Need help with screen material selection - white vs grey - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-04-2009, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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All,

I'm looking for some help with screen material selection.

I've just purchased my first projector, a Panasonic PT-AE4000, and am looking for a screen.

My environment is as follows;

- fully light controlled
- walls/ceiling/floor are a dark palette (dedicated room)
- because of a width restriction and me wanting to go scope, my screen will be roughly 103 diagonal @ 2.35:1
- room is roughly 11'6 by 16' by 9' tall
- projector will be ceiling mounted

I'm getting confused in my reading and in talking to some local dealers. The dealers all recommend a high contrast grey screen but given my environment, I've read that matte white is probably better suited. I've read some material from ~2004-2005 era that suggests high contrast grey is the better option to help the projector with contrast/black levels, however, then I wonder if that's because back in that time period, LCD projectors were not as good as they are today in things like black level/contrast, etc. Maybe the dealers I'm speaking with haven't taken the time to update their knowledge base on today's higher contrast projectors?

I saw the Panny 4k on a matte white screen at the dealer I bought from and black levels were impressive to me so I don't know if I need it better, but maybe if I saw it better, I'd like it? But at what cost to other attributes of image quality?

I'm considering Draper right now but haven't read great things about their high contrast grey screen (hot spotting and colour uniformity not being that great). Their M1300 material seems to get better reviews.

Looking forward to any help/information you can provide. If you've got a Panny projector, that would be even better, as we'll have a closer comparison from a projector/screen point of view.

Cheers,
HTfanatic
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-04-2009, 11:01 AM
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I'd say white all the way, but probably a low gain, like 1.3ish. Are you going fixed or retractable?
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-04-2009, 11:43 AM
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Your room sounds perfect for white, your projector sounds perfect for white also. The only question left would be will you sometimes desire some controlled ambient light, in the form of task lighting etc. If the room is a dedicated home theater the lights will drop to almost nothing before the show starts, then defiantly white. If the room is a mixed media room (think sports bar) or (living room) where some of the people may be doing other things than watching the screen. Then depending on how much light and where it's coming from and aimed at you may see benefits from gray. In fact you may consider a whole different set of calibration settings to include the ambient.

I wanted a dual purpose room like this and gray showed a big improvement over white and still preformed great when I go lights out from time to time.

It's the reason I like to save the screen to last and then test samples.

Just my 2 cents.


Bud

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post #4 of 4 Old 12-04-2009, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback.

Jason - I’m going fixed frame.

Bud – the room will be used only for movies; there won’t be an attached bar or sitting area, so lighting during the movie will likely consist of dimmed floor lighting only, maybe dimmed sconces on the walls, but ambient will be very low, if anything.


I gotta say, I’m starting to consider Carada as an alternate to Draper. I can probably get an equivalent Carada for just under what a Draper will cost me (after shipping to Canada). I hate to ambush my own thread…but I’m curious to hear people’s feedback on Carada screens.

The reason I initially got hesitant about Carada was because of this review; http://www.projectorcentral.com/cara...or_screens.htm , stating that the screen reflected only 65% of the light that hits it (although I don’t know what this means in the grand scheme of things, I just perceived it as not as desirable as one that reflects more light) and, that its color accuracy is not that great.

I’ve also read about a lot of happy customers using Carada screens, speaking that they revival the performance of Stewart…is the review perhaps too critical of the above mentioned elements? Was the testing flawed?

Cheers,
HTfanatic
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