Help a noob find the right screen please! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-11-2012, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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As a first time projector owner, I'm in the market for my first screen. I just finished painting the wall that I want to mount the screen on, so I'm ready to get the screen up there!

Here are pics of the area that the screen is going to be:







I'm going to have the screen to the left of that window well in that big open area. I plan to have it about 2 feet or so away from the right side wall. I'm looking at either a 120" or 126" screen most likely. I also need to understand how close to the ceiling a screen can go before it can have a negative effect before I make this decision.

In that third picture there, you can see that there is a ceiling drop (I think it's duct work) so I plan on putting a ceiling mount behind it with a pole, and mounting the projector so it's JUST under that duct work portion of the ceiling. It is going to be about 15.5' feet back from the wall there. The sitting area is going to be basically right infront of where you see the projector sitting right now infront of that pole.

I plan on mostly using it with the lights off in that room. Since it's in the basement it can be pitch black if I want it to be. However there is a possibility when I am watching football or sports, that I will be getting up to go to the bathroom or getting more beer or something, and I MAY possibly have the rear lights on but dimmed down as low as possible. But in general, the ambient light isn't really an issue.

As far as what I like, I definitely do like a nice bright clear picture.

I have seen screens range from like $150 to $4k, so I know there is a huge range however I just don't know what exactly most of the differences are. I was hoping to spend around $300 - $400 on one of that size, but if that is unrealistic then please let me know.

I want a 16:9 screen that is going to be stationary. I also do kind of like the black velvet bezel look that is around most screens, so that is not an issue for me. I did see a black diamond screen in the store yesterday, and while it's cool, I'm definitely not looking for something like that.

So please leave me some suggestions, thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-11-2012, 08:31 PM
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You will do more for your end result by painting the walls and ceiling the same color or darker as the back wall with in 5' of the screen. Without doing that, your image is going to be washed out lights on or off. You are putting up a 120" reflector and shining a very bright light at it.. that reflector (screen) light up the white ceiling and light wall, in turn lighting up the screen and washing out the blacks..

Also a dark throw rug the full width of the screen on the floor if that is white/tan carpet in the picture.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-11-2012, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input but I'm not sure what that really has to do with the screen that I'm looking for some input on.

My plan is to keep it as it is now paint wise and once I have my stuff up, I will paint as needed. I've been in a home theater that had basically the same setup I have (red wall with screen on it, white ceiling and lighter carpet) and it looked just fine, which is why I didn't choose to paint the ceiling or other walls just yet.

But that is not out of the picture. I just want to get a screen up and see how it looks as it currently is before I make any other decisions. If it's good enough as it currently is, then I'm going to just keep it that way. If there is too much reflection going on and I feel painting again will help, I'll definitely do that as well!

Are the Elite EzFrame Cinewhite screens pretty good ones for a first time projector in a situation like mine? I noticed they don't have a 126" but do have a 120".
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-12-2012, 05:55 AM
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A $400 fixed frame screen is a $400 screen... as you say they go from $100 - 4K.. Did you do a forum search for that model to see if anyone posted about it? The reason for my statement is you can put a $200 and a $2000 screen in a room with a white ceiling and they will both look like crap.. The back wall is the least important for image fidelity. The main reason to paint that wall is to make the screen seem like it is floating.. that wall can not reflect light on the screen.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-12-2012, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

A $400 fixed frame screen is a $400 screen... as you say they go from $100 - 4K.. Did you do a forum search for that model to see if anyone posted about it? The reason for my statement is you can put a $200 and a $2000 screen in a room with a white ceiling and they will both look like crap.. The back wall is the least important for image fidelity. The main reason to paint that wall is to make the screen seem like it is floating.. that wall can not reflect light on the screen.
+1 I painted my walls and ceiling over the weekend for this very reason (dark gray). I think you would benefit PQ wise even you painted your celins the same color as your walls (tan)...darker would help more of course. I'm in the same boat as you trying to decide on what screen to buy. I've decided to start out fairly inexpensive....and upgrade later if need be.
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-12-2012, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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+1 I painted my walls and ceiling over the weekend for this very reason (dark gray). I think you would benefit PQ wise even you painted your celins the same color as your walls (tan)...darker would help more of course. I'm in the same boat as you trying to decide on what screen to buy. I've decided to start out fairly inexpensive....and upgrade later if need be.

Well yup, like I said, I'm going to get the screen first and see how it all looks, and if I feel it is too washed out, I will check into painting the other walls/ceiling in the room. Painting them is definitely not out of the picture or anything, I am just not sure quite yet if that is what I want/need to do, and I think once I see the picture on the screen I will get an idea.

Any screens that you are leaning towards on your search so far?
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-12-2012, 09:23 AM
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I've had my eye on the monoprice screens.....http://www.avsforum.com/t/1315813/new-ranges-of-monoprice-screens-seem-to-be-coming-soon

Here's a 120" from monorpice...$500ish. http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10829&cs_id=1082914&p_id=7956&seq=1&format=2

I've looked at elite and some others....but this is the one I'm thinking to buy...http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10829&cs_id=1082909&p_id=7961&seq=1&format=2. I

ll be pairing what ever screen I decide on with the panny 8000.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-12-2012, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah cool okay thanks. I was checking out the monoprice thread and that multi-format screen kind of intrigues me. I really don't like the monoprice logo right on it, but it is a neat concept.

The shipping is pretty crazy for those screens though, I didn't even think of that when pricing out stuff.

I took a bunch of measurements and stuff tonight and am going to be going with a 120" screen.

I also was thinking of ways to get the side wall darker without painting the whole wall. I was talking to my wife and was thinking about possibly putting a velvet curtain or something along the wall in the corner that we could also put up when need be if we did not want it dangling while not watching a movie. Or possibly painting that whole wall the same red color, although that isn't really ideal right now.

I also may paint the ceiling the same shade of red right up to where the first air duct thing is.

Doing both of those would definitely cover the first 5' from the wall where the screen will be and should help with reflections. I'm going to be getting the screen and checking it out though before I decide on any of those.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-13-2012, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
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This forum is dead!

Any other suggestions?

I really just don't know the difference between the Elite Screens that are 120" around $300 and 120" screens that are like double the price.
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-14-2012, 06:59 AM
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Purbeast....yes, its very tough! Do you have any home theater stores in your area, where you can maybe some different screen types? We have tons of them here in the DFW and I've just about seen them all. The one common theme among the stores is that they all had their own store brand screens, which was made by some other company and these screens looked really good actually.
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post #11 of 15 Old 11-14-2012, 07:23 AM
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A cheap screen is a cheap screen. If you move up to the more expensive manufactures you get a choice of fabrics and gains and better construction The low end screens are a utility gain (gain of 1) white vinyl fabric. The part that may be better or worse is the quality and ease of assembly of the frame. You are not going to fine anyone to tell you what to buy as there isn't anyone who get to try out all the different screen out there. The environment, projector and seating distance all need to be taken into account when you get into the more exotic screen fabrics, as most are made to help correct some aspect of the system.
Do searches on Elite and Carada in the forum and see what you can find.. If $600 is to much to spend, then go for the $300 unit.. the images will most likely be exactly the same..
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post #12 of 15 Old 11-14-2012, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

A cheap screen is a cheap screen. If you move up to the more expensive manufactures you get a choice of fabrics and gains and better construction The low end screens are a utility gain (gain of 1) white vinyl fabric. The part that may be better or worse is the quality and ease of assembly of the frame. You are not going to fine anyone to tell you what to buy as there isn't anyone who get to try out all the different screen out there. The environment, projector and seating distance all need to be taken into account when you get into the more exotic screen fabrics, as most are made to help correct some aspect of the system.
Do searches on Elite and Carada in the forum and see what you can find.. If $600 is to much to spend, then go for the $300 unit.. the images will most likely be exactly the same..

Thank you for that. I think since this is going to be in a pretty controlled environment as far as lights go, that a gain of 1.1 will be enough, correct? Again I just don't know much about all of this and am trying to learn as I go and doing some research.

As far as the other fabrics, is it mainly the choice of fabrics that will change the gain? So if one of the "nicer/better" screens has a 1.1 gain on some other material other than vinyl, will it have a better picture than an Elite screen with a 1.1 gain?

I will do some research on the Carada brand too, thanks!

Another quick question ... if I were to go with an Elite screen, and say down the road I was not happy with the material/gain of the screen and wanted a better one. Would I be able to simply get the better material and use the same frame for the screen? Or will I have to get a whole new frame as well?

Basically, once I have the frame and stuff should I be able to swap out screen fabric with the same frame?
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post #13 of 15 Old 11-14-2012, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Also airscapes, since you mentioned how much darkening the walls/ceiling would help with contrast/reflections, would something like this be sufficient for that?



That is a mockup that a buddy did for me. The white line down the wall would be siding that would match the baseboard.

Would something like that give me pretty much the same effect as this:



And keep in mind, the seating area is going to be infront of that white pole, with the rears of the seats basically being flush against that pole.
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post #14 of 15 Old 11-14-2012, 10:55 AM
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If you were go buy a middle of the road $1000-$2000 Dalite or other major brand manufacture, sure you could swap out one of their fabrics for another of their fabrics that were offered on the frame you chose. With the bottom end that give you no options, I would think not.
Yes, a utility gain would be sufficient. Lets also say, you will have nothing to compare to whatever you buy, so it is going to look great as it is BIG and the projector is new and Bright.
As to the paint, that would fine. It is the first 5' that will reflect back on the screen so you will be good with either mockup.
As to what make a $1500 screen better than a $300 screen.. some but not all items are:
Easy of assembly
Frame quality and rigidness
Width and quality of boarder materiel
Over all style and appearance (it never goes away so it should look nice)
Screen fabric gain
Screen fabric visable texture
screen fabric neutrality (should not push one color more than another)
washable?
... etc.

Here is a link to a professional review of a bunch of fabrics form a few years ago done by a forum member http://accucalhd.com/documents/accucal_front_projection_screen_report.pdf

If you contact the major companies and ask, they will send you packets of screen fabric samples so you can sort of see how they will look in your environment with your projector. These are typically 8x10" so it is hard to see much more than brightness, texture, and if it shows sparkles but that's about it unless have the equipment to measure gain and color neutrality

Hope that helps!
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post #15 of 15 Old 11-14-2012, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Awesome airscapes, thank you for the information.

I think for my first screen I may go with one of the Elite Cinewhite screens and kind of go from there. I've seen quite a few pictures of the Sable and ezFrame screens and other than the frames being different they are identical. And I think the look of either of them is just fine.

It is just weird reading some reviews of these screens and people saying stuff like they should only be used on lower quality projectors. I have a Panasonic 8000 and I would say that is more of a middle of the pack projector.
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