entry level screen suggestions - and grey or white? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-30-2012, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I've read through the forum and found a lot of great information, but I'm have some trouble making a final decision on a ~110" entry level fixed frame screen. My biggest indecision point is around whether to go with a high contrast grey, or a matte white screen.

My projector is a ViewSonic 8200 DLP that's high on brightness (2000 lumens) and sharpness, but isn't known for black levels. I suppose this point alone would favor the grey screen? I plan on doing a fair amount of viewing with the overhead lights dimmed, although I've directed all can lights away from the screen. We'll be having people over to watch soccer and football games, and I'm not going to make everyone sit around in the dark, ha ha. We also prefer to watch tv with some light, even if that means the picture won't be optimal.

Grey screen pros: I've read on here that a grey screen will will absorb ambient light and help with contrast when watching with lights on. Also, in darkness I suppose this screen would give me better blacks for movie time.

Grey screen minuses: I've read coderguys post on grey/white screen contrasts and it makes sense that no screen changes your contrast range, it just shifts that range either darker or brighter. So a grey screen will improve blacks at the expense of whites, I think. Given how bright my projector is this might not be an issue. However I prefer brightness overall to deep blacks, it it means my picture will be dim.

I feel conflicted in my understanding of what screen is best for my situation. Again, I've read grey screens are better for contrast in ambient light, but by definition the low gain dims the overall picture. If brightness in a projector is important when viewing with lights on, shouldn't I want a screen that compliments the brightness of the projector and doesn't absorb light like a grey screen would?

Contenders: Jamestown 110 either in white or grey. Looks like a good solid choice, but I hate the idea of waiting a month for my screen.
Elite sable frame: only comes in white, seems like a popular all-rounder and has good quality for the price
Focupix fixed frame in grey: I've heard mixed reviews but i like that I could get a grey screen soon and not have to wait a month.

anyway, thanks for the help everyone!
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-31-2012, 04:43 AM
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If you insist on leaving lights on, even if dimmed, whether white or gray on your screen, your viewing experience will not be as good as it could be.

I have a gray screen in a hybrid den/theater room. My walls and ceiling are white. I have mirrors in my home bar corner of the room. When you have white walls and a lot of ambient light, gray or silver are supposed to be the right choices,

In an effort to remove even more light, I put swinging doors in the entryway to the kitchen.

What I am trying to emphasize is that I have the best viewing experience when the lights are out, and all other light sources - like sunlight and kitchens - are shut out..

Just a seat of the pants idea, but I would put all lights out, and would block out as much window light as possible. If you sit down in this room midday and you can't see your hands, maybe you could get away with a white screen.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-31-2012, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I hear you on watching tv with ambient light, but it's just the way it's gotta be in some cases. Although it would be pretty funny to make my friends sit around the poker table in absolute blackness just so I can get better blacks and contrast on the screen, lol. I think given that I'm going with a grey screen, I was leaning that way anyway. I'm thinking about getting the Monoprice 106" fixed frame, decent price and it can ship today. thanks!
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-31-2012, 10:48 AM
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Um, before you buy a screen, if you have not already done so, you may want to just use the wall for a while to figure out what size screen you want and if the lights on is really going to work out for you.. 80" LCD may be better suited for lights on viewing with a large drop down screen for lights out...
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-31-2012, 11:42 AM
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If you are using the screen as the atmosphere for poker events, I can understand you needing some lights. Sounds like a selective application. Most here aren't using projectors for, basically, moving colors on the wall.

It's not wrong what you are doing. You may have successful poker events (maybe seat your best opponent player facing into the projector light), but at least turn the lights off when you just want to kick back and see a movie.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-31-2012, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lone Cloud View Post

If you are using the screen as the atmosphere for poker events, I can understand you needing some lights. Sounds like a selective application. Most here aren't using projectors for, basically, moving colors on the wall.
It's not wrong what you are doing. You may have successful poker events (maybe seat your best opponent player facing into the projector light), but at least turn the lights off when you just want to kick back and see a movie.

Yes, definitely. I suppose my room serves a little different purpose than most of the dedicated / semi-dedicated theater rooms you see most often here. It's going in a rec room / man cave / bar that I'm finishing out in my basement. The walls are dark charcoal grey so that should help, but the ceiling is white. Most of the use of the room will be the family and I for movie nights, watching sports, xbox, etc. But I do plan on having football parties, guys night poker, etc in there too. Obviously the latter use case will require some lighting, and I understand the trade-offs picture wise that will be involved. I just want to mitigate them as best as possible. And I'd love having a projector AND an 80" lcd but that definitely is NOT in the budge. Last I looked big panels like that were still around $4000! eek.gif
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-23-2013, 10:45 AM
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I am also building an HT and am having trouble deciding between white and grey screens... please help!

The room I am building doubles as a home office and library. The walls are not only white, they are whiteboard paint, which means high gloss. I can achieve complete light control with strong drapes (as it is in a basement), but I cannot repaint the walls. The ceiling is very high (about 20 feet) and the screen will be hung very low, so I don't think it's worth repainting the ceiling. I am, however, putting in new floors, so if you feel it would make a big difference, I could potentially go with a dark color. The projector is a Mitsubishi HC5 (aka. 9000D). It will be ceiling mounted, about 15 feet from the screen. I will be using the room for movies (typically DVD or streams, with occasional BD) and video games.

The screen manufacturer I am looking at is Elunevision, as they are local and seem like a great value. I am looking at the Titan Tab-Tensioned. The 4K looks great, but the white housing of the Titan suits the rest of the room better and I am working within a budget.

So gentlemen..... which is it? White or grey??

White - http://www.elunevision.com/cinema-white.html
Grey - http://www.elunevision.com/cinema-gray.html

Stretch questions:
- Housing color aside, would the 4K make a large difference in picture quality?
- Is the tab-tensioned worth it over the regular motorized pull-down?

Thanks guys!!
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-23-2013, 01:30 PM
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I have been curious myself over the tab tensioned vs not. I am also in a debate between gray or white.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 07:02 AM
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Most of what I've read on here suggests tab-tensioned screen are necessary especially anything larger than 100" if you want to avoid waves within 1-2 years. Having said that I've also read several accounts of people having non tab-tensioned screens that look great after 5+ years, but that doesn't seem to be the norm. Do a quick search, there are tons of threads discussing this.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-30-2013, 09:18 AM
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I have read the same on tensioned vs non and some reporting not seeing waves after a couple years of use on a non tensioned ones. It really depends on what you end up getting and I have heard of some seems some curve in a tensioned screen.
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post #11 of 11 Old 09-06-2013, 02:15 PM
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I'm finsishing my basement and Ive still got quite a bit of work to do but I've been researching the heck out of projectors and screens. My "media" room will connect to my bar area however they are in seperate rooms for the most part. All lighting is recessed with seperate dimmers so it's highly controlable. Now I do plan to watch sports and have parties for the big game so I do want lights on as well to some point. I'm planning on just using the wall in the beginning to get a feel for the room but I do plan to go balls out and maybe go with a Black Diamond 120 inch screen. I may have to save up a bit but seems to be the best option for this purpose. I may have a local guy come by and give me some advise as I get closer but will see if that will cost me or not. I know those BD screens aren't cheep but they may be worth the investment.
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