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Discussion Starter #1
Puting up drywall now and need to think about screen. I'm calling places for samples, but not much luck yet (I guess economy is hitting everyone...).

Setup will be Panasonic PT-AE4000, ~13' throw onto 100-120" 2.35:1 fixed frame screen. Primary seating position is 10' from screen. Room has no windows, completely light controlled, and generally dark walls and ceiling (final colors not selected yet). My max budget is $1000 but I have no problem spending less. Oh, and this does not need to be acoustically transparent.

Any recommendation for screen for this projector at these conditions? I am looking for overall good performance and would like very good black levels even if it means sacrificing some brightness and shadow detail.

Thanks,
sga2
 

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Hi SGA,

Are you dead set against a DIY painted screen? The reason I ask is that the shade of gray you can have with a DIY screen, with or without added gain, is a far wider selection than when going with commercial screens.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi SGA,

Are you dead set against a DIY painted screen? The reason I ask is that the shade of gray you can have with a DIY screen, with or without added gain, is a far wider selection than when going with commercial screens.
Definitely not dead set against it, but after this HT build the last thing I need is to blindly get into another project that I can tweak to death. If you care to recommend a specific DIY screen construction project, with a specific screen color/range based on my conditions, then by all means please do. At the end of the day, I just want the best end result that I can get for my budget.

Thanks,
sga2
 

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Definitely not dead set against it, but after this HT build the last thing I need is to blindly get into another project that I can tweak to death..
I understand. ;) :T

If you care to recommend a specific DIY screen construction project, with a specific screen color/range based on my conditions, then by all means please do. At the end of the day, I just want the best end result that I can get for my budget.

Thanks,
sga2
The simplest way to make a DIY screen is to paint the wall. If the wall is reasonably flat and doesn't have texture changes in it it should make a good screen.

Your PJ has extremely good black levels so in a room with no ambient light and dark surface colors a white screen would work great. The problem is that even the smallest amount of light hitting the screen other than that initially sent out by the PJ starts decreasing image contrast in a BIG way. This is why we suggest priming a DIY screen first and using that surface as a screen for awhile to see how the user likes a white screen. If, for their PJ/HT conditions/preferences, they feel the image is lacking contrast or black level we then suggest one of our screen mixes.

Since you have already stated you want super black blacks even at the cost of some brightness I would suggest either our Elektra™ N8 or Scorpion™ N8 mixes. Both are the same shade of neutral gray, and differ primarily in their ingredients. The screens are both N8 with added gain. A benefit of Elektra™ is that it can be made darker during the mixing process by simply adding more of the N6 gray ingredient (formulae for making N8 and N8.5 shades are in the Elektra™ thread in the Developers Forum).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
$434 (w/S&H) I can do! Any others worth considering for less than $500? Would anything up to $1000 be worth the additional $$$?
How easy are these screens to mount/de-mount? I had a thought... for $800 I could get both a 2.35:1 screen AND a 16:9 screen. I could mount the extra screen in the side closet (14'L x 5'W room) and just change screens based on program material. I thought at first it sounded ridiculous, but the expense/effort of adding a masking system to watch 16:9 material on a 2.35:1 screen would probably be worth an extra $400 (and i could get a bigger 16:9 screen, too). Is this feasible?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand. ;) :T


The simplest way to make a DIY screen is to paint the wall. If the wall is reasonably flat and doesn't have texture changes in it it should make a good screen.

Your PJ has extremely good black levels so in a room with no ambient light and dark surface colors a white screen would work great. The problem is that even the smallest amount of light hitting the screen other than that initially sent out by the PJ starts decreasing image contrast in a BIG way. This is why we suggest priming a DIY screen first and using that surface as a screen for awhile to see how the user likes a white screen. If, for their PJ/HT conditions/preferences, they feel the image is lacking contrast or black level we then suggest one of our screen mixes.

Since you have already stated you want super black blacks even at the cost of some brightness I would suggest either our Elektra™ N8 or Scorpion™ N8 mixes. Both are the same shade of neutral gray, and differ primarily in their ingredients. The screens are both N8 with added gain. A benefit of Elektra™ is that it can be made darker during the mixing process by simply adding more of the N6 gray ingredient (formulae for making N8 and N8.5 shades are in the Elektra™ thread in the Developers Forum).
Any suggestions for primer/paint color for my temporary white "test" screen?

Thanks,
sga2
 

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How easy are these screens to mount/de-mount? I had a thought... for $800 I could get both a 2.35:1 screen AND a 16:9 screen. I could mount the extra screen in the side closet (14'L x 5'W room) and just change screens based on program material. I thought at first it sounded ridiculous, but the expense/effort of adding a masking system to watch 16:9 material on a 2.35:1 screen would probably be worth an extra $400 (and i could get a bigger 16:9 screen, too). Is this feasible?
They are very easy to mount. They use a french cleat system. The whole back side of the upper frame is half the cleat and then you get 2 or 3 smaller cleats to mount on the wall and hang the frame on.

And I don't see why it wouldn't be feasible.

Also, just use Kilz primer for your temp white screen.
 

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Any suggestions for primer/paint color for my temporary white "test" screen?

Thanks,
sga2
Kilz2 is a favorite water-based DIY primer, but I prefer the slightly more expensive Kilz Premium and I would use it if there was a chance it would end up being my final screen.
 

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$20 more for the ezFrame mentioned above than from our sponsor, Visual Apex. :nono:
Well I just gave people another reason to make sure they check visual apex out.....:heehee::T
 

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I really like the suggestion of using two screens: 2.35 and 16.9. You get the best of both worlds and maximize on screen size too. I was concerned with going the 2.35 CIH route as I would be stuck with a smaller 16.9. I think I will go the two screen route.

Just got to think where I will store the extra screen? Will worry about that when it happens though.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm getting closer to the finish line (walls are rolled, ceiling goes up this weekend, doors and baseboards soon, Panny 4k - from VisualApex - just arrived yesterday) and am now thinking of going the DIY route for the screen. I've been doing alot of research (90% on this forum) since Harpmaker suggested it and it looks easier than I initially thought.

My idea now is to to paint a 2.35 screen directly on the wall and build/buy a lightweight 16:9 screen to mount over (and completely cover) the 2.35 screen. I'm thinking I'll build a French cleat into the border for the 2.35 screen which I will use to hang the 16:9 screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
After using for 2 weeks, I am probably going to keep the 2.35 screen and forego the second 16:9 screen. The pillar boxes on the sides don't bother me at all. The picture is so bright you barely notice them.

On an unrelated note... I watched Dark Knight the other night. Picture was amazing, but I HATE the aspect ratio switching back and forth. I wish you could turn it off.

sga2
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I understand. ;) :T


The simplest way to make a DIY screen is to paint the wall. If the wall is reasonably flat and doesn't have texture changes in it it should make a good screen.

Your PJ has extremely good black levels so in a room with no ambient light and dark surface colors a white screen would work great. The problem is that even the smallest amount of light hitting the screen other than that initially sent out by the PJ starts decreasing image contrast in a BIG way. This is why we suggest priming a DIY screen first and using that surface as a screen for awhile to see how the user likes a white screen. If, for their PJ/HT conditions/preferences, they feel the image is lacking contrast or black level we then suggest one of our screen mixes.

Since you have already stated you want super black blacks even at the cost of some brightness I would suggest either our Elektra™ N8 or Scorpion™ N8 mixes. Both are the same shade of neutral gray, and differ primarily in their ingredients. The screens are both N8 with added gain. A benefit of Elektra™ is that it can be made darker during the mixing process by simply adding more of the N6 gray ingredient (formulae for making N8 and N8.5 shades are in the Elektra™ thread in the Developers Forum).
UPDATE:

I have been projecting onto a white-primered wall (just cheap Home Depot drywall primer that I used for the whole room) and would like a suggestion for a screen mix to improve the picture. Truth be told, for the most part I am happy with the image. After I calibrated using my DVE disk, I am very happy with color and brightness. The picture looks great. I would not mind a little deeper blacks, though, so methinks it's high time to try a screen mix. The PJ is in the shop (bad fan) so I'd like to roll a new paint mix while I'm waiting. I ordered, and have, the Aluminum Air Fine in case I decided to go with Black Widow.

Room is 15'L x 14'W, 120" screen, primary seating is at 10ft area but with a room full of people we use up the full width at ~8-9ft off the screen wall. PJ is on rear shelf and lens is ~13' from screen wall. All of the walls are a dark brown and the ceiling is black. There is zero ambient light - just secondary reflectance from the screen off room surfaces.

Suggestions? Should I go straight for the BW mix first or is there a better solution? I see that BW has some viewing cone - though I'm not sure how much. Are there any other pro's/con's of the BW vs. the other mixes aside from availability of the aluminum paint (which is a non issue in my case)?

Thanks,
sga2
 

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UPDATE:

I have been projecting onto a white-primered wall (just cheap Home Depot drywall primer that I used for the while room) and would like a suggestion for a screen mix to improve the picture. Truth be told, for the most part I am happy with the image. After I calibrated using my DVE disk, I am very happy with color and brightness. The picture looks great. I would not mind a little deeper blacks, though, so methinks it's high time to try a screen mix. The PJ is in the shop (bad fan) so I'd like to roll a new paint mix while I'm waiting. I ordered, and have, the Aluminum Air Fine in case I decided to go with Black Widow.

Room is 15'L x 14'W, 120" screen, primary seating is at 10ft area but with a room full of people we use up the full width at ~8-9ft off the screen wall. PJ is on rear shelf and lens is ~13' from screen wall. All of the walls are a dark brown and the ceiling is black. There is zero ambient light - just secondary reflectance from the screen off room surfaces.

Suggestions? Should I go straight for the BW mix first or is there a better solution? I see that BW has some viewing cone - though I'm not sure how much. Are there any other pro's/con's of the BW vs. the other mixes aside from availability of the aluminum paint (which is a non issue in my case)?

Thanks,
sga2
According the the PJC calc you have 15 fL of illumination. This is enough for a BW™ screen, but that mix is the darkest we have designed so far and is probably darker than you need if a white screen is almost working for you.

Our Cream&Sugar™ mix at N9 would be almost as bright as your current screen, but might give a very small bump in black level, but I'm going to suggest you try Elektra™ N8.5. One of the advantages of the Elektra™ system is that the shade of the mix can be adjusted by how much N6 paint you add (the more is added the darker the mix gets). Values of N8.5 and N8 have been published.
Elektra™ thread.

As for BW™ having a viewing cone, since it has positive gain it must also have a viewing cone - that is simple physics, BUT it's viewing cone is very wide indeed. It is so wide the mix doesn't have a "half-angle" like most screens with gain have (this is the angle at which the light reflected is half the brightness of the light reflected at 0°). For all practical purposes BW™ doesn't have a visible viewing cone.

Check out it's gain figures here.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
According the the PJC calc you have 15 fL of illumination. This is enough for a BW™ screen, but that mix is the darkest we have designed so far and is probably darker than you need if a white screen is almost working for you.

Our Cream&Sugar™ mix at N9 would be almost as bright as your current screen, but might give a very small bump in black level, but I'm going to suggest you try Elektra™ N8.5. One of the advantages of the Elektra™ system is that the shade of the mix can be adjusted by how much N6 paint you add (the more is added the darker the mix gets). Values of N8.5 and N8 have been published.
Elektra™ thread.

As for BW™ having a viewing cone, since it has positive gain it must also have a viewing cone - that is simple physics, BUT it's viewing cone is very wide indeed. It is so wide the mix doesn't have a "half-angle" like most screens with gain have (this is the angle at which the light reflected is half the brightness of the light reflected at 0°). For all practical purposes BW™ doesn't have a visible viewing cone.

Check out it's gain figures here.
UPDATE: I painted BW over the primer since I'd already ordered the AAA-F a month ago anyway. The picture is great, but the BW really highlights even slight imperfections in the wall surface. I spent alot of time sanding this wall once I decided to try DIY route, but did not completely smooth out one of the joints and you can really see it when sitting in the center (from ~15 degrees off center you can't see anything but at the "ideal" sitting position it really ruins the picture). So, as I have to repaint one or more times, I'm going to try the Elektra 8.5 mix since I can get all components within 2 miles of my house (the AAA-F took about 2 weeks to arrive last time and I'd really like to heave screen ready for Christmas). I'll report my success/failure/comments and pics once I put the frame up.

Oh, and a note for anyone worrying about viewing cone... The 90% of the image surface outside of my shoddy drywall handiwork defect looks great from any useable angle in my room. There is no noticeable hotspotting at all.

sga2
 
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