How to Pick a Screen? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-05-2009, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi All,

I'm planning on purchasing the new Optoma HD20 in the near future, but want to wait until end of Sep to see if any other 1080p projectors come out around that same price-point. However, I'm having a hard time figuring out what to look for in a screen and was hoping for some guidance.

My room is roughly 12x15 (8ft ceilings) and I am thinking of going with a screen somewhere around 100" diag. I'm planning on testing that size out on the wall to make sure I like the size before purchasing the screen.

The room has no windows / full light control. I'll be painting the room/ceiling soon, planning on a darker color (dark brown is the leading candidate for paint atm).

This room will be used for movies, video-gaming, and some sports viewing. Since the room isn't used for anything else I'm planning on a permanent screen.

Lastly, I need to do this on a bit of a budget. So with all this in mind, what sort of screen should I be looking at? I'm pretty new to this, and not even sure where to start. Does the projector dictate white or grey screen, room color, etc? Just hoping for any info, links, specific suggestions, etc etc. Thanks all

EDIT: Did some more investigating, and I'm wondering if a gray screen would be better for me (assuming I stick with the HD20). Based on Balagee's review, "with black levels not so good" (in the uner $3000 forum) with this projector it sounds like gray screen will help with that? Am I correct in thinking this?
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-06-2009, 01:15 PM
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A gray screen would probably work well with the HD20. I think we need to see some actual reviews with real numbers on lumens and contrast to match up a screen recommendation.

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post #3 of 10 Old 08-06-2009, 02:32 PM
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I am in the same boat as you. I'll be getting my HD20 in about a week and I'm just finishing my theater paint. Seems like the projector should be bright enough based upon the review for a gray. And craig I rock climb also and it is good times!
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-06-2009, 03:00 PM
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+1 in the boat, but I actually got the pj (HD200x, Canadian version.)

Craig Peer, this post might have some information concerning the real numbers : http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post16948041
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-06-2009, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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If you guys find a screen that goes well with the HD20 (or it's Canada counterpart HD200x) please let me know. I don't think I have many places to go and see this projector running on a variety of different screens so looking for any user recommendations I can get.

Thanks again!
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-07-2009, 08:49 AM
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wc97: With your dark room the main difference between a gray screen and a white screen will be that the picture on the gray will be dimmer than the picture on the white. The contrast ratio will be the same on both screens. A dimmer picture means both a dimmer white level and a dimmer black level. What is important is the right balance between white level and black level--in other words, what looks best to you.

If I were you, I would get a white screen. Why throw away brightness? You can always make a projector dimmer (by using the best color mode, switching to eco mode, adding an ND filter, etc.), but you can't make it brighter if it's too dim for your taste.

As to fixed frame screens, I think Carada offers good bang for the buck. They sell internet direct at carada.com. Elite also offers fixed frame screens of lesser quality, IMO, at a lower price.

One other point worth mentioning is that the HD20 has fairly tight placement requirements. With a 100" screen, the len's front needs to be between 131" and 157" from the screen, and the len's center needs to be exactly 6.4" above (or below) the screen's viewing area. (These numbers are based on preliminary information.) I don't think that will be a problem in your room, but I want to make you aware of it. Also, if you are sensitive to RBE, you probably ought to spend some time with this PJ before committing. (I say this not from any experience with the HD20, but from the knowledge that some people are sensitive to RBE in single chip DLP projectors.)
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-07-2009, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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FLBoy - Thanks a TON for the info. This was just the sort of answer I was hoping for

Unfortunately, I'm not sure where to go to see this projector in action. According to the HD20 thread in the Under $3k forum Best Buy will start selling it in early September, but I'm not so sure they will have one set up that I can view. The only other Home Theater store that I can find near me doesn't sell Optoma anymore.

Again, thanks for the information!
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-07-2009, 12:39 PM
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You're welcome, wc97. Always happy to help new folk taking up this great hobby.

If you're not sure whether you are sensitive to rainbow effect, or what to look for, there's a brief description here. You can probably go to Best Buy and look at some of their DLP rear projector TVs to see if you are sensitive. I can't see it myself, but it really bothers some people.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-12-2009, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Still playing the waiting game until mid to late Sep before I pull the trigger, but have been poking around and saw the package deal on VisualApex, where you get the HD20 with VAPEX9106 screen. Anyone have any idea on that screen? The price sure is attractive for that entire package.

Again, many thanks in advance
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-12-2009, 04:42 PM
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Quote:


With your dark room the main difference between a gray screen and a white screen will be that the picture on the gray will be dimmer than the picture on the white. The contrast ratio will be the same on both screens. A dimmer picture means both a dimmer white level and a dimmer black level. What is important is the right balance between white level and black level--in other words, what looks best to you.

If I were you, I would get a white screen. Why throw away brightness? You can always make a projector dimmer (by using the best color mode, switching to eco mode, adding an ND filter, etc.), but you can't make it brighter if it's too dim for your taste.

This isn't necessarily true with gray screens that have some gain. The HD20 doesn't appear to have very good on / off contrast. A screen like the Da-Lite High Contrast Cinema Vision will help the HD20's black level, and at around 1.1 gain, it will look fairly bright too. I've been using one for 8 or 9 years now with several different projectors.

Craig Peer, AV Science Sales. Direct Line - 585-671-2972
I'm available 8:30am - 4:30pm PST, Monday - Friday Email me at craig@avscience.com
http://shop.avscience.com/
Yes, we sell Home Theater gear right here at AVS !!
JVC, Sony, Epson, DPI, SV Sound, Martin Logan, RBH, Klipsch, and many more!
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