DIY Screen for my First Projector (Epson 8350) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-16-2011, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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First time project buyer: Epson 8350. It hasn't even arrived yet. I can't wait to see the improvement over a 46" LCD Samsung and want to prep my wall as a screen.

I'm taking MississipiMan's advice.

Answers for MM's recommended questions:

Basement family room with two small windows on the opposing wall of the screen.
No dimmer-type lighting; just on-off, but I can use floor lamps.
Walls are tan, ceiling is white.
Will sit 8-10 feet away.
Unless I mount the projector from the ceiling, it will be on a shelf 17 ft away (cheaper), projecting on to the opposite dry wall that I plan to paint as a screen.
Most viewing will be movies (not much of a sports fan).
I would like to have a 120" diagonal screen.

I'm a cheapskate and interested in a 20/80 solution: spending 20% for 80% results. Anything better than painting the wall with an eggshell semi-gloss neutral grey would be great.

Frankly, after spending two days viewing hundreds of postings, I'm getting more confused than when I started. I would be happy to just paint a screen with Behr Winter Mist (as suggested tiddler a few years ago) with a flat black painted border. However, further reading seems to indicate that there may be better solutions without much more work or cost.

Can anyone help, please?

Thanks in advance!

Eddie
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-17-2011, 08:16 AM
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Don't sell your experience short for a few measly extra dollars.

As I see it:

You "need" to ceiling mount the PJ so you can place it at 13'...just behind your Seating area.

You need to mount a 120" screen at no more than 28" off the Floor so you can avoid the top of a 60" Screen from being too close to that White ceiling.

You need to use an appropriate Gray paint solution. While a lighter shade of basic neutral Gray will be better than a white wall, it won't be enough if there is any other light in the room that reflects off the ceiling and onto/across the Screen.

Using a Darker Gray infused with metallic content, and hitting it from a shorter Throw distance will allow you (...grudgingly...) to keep that Ceiling white...keep a few lights (...properly positioned...) on, and still enjoy a dynamic, contrasty image.

But install a Dimmer switch. It's just too easy and inexpensive a Fix to ignore as far as adapting one's existing lights to the presence of a PJ.

20% for 80%? both levels are far below the needed (..and reasonably expected...) levels for achieving anything even close to the performance expectations you should have after purchasing a Epson 8350 for $1200.00+

So are you / will you be willing to spend up to 200.00 more to make your experience worth a Million?

If not...just move the PJ closer...install a dimmer...and choose a darker (N7.5) Gray for your Screen...roll it in the Drywall, and at least you'll not be totally slumming your end results.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"

http://www.invisiblestereo.com
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-17-2011, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the fast response.

>>So are you / will you be willing to spend up to 200.00 more to make your experience worth a Million?

Yes--I'm willing to spend up to $200, or a little more. It's the time that I'm concerned with. I'm also planning on doing it gradually to enhance the experience, such as ceiling mounting the PJ and changing lighting. I'm using florescent bulbs that are not dimmer-friendly right now.

I do, however, plan to do most of the painting in a couple of days since it's messy. I am open to painting the several ceiling tiles on my false ceiling near the screen matt black if it helps to reduce reflected light.

I plan to take Tiddler's earlier advice to use N8-8.5 neutral grey (3 coats) followed by a polycrylic coat and a matt black border. I can likely do this in two days.

Any other advice will be welcome!

Thanks again ...
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-17-2011, 10:17 AM
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well in that case... here's something nearly that easy with far better results.
in fact, the difference between the two in simplicity is just two ingredients.

one costs $25 worth of paint and the other costs $45.

white + have store add the tint + add poly yourself.

vs.

white + add some silver & pearl metallic + add poly yourself.



ok now to remove the confusion... when ambient light is present +/or combined with light color walls and/or ceilings... even the best of pj's lose their contrast... especially when big screens resulting in lower fL's in employed.

it is your job and the screen's to maximize (use) the remaining projected light that hasn't been robbed by other sources and return it you (the viewer).

here's an extreme example of how contrast is lost when ambient light (lots) is present...

in this screenshot taken at 30 degrees off-center... we have a N9.5, N8, N7, and N3/4 screen samples (but not in that order)...



care to guess which screen sample is which?
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-17-2011, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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>>here's an extreme example of how contrast is lost when ambient light (lots) is present... in this screenshot taken at 30%... we have a N9.5, N8, N7, and N3/4...

Unsure about what you mean: The left most (yellowish) strip is N9.5 (almost white), the mid strip is N8, the next right, N7? In that case, N8 looks the best. I am planning to replace my florescent bulbs with old fashion bulbs and put the dimmer back for total light control, at least at night.

New problem: In reading the beginner's guide, I noted the "rise", as noted by MississippiMan. I have a rise of about 1/8" at the seams of the drywall. Is that tolerable? The way the room is arranged, the off-axis viewing will not exceed 30 degress off center.

Thanks.
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post #6 of 14 Old 04-17-2011, 07:10 PM
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i figured you'd be confused if i didn't point out which screen is which... i sorta figured you know...

the far left is N9.5, to the right of it is the N3/N4, to the right of it is N7. the N8 is below the N3/N4.\\

now as you pointed out, the N3/N4 sample has the most contrast... but i don't recommend any DIY'ers make an N3/N4 without lots of local knowledge and addition components.

but i depending the size and fL's available... i'd certainly recommend a N7 to N8.5
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-18-2011, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FasteddieChu View Post

. . .
New problem: In reading the beginner's guide, I noted the "rise", as noted by MississippiMan. I have a rise of about 1/8" at the seams of the drywall. Is that tolerable? The way the room is arranged, the off-axis viewing will not exceed 30 degress off center.

Ideally you would fix the wavy wall or use some sort of substrate to paint. Either way it is a lot more work and possibly not necessary, at least not initially.

If you review Post #48 from the Beginner's Guide, you will see that a flat paint can hide some very serious wall imperfections when an image is projected on them.

So if you don't want to fix the wall, and you don't want to buy a fixed screen an alternative would be to paint the wall with a flat paint. As long as the wall is only wavy and there are not drastic protruding ridges, you may find the flat finish screen will satisfy your needs, at least for now.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-18-2011, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

well in that case... here's something nearly that easy with far better results.
in fact, the difference between the two in simplicity is just two ingredients.

one costs $25 worth of paint and the other costs $45.

white + have store add the tint + add poly yourself.

vs.

white + add some silver & pearl metallic + add poly yourself.



ok now to remove the confusion... when ambient light is present +/or combined with light color walls and/or ceilings... even the best of pj's lose their contrast... especially when big screens resulting in lower fL's in employed.

it is your job and the screen's to maximize (use) the remaining projected light that hasn't been robbed by other sources and return it you (the viewer).

here's an extreme example of how contrast is lost when ambient light (lots) is present...

in this screenshot taken at 30 degrees off-center... we have a N9.5, N8, N7, and N3/4 screen samples (but not in that order)...



care to guess which screen sample is which?

What sample was the projector calibrated to when the photo was taken?


Bud

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post #9 of 14 Old 04-18-2011, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

i figured you'd be confused if i didn't point out which screen is which... i sorta figured you know...

the far left is N9.5, to the right of it is the N3/N4, to the right of it is N7. the N8 is below the N3/N4.\\

now as you pointed out, the N3/N4 sample has the most contrast... but i don't recommend any DIY'ers make an N3/N4 without lots of local knowledge and addition components.

but i depending the size and fL's available... i'd certainly recommend a N7 to N8.5

If the N3/N4 sample has the most contrast why wouldn't you recommend a DIY'er making one?


Bud

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post #10 of 14 Old 04-18-2011, 07:05 PM
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the projector is calibrated for the white screen sample... normal economy lamp mode. had i calibrated it for the N3/N4, the white sample would have a even poorer showing.

however, without having done dozens of such screens, the hands on knowledge, tricks, tips, and the inside and outs of it's makeup and also using additional components required to get a N3/N4 to behave like a N9 in completely controlled lightning... is lost in translation.

i'm not so concerned about the ambient light aspect... that's very much doable... but controlled viewing is very important to me. it's certainly ok to have deep rich black levels... but not if it's coupled with loss of black level detail.
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-19-2011, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

the projector is calibrated for the white screen sample... normal economy lamp mode. had i calibrated it for the N3/N4, the white sample would have a even poorer showing.

however, without having done dozens of such screens, the hands on knowledge, tricks, tips, and the inside and outs of it's makeup and also using additional components required to get a N3/N4 to behave like a N9 in completely controlled lightning... is lost in translation.

i'm not so concerned about the ambient light aspect... that's very much doable... but controlled viewing is very important to me. it's certainly ok to have deep rich black levels... but not if it's coupled with loss of black level detail.

Now was the calibration done on the white while being subjected to the ambient light level shown in the photo or was it done lights out. The only part of the calibration I'm asking about is the gray scale calibration. The image is really not suitable to draw conclusions from anyway as different samples are in different areas of brightness both ambient and projected and the same image doesn't span samples so there is no way to measure or even visually draw any conclusions from a collage of screen samples as shown.
The rest of your explanation is lost in translation to me. Are you saying you have a N3 screen that reflects light just like a N9 would? Wouldn't that mean it is a N9 then? And if I understand correctly are you saying that special N3 can differentiate more subtle detail within a dark image "black level detail"?
The photo was taken 30 degrees off center I believe you said, can we assume it works even better on axis?
Lastly the N3/N4 sample shown is a passive screen correct? There are no hidden wires running power to it right?


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post #12 of 14 Old 04-20-2011, 06:36 PM
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the calibration was of course done without ambient light. with the amount of ambient light hitting those samples (the N3/N4 has the brunt of it) it's a no win proposition for the N9.5 screen. addition lumens would only highlight how deficient it is in contrast vs the N3/4. because a projector does not produce black... when light is present white loses it visual perception of both black levels and black level detail... so calibrate to your heart's content... the result would still be the same. and in fact, with this N3/N4 sample, it would only continue to highligh the increased difference between the two.

and N9 is an N9... and N3/N4 is a N3/4... that's the visual color of the screen when white light is present.



in most situations... given this specific enhanced N3/N4 sample... when projected on with a sufficient amount of lumens it can reflect as much light as the N9. but being able to see a screen with increased contrast requires that both reflection and absorbtion must take place. the white (the N9) is poor at absorbtion... and when ambient light is present...it lacks a key component to visual perception of contrast.

as for the screenshot it's pretty clear it was taken from 30 degrees to the right... and yes there is a ever so small increase from on-axis.

yes, i am saying that this particular N3/N4 can reflect greater/more subtle 'black level detail' than any simple N5-N8.5 can.

and yes, the screen shown is passive... no wires. yet!?
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-21-2011, 06:30 AM
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throw up a checkerboard screen shot please
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-21-2011, 07:56 AM
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nothing against a checkboard screenshot... but it really isn't representative of the majority of movie watching. in fact, it is more of a single two color projected black and white 'data presentation' than anything else. actually, it's even less than that, as black is not projected at all and is only the screen color itself. the only thing it (checkerboard) shows is several fields of projected white. since black is perceived, it's a combination of several factors from the projector, to pj light leakage, the ambient light present in the room, and the room refllections based upon furnishings and surroundings. projected white on the panels will tell you what the top end white is... but not much more. also, projected white on white doesn't tell you much... other than it's visually white when light is present whether projected on or not. a greyscale screenshot shot makes more sense since it's contrast that's being discussed.

unfortunately, since i haven't already done so... i right now can not... as i explained in the silver fire v2 thread. my basement has since floaded.

but here's screenshot showing what i mean by a simple N8 absorbs too much... and returns too little... resulting in loss of black level detail (as shown by detail of the leaves and the shadow modeling detail of the hands) to the viewer.

top half: from left to right... N9.5, N3/N4, N7, N6
bottom half: N8

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