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post #1 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Howdy,

I am about to start a family room build in my basement. Well, I already started more or less (ripped out the carpet that was there). The basement was fully finished however, I bought a foreclosure town home so it needed some TLC. I am finally to the point where I can start making some design decisions.

I have an amazing wife who thinks the bigger the screen the better, how many guys can say that, right? So, I immediately started thinking projector. However, I have a few concerns as to whether that's the right decision for us.

The room which the viewing area would be is about 18x16 with the screen/tv going on the shorter of the two walls due to a window and slider. I know the wife would be opposed to me painting the ceiling black or having really dark walls. This will be a regular hang out spot for the family and friends, and kids when we decide to have them.

I have the ability to have more complete control of lighting in the room. The one window and slider are well shaded from direct sunlight from the deck above, and I have blackout curtains which keep almost all the glow out of the room. But, what I am worried about is when we have kids and parties, etc... There will need to be some lights on to allow for some actual communication and visibility (my wife tells me people like to talk...who knew?)

I plan on installing dimmable recessed lights to give me more control, but I am still worried about the image being washed out due to the light walls, white ceiling, and the potential for some form of lighting to be on during some viewing conditions.

My budget for a projector and screen/ tv is about 2500 dollars.

So, I guess my real question is, with that kind of budget can I expect to get a good 1080p image that won't looked washed out with light colored walls and ceilings with the potential to have some lights on in certain instances? Or am I better off sticking to a big led/plasma? I know projectors have come a long way since last time I have looked into one. Has anyone been successful in a similar scenario?

I have several design options in mind, but I imagine There is a post requirement before I can post an image, so I won't try jut yet...I will seek advice on that very soon...

Thanks for any feedback...
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 08:55 AM
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Don't bother. The projector produces light where it is needed and no light where things are dark or black in the image. The projector also makes the screen really really bright, which then reflects off the light ceiling, walls and floor, washing out the dark images. It does not take much light to trash the image.
Now, on the other hand, you can go for it, and then when it does not look good, you convince you wife to allow you to fix the issues now you have invested all the money! biggrin.gif

One other thing to note, if you have very high ceiling height and don't go to large on the screen you could have less washout. Assuming the top of the screen is 3 or 4 ft from the ceiling.
If you hate sitting in the dark, go for a big flat screen and move your seating close enough to the display to give you a big screen feel
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

Don't bother. The projector produces light where it is needed and no light where things are dark or black in the image. The projector also makes the screen really really bright, which then reflects off the light ceiling, walls and floor, washing out the dark images. It does not take much light to trash the image.
Now, on the other hand, you can go for it, and then when it does not look good, you convince you wife to allow you to fix the issues now you have invested all the money! biggrin.gif

One other thing to note, if you have very high ceiling height and don't go to large on the screen you could have less washout. Assuming the top of the screen is 3 or 4 ft from the ceiling.
If you hate sitting in the dark, go for a big flat screen and move your seating close enough to the display to give you a big screen feel

Thanks for the feedback. I will have to talk with her to see how flexible she is on darkening ceiling and walls. However, i think i know how thats going to go. Based on the room layout there is a possibility for me to darken the screen wall and then the two adjacent walls about three feet off of the screen wall due to the room layout.

Do you think that would be enough to help, or would it really have to go much further than a few feet (I.e., basically the whole room)

Also, my ceilings are eight feet in the basement, so not much room there...

I have a 60 inch plasma upstairs in our living room area that we use for daily viewing when it's just me and the wife. The seating distance in the basement will be about double from the distance up there. So, I feel like an 80inch would look small in comparison.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 09:34 AM
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The screen wall itself does not effect the image quality other than when it is dark the screen just floats in the darkness.
The side wall that are close the the screen, Ceiling and floor do the damage. Ceiling is the biggest offender as you will be within inches of it with a 110" screen and an 8' ceiling. You really only need only about 5ft out from the screen on the ceiling and side walls. Yes, the complete room would be better, but you can get a really good image without doing that as long as you get the major offenders under control.
Good luck!
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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The screen wall itself does not effect the image quality other than when it is dark the screen just floats in the darkness.
The side wall that are close the the screen, Ceiling and floor do the damage. Ceiling is the biggest offender as you will be within inches of it with a 110" screen and an 8' ceiling. You really only need only about 5ft out from the screen on the ceiling and side walls. Yes, the complete room would be better, but you can get a really good image without doing that as long as you get the major offenders under control.
Good luck!

Okay, thanks. I started thinking a little more after reading this...I think the only big problem might be the ceiling



The wall on the right ends after 3.5 feet, and the wall on the left has floor to ceiling black curtains that go from the corner to a foot past the slider back into the room.

I might be able to convince her to paint the screen wall and the 3.5' bumpout and leave the rest of the room as is. Think that would be sufficient, or would the ceiling still kill it...

Really appreciate you taking the time to respond.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 10:19 AM
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Go for it!
The ceiling is going to effect the image the most, but you can always fix it later. After she gets over the "WOW THIS IS GREAT" and starts to see the issue you will eventually be allowed to fix it.
Even a slightly washed out image on a 100+ inch screen will blow away a good 80" Flat screen just in size wow factor alone. Yes, darken the bump out, or extend the drapes around the corner. Once you go projection you won't want to go back, or understand how people watch those little boxes and call it a home theater.
You have to keep in mind, if you haven't figure it out already, you will be making many many compromises along this journey, but that is no reason not to go on the journey!
The trick is to make them in a way you can improve or remove the compromise at a later date.

For instance, don't lock yourself into an 80" Flat screen when you think it will be to small, there is not getting out of that compromise without spending a lot of money.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

Go for it!
The ceiling is going to effect the image the most, but you can always fix it later. After she gets over the "WOW THIS IS GREAT" and starts to see the issue you will eventually be allowed to fix it.
Even a slightly washed out image on a 100+ inch screen will blow away a good 80" Flat screen just in size wow factor alone. Yes, darken the bump out, or extend the drapes around the corner. Once you go projection you won't want to go back, or understand how people watch those little boxes and call it a home theater.
You have to keep in mind, if you haven't figure it out already, you will be making many many compromises along this journey, but that is no reason not to go on the journey!
The trick is to make them in a way you can improve or remove the compromise at a later date.

For instance, don't lock yourself into an 80" Flat screen when you think it will be to small, there is not getting out of that compromise without spending a lot of money.

Thanks for the feedback. I will talk to the wife and see how much she is willing to compromise with darkening. I might also challenge her to come up with a good looking way of darkening the ceiling in some way the length of that bumpout. With the number of hours she spends on Pinterest...she might get a crafty idea or two...

Hopefully she will approve then I can get started rolling out some detailed designs. If all goes well, more posts to come....
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 12:22 PM
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I see that your new here. There have been several threads about getting the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) for dark walls and ceilings. The beauty of it is that paint is pretty cheap. Paint it dark (doesn't necessarrily need to be black, but sounds like black would be best in your case) and if she hates AFTER WATCHING sometihing, you repaint it. Most likely, you'll be out $30 for paint and supplies.

I like the idea of painting out to the end of the bumpout. That's a natural divider. You could go with a dark gray, dark blue, even a dark red/maroon (although the reds are hard to cover over).

My wife wasn't happy when I talked about a black ceiling, but once she saw it (and the projector) in action, she was fine with it. Sometimes you have to actually show them before they "get it."

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post #9 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 12:55 PM
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You could go with a dark gray, dark blue, even a dark red/maroon (although the reds are hard to cover over).

Be careful with colors, the dark red can effect the colors on the screen, a neutral gray is better if black is not allowed.
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I see that your new here. There have been several threads about getting the WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) for dark walls and ceilings. The beauty of it is that paint is pretty cheap. Paint it dark (doesn't necessarrily need to be black, but sounds like black would be best in your case) and if she hates AFTER WATCHING sometihing, you repaint it. Most likely, you'll be out $30 for paint and supplies.

I like the idea of painting out to the end of the bumpout. That's a natural divider. You could go with a dark gray, dark blue, even a dark red/maroon (although the reds are hard to cover over).

My wife wasn't happy when I talked about a black ceiling, but once she saw it (and the projector) in action, she was fine with it. Sometimes you have to actually show them before they "get it."

Thanks for the input. My wife is a huge fan of gray at the moment. Our kitchen and living room is a lite blue gray, so I might be able to persuade her that a dark gray is a great color.

I will see how she reacts to the ceiling being painted. I have some potential back up ideas brewing....
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Be careful with colors, the dark red can effect the colors on the screen, a neutral gray is better if black is not allowed.

I know red wouldn't be a choice. When we bought this house the kitchen was a dark red, it was the first thing to fix on the dreaded "honey-do" list before she would even move in...
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 02:17 PM
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Basically, you want a color that will be black when the lights are out. The maroon on my walls turns black once the lights are out, that's why I thew it in the mix. BUt if you KNOW she won't like red, go with one of the other suggestions.

And if I were you, I might paint while she's out of the house.

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post #13 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 02:20 PM
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My basement had bright yellow walls and a white ceiling. After showing my wife some pictures of darker ceilings and stuff, she was cool with me painting a few walls and the ceiling in that part of the room a dark red color. We both love the way it turned out.

I actually first just painted the wall that the screen was going to be on, but after doing that, as well as more research, I realized that I needed to paint the reflected surfaces dark to get the picture better. So I did my painting in 2 phases.

So what I'm trying to say is, show your wife some pictures of things that have been done well, then maybe she will feel more comfortable with it.

The darker walls makes a HHUUGGEE difference in the picture quality due to light not reflecting all over the room.

Here are my before and after shots of the area I painted.

Before Anything.


Prepped to paint:


After first wall painted:


After everything painted:


And if you have the room, I STRONGLY STRONGLY recommend a projector. It adds a whole new dimension to the movie watching experience at home. It sounds like your wife likes movies too. Mine loves movies as well and she LOVES how everything has turned out.
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-13-2013, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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My basement had bright yellow walls and a white ceiling. After showing my wife some pictures of darker ceilings and stuff, she was cool with me painting a few walls and the ceiling in that part of the room a dark red color. We both love the way it turned out.

I actually first just painted the wall that the screen was going to be on, but after doing that, as well as more research, I realized that I needed to paint the reflected surfaces dark to get the picture better. So I did my painting in 2 phases.

So what I'm trying to say is, show your wife some pictures of things that have been done well, then maybe she will feel more comfortable with it.

The darker walls makes a HHUUGGEE difference in the picture quality due to light not reflecting all over the room.

Here are my before and after shots of the area

And if you have the room, I STRONGLY STRONGLY recommend a projector. It adds a whole new dimension to the movie watching experience at home. It sounds like your wife likes movies too. Mine loves movies as well and she LOVES how everything has turned out.

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Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

Be careful with colors, the dark red can effect the colors on the screen, a neutral gray is better if black is not allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post

Basically, you want a color that will be black when the lights are out. The maroon on my walls turns black once the lights are out, that's why I thew it in the mix. BUt if you KNOW she won't like red, go with one of the other suggestions.

And if I were you, I might paint while she's out of the house.

Well, thanks for the input everyone. Wife is on board with a projector and darkening the screen wall and bumpout wall (not black, but something dark). The ceiling is going to be the trickier item. She doesn't want to paint the ceiling dark, even after showing pictures of the benefits.

I am thinking about painting the whole ceiling a darker shade of white, as dark as she will tolerate, with the bump out part I identified in my picture painting darker like the wall with trying to separate that ceiling line with the rest if the room via a curtain or trim work or something? Any ideas are welcome biggrin.gif. So my next question is, only getting the bump out of the ceiling really dark enough? Is there anything else I could do?

Thanks...
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-14-2013, 07:52 AM
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I am thinking about painting the whole ceiling a darker shade of white, as dark as she will tolerate, with the bump out part I identified in my picture painting darker like the wall with trying to separate that ceiling line with the rest if the room via a curtain or trim work or something?

That's what painter's tape is for. Paint the lighter area first, going just sligthly over the line. Let it COMPLETELTY dry (overnight at least). Run painters tape along the line you want, allowing just a bit of the lighter color to show, then paint the darker color over the tape covering the little bit of lighter color. When you pull the tape, you should have a sharp line. They now have those tapes that seal the edge, so you can try that kind.

You can get the idea from where I had to do that on my soffift.

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post #16 of 16 Old 03-16-2013, 02:21 PM
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Thanks for the input. My wife is a huge fan of gray at the moment. Our kitchen and living room is a lite blue gray, so I might be able to persuade her that a dark gray is a great color.

I will see how she reacts to the ceiling being painted. I have some potential back up ideas brewing....

You can do blue:



I wanted to paint the ceiling dark grey, but the wife refused. (If you look carefully, the recessed lights are silver, which was supposed to "pop" versus the darker grey ceiling; they pop a bit too much agains white.)

Bob
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