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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
- When is a screen "flat enough"? I can't think of a good way to make a nice, perfectly flat screen that isn't either expensive or extremely time consuming. Is painting the wall or attaching laminate directly to the wall "good enough" or do you really notice imperfections in the image caused by non-flat walls? My basement walls are drywall and have what I would consider a "typical" amount of deviation from perfectly flat. I have not measured the deviation from flat...not sure how to do so (I guess I could pull a string that's offset from the wall taut and then measure distance between the string and wall?)...but I've looked down a lot of walls in the process of building 2 homes, and the screen wall looks about "normal".
- Is "black velvet" really the best masking material? If one is to go onto a popular auction site and search for "BLACK CRUSHED VELVET YARDAGE", they could find an inexpensive "black velvet", but it looks to me like it might be reflective (though of course I can't be sure). Is this the type of velvet that should be used, or is there some other type?
- Has the "best" flat black paint (I assume closest to RGB 0, 0, 0) been identified for painting the wall near the screen? I'm thinking of painting the wall flat black within 4-6 feet of the screen, but I'm not sure what brand/color is best. I picked up some sample paint chips today at HD and the blackest black that I saw was Glidden "Dark Secret." For what it's worth, it says "00NN 05/000" on the paint chip, which means absolutely nothing to me. Has anyone looked at the neutrality of black paints (would a non-neutral paint surrounding the screen even effect color...or is what the viewer sees based only on the screen itself???).
- Is the color of the room paint (away from the screen) overly important? Seems that the vast majority of folks pick a burgundy...does burgundy have some advantage over other dark colors (browns, blues, greys, etc)? Or is the point simply to have something dark and flat, and the rest is purely aesthetic preference?
- Is there any advantage in covering all of the walls in "velvet curtains"? Or is it just as well with paint?

FWIW, I'm leaning towards a WA laminate screen (paired with Panny AX100U) at this point, likely Designer White (that's the reco from the experts in this forum...whom I completely respect). That being said, I have to admit that I am second-guessing myself a bit based on reading "elsewhere" that grey screens are better than white screens in 97%+ of applications (including rooms with full light control). As I mentioned in my original thread asking about laminate choices, I can control light in the room...but I'd like to have a good picture in moderate ambient light as well (as my wife likes to read, and may want to do so while I'm watching something on the big screen that she's not interested in). I'm worried that the first time that she turns the lights on for reading, my white screen is going to wash out...which will cause me to hang my head in sadness. So confusing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you want to paint and are concerned about the wall (which it sounds like you'll be fine) you can always use liner paper and a skim coat of mud to ensure everything is perfectly flat. Then just apply whatever painted screen method you desire!

Awesome information, Bill! I can't think you enough for spending the time to help. I will read through it (all of it), digest, and then post back. Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Another question:

How is "viewing angle" defined? Eye position to center of screen, or eye position to far edge of screen? Makes a big difference on wide screens, especially if the front row is relatively close to the screen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is something many don't consider too carefully. Let's assume you are sitting dead center and the projector is only a couple of inches above your head. The light striking the center of the screen is reflected back to you fairly directly. As you look at a spot on the screen further from the center the light has to be reflected back to you at an increasing angle. The screen has to have some retro-reflective ability to do this. A matte surface does have a mix of retro-reflective and angular reflective abilities an is therefore the best at producing a uniform image through a wide viewing angle. Anything we do to boost the gain reduces the viewing angle and therefore introduces issues for some viewing setups.

You have asked a very interesting question that I don't have a good answer for but I do recognize the issues you are raising. This may be especially troublesome with a Pearl Clear Coat if the flakes are for the most part parallel to the screen surface. It would be very angular reflective and have very little retro-reflective ability.
Thanks, Todd. Yes, you understand my question (and where I was going) exactly. Though I have to admit that I'm surprised there is no "standard" definition for viewing angle. A lot of people throw around viewing angle numbers for their DIY magic paint mixes...sounds like comparisons of viewing angle could be apples and oranges, depending on who is talking about it?
 
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