Anybody ever find your first screen choice was incorrect? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-26-2014, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Anybody ever find your first screen choice was incorrect?

I am a few weeks away from wrapping up my theater area and pulling the trigger on a PJ and screen. I'm pretty confident with my projector choice, the EPSON 6030ub, but the screen is causing me some major anxiety.

My room is sort of an open concept, with a bar behind the seating area that we'll be able to sit at and look through to the screen. All the lighting is controllable via a Grafik-Eye 3106, and I have one window that will be blacked out with Blackout-EZ covering. The room is chocolate brown with a dark chocolate syrup colored ceiling. (Check out my build thread in my signature below for more details).

I plan to use the room for movies (some 3D), sports/TV, and gaming, so I need the screen to be very versatile for a variety of situations (I realize that PJs and screens are more focused in their capabilities unfortunately).

My budget for a screen is about $1000, and I'm zeroing in on a VuTec VuEasy, Dragonfly, or Screen Innovations Performance, but all the different gains and viewing angles, and colors are throwing me for a loop. I can't tell if I need gain less than one and gray surface for better ambient light rejection and deeper blacks, or a bright white screen for poppy colors and 3D.

My questions are, what would your recommendation be for my screen specifications?

Also, how often do people choose a screen, get it up and watch for awhile, and then realize, "This isn't right?"

Thanks for your help - Schlemstar
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-26-2014, 10:16 AM
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Get samples of the fabrics, tape them to the wall and see what you like best.
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-26-2014, 12:29 PM
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I have a more limited use case but would recommend getting samples for sure! It sounds like you will have to compromise on something so its going to depend on what is most important to your situation. For me its more about film 2d and 3d so it was more about matching the screen to the PJ for just movie watching in a dark room. I have the Epson 5020UB and it has plenty of light power so you should be in a good position for those use cases as far as having the power in the PJ. I started with a Da-lite with a Cinema Vision 1.3 gain and it was great with my first projector but the power in the 5020UB was a little too much for a fully light controlled room and gave some sparkle effects in very bright scenes...nothing that was really bad but noticeable over my old projector. Will you be using an AT screen or not? I'm in the middle of replacing my screen with a Falcon Screens AT screen as I wanted to go bigger which forced me to put speakers behind the screen, the Falcon has been getting great reviews and it compatible with 4k so is a little future proof :-)
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-26-2014, 01:18 PM
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You seem to be advanced in your thinking and selection choices. From reading your build I doubt if you will be in the category of "This isn't right." I used the following as my guide: http://www.projectorpeople.com/screens/screen-guide.asp

I did not access the AVS forum with any regularity at the time so I stumbled across a decent budget screen. The most consistent afterthought I've seen posted about screens is the next size up would have been the better choice. I have seen a couple of posters say retrospectively that their screen size is too large for their room.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-26-2014, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettmr View Post
I have a more limited use case but would recommend getting samples for sure! It sounds like you will have to compromise on something so its going to depend on what is most important to your situation. For me its more about film 2d and 3d so it was more about matching the screen to the PJ for just movie watching in a dark room. I have the Epson 5020UB and it has plenty of light power so you should be in a good position for those use cases as far as having the power in the PJ. I started with a Da-lite with a Cinema Vision 1.3 gain and it was great with my first projector but the power in the 5020UB was a little too much for a fully light controlled room and gave some sparkle effects in very bright scenes...nothing that was really bad but noticeable over my old projector. Will you be using an AT screen or not? I'm in the middle of replacing my screen with a Falcon Screens AT screen as I wanted to go bigger which forced me to put speakers behind the screen, the Falcon has been getting great reviews and it compatible with 4k so is a little future proof :-)
Barrettmr, I will not be using an AT screen. I didn't want to lose any more distance to my first row which will be at 9 or 10 feet. Good to hear that the Epson is so bright and that maybe a screen gain around 1 or even a bit lower would be alright.

Willmo, thanks for the link, I will check that out.
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-26-2014, 06:10 PM
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hang your projector and shine it on the wall before settling on a screen size.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-26-2014, 07:40 PM
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Yes. Ordered a Stewart Grayhawk years back and it was too dim. Called Stewart to complain and they shipped out a white screen at no charge.
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-27-2014, 03:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
hang your projector and shine it on the wall before settling on a screen size.
Big, I agree that would be the best way to go, but I'm going to be buying the projector and screen from a local home theater installer. I'm going to have them install both (which feels wrong, but if I have problems then I have somewhere to go for help) but maybe we'd be able to get the projector first and then decide on a screen.

Screen size is going to be 110" 16:9 based on a few factors: My equipment and center channel are going to be below the screen, so that limits the height. The first row of seats will be around 9 or 10 feet and I don't want that row to feel overwhelmed by the screen size, but yet I want it to be as big as possible because we will be able to view it through the bar, which is a distance of about 26 feet. Obviously the bar seats will not be optimal anyway because the surround speakers are forward of the bar, but again I'm trying to balance things as much as I can to make the room very functional for entertaining.

When you do a theater, do you always hang the projector first and then decide on the screen, or do you have any rules-of-thumb that you use to decide what screen material to go with?
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-27-2014, 03:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post
Yes. Ordered a Stewart Grayhawk years back and it was too dim. Called Stewart to complain and they shipped out a white screen at no charge.
Wow, that's really great customer service! I aspire to a Stewart...maybe for my second screen someday...
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-27-2014, 05:49 AM
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I didn't realize how much I didn't like my first screen choice until I made my 2nd screen. Now I have to have acoustically transparent screens. Also, my room is very well light controlled so I much prefer a darker (i.e. gray) screen for deeper blacks. Overly bright images didn't really do much for me except hurt my eyes.
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post #11 of 20 Old 06-27-2014, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlemstar View Post
When you do a theater, do you always hang the projector first and then decide on the screen, or do you have any rules-of-thumb that you use to decide what screen material to go with?
No that is for newbies. Rule of thumb: 45 degree field of vision, when in doubt we use the blue tape on the wall exercise.

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post #12 of 20 Old 07-01-2014, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
No that is for newbies. Rule of thumb: 45 degree field of vision, when in doubt we use the blue tape on the wall exercise.

Yes, but how do you decide on material? White or Gray? Gain?
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-01-2014, 10:52 AM
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As to gain of the screen it depends on ambient light and your PJ. If you want to watch with any real level of ambient light you'll want a higher gain screen and higher light output PJ.

Color of the screen white vs gray comes down to ambient light and the black level you desire. With ambient light I'd opt for a light gray screen to save some of the black detail. Really just depends on what the main use will be.

This is factoring in your screen budget. I believe there are some higher end screens that will perform better but then they should for the price.

I currently sit at 9' from a 120" 2.35:1 screen which should make 1.78:1 about 96"; I could go a tad larger for 1.78:1 if I had the room and be OK, 110" might be a bit large but then everyone's tastes vary. Not that you are planning to but 120" widescreen is as wide as I'd want to go at 9'-10' seating.

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post #14 of 20 Old 07-02-2014, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I can still be swayed, but here's where I'm leaning today:

I can control the light in the theater area separately from the bar area (via the 6-zone Grafik eye), so whenever I'm watching anything, that area should be able to be pretty dark. I think I might go with a white screen - no more than 1.3 gain, ideally 1.0 or 1.1, then run the projector in eco mode so I can extend bulb life, and if it needs to be brighter for 3D, then I can adjust that with the PJ.

If I went gray screen - I could keep more lights on in the theater area, but I don't really care to do that too much. I may have deeper blacks, but 3D brightness would suffer and maybe even off-axis viewing. I may also need to run the PJ in its brighter mode, reducing bulb life.

So...I'm leaning toward white. Thoughts? Has anybody ever changed from one material to another, and if so what were the circumstances?
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-02-2014, 10:47 AM
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I started with a Stewart Firehawk grey screen. And for HT2.0 I went with a change in format, from 16:9 to 2.35:1. I changed to an acoustically transparent screen (SMX woven material). I also went to white. I couldn't be happier. The grey screen seemed to suck the life out of some of colors.
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-02-2014, 11:50 AM
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There is a noticeable darkening if you go with gray so you will need higher light output to compensate. I have a DIY White over gray screen which is darker than pure white but not by much. I changed the PJ settings for higher lumen output while remaining in Eco mode when I switched screens for my rebuild. I don't like a really bright image in a totally dark room anyway.

From what you have said about light control I'd go with a white near 1.0 gain screen.

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post #17 of 20 Old 07-02-2014, 01:49 PM
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I built the largest screen I could height wise 65" and widest screen Iwould dare 126" which comes to around 2.0:1 out of Seymour Center Stage XDwhich is acoustically transparent. They also make regular non AT screens. Thenyou have center speaker placement which will limit your height.



2.0:1 is the best of both worlds you do not have to scrimp on either 16x9 or2.40:1 format if you build a 16x9 screen then all of your movies are small and from 26 feet that would be an issue. Same if you built a 16x9 screen than broad cast TV would be small from 26 feet. build the screen as high as you want and as wide as you want win win on both formats. Mine cost less than $600 to build check my signature.
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-02-2014, 03:13 PM
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My first screen (Stewart) was to be used with a Sony 1251 CRT projector. Instead of the 8 feet wide screen that Joe Kain was recommending, the dealer who I bought it from suggested 13 feet wide. A dim picture does not come close to describing the quality of the image.

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post #19 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw5billwade View Post
2.0:1 is the best of both worlds you do not have to scrimp on either 16x9 or2.40:1
I've done 16:9, 2.35:1, a-lens, zoomer, grey, silver, and white. I feel like GoldiLocks. Hoping 2.0:1 will be just right.

A-lens has pros & cons, but with lens memory trickling down to lower priced projectors & 4k there is less need for them now. I didn't like the Stewart gray screens because of the sparkles. The Vutec SilverStar also had sparkles and hot spotted... that was blind AVS bandwagon buy. The DaLite HP 2.8 was pretty good under the right conditions, but it's not available as an AT screen. I'm thinking Stewart 1.0 white 2.0:1 AT screen, or give the Seymour weave a try next.

But to answer OP's question, yes, I think people go through a number of screens. Too small, too big, not AT, screen texture bothers them, need more gain, want less gain because they don't like the trade offs that came with high gain, aspect ratio envy (grass is greener), want masking, don't want masking, curved screen vs not. As you upgrade other components in your room, your needs from a screen may change as well.

 

 

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post #20 of 20 Old 07-03-2014, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schlemstar View Post
I can still be swayed, but here's where I'm leaning today:

I can control the light in the theater area separately from the bar area (via the 6-zone Grafik eye), so whenever I'm watching anything, that area should be able to be pretty dark. I think I might go with a white screen - no more than 1.3 gain, ideally 1.0 or 1.1, then run the projector in eco mode so I can extend bulb life, and if it needs to be brighter for 3D, then I can adjust that with the PJ.

If I went gray screen - I could keep more lights on in the theater area, but I don't really care to do that too much. I may have deeper blacks, but 3D brightness would suffer and maybe even off-axis viewing. I may also need to run the PJ in its brighter mode, reducing bulb life.

So...I'm leaning toward white. Thoughts? Has anybody ever changed from one material to another, and if so what were the circumstances?
Like many have said it really boils down to personal taste, some people have grey screens is a totally light controlled room for example. From what you have explained I would lean toward the white screen with a 1.0 or 1.1 gain if you are sticking with the Epson. It will automatically switch to high power for 3D so all you would do is select which 'mode' you want. In a light controlled room the THX setting works well, if you have light in the room you could try the other settings but the blacks will suffer a little if you have too much light, for sports, tv, etc. that wouldn't be an issue for me... If you do get the PJ first you could get some screen samples, if you have an installer doing the work they should be able to get that for you?? Hope that helps :-)
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