Build a New House. Please Help Me Pick a Screen (see pic) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-07-2012, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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In the early process of building a house. I am going to have a very basic theater in the basement. Probably Monoprice in-wall speakers and something like a Epson 8350 projector (or whatever is its equivalent nowadays)

Was considering a motorized recessed screen or motorized screen but unsure of the size. I like what monoprice offers but unsure of the size, white vs gray, etc.

Help me out. Budget for the screen is $1000 or less.

Here are the dimensions of the theatre room. (arrow denotes the AV media closet)

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post #2 of 10 Old 11-08-2012, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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tough room. Anyone?
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post #3 of 10 Old 11-08-2012, 03:49 PM
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Looks like a great place to start! Is there any ambient light? Do you plan on watching HDTV\Sports or mainly movies? Grey screens are usually for ambient light situations...but if it's cave then, you could with a white screen with some gain. I've been looking at the monoprice screens as well....I would check out the monoprice thread also to get some info as well.
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post #4 of 10 Old 11-08-2012, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBoy73 View Post

Looks like a great place to start! Is there any ambient light? Do you plan on watching HDTV\Sports or mainly movies? Grey screens are usually for ambient light situations...but if it's cave then, you could with a white screen with some gain. I've been looking at the monoprice screens as well....I would check out the monoprice thread also to get some info as well.

Thanks for the reply!

No, no ambient light. Its in the basement. I watch mainly movies and sports.

Really looking forward to more opinions. Especially what size screen I should use.
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post #5 of 10 Old 11-20-2012, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-20-2012, 01:55 PM
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I would recommend projecting the image on the wall and playing around with various sizes before you purchase a screen.

Additionally since it is going to be in a dark basement, higher gain is not needed, which is what can make the cost of screens also go up.

I'm a total noob to screens though so I can't really give you any more input really on what to get.

Me personally, I just bought a 120" 16:9 Elite Sable screen that I haven't put together yet. I'm sitting about 13' back from it.
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post #7 of 10 Old 11-23-2012, 03:31 PM
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Visualapex.com have great combo deals. I did their combo of a Epson 8350 with a 120" electric tensioned screen. Their customer service is outstanding. I kinda broke the screen they sent me because I was using one of the features improperly which eventually broke it. They sent me a new screen no questions asked, I didn't even have to send in the old one. Check them out!

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post #8 of 10 Old 11-23-2012, 03:38 PM
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Btw my Epson 8350 looks freaking amazing on the 120" visual apex screen in complete darkness. Avatar is down right unreal, I'm seeing **** in the movies I've never seen before because it is much bigger and still great high definition. Also even with the projector in cinema mode with power saver on still throws a bright image.

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post #9 of 10 Old 11-23-2012, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purbeast View Post

I would recommend projecting the image on the wall and playing around with various sizes before you purchase a screen.
Additionally since it is going to be in a dark basement, higher gain is not needed, which is what can make the cost of screens also go up.
I'm a total noob to screens though so I can't really give you any more input really on what to get.
Me personally, I just bought a 120" 16:9 Elite Sable screen that I haven't put together yet. I'm sitting about 13' back from it.

+1.

Paint the wall white if you can. Shoot your projector at that and see what you like and what size makes sense.

I find it easier to buy the right size screen to fit the projector and it's location- Than it is to change the projector or it's location after you have a screen for it.

Screen should be one of the last things you purchase. Usually many buy a cheap one, then the final one. It's nice to buy your projector and play to decide these things when you can. That's what I did. I actually bought a $20 sheet of white laminate at the Home Depot the first time I got my projector back in 2003. I shot at that just because I wanted to set it up and play around before I bought a screen. It was 8 feet by 4 feet, like a sheet of plywood. Turns out 8 feet was enough to help me narrow down to my current 92" screen back then in 2003. If I did it today I'd do a 110" + for sure. I just didn't have the option back then based on technology and prices.

Some advice,

When I bought mine I wrote to Dalite, Stewart, and a few others and got small screen samples.

They send them free. I stuck them up on the wall and took a look to see what I liked. I shot various images at them and compared them. It's a cool way to learn about gain, and viewing angle, and grey vs white vs silver etc....

I ended up with a 1.3 gain Dalite - but only because it worked best in my limited budget. I think it's a really good high value option.

My favorite and my "best" was the stewart. It was like $1000 more though... so I passed.

The firehawk and greyhawk were both very impressive back then. (it's been some years)

Usually a 1.0 flat white or a 1.3 with black enhancement is a solid choice for DLP I think.
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Thanks for the reply!
No, no ambient light. Its in the basement. I watch mainly movies and sports.
Really looking forward to more opinions. Especially what size screen I should use.

Size is a personal preference. Some thing Bigger is better. Others are just looking for reasonable. Personally I find the size the #1 reason I choose the Projector over the 55" Plasma TV. It's not even as much PQ as it is is PQ quantity. It's more like going to the movies. It's great for movies and sports like your suggesting.

So for size I'd say it's mostly based on your personality, as well as the room and distance from viewing area and the projector



.
Personally,
I wanted 120" but ended up with 92" This was because my room is small and I just didn't have the room to throw larger with the projector I bought first. Also, I didn't have the budget for a projector that would look good on a the bigger screen back then. I have had a DLP projector since 2003. It was a big deal to get 720p when I started. Screen door effect and pixels was an issue too. Today- 1080p is pretty easy and affordable so much of those issues are gone. You can go bigger easier and cheaper than before. Projectors are higher pixel counts and throw more light for a lower price. I don't remember choosing a screen size as much as I was reaching for a larger size when I started. Today, I still have the same size because I have the same basic room layout and already own the screen. I could go- and want to go- Larger with my current new projector but I need a new screen to do that. I have put off buying a bigger screen. Screens are like PSU or case in your HTPC. You probably might use it past one build or mobo/cpu. Your screen will probably out live your electronics- You'll likely replace your projector before you replace your screen.

Here is some basics I went through:


More light is needed the bigger the screen. More light is more $$$ in projector speak. So the projector determines the screen size for sure.
Assuming you can afford a projector to fill any screen size- then you should default to how far away you sit to choose. If you can't afford a high end projector then the lumen output at a theater calibrated level is going to determine what size will look best for your choice in projector. MAX LUMENS is not a good stat. Look at the calibrated or theater mode light output. www.projectorcentral.com is a good source.

Flipside,
At a smaller screen size and the same projector your going to have a much brighter, better, punchier image.
Example:
80" looks better than 100" which looks better than 120" - But this is for a cheap projector.

A good projector can throw proper light for 100"+ and is designed for that. So it might be too bright for 80"

Questions for you:

How far away is the viewing area and the projector?? The throw distance of your projector will also effect your screen size. Certain projectors throw a certain size or range image from a certain distance. This you will need to pay attention with.
Usually it's best not to use ZOOM if possible. Set the projector zoom lenses flat- and position the projector where it's going. Measure and buy the screen then. That's a good plan I think.

Otherwise- You will be moving your projector closer or farther away to achieve your screen size you purchased. Trust me- It's easier to buy the right size projector screen than it is to move or relocate a projector to a screen you already have. Relocating a projector to an unplanned location is not easy once you run wires and stuff. Do it all right the first time and you'll be glad you did.

Note: I deleted the previous because of typos
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-


"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-23-2012, 04:09 PM
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You might find this helpful:
Quote:
Step 1. Screen Type
If choosing a screen for a multi-purpose room, select an electrically operated screen and use in combination with a projector lift. This combination allows for complete concealment of the products when not in use. Dedicated rooms are designed for specific installations that recreate a theater in a home. These rooms often require fixed screen systems that are built directly into the cabinetry or acoustic room treatments.

Step 2. Screen Size
The best performance is achieved by determining the correct size. Ideally, the screen size should occupy a minimum of a 30° field of view for the audience. The rule of thumb is to use a screen height that is approximately one third the distance from the screen to the audience seating. Screen placement should be determined according to the sightlines of the installation. This will allow all members of the audience to see the screen.

Step 3. Screen Size
Select the appropriate format for the application. Common formats and their formulas are as follows:
screen_formats.gif


Step 4. Screen Surface
Many factors must be considered when choosing which screen surface best meets the needs of a custom installation. Seating configuration, projector model and type as well as ambient light are all factors that must be considered. This is why there is such a diverse selection of screen surfaces to meet the needs of different environments

If I was you I would get some samples and start with a FLAT MATTE WHITE sample with Gain: 1.0 and Viewing Angle: 60°.

Then I'd change the gain and the viewing angle and the color and see what you like and what looks good. Silver and Grey offer better black levels. In a perfect theater with no ambient light and black walls, floor, ceiling- a perfectly flat 1.0 white screen with wide view angle is best. But no one has this in their own home.

So it's popular to look at the high contrast variety which uses grey or silver back ground colors to bring down the deep blacks- while using a gain to increase the brightness.

If you do electric- would you want masking to do wider than 16x9 movies ???

Personally I just have a 16X9 screen and don't even notice the black bars on top and bottom much like you 16x9 TV has now. It's less of a factor on a projected image IMO.

I ended up getting this:

High Contrast Cinema Vision
Designed for today's moderate output DLP and LCD projectors, this screen surface is a great choice when video images are the main source of information being projected and where ambient lighting is moderately controlled. With its specially designed gray base surface and a reflective top surface, this screen material is able to provide very good black levels and brilliant white levels. This screen surface provides deep life-like colors and greater detail and sharpness to the image.
Gain: 1.1 Viewing Angle: 50°

I'm sure lots has changed since then though...

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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