White screens: BOC vs C&S Ultra vs RS-MM-LL vs Sherwin Willams ProClassic - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 60 Old 12-09-2012, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Long story short, I painted my BOC screen with RS-MaxxMudd-LL. I also made panels of C&S Ultra from Hometheatershack, the Sherwin Williams ProClassic recommended in the Projector Central article, and unpainted BOC to compare them directly.

I guess I shouldn't really be surprised by the results. In order from least light to most light, they go: BOC, C&S-U, RS-MM-LL, SW. And by "light" I mean both brighter whites and lighter blacks. The closest of the four are RS-MM-LL and SW, with the Sherwin Williams edging it out a bit in lightness. The SW is actually not quite 100% dry yet so I'll check it again in a few days.

Given the fact that presumably someone wanting a screen of these shades is probably after brightness, I give the nod for now to Sherwin Williams. I should point out that though none of these had both brighter whites AND darker blacks than any of the others, for me there is more apparent difference between a brighter white and a dimmer white than between one shade of black and a slightly lighter one. Not only that, but the brighter whites made that panel's corresponding blacks seem darker in comparison. In other words, as far as perception goes, I saw far less difference between the blacks of the four than between the whites, so for me at least, going up the scale in lightness actually improved perceived contrast. On many scenes, for example a hallway of the Nostromo in Alien, a scene from the Road, or heavily detailed scenes like the royal court in the sacrificial scene in Apocalypto, I had to really look hard to see where one panel ended and another began; while on brighter scenes, like snowboarding in Art of Flight, the difference was immediately and significantly apparent.

Color was noticeably different on all four on a blank white screen, but in every movie scene I put up, any color differences were for all practical purposes undetectable to my eye. The guys at HTS seem to be the only ones who bother to actually test/measure this kind of thing, and I believe C&S and BOC are both very neutral with SW and then RS-MM-LL coming in behind.

Sherwin Williams is off the shelf, costs $20 a quart, and supposedly rolls on like a dream if you don't want to bother spraying.

The RS-MM-LL costs about $80 at a minimum, although this gives you a much greater quantity. It is not an open the can and go solution, due to requiring 4 ingredients and more particular quantities.

C&S Ultra is around $32 for a quart or something like $52 iirc for two quarts, assuming you get the BASICS silver with a 40-50% off coupon (that goes for my stated cost of RS-MM-LL as well). Only two ingredients and simple to measure though, just equal amounts of each of the two ingredients. Note: I might be mis-remembering and the BASICS might have been $2.50 with the coupon rather than $5. If so, it would be $22 for a quart and $32 for two quarts. I can't remember if the regular Michael's price is $10 or $5 per 4oz tube.

BOC is almost always on sale at Joann's and there are almost always half off coupons as well, so usually work out to $7 a yard or less (54" high).

BOC requires a frame which is around $20 of material at Home Depot. The total costs to build my frame for a 126" x 54" 2.35 screen and get the BOC were around $40.

The paint solutions can be applied directly to a good wall or another material. If your wall is in rough shape and you want to paint on the ideal surface, a sheet of Sintra, that will cost you; a 5x10 sheet to almost-but-not-quite match the dimensions of my BOC screen would run you $95-100. I went with spraying and personally found it an enormous chore. The time and effort to dropcloth off the area so the paint dust doesn't get all over the place, the cleaning of the gun between every coat, and the (for me) difficulty of getting a good smooth result had me wishing I had rolled or just stuck with BOC, to be honest. Not to mention $80+ for the sprayer, mask, dropcloths, and other supplies. I should add that I'm not handy at all, though.

Personally I'm not sure why BOC gets kind of short shrift as a "passable starter screen". It seems to me that it has a niche just like any other solution regardless of cost, that it fits right into the spectrum, having darker blacks than the brightest white and white+metallic screens, but better whites than the grey screens. Add in the extremely low cost and the ease of putting a screen of pretty much any size together, and I don't see why seemingly everybody rushes to either a grey screen or a paint solution. I would imagine there'd be many projectors, screen sizes, etc for which BOC would be the sweet spot of white/black performance, just like any other solution.

I'm sticking with the RS-MM-LL because it's brighter than my original BOC -- important on a 10.5 ft wide 2.35 screen with a Mits HC4000 -- and like I said, the hassle and expense of painting is enough that I don't want to repaint it. When I move next year, if I have a good wall available and the same projector, I'll most likely paint the wall with the Sherwin-Williams. My new screen is significantly brighter than my original BOC in bright scenes, as I said, but honestly I wouldn't have known it if I didn't have a BOC panel to compare it directly to.

Thanks to MississippiMan and Harpmaker at HTS for all the help and suggestions.
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post #2 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 05:36 AM
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Nice review.

I know several people that are very happy with a plain BOC screen.

Very much depends on the room and if there is to be some desired ambient light.

Did you calibrate to each sample before you viewed them one at a time. The state of your eyes and perception will really get messed up even viewing 2 samples at once.


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post #3 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I began calibrating contrast and brightness but the settings did not change, and honestly, why would they? The point at which I can distinguish between my projector's black and blacker-than-black did not change just because one screen was a bit brighter than another, and the same went for white. I did not bother with color/greyscale because I trust the HTS crew's measurements as far as accuracy, for those looking for the most accurate reference color. For myself, in actual scene content, the differences were negligible or unnoticeable. Really I was just trying to compare white and black performance.

I will put up a couple simple GIFs later. They will be simple white/black comparisons, cycling through the four screens, cropped to show only the panel. Each picture was taken in RAW mode with identical full manual settings including white balance.
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post #4 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 08:53 AM
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You are correct because you are comparing really close samples. You might be getting a few points different and your eyes might just be making the correction. When you take your pictures of an ANSI checker board or whatever you use, you can then compare the photos with a color picker tool. If your room is like mine your blacks will measure around 10,10,10 as RGB or lower. And whites may well photograph as 255’s. you might also want to move around the room and view it off angles.

Another telling test is hold your finger in front of the lens and get a black shadow as a reference point.


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post #5 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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You are correct, it is difficult or impossible to take one photo that captures the full range of what's happening on the screen; either the blacks or whites or both will be clipped. This is why I always find it funny when people post a picture of a scene and say "look at my inky blacks" or whatever. You can get pitch black and blinding white in a photo of almost any projector on any screen.

So, I took two exposures of each panel's ANSI checkerboard. One slightly over-exposed, to make sure it would pick up the difference in the blacks between the panels, and one slightly under-exposed, to pick up the variation in the whites.
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post #6 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curttard View Post

You are correct, it is difficult or impossible to take one photo that captures the full range of what's happening on the screen; either the blacks or whites or both will be clipped. This is why I always find it funny when people post a picture of a scene and say "look at my inky blacks" or whatever. You can get pitch black and blinding white in a photo of almost any projector on any screen.
So, I took two exposures of each panel's ANSI checkerboard. One slightly over-exposed, to make sure it would pick up the difference in the blacks between the panels, and one slightly under-exposed, to pick up the variation in the whites.

When you overlay a reference white surface onto a enhanced Gray surface, and there is a visible difference (positive or negative) between each surface's give Black and white renderings, how then is that type of image to be construed as not being an accurate depiction?

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #7 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Two screen materials/paints in one shot can be illustrative of relative differences, for sure. It potentially suffers as I said, in that the camera can't capture the full range -- so the blacks of two solutions might appear the same, because both of them are clipping the camera, while the whites might show more difference because the shot is exposed for the whites. This would give the impression that one has better whites with the same black level, thus making it appear to have a greater contrast range than it actually does -- because while its whites were brighter, so were its darks, but they are still dark enough to clip the camera and thus appear identical to the darks of the other..

Also, I think many projectors are probably not uniform across the image -- mine certainly is not. Thus a panel in one position might have very different bright/dark properties than the same panel in another position.

Finally, a scene from a movie makes a poor source to compare blacks and whites in a single shot with multiple panels, as of course there is no guarantee that any two areas of light or dark are even *supposed* to be the same in the area of one panel vs another.

It's not hard to avoid these issues, which is what I did with my shots. First, it's a simple ANSI checkerboard -- you know that everything you see is supposed to be pure white or pure black. Second, I take two shots, exposing one to get more range in the darks, the other to get more range in the whites. Third, they are shots taken from a fixed camera tripod position with each material/paint in the same position -- so if the projector is brighter in one spot than another, this is reflected in the shots of ALL the tests. And finally, shots are taken in RAW mode -- thus no JPG processing or compression -- and with full manual settings, to make sure each panel gets the exact same treatment from the camera.
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post #8 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 05:45 PM
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Nice work curttard. Thanks for offering your experience.

It's amazing how a plain and simple BOC or off the shelf paint would fit many people's needs.

This thread should be stickied at the top.
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post #9 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I should mention that I was reminded on HTS that I forgot about Glidden Diamond 450 Titanium White, which is what I will actually use in the future most likely -- brighter than the rest and measured very neutral iirc.
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post #10 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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As promised, here is the first image: This is 100% white, taken at 1/4 sec exposure, ISO 80, f 4.0.



The SW is only a bit brighter than the RS-MM-LL; the difference between the others is more noticeable.

Measuring a large square in the center of that with Photshop's luminosity histogram (I would have done the whole frame but the BOC wrinkles would have thrown it off), we get median luminosities of:

SW: 186
RS: 182
CS: 173
BOC: 162

And the same thing for black at 15sec exposure. I should probably do this one over at a greater exposure to get more differentiation, but you get the idea:



SW: 19
RS: 18
CS: 17
BOC: 16

Edit: The black one shows almost no differentiation between them in my browser while the gif looked correct in Photoshop, I'll have to look into that.
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post #11 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 07:10 PM
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This thread is exactly what I'm looking for. Just bought the Sherwin Williams paint and I'll be applying it to new drywall. My question is whether anyone can recommend whether I should prime the area first or just apply the SW directly? I'm worried the primer could somehow have a negative effect on smoothness or color?

Thanks.
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post #12 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 08:48 PM
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What I said was, if a comparison between two examples show without question that one has Darker Blacks AND "as white as" or whiter Whites, and the one with the blacker blacks and whiter whites is the Gray (...as opposed to the white....how then can those results be misconstrued or ignored, let alone discounted? Yes, the Camera might not capture the full extent of the difference, or oy might overstate it somewhat, but if there IS a noticeable difference....all in the same shot, the something has to be happening. No?

Be it with actual Video Content or a Checkerboard chart, different and disparate results MUST count for something.

Now let's see if we/someone can post something akin to that premise. wink.gif

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post #13 of 60 Old 12-10-2012, 09:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I think if you posted an ANSI checkerboard with no obvious hotspots or that type of thing that could affect how light one area was as opposed to another, it would be pretty good for showing the relative black/white performance of two things in the same shot, sure. Ideally you would do two shots, one underexposed (for the whites) and one overexposed (for the blacks) but otherwise identical. Even point and shoots should let you do that.

I say "ideally" two shots but I think it might be necessary. I don't know that you can get a checkerboard (at least on a white screen) where one or the other of black or white isn't clipping the camera. I know I couldn't with my S95.

Also ideally I guess we should post a link to the RAW image, or at least the full-size original JPG (i.e. not one re-uploaded to Photobucket etc), because the gifs above show me that something, either the browser or Photobucket or resizing, has changed the values. I just copied one of the gifs above and brought it into Photoshop alongside the original file I uploaded here, and they are significantly different.

Edit: I should add that there would still be the issue of the projector not being perfectly uniform across its image. I think the best apples-to-apples comparison possible is comparing the exact same area of the projected image with the exact same manual camera settings.
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post #14 of 60 Old 12-11-2012, 04:44 AM
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Your assessment looks correct to me. It’s very hard to take a photo of black even an over exposed one.

Nice job.


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post #15 of 60 Old 12-13-2012, 08:22 AM
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Is this the BOC that everyone is talking about: Roc-Lon® Budget Blackout® White/Ecru ? Or is there a different version?
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post #16 of 60 Old 12-13-2012, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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They have white/white as well. White/ecru could work if the white side is the side you want to use. You want to use the less textured side.
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post #17 of 60 Old 12-13-2012, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm withdrawing my recommendation of Sherwin-Williams ProClassic. The hotspotting on my test panel is horrendous. I don't know why I have this issue when I haven't heard of anyone else having it, but all I can go by is what I'm seeing myself.

I even rolled a few coats on, and while I think the overall texture is actually improved versus my sprayed coats, the hotspotting is at least as bad if not worse.
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post #18 of 60 Old 12-13-2012, 05:00 PM
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Wow.....that's is pretty interesting. How big was the test panel?

Was it because the 100% window was focused on a very small sample?

Also, how long ago was it painted? Did it have adequate time for the paint to fully cured?
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post #19 of 60 Old 12-13-2012, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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The test panel is 1.5' wide by about 3.5' long. I didn't shrink my projected image down or anything.

It was hotspotting before after a week. These rolled coats are new.
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post #20 of 60 Old 12-13-2012, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curttard View Post

The test panel is 1.5' wide by about 3.5' long. I didn't shrink my projected image down or anything.
It was hotspotting before after a week. These rolled coats are new.

I have a painted test sample of shirwin williams proclassic also of 2' by 4' and i have absolutely no hot spotting at all. The picture is stunning with allot of pop and it makes my Dalite hccv screen look dull by comparison.

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post #21 of 60 Old 12-13-2012, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curttard View Post

The test panel is 1.5' wide by about 3.5' long. I didn't shrink my projected image down or anything.
It was hotspotting before after a week. These rolled coats are new.


That is quite interesting.

I never notice any hot spotting on my 90" screen.
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post #22 of 60 Old 12-13-2012, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah. Just lucky I guess! I've never heard of anyone else having hotspotting with the SW and certainly loads of people are using it or have tried it.
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post #23 of 60 Old 01-02-2013, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curttard View Post

Yeah. Just lucky I guess! I've never heard of anyone else having hotspotting with the SW and certainly loads of people are using it or have tried it.

Hi just finished painting my screen with shirwin williams proclasic extra white. I'm seeing some thing strange with the full screen painted that i was not seeing with the test panel. I don't know if the right word is hot spotting , but what i'm seeing on brighter sceens is some verticle clouds 2 to 3 inches wide by 10 to 15' tall. When i move to different seating positions the bars also move to new places. Whats weird is that if i stand up on my tip toes they disappear completely, and if i sit down on the floor they become even longer. My projector is ceiling mounted.

Aside from this the picture is absolutely stunning and razor sharp.

How can i fix this. This screen has now been painted for about 30 hours. Can it still not be fully dry?

Thanks And sorry for the broken up english this is my 3rd language.

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post #24 of 60 Old 01-02-2013, 10:49 PM
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Vertical banding. Almost always a result of uneven Roller pressure or a variable in how the paint was laid down. (...heavier / smoother in places)

The odd areas are reflecting light more "retro-like" so when your eyes are alingned with the angle of the incoming light of the PJ lamp, you see a noticeably brighter area.


...........and yeah....that's another name for Hot Spotting.

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post #25 of 60 Old 01-03-2013, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Vertical banding. Almost always a result of uneven Roller pressure or a variable in how the paint was laid down. (...heavier / smoother in places)
The odd areas are reflecting light more "retro-like" so when your eyes are alingned with the angle of the incoming light of the PJ lamp, you see a noticeably brighter area.
...........and yeah....that's another name for Hot Spotting.

Makes perfect sence because i did feel that i was streching out the paint always thinking that i was going to run out. After painting my test panel of 2' by 4' and doing 1 full coat i had about 30 percent left of the 1 quart. On my secound coat i did feel that i was trying to strech the paint. I also painted it with a 6" foam roller i think i probably should of used a wider roller. I should have also filtered out the paint before dropping it in the pan because i had some dryed out paint particles that i kept remouving off the screen with the tips of my fingers with caused me to constantly be re rolling those areas as i was going along. This time around i'll buy a full gallon, i'll filter the paint with a fine net between coats if i need to give more then one coat.

Thanks MM

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post #26 of 60 Old 01-03-2013, 05:27 AM
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I examined the screen very closely this morning by looking at it from an angle with my face right up at the screen, and yes i was sure that i had done a profestional job. Unfortunely i did a **** job and left all kinds of ruff spots without paint. I used a painters light while painting, and this thing probably blinded me more than anything. Lol
I'll start this thing over again with a 12" nap 1/4 roller. And i'll use different kind of lighting to better guide me.

White paint on top of white primmer doesn't help not to miss spots.

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post #27 of 60 Old 01-03-2013, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tank01 View Post

Hi just finished painting my screen with shirwin williams proclasic extra white. I'm seeing some thing strange with the full screen painted that i was not seeing with the test panel. I don't know if the right word is hot spotting , but what i'm seeing on brighter sceens is some verticle clouds 2 to 3 inches wide by 10 to 15' tall. When i move to different seating positions the bars also move to new places. Whats weird is that if i stand up on my tip toes they disappear completely, and if i sit down on the floor they become even longer. My projector is ceiling mounted.
Aside from this the picture is absolutely stunning and razor sharp.
How can i fix this. This screen has now been painted for about 30 hours. Can it still not be fully dry?
Thanks And sorry for the broken up english this is my 3rd language.


I had a similar experience when I was painting.

Though mine wasn't a vertical line, it was more like bumps. Guess I did not strecth the paint evenly across the screen. These bumps tend to reflect more light when viewing at the right angle.

And no, this is not 'hot spotting'. Do not mistaken hot spotting with imperfectly rolled/sprayed paints.
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post #28 of 60 Old 01-03-2013, 06:29 AM
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Your right it's not hot spotting because from an angle i can clearly see that i missed those spots completely there ruff and there still on the primmer. It's completely my fault and i wouldn't want anybody to think that this paint hot spots after my painting mistakes.

I watched lord of the rings on it yesterday and i was amazed at the detail and the colours. The make up on those villains made me realize how much of an upgrade this screen is compared to my grey Da lite. I now keep it in the best colour mode and i have just the perfect brightness.

Thanks

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post #29 of 60 Old 01-05-2013, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by tank01 View Post

Your right it's not hot spotting because from an angle i can clearly see that i missed those spots completely there ruff and there still on the primmer. It's completely my fault and i wouldn't want anybody to think that this paint hot spots after my painting mistakes.
I watched lord of the rings on it yesterday and i was amazed at the detail and the colours. The make up on those villains made me realize how much of an upgrade this screen is compared to my grey Da lite. I now keep it in the best colour mode and i have just the perfect brightness.
Thanks

I did a third coat today, and i'm still having the same problem, the black vertical lines are almost all gone, except there still are a couple. After looking carefully i can still see some spots that looks like i missed. I'm pretty sure that it's the 6" foam roller fault, that i wasn't able to do a good job on this screen. I bought a 9" 1/4 nap roller, and i will be painting it again tomorrow. On the paint can, it says not to use anything smaller than a 1/4 nap roller, so i must of messed up trying a foam roller.

I watched avatar today, and while the colors and brightness are amazing, there are trade offs in having a white screen the perception of dept is not as strong. With a grey screen it feels like you have a 20% tinted glass in front of your screen. I'll have to watch a couple more movies to be able to really understand it well. Different style movies react differently. Animations and movies with allot of CGI benefit from a grey screen from what i can see, but regular movies with live actors and regular outdoor or indoor scenes benefit from a white screen because of better facial colors and better clearer details.

Plasma tv's all have a glass that stops reflections in front of their screen. While lcd tv's don't have this reflective glass. Two different styles with two different looks.

infocus 4805, mitsubishi hd1000, optoma hd 20 for one month, and now epson 8500ub
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post #30 of 60 Old 01-06-2013, 12:32 PM
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I did a fourth quote today with my 1/4 nap roller 6mm, and wow, what a difference a roller can make. The lines are all gone and the picture is beautiful. The 9" roller loads enough paint at a time to be able to do a full row in a N motion, while backing up one row and advancing to the next one. This roller was what was recommended in projector central article. I should have used it from the start it would have been done beautifully in 2 coats.

infocus 4805, mitsubishi hd1000, optoma hd 20 for one month, and now epson 8500ub
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