Advice wanted: non-tensioned pull down screen 16:9 106" diag. Worried about waviness. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-14-2012, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I am seeking advice on manual pull down screens, both on screen material and make/model. My concerns are waves developing in the fabric and picture quality (obviously).

Unfortunately, a tensioned screen probably isn't worth the upfront cost since I may move in a year and have a totally different setup. For the same reason, an electric screen probably isn't worth the cash outlay right now either. It's my understanding that I'd be spending at least $900 (or much more) to get something properly tensioned. Also, projecting on a fixed screen or wall won't work because of placement of doors and closets in the middle of said walls, etc (the joys of small apartment living).

I've read and searched through a bunch of threads on AVS and have come up with the following info:

a) Da-Lite Model C is better than Model B since the C has a larger diameter roller, so potentially less prone to waves developing
b) CSR feature may also help prevent waves from developing
c) some high power fabrics can help hide waviness of the screen
d) Deluxe Model B tensioning is not good and can cause problems

I currently use a 1.8 grey glass beaded screen and it's horrible. The problems are that it's way too dark, color accuracy is extremely poor and it has developed pretty noticeable waving. My plan was to just get matte white or a low gain high contrast white but if another material can substantially hide waviness, I might consider it as well.

My setup is for a 106" diagonal, 16:9 screen, which hangs 3" from the wall using L brackets. I have a Panasonic AE-4000U projector, mounted directly above the seating area. The throw and seating distance are both 11 feet. The projector is mounted at about the same height as the top edge of the screen. While sitting, my eyes are just above being level with the bottom of the screen. The room is not a dedicated home theater room and has white walls.

So my questions:

a) can anyone recommend a better manual non-tensioned pull-down screen than the Da-Lite Model C CSR? Would I be better with a Draper or something else?
b) which specific brands/models of material hide waviness?

Size of the casing is also important too since it hangs from L-brackets in a fairly cramped area underneath a structural beam and above a door way.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-14-2012, 09:22 PM
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if you projector is set up just over your head, get the Dalite with the HP fabric, due to the retroreflective properites if it does wrinkle you do not see it in the image.. do some searches on HP screen for more accolades
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-16-2012, 11:13 AM
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I second the 2.4 gain Da-lite HP suggestion. The model B should be fine, and the case is small. Plus, I believe the backing is fiberglass reinforced so waviness is less prevalent than other choices.

However, with your setup, you may not get all the performance out of the HP screen.

Your other choice could be a model C regular 'ol matte white Da-lite screen. It will be uniform brightness pretty much wherever you sit, and the beefy model C should help eliminate any waves.

It sounds your screen viewing area sits is mostly above eye level. The Da-lite screens can be ordered with a "drop", which is extra black material above the screen viewing area. So you end up with roughly 2" black borders on the sides and bottom, and about 12-14" on top. This lets you pull the screen down further so it is closer to eye level. For instance, both of my last two screens have been ordered with a 12" drop.

I have a regular 'ol model B 106" HP (2.4 gain), and it is FLAT. It is also a nice improvement from my previous 106" model B High Contrast Matte White screen.

Sent you a PM regarding the screen...

Dan
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-19-2012, 03:38 PM
 
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Your projector and screen are a little high for good brightness from a High Power screen. If you can lower the screen so the center is at eye level and also lower the projector a few feet, it will pay off dramatically. Since you already have a retroreflective grey screen, and if it isn't bright enough, then a 2.4 screen will be marginally better. (Any glass beaded screen will be retroreflective--light hits the screen and reflects back to the source). I have a 159" High Power and the center of my screen is a hair above my head. My projector is about 2 feet over my head. The best image is when I stand up, but sitting is still okay and I also use the screen for 3D from my Optoma HD3300, so I know a 106" screen can perform well in the right conditions. And this material is excellent with no waviness--I have a Model C.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-20-2012, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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First, thank you for the replies so far.

I was able to pick up a Model B with High Power fabric locally and with a return policy, just in case it doesn't work out for me. So far I'm not so sure I'm happy with it. That said, it is miles better than my old screen (an Optoma GrayWolf II by the way) so at least I've moved in the right direction.

The problem now is too much brightness, even with my AE-4000U set to Cinema 1 mode, Lamp Eco urned on, and with 700+ hours on the bulb already. If I get a new bulb, I'm pretty sure the image would be way too bright.

I knew 2.4 gain was more than I wanted, particularly for such a short throw distance of 125" and screen size of 106". However, I was hoping the narrow viewing cone, the retroreflective nature of the material, increasing the viewing area from 92" to 106", and the significant height difference between my eyes and projector would all help drop down the brightness from my viewing area to a more reasonable level and I'd get the benefit of no waviness. In practice, the brightness drop is noticeable from standing to sitting on the couch, but it's just not enough. Unfortunately, the projector is already as high as it can go on the wall shelves and I'm not about to sit on the floor. smile.gif

The other negative side effect I'm getting is significantly more light spillage, causing black levels to now be a noticeable gray shade. This was of course partly inevitable going from an extremely dark gray 92" screen to a white 106" screen, particularly since my walls and low ceiling are also painted white (and not subject to change sadly). However, I've certainly overshot on the brightness mark so perhaps my setup would be better served by a lower gain screen material, which would solve both my abundance of brightness issue and lower black levels back down.

So at this point, I'm considering getting returning the High Power for another 106" Model B with High Contrast Matte White instead. I could also just get plain Matte White. Unfortunately, I've read here on the forums that the material will show waves and I might even have waves with a brand new screen. The only other option I've seen recommended here is to use a neutral density filter in front of the projector to reduce the brightness but I have a negative (though admittedly unexperienced) gut reaction to that approach.

Lastly, to quickly address a couple points made in the replies:

a) I would have gotten a Model C but there isn't room to mount it unfortunately
b) I also can't pull down the screen any further in my setup as it would go behind radiators and furniture. So there's no need to get any additional drop material on the top off the screen for this setup.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-20-2012, 01:32 PM
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Too much brightness? Absurd! smile.gif There is no such thing. wink.gif Boy have we come a long ways from the days of "dim" CRT projectors.

Well, I guess you did span from one side of the screen spectrum to the other. LOW gain to very HIGH gain.

Coming from a 106" model B High Contrast Matte White screen myself, I can say that it is a very nice screen. You may get a minor wave or two with a model B 106". Mine had one or two minor waves develop over the course of 4 years, but they never bothered anyone (including me, and I'm picky) With my LONG throw, the screen was just a tad too dark for me. The HP screen definately fixed that. My measurements put the HCMW at about a 0.9 gain (even though Da-lite claims 1.1). It is light grey versus white. You would probably think it was white, unless you actually hold a white screen material up against it for comparison.

Dan
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-23-2012, 01:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctm3 View Post

The problem now is too much brightness, even with my AE-4000U set to Cinema 1 mode, Lamp Eco urned on, and with 700+ hours on the bulb already. .

Hmmm. Can you turn down the brightness and contrast, or gamma? Backing off contrast and brightness should take it down to reasonable brightness--or just get a neutral filter to put over the lens. That will also perk up you black levels.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-23-2012, 02:43 PM
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Keep the screen, at 1700 hours you might want the extra light. Right now with your current set up you have a utility gain of 1. Look into an ND filter, when the lamp ages you remove the filter and keep going.. when it get dimmer you move the projector to take advantage of the gain.. You also may went to have your projector calibrated..
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-25-2012, 10:04 AM
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yeah, if you projector is set up just over your head, get the Dalite with the HP fabric, due to the retroreflective properites if it does wrinkle you do not see it in the image.good info to me, thanks for your sharing. 1.gif
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-25-2012, 10:41 PM
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hi guy,

i have acer h9500BD projector and wanted to know any recommend nd filter that is cheap and good also what size i needed?as have da lite 2.4 hp screen which currently is too bright for me when viewing 2d movie.....Thanks
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post #11 of 12 Old 12-12-2012, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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As followup, I received a 106" high contrast matte white Model B a couple days ago. My initial impressions are that the image does look better for my setup, though I still need to recalibrate my projector for the new screen (since it's still on the settings I was using for the High Power fabric).

However, the high contrast matte white screen has two large diagonal waves in it fresh from the factory. They make a sort of V shape and run from top to bottom. They aren't so visible during horizontal pans and even the High Power showed some slight wave distortion during horizontal pans. But, the waves are noticeable when the image is uniformly colored over that area, particularly if it's a bright color or white. In this case, the waves shows up as a slightly darker long diagonal slender blob on the screen.

I've left the screen to hang for a day or two and the waves are still there.

I'm debating what to do now. One option is to return the screen for another copy.
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post #12 of 12 Old 01-01-2013, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I returned the high contrast matte white screen for a new due to the very pronounced waves. I recently received my second copy of the 106" High Contrast Matte White Model B and indeed, it is much flatter. Even without the projector turned on, waviness is apparent in the screen material. That said, it is MUCH better than the first HCMW screen. I could return it again for another copy. How flat should these screens be out of the box? I have read here that another person had to go through three copies of the screen to get a good one. Any thoughts on what I should do?

The first screen I had was so bad it was practically useless. I could perhaps live with the second screen; even though the waves are fairly obvious if you look for them, they are much more easily ignored while watching content.

Both screens physically are not as flat as the high power screen I tried. I still have that screen too as I have a very long return window on it.

Anyway, I'd love to hear from other people here who have gone through something similar trying to get a decently flat Model B and what they might recommend.

Best and happy new year!
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