The Room is a Video Component with Alan Brown - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-12-2013, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Alan Brown, founder and president of CinemaQuest, discusses the importance of the viewing environment to the perceived quality of a video image, including the development of standard practices for viewing rooms and displays, how the presence of non-neutral colors near a display severely distorts human perception of colors in the image, the Munsell neutral grayscale for room paint, the effect of ambient light on different types of screens, the need for bias lighting and the optimum parameters for it, answers to chat-room questions, and more.

 


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post #2 of 17 Old 11-12-2013, 01:13 PM
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My wife insists on Pea Green Painted walls - will this make my Forest scenes Greener? LOL
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post #3 of 17 Old 11-12-2013, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p5browne View Post

My wife insists on Pea Green Painted walls - will this make my Forest scenes Greener? LOL
Actually you have it backwards. A green surround would make the screen image perceptually less green.
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-13-2013, 12:27 AM
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This is my screen wall. I painted the whole ceiling black and around 5 feet on the ceiling out I have it covered in black velvet.

As you can see the black carped on the stage which Is 5 feet out as well.

Next to my screen is just the black paint I have not put velvet next to it. While I do not see the wall once the projector is on you can tell where the black velvet ends on the ceiling and he side walls.

Should I either

1. Flush the screen in the wall around 2 feet deep and black Velvet the sides?

2. Just build a frame around the screen and black velvet that.

I have a high power da lite screen with a JVC RS46 projector.
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-13-2013, 08:42 AM
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Recessed screens are nice, but a box frame may be less costly. I haven't used the High Power screen due to its color shifting characteristic, but I'm surprised that it would reflect on near boundaries much. Since it is such a high gain screen, there should be relatively little energy radiating off to the perimeter. This characteristic also helps it reject light and/or reflections coming from off axis. It does a very good job of focusing the light more forward, which is how it achieves exceptional gain figures.
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-13-2013, 10:08 AM
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I would be inclined to build a frame with velvet. I have a 16:9 screen with a velvet-like cover on the framing and at least for me it makes a big difference. I also have a removable velvet mask on foam board that I place on the screen bottom, and use screen shift in memory on my X35 for 2.35:1 content, again it makes a huge difference, at least for me...smile.gif
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post #7 of 17 Old 11-14-2013, 08:08 PM
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Here's the link to purchase the PDF of the out of print 'Imaging Science Theatre 2000' special issue from Widescreen Review: http://shop.widescreenreview.com/products/Imaging-Science-Theatre-2000-%28Digital-Download%29.html .

Here's another link to a technical article titled: 'The Importance Of Viewing Environment Conditions In A Reference Display System': http://www.cinemaquestinc.com/ive.htm .
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post #8 of 17 Old 11-15-2013, 09:11 AM
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Interesting. Anyone ever paint the wall behind a screen a *light* color?
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post #9 of 17 Old 11-15-2013, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptJosh View Post

Interesting. Anyone ever paint the wall behind a screen a *light* color?
Probably most TV viewers. I expect most rooms with TVs in them, in consumers' homes, are in front of a white or "off white" wall.
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post #10 of 17 Old 11-15-2013, 12:15 PM
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The charts referenced in the podcast from echalk are very compelling. The gray square surrounded by the light colors *really* looks a lot darker. This is why I brought up the light color wall behind the screen. Say for example a projection screen...now, would a black border like many screens have negate the effect? I don't know, but it seems an interesting way of boosting perceived black levels.
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post #11 of 17 Old 11-15-2013, 01:57 PM
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Front projection system design is a different animal, versus designing for televisions. The difference in screen brightness is huge. A projection theater is best kept as dark as possible, including the wall around the screen. Here is a link to a page on my site that includes, in the bottom half of the page, some depth of information about your comments: http://www.cinemaquestinc.com/blb.htm .

You will enjoy this as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Sen1HTu5o&feature=player_embedded .

And this: http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/video-calibration/28480-viewing-environment.html#post260250 .
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post #12 of 17 Old 11-15-2013, 03:57 PM
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Yes, even the most expensive amplifiers and speakers does not make the best system. Understanding the good and bad points of any system will allow for the manipulation of the environment to help the points needed without sacrificing the positive effects.
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post #13 of 17 Old 11-15-2013, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjd420nova View Post

Yes, even the most expensive amplifiers and speakers does not make the best system. Understanding the good and bad points of any system will allow for the manipulation of the environment to help the points needed without sacrificing the positive effects.
In video system design (and audio system design as well) understanding the fundamentals of the science and of human perception allows the designer to balance room elements with equipment performance requirements. The problem with designing systems absent such fundamental understanding can result in diminished performance from the actual proper functioning of the equipment. In other words, the wrong room conditions can scuttle performance value. If the room design interferes with equipment performance, quality is lost. When performance quality is diminished, the full value invested in the gear is not realized. The sound or image is defeated, diluted, distorted, along with the full enjoyment of audio and video programming played on the system. This is why there is real value in spending the extra money to consult with or hire a formally trained, credentialed, experienced, professional designer/installer.
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post #14 of 17 Old 11-16-2013, 11:41 AM
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Hi George. Watched the show early this morning.

I am currently involved in an install with horrendous room environments with absolutely no chance of me influencing the room design . All glass and stone house. At least we have black out shades for all windows. The only thing I could control were projector selections and screen material. and much viewing will be with not all the shades shut. We have water views on three sides and the windows occupy about 90% of the vertical exteriors. Not to worry, the ceiling is almost all skylights. So I chose HB or HC for the main projector. And Firehawk G4 originally speced for the FH LS now discontinued. Sometimes the installer etc just doesn't get the chance to design a proper room. We have to make do with design limitations forced on us. While such situations may prevent the performance available from a projector being obtained, the customer still wants the highest quality projector anyway. Basically, my design limitations were no budget limitations, just get me the best of everything. And then I get questioned for not specifying something more expensive. Go figure. Anyway you are the best George. Thank you for sharing.

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post #15 of 17 Old 11-18-2013, 12:50 AM
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That youtube video is just mind blowing really. I've seen the illustration before, but not done like that in real time. Educational for sure.

I've personally gone for the "black hole effect" in my own theater, with gray walls, albiet, they might not be exactly neutral grays, but it sure looks better than when I had white walls.

Optimizing the room for video is essential, but most people are unable to in normal living rooms unfortunately.
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post #16 of 17 Old 11-18-2013, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Hi George. Watched the show early this morning.

I am currently involved in an install with horrendous room environments with absolutely no chance of me influencing the room design . All glass and stone house. At least we have black out shades for all windows. The only thing I could control were projector selections and screen material. and much viewing will be with not all the shades shut. We have water views on three sides and the windows occupy about 90% of the vertical exteriors. Not to worry, the ceiling is almost all skylights. So I chose HB or HC for the main projector. And Firehawk G4 originally speced for the FH LS now discontinued. Sometimes the installer etc just doesn't get the chance to design a proper room. We have to make do with design limitations forced on us. While such situations may prevent the performance available from a projector being obtained, the customer still wants the highest quality projector anyway. Basically, my design limitations were no budget limitations, just get me the best of everything. And then I get questioned for not specifying something more expensive. Go figure. Anyway you are the best George. Thank you for sharing.
That project sounds like a stimulating challenge. We can't cheat the laws of physics, but money and/or ingenuity can help support workarounds to minimize the compromises.
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post #17 of 17 Old 11-18-2013, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clausdk View Post

That youtube video is just mind blowing really. I've seen the illustration before, but not done like that in real time. Educational for sure.

I've personally gone for the "black hole effect" in my own theater, with gray walls, albiet, they might not be exactly neutral grays, but it sure looks better than when I had white walls.

Optimizing the room for video is essential, but most people are unable to in normal living rooms unfortunately.
The "black hole" concept is more appropriate for front projection systems. People get the principles mixed up when designing for emissive displays. It has been my experience that "most people" don't have the same set of interests and/or priorities to provide an improved viewing environment. They are not wrong, just have different priorities. For many videophile types, they haven't been taught sufficient viewing environment principles, or what could practically be done with their room. There is no shortage of erroneous practice represented by magazine photos and forum discussions. I must say though, in recent years, magazine ads that I have been seeing with flat panel TVs in them have much more consistently showed the TVs mounted on light, neutral walls.
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