long as you don't have a panel of kilz premium hanging right next to your screen, you won't miss a thing. And the trade-offs are astounding.
You pretty much nailed it. This is why I have been saying for years that a person can't compare two completely different screens and determine anything other than they are different! When comparing a white screen to a gray screen, whites will always look better on the white screen and blacks will be better on the gray screen but neither screen will be performing at it's best because it is impossible to properly calibrate to each type of screen at the same time.

The reason people do comparisons this way is either due to ignorance or they know how much proper calibration affects the image and screen types- meaning they know one screen will look better than the other because the projector is calibrated to just one of the screens being tested... In other words they rigged the test for their screen to look better.

Even some commercial companies are guilty of tricks like this, or even worse. Some companies show an extremely bright room but the screen image is actually superimposed from a shot of the same room when all the lights are off. The results are the appearance of a huge screen image in the middle of the day with the brightest room possible yet the screen is just as bright and has the look of a huge plasma display! Of course in real life it doesn't quite look like that!

So sometimes it is because a person doesn't know any better, but too often things are done to sway the results. Bottom line is you can't really compare a white screen to a dark gray screen.
 

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What's sad is how few realize the reality of the situation. :huh: The diy forum at avs has almost always been a one man show. That particular individual has run off all the real diy'ers (benven, brucecan, tiddler, us - to name but a few). And he's done it with wild claims, doctored pictures and no real measures. :scratch: And when someone does show proof, they're obviously biased. :rolleyes: What's funny is that particular person is not supposed to be allowed under their rules to be there. He is a commercial/professional (I use these terms loosely ;) ) screen painter with a mix that they sell commercially. That is against their rules. The moderator is a commercial seller as well. I believe he has said that his son runs the business now. But it's still listed as his company last I checked. So why is it allowed? I can only hypothesize that maybe they don't want real diy to flourish. :dunno: I do know that one of the owners of avs was shocked when I told him some of these things. But nothing was ever done about it. :scratch: I think that the owners look at the diy screen forum as their mentally challenged sub forum and ignore it. I also think that there are some things about avs that their advertisers aren't aware of - like the fact that less than half of their members are actual members. Most haven't been their in years. I think it was something like less than a quarter or more could actually be considered active members. I haven't checked in quite some time as I rarely, if ever, go there - I do enjoy the calibration forum though. I mentioned this lack of active members to a couple screen companies I've talked to recently. They were surprised to hear that. I know that if it was my forum they (the commercial folks) wouldn't be allowed to post there. And I'd probably shut off a certain individual's pm privileges, as that's how he gets a lot of his customers. But hey! We're here at the Shack! And we couldn't be any happier! :yay: :jiggy: :dancebanana:

Have you gotten any pms from him yet? :bigsmile:
Is it just me or does every thread in the DIY Screen Section over there feel like a Billy Mays infomercial? :boxer:
 

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Is it just me or does every thread in the DIY Screen Section over there feel like a Billy Mays infomercial? :boxer:
I almost said that one time, but now that Mr. Mays has passed on I didn't want to sully his reputation in comparison. :rolleyes:

The main thing that bothers me about "the other place", and I mean just the DIY screen forum there, is that any post that can be taken in even a slightly personal way against "a certain person" is deleted quite rapidly while he can say pretty much what he pleases. I have had over half a dozen posts deleted in the last few months. In my opinion, these were extremely mild rebukes, and some never mentioned the person by name, but they were all deleted without any explanation from the moderator. I happen to moderate two other forums besides those here at HTS and co-administrate three more. I definitely feel that what Prof55 is doing at AVS is unfair and unethical. It's one thing to not allow flame wars to start, it's another to stifle free-speech, particularly when one individual is being protected by such activity.

I hope Kombat posts again soon so we can get this thread back on track. :bigsmile:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the input guys. I haven't decided yet. I'm still leaning towards Scorpion or SilverFire. I have a while (probably a month or two) since I have to save up for the materials, even more if I need a spray gun for SF. In the meantime, I'm going to throw C&S on my current screen since it's cheap. I've read in threads that maybe Luminous White is not available anymore? Is there another base to use or should I go with C&S#2? I'm going to try to do it this weekend. I'll post on how I like it. Maybe I'll like it enough to not want to use anything else for a while. :)
 

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Hi karl,

I wouldn't expect C&S to give you a much better picture than a N9 paint, but like you said, it's cheap to try it. C&S should actually give you a brighter image than a regular N9 paint, but should maintain the blacks you are now getting.

If you decide to try C&S, my guess is that you could also paint C&S over your existing N9 paint with no need to prime first.

If you have a Lowe's near you you can get a quart the following paint to use to make C&S #3.
1 quart Valspar Ultra Premium Enamel flat tinted with the following formula:
Using Base 1
107 0.5
116 0.5
113 24


Adding 16 fl. oz. of Craft Smart metallic Silver to a quart of this paint will produce a mix totaling about 48 fl. oz..

If you don't have a Lowe's near you, you could go with C&S #2 since I haven't gotten the base for the #3 mix in Behr paint yet. With four ingredients, C&S #2 may seem like a complicated mix, but NOTHING has to be measured. Just pour the contents of the can and bottles of paint into a large container and stir.

I'm getting that you have about 17 fL. of PJ light hitting you 98" screen. This assumes regular mode, not econo mode, but I think PJC knocks 25% off these figures to allow for lamp aging, but I'm not sure about that. You have the Lumens to use a darker mix without worrying about gain. Both mech and myself were very satisfied with a Black Widow screen at a measured 12 fL. of screen illumination.

As I said earlier, if you want to give Silver Fire a try go ahead, you won't be kicked out of the club here. :bigsmile: I would recommend waiting until mech does his test of the current SF mix before deciding about that mix - I think he's aiming for this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I just got back from Sherwin-Williams. They did have Luminous White so I picked up a quart. It's Super Paint Interior Flat Latex, Luminous White Base. Tomorrow I'm going to go to Michael's to pick up 16 oz of CSMS.

Is it ok to mix with just a stir stick, or should I get a squirrel cage stirrer?

Karl
 

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Get a squirrel cage mixer Karl. Good thing that you got some LW. That's the same paint that I did some work with C&S previously. I can't get it anymore though so I had to go with the Behr base for my panel I'm spraying. :T
 
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