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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Been all over. Currently living in upperstate NY in the Capital District area.
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I am surprised at the difference in shade too. The Behr mix looks closer to an N9 than N8 in shade. With two shades differing like that side by side comparisons this way are going to be hard because the projector is typically calibrated for one color and not the other.
Since you say the Gray Screen whites looked gray you're definitely not calibrated for a darker screen. My whites are very white, and the colors are dead on. Also keep in mind that it will look even better after a week, and that goes for all painted screens not just GS.
There were other threads with side by side comparisons done like this and the darker screen (FG in this case) initially did not look as good as the white screen (Parkland) it was being compared to. After the projector was calibrated for the darker screen, that scenario reversed and FG looked better than the white screen.
When comparing side by side like this it is difficult to compare two screens that differ this much in shade. You said you didn't calibrate for either, what were you using for a screen before this test? If it was a lighter screen then it makes sense the lighter shade is going to look better.
I wonder how many materials, paints, and methods have been discarded by testing this way? If both test screens are similar in shade then it would be a good test and you could see the differences between two materials, but these are definitely contrasting shades, so you will either be calibrated for one and not the other, and the screen that the projector is calibrated for will naturally look better.
Some are going to say that sounds like an excuse, and it isn't. Based on the comments and observations I know GS performs better than stated and I just wanted to point out how much calibration comes into play.
Totally unrelated material and shade, but someone bought a sheet of Designer White on my recommendation. At first they were disgusted with it and said it looked the same as their beige wall they were using. After talking to them, they recalibrated and tried different light settings and the picture dramatically increased in color, brightness and vividness. They were originally going to discard it and buy a commercial screen. Now they seem very happy with it. That is how much of a difference calibration, gamma, and your light settings can make.
Steve for this test I think a better comparison would have been with Soothing White and the Behr mix, that way both screens would be relatively equal in just about all ways and a side by side would really show a good comparison.
I am not knocking Behr, but Sherwin Williams is really a better quality paint than Behr, which is the same company as Glidden. There are no magic components in either of these samples, no special ingredients, no pinch or this or that... they are both pretty much regular paints. Both have a good color balance, Tiddler's has the green deficiency seen in the 'V' curve, and Gray Screen is almost completely neutral. If they were both the same shade, I'm pretty confident that the matte finish is going to look better than the flat finish. After a poly coating that is going to change seeing the flat is being given a matte coating that slightly diffuses the image, I am not sure how much 'depth' one coat adds though. Side by side after a poly coating I would expect two screens the same shade to look almost identical between the flat with a matte poly coating and the regular matte finish paint.
The last thing it comes down to is personal preference. Even after fully calibrating to Gray Screen you just may not like a screen that dark, so go with the lighter option. I don't think GS got a good representation though in this initial test, and I wouldn't count it out because of this. I'll even say if you were calibrated for GS it would 'crush' the Behr test panel... but I will also say that wouldn't be a fair comparison test for the Behr panel then...
"Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein