what is the final verdict on BOC? As good as regular screen material? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 12-30-2012, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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So what is the final verdict on the blackout cloth? Is it as good as regular screen material? I hear some people say that it's not as good as others see it is as good or better. Just wanted to make sure before building my screen. Thanks
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post #2 of 12 Old 12-30-2012, 05:18 PM
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Not sure I understand the question. The material will work as a screen. Is it the best material? Heck no.
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post #3 of 12 Old 12-30-2012, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by neonsky View Post

Not sure I understand the question. The material will work as a screen. Is it the best material? Heck no.

I have to pretty much agree with that assesment. It will work, and has worked for literally thousands of DIY'ers. But it isn't something one decides on if they want anything remotely akin to high performance and/or exceptional visual image quality.

BOC is a sub unity gain material, with a reasonably smooth surface on the "Coated' side. It can be stretched out and used as is if "simple" is desired, and with a really good PJ employed, isn't going to make most people's gag reflex kick in.

It does require a stout Frame, well braced, made of better-than-average lumber or Aluminum framing. The cost of building a suitable frame, especially in the larger sizes, can be 3x more expensive than the material itself, and assembling one can involve no small amount of effort. (...but easily enough done by those with the appropriate skill set and tools....)

......and, it can be used as a readily available canvass on which to apply a better coating, one more suitable for a given circumstance.

Which brings up the questions: What is your circumstance....what Pj will you use....and how big of a screen do you aspire to? Also: Does the Screen have to be easily transportable, or can it be fixed in place?

There are several viable alternatives....solid materials(sheets) and good 'ol Drywall can be far superior a surface if prepared and painted effectively.

So the final question to add is:

Just how good do you want your viewing experience to be, as relates to how proud you'll be to know the effort you expended helped make it so?

PS..........

Remember....on this Forum, comparisons to Mfg Screens and Mfg Screen material often are made, but we do not advocate the use of any such items. We feel both strongly and confident that the available, truly "DIY" solutions we advocate on this Forum are either "just as good as" or some even superior to many, if not indeed most MFG offerings. And even more important...a LOT less expensive as well.

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post #4 of 12 Old 12-30-2012, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the detailed reply misisippiman.

I am using a mitsubishi hc4000 pj. I understand that BOC isn't the best, but I wonder if it is still "pretty good"? For example, would this be as good as a fixed frame screen made by elite sold on amazon for $280? I am a noob, and don't have crazy expectations, but coming from a perfectly calibrated plasma, I do want a nice image. Just don't want to spend $300 on an elite screen that I can make at home with same results. I guess my question is that if I were to build the screen would it be pretty close to the elite fixed screens going for just under $300?
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post #5 of 12 Old 12-30-2012, 07:59 PM
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I've seen nothing so far to suggest BOC is any "better" or "worse" than any other solution at this point. It will give you darker blacks than a brighter material, but dimmer whites. It might be just the right balance for your projector, screen size, room, and preference.

An Elite white screen will, iirc, be brighter than BOC, but also have correspondingly lighter blacks. And Elite grey screen will be less bright than BOC but have darker blacks.

BOC is incredibly cheap and a frame is easy and cheap to make. I did a 54" x 126" 2.35 screen and frame for around $40 total, and I am not remotely handy. The only power tool I own is a drill. I found the whole process to be FAR easier and cheaper than spraying paint, personally. Whether the results will be as good depend on what you are going for, I think. I am using the HC4000 as well.

Saying "heck no, it's not the best material" is silly imo. "Best" depends on exactly what you want. BOC will give you "better" whites than a darker grey screen and "better" blacks than a brighter white screen; so how can either of those other screens be confidently said to be "better" without knowing any specifics of what you're after? The surface is excellent and will not show any kind of grain or texture in your image, and it is very color neutral. And if you mess up or get it dirty, spend another whopping $15 and replace the fabric entirely.

I ended up spraying my screen a few months ago after using the raw BOC for a couple years, in a quest for more brightness (in 2.35 mode I am projecting the equivalent of something like 146" image, after all). I did get noticeably more brightness, but the blacks are also lighter, and there is visible grain in the image now, I believe as a result of tiny shadows cast by the tiny bumps in the paint surface -- or maybe just varying layers of depth to the paint?

I made this thread to compare BOC with several of the whiter paint solutions: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1444420/white-screens-boc-vs-c-s-ultra-vs-rs-mm-ll-vs-sherwin-willams-proclassic
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post #6 of 12 Old 12-31-2012, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curttard View Post

I ended up spraying my screen a few months ago after using the raw BOC for a couple years, in a quest for more brightness (in 2.35 mode I am projecting the equivalent of something like 146" image, after all). I did get noticeably more brightness, but the blacks are also lighter, and there is visible grain in the image now, I believe as a result of tiny shadows cast by the tiny bumps in the paint surface -- or maybe just varying layers of depth to the paint?

That last guess is kinda wild.

What you see are the "bumps" on the BOC caused the spraying technique. If one is to aspire to creating an exceptional screen, pains must be taken to spray an exceptional surface. The same applies to rolling on paint as well.

High Contrast paints and / or those who have higher gain factors will indeed allow the seeing of "shadows" caused by surface irregularities, be they originally there at the start, or "created" by the spraying process. What matters is that steps to address "texture" were not made (...or leastwise not related...) to eliminate said texture.

And with BOC, spray texture is always a concern due to the initial static on the BOC's smooth sided surface causing what we call "The Fuzzies".
Certainly, once one reaches a certain point where they have applied several Finish Coats, if texture is noticed it is a hard choice to make to go back and sand and re-coat. Many just want to get down to watching.

To avoid that, one needs only to know in advance what to do to get it right the first time, to also avoid coming back with their own personal take as to why their results were less than satisfactory. In DIY, there will always be variables, but one thing remains a dead-on certainty. BOC is an option for anyone to consider, but just as well, an option that has distinct considerations. Your opening statement is really just one predicated on your own singular experience with a decided lack of varying instances and wholly dependent upon your own abilities and the transfer of the effects of "technique related' results.

While it must be agreed on that some people have had / do have issues applying paint by whatever method chosen, far more End Users have had far different experiences, ones that reflect a much better end result..

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post #7 of 12 Old 12-31-2012, 10:13 AM
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The bumps are not the result of the BOC. I have the exact same issues and exact same texture on other test panels I made on various surfaces (cardboard, foam insulation sheets, laminate samples). I also thought my post made clear that the texture of the paint was a side issue, was not necessarily representative of anyone else's results, and in any case was not related to the black/white performance of the screen. I followed all recommended steps, as indicated in the back-and-forth in the thread I made during the process.

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Your opening statement is really just one predicated on your own singular experience

Well obviously; whose experience should it be predicated on? :P However, I have seen exactly zero direct comparisons of BOC with any other solution -- either here or at HTS -- that contradict what I said in my opening statement: That BOC will be brighter than grey screens but have lighter blacks; and dimmer than lighter screens but with better blacks, and thus that it fits right into the spectrum of shades and black/white performance. In addition, BOC provides an exceptional surface straight off the rack, without requiring hundreds of dollars of equipment (and possibly another hundred or so for the surface itself if a large screen is desired) and the mastering of a clearly somewhat tricky technique. I find it odd that, given these things, someone would give recommendations that jump from darker screens to lighter screens and skip BOC entirely.

I would be delighted to eat my words if someone would like to spend $3 on a couple feet of 54" high BOC at Joann and take a couple pictures of an ANSI checkerboard with the BOC and preferred other solution side by side, properly exposed to really show the difference in blacks and whites in turn. Or if anyone would like to send me a sample of a preferred paint on cardboard or whatever, I would be delighted to take the comparison shots myself -- I will even happily paypal the donator the postage costs, or send a SASE. Certainly such a comparison would have been invaluable to me when deciding on a solution, so I'm more than happy to help others in the future.
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-31-2012, 12:40 PM
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Early morning sleepiness caused a misprint.

My first sentence was supposed to read:

"What you see as the "bumps" on the BOC are caused by the spraying technique".

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Originally Posted by curttard View Post

Well obviously; whose experience should it be predicated on? :P

How about the couple hundred other Members on AVS who have tried BOC and then moved on to find they are extremely more happy with their image with a solid surface...or even with a painted coating on BOC? It's been said time and again that it's the reported results and examples the average End User presents that hold say on here, yet still you continue to make your statements as if that is wholly insufficient and not to be considered as being noteworthy....,
Quote:
However, I have seen exactly zero direct comparisons of BOC with any other solution -- either here or at HTS -- that contradict what I said in my opening statement:

Recently...perhaps. But why not go back and search the AVS Archives...say for the last 7-8 years and you'll find several...most combined with
Quote:
That BOC will be brighter than grey screens but have lighter blacks; and dimmer than lighter screens but with better blacks, and thus that it fits right into the spectrum of shades and black/white performance

What your really saying is that you mean "Middling"......it neither excels nor fails....just kinda "hangs there" doing the best job a "Middling" Coated cloth application can do. Acceptable to some, but certainly not in numbers that amount to being even a minority.
Quote:
In addition, BOC provides an exceptional surface straight off the rack, without requiring hundreds of dollars of equipment .

Oh stop already with your repetitious and misleading comments inferring that Spray Equipment is a "several Hundred dollar" investment when you know it's a $60-70.00 hit at most these days. rolleyes.gif
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I find it odd that, given these things, someone would give recommendations that jump from darker screens to lighter screens and skip BOC entirely.


Not so odd, and besides your inferring that the recommendation to use BOC never holds sway. That just isn't true. However if the individual is receptive to other considerations, or just plain "needs' to consider other applications, then he / they will be told about them.

And it's also odd, that you feel obliged to make such definitive comments based on just your own experience. Are you aware that there a MANY different brands and several Mfg of BOC? Most have varying degrees of surface texture, different coatings and opacity, and thicknesses. In many ways, there is more risk of someone not having the same experience with BOC than when using a smooth hard substrate...painted or not.

Actually, my statement ; "BOC is a sub unity gain material, with a reasonably smooth surface on the "Coated' side. It can be stretched out and used as is if "simple" is desired, and with a really good PJ employed, isn't going to make most people's gag reflex kick in." pretty much falls in line with your own "middle of the spectrum" analysis. That said, I'm not ever going to come down into the Camp that says BOC is "as good as" a correctly painted surface, either in construction or performance considerations.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-31-2012, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
How about the couple hundred other Members on AVS who have tried BOC and then moved on to find they are extremely more happy with their image with a solid surface...or even with a painted coating on BOC? It's been said time and again that it's the reported results and examples the average End User presents that hold say on here, yet still you continue to make your statements as if that is wholly insufficient and not to be considered as being noteworthy....,

Well, obviously I'm going to put more weight in what I see right in front of me, in a side-by-side comparison, than in what someone else says to the effect of "I used to have BOC and then I switched projectors three times and now have a painted screen and I think it looks way better than my vague re-collection of what BOC looks like with my old projector".
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What your really saying is that you mean "Middling"...

Well, sure. But unless your recommendation to people is always "if you want a bright screen, go with the absolute brightest solution out there; and if you want better blacks, go with the darkest grey out there", then EVERY solution is "middling". My point is that the balance of white to black on BOC might be the sweet spot for a given user just as the balance of Silver Fire 2 vs Silverfire 3 or vs RS-MM-LL or whatever might be for another.

Is Silver Fire 3.0 a "middling" solution compared to Silver Fire 2.0 and Silver Fire 4.0? Why recommend 3.0 to anyone, when 4.0 is brighter and 2.0 has better blacks? (edit: sorry, I think I had that backwards)

Quote:
Oh stop already with your repetitious and misleading comments inferring that Spray Equipment is a "several Hundred dollar" investment when you know it's a $60-70.00 hit at most these days.

You are correct, I misspoke, I meant total costs. $40 for sprayer, $20 for recommended smaller tip, $30 for mask, $10 for drop cloths, $10 for mixing cans, $10-20 for miscellaneous (strainer, tape, tacks, etc), $10 for drill mixer attachment, $80+ for paint...and this doesn't include substrate if one is needed, which can itself be up to $100 if you need 5' x 10'.
Quote:
And it's also odd, that you feel obliged to make such definitive comments based on just your own experience. Are you aware that there a MANY different brands and several Mfg of BOC? Most have varying degrees of surface texture, different coatings and opacity, and thicknesses. In many ways, there is more risk of someone not having the same experience with BOC than when using a smooth hard substrate...painted or not.

Good point. I am referring specifically to the Roc-Lon Budget Blackout Cloth in white/white purchased at Joann. I just bought a new batch when I was doing my comparisons and it is 100% indistinguishable from what I originally made my screen with several years ago (bought from a different store), so this particular SKU at least seems very consistent.
Quote:
Actually, my statement ; "BOC is a sub unity gain material, with a reasonably smooth surface on the "Coated' side. It can be stretched out and used as is if "simple" is desired, and with a really good PJ employed, isn't going to make most people's gag reflex kick in." pretty much falls in line with your own "middle of the spectrum" analysis.

You misunderstand me; I'm not saying it's "middle of the road" in terms of image quality or performance, I'm saying it "fits right into the spectrum" in terms of lights and darks between darker screens and lighter screens -- just like Silver Fire 3.0 fits between Silver Fire 2.0 and Silver Fire 4.0.

Quote:
That said, I'm not ever going to come down into the Camp that says BOC is "as good as" a correctly painted surface, either in construction or performance considerations.

What visual advantages does a correctly painted surface of the same shade as BOC have, putting aside for the moment the fact that it is much more expensive, much trickier to get done "correctly", and much less likely to be color neutral with consistent gain across the axis? Which solution would, for example, provide the same or darker blacks as BOC but whiter whites? That is, which solution would not be a trade-off in one way or another? And are there direct comparisons illustrating such? Like I said, I'd be happy to eat my words and do the comparison myself, I will gladly paypal or mail you the postage so that you can mail me a sample of the solution of your choice, if you don't have the time to do a comparison yourself. And if I'm convinced I might even re-paint my screen, since like everyone else here, I'm here to get the best picture I can.
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-02-2013, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singh007 View Post

Thanks for the detailed reply misisippiman.
I am using a mitsubishi hc4000 pj. I understand that BOC isn't the best, but I wonder if it is still "pretty good"? For example, would this be as good as a fixed frame screen made by elite sold on amazon for $280? I am a noob, and don't have crazy expectations, but coming from a perfectly calibrated plasma, I do want a nice image. Just don't want to spend $300 on an elite screen that I can make at home with same results. I guess my question is that if I were to build the screen would it be pretty close to the elite fixed screens going for just under $300?

I'm no expert, but I did use a BOC screen for five or more years. I compared it to a sample of Elite Cinewhite and really didn't see a big difference. The gain was very close - I had a hard time even seeing the sample against the screen. A larger sample may have made a difference but the two weren't very different.

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post #11 of 12 Old 01-02-2013, 08:12 AM
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Well, comparisons between BOC and inexpensive Mfg. Screen material of a similar shade are not relevant to what most of us on here would be doing in any case. Mostly that only shows how deficent and lacking in any appreciable difference and quality the Elite offering is, not how "Good" the BOC is / might be.

Still, once again, for some BOC can still suffice, and that is made all the more possible by the brighter, higher contrast PJs available these days.

That is, as long as having a sub-1.0 gain white surface can indeed suffice. Once you move into High Contrast Grays, especially if thye have +1.0 gain, the price...and potential issues rise considerably. Especially with "Fixed Screens".

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post #12 of 12 Old 01-03-2013, 11:43 AM
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I'm very happy with my BOC. 131 diag 2.35:1. I use a a 'light cannon' aka Panny AR100u to throw my image so I don't have to worry about gain...
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