Originally Posted by avmjt
Ok the amount of useful information given so quickly here is scary good LOL. I'm looking to 133" 16:9. The room is completely darkened, but I have some paint experience that has led me to still prefer a darker screen...
Before I had a screen, I was projecting my Infocus IN83 on an very light off-white wall in a fully darkened room. Then I painted the wall a very dark brown, probably only 10% white on a gray scale, 15% at most. What I found interesting is that I like the picture on the very dark wall better than the light off-white wall. Of course the whites were greatly affected, but what I liked is that the overall contrast seemed at least the same, but shifted into much deeper blacks. The affect had two significant benefits.
Many have found that when they first get a PJ and shoot it into a wall, they are almost happy enough to stop there. Of course the image is far from ideal, but as often is the case, not "knowing" the difference between such and something far more ideally suited always make the "make do" seem acceptable.
Most important to me is that when the overall contrast seemed the same but with deeper backs and reduced overall brightness, the overall experience in the room was improved because the room itself did not light up and you don't get reminded that you are in a room. Even with a fully darkened room, if you blast a bright projector on a light screen, the room will light up and you will see it. When I was able to achieve what seemed to be the same level of contrast by shifting both the brightness and the black levels lower with the very dark paint, I got amazing black levels along with a much more immersive overall experience in the room.
Yer Preachin' to the Preacher here.....
Only my religious Doctrine demands that while shifting Blacks downward to the Netherworld, the White must remain as "Angelic" as possible. It's a fine balancing act....one that a few on here have disputed can actually be accomplished. All agree that you must have the "Gray' to shift Black levels downward, but enough surface reflection to allow Lighter elements of the image reflect back without undue attenuation. That is where Poly comes in in a small way, and the correct use of Metallics add the rest of the Story. And THAT is where the division between camps occurs. Are Metallics really needed? Are they actually beneficial? Is doing an advanced DIY Screen application really worth it?
Usually it take someone having experiences like yours to "See the Light" metaphorically speaking. Ot's at least satisfying to have seen the use of metallics become generally accepted over the last 4-5 years.
The other benefit to mention was that, on the dark wall, the picture was perfectly watchable even with the lights on, but not when projecting onto the wall when it was off-white.
Really? I'll have to digest that a while.
We call that "Ambient Light Watch-ability" around here, and most people on here (...and everyone whose tried it...) will agree that Silver Fire is at the head of the DIY class in that regard. RS-MaxxMudd has always shown definite ability in that direction as well, but being a Silver-Grayish White, it will still be affected in worse case situations more than SF would.
I was really surprised about the affects of these two benefits because it completely defies absolutely everything I've ever read from everyone else that a light or white screen is best for a fully darkened room. Finding a preference for the opposite first hand has really opened my eyes to these benefits that are never addressed when people discuss screens for a fully darkened room, and it's completely changed what I'm looking for in a screen - or at least made the decision *MUCH* more confusing.
People listen to "Experts" usually, and when those "Experts' are the ones trying to convince someone to buy something, their objectivity and presentation is naturally slanted. Shoot...we are hardly different on here excepting that we "sell" the performance of our various offerings to try to persuade the "Fence Sitter' to jump down and get'er dun!
Back when PJ heads consisted primarily of CRT owners, those CRTs always had excellent Blacks. but they were also very dim, and so darkened rooms and reflective white surfaces became the Status Quo and accepted standard.
When folks started bringing home really bright, but very "contrast challenged" Presentation PJs from work, and shooting onto walls, they discovered what you did...that a darker surface made the Blacks look MUCH better. And those extra Lumens help keep Whites looking less dull....to a point. If a White reference was used to compare, of course then the Whites projected on it then showed how crushed the Whites on a Tan/Gray/off White wall really were.
After the advent of the InFocus X1, PJ started getting better...and brighter. Leading up to and beyond that point, "High Contrast" Gray screens came into being to help mitigate poor contrast. Little was ever stated that it was to let 'em perform in ambient light though....Dark rooms still remained a "standard" requirement.
A old adage in DIY Screens is "What is Old becomes New again" and that especially applies to those who are just discovering things on their own. Eureka Moments abound when one really starts to focus on the Hows/Whys/Should be's. And it's an addicting Hobby...brook no mistake about that!
Also...there is a "Pop Quiz" slated for next Friday, so study. It counts toward 25% of your Grade this semester.
BTW...there is NO Grading curve in DIY Screen making. To this Teacher, it's a "A" or it's really only deserving of a "F" if performance falls short of what it can/should be.
What this has led me to believe is that I could use a dark screen material with some angular-reflective gain for a ceiling mount projector. The Stewart Firehawk seems like it would be perfect, but in today's economy I just can't justify the cost for a 133" screen. Plus the Firehawk has a limited viewing cone, and I really need people that are 45-degrees off-center, and maybe even as far as 60-degrees off-center, to see a nice picture.
I share that sentiment with every case I encounter.
I have Elite white screen material I was planning to use but decided against white after this experience, so maybe I could use the material as the beginning of a new DIY project. Or I could pick up a solid surface material so that I didn't have to worry about stretching the screen. I will look into the materials you've suggested.
Solids are so much better and far more able to become exactly what you need them to be...and with a lot less effort. If that wasn't true, you can bet I'd be a staunch advocate of Blackout Cloth Screens. Oh they can be made into excellent high performance Screens...but it takes more doing. myself...I prefer doing something right...but as quickly and as easily as possible.
Anyhow, what I've been trying to get at here, is that my limited experience so far has me wondering if I should go for the RS-MaxxMudd or the 2.0 Silver Fire. Since the newer Infocus SP8602 projector I plan to use will have much better black levels with some reduced brightness over the Infocus IN83, maybe it would be safe to stick with the RS-MaxxMudd and not jump into the dark screen territory just yet. I really don't know and I guess I could use some more pointers to help steer me in a direction. You've already made me realize that DIY is the way to go for me, and I have access to a professional automotive spray gun, compressor, air dryers, nozzles, and masks, etc. I really appreciate all of the time you people put into helping others like myself. This just might get very exciting, and might save me a lot of money as well.
Although I'm not one to suggest taking a course that is less than one needs to be amazed by the end results, suggesting RS-MaxxMudd seems very appropriate in this instance. That then is what I suggest.
With either the RS-MaxxMudd or the Silver Fire, can I expect a decent picture at 45-degrees off-center, or even 60-degrees off-center?
How about placing 'em 3' ahead of the screen wall to each far side?
Both applications enjoy 1/2 gain figures that don't occur until you move almost to a "Ear to the Screen wall" position.
Basically it's "All Good"....except the "Elbow Grease' requirement. But for some...getting there is half the Fun.