Why doesn't everyone use audio transparent screens? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-14-2013, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm diving into a projector setup for the first time, and am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I just pulled the trigger on a BenQ W1070 given the overwhelmingly positive reviews in the "low cost" category. I'm also wanting to start out with a cost friendly screen (ideally <$500). My questions are really around the use of a standard screen vs audio transparent. From what I've found so far, it seems the best setups have the center channel directly behind the screen, and therefore would need to use an AT screen. As I've thought about my own setup, I've also realized that if I were to use a non-AT screen, I'd ether need to put the center channel way up high, or way down low. This caused me to raise this question:

--If the large size of projector screens will force you to place the center channel way up high or way down low (neither of which is desired), and having the center channel placed directly behind the screen is ideal, why wouldn't everyone use an AT screen? Am I missing something?

Is it simply that non-AT screens have a better picture for the money? Does it come down to trade-offs between picture quality vs. sound quality? Perhaps another way to ask the question is: If money were no object, then would all setups use AT screens with the center channel behind the screen?

I wouldn't consider myself an audiophile or videophile, but I probably value the sound quality a bit more than picture quality. And as I said, I'm looking at the lower end of the cost spectrum for a projector screen. So far, the one that I'm being drawn to is this one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00934CQ1K/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I'm looking at the 100" size, though I'm actually concerned it might be too big, given that I have a slanted ceiling and would be forced to hang it fairly low. How low is too low for a 100" screen? The viewing distance would be roughly 13' (front row), with the projector also back about 13'. I will also have a back row with stadium seating. The ceiling height is about 8'7", and the room width is 13'.

I'd love to hear some thoughts and advice from the experts!
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post #2 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 12:02 AM
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The answer to your question could fill pages. Best advice is to do lots of screen research. Most of the non AT screens offer major other benefits (high gain or great viewing with high ambient lighting). Most AT screens are low gain (shouldn't be an issue with 100" screen size). What will your viewing distance be? You might be able to see the AT screen weave unless you go 4k material or microperf (both are $$$$). Have you read the DIY screen section. Many people get very good results with home made spandex DIY screens.
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post #3 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 12:04 AM
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Not to add fuel to the fire; but with your ceiling height and room width, you might want to research 2.35 or CIH screens.
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post #4 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 01:36 PM
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The answer to your question could fill pages

Isn't that the truth!! Having to mount the center high or low can be a compromise audio wise. IMO, acoustically transparent screens can compromise the picture somewhat. You sort of need to decided which compromises you can and can't live with, and build accordingly. There is no one correct / perfect solution for every theater.

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post #5 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 10:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies so far. I did do some research on the 2.35 screens today, though I also realized that the projector I purchased (BenQ W1070) is 16:9, so I guess I don't have that option anyway.....unless I went with another projector. I also thought I should share a few other details about my room which I failed to mention previously. Although the ceiling height where my projector will be is around 8'7", because my ceiling is slanted towards the edge of the room where the screen will be, the screen will actually be hung lower (top of screen closer to 7'). Also, I have no windows so will have complete light control. Here is a pic. Ignore the furniture and toys....they will be gone once I get my setup ready to go. From the pic, any recommendations on where/how to hang the screen? The previous owner of this home had his hung a little more than half way down on the slanted part of the ceiling. If you enlarge the picture and look close, you can see a small hole on the right side where the screen was hung.
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-15-2013, 10:45 PM
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What is dimensions of room? What does the wall opposite the door look like? Can you raise the screen if it is narrow enough to fit between angled portion of ceiling? Many people feel comfortable sitting at 1 x screen width so 100" screen shouldn't feel too big if you are 13' back.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 07:28 AM
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Haha I'm in the process of doing a 10x14 room sitting 11' back with the same projector. I was going with an audio trans. From Jamestown but 120" I'm gonna fill the whole 10' wall with screen and Mount speakers to the back wall behind the screen the screen round $550
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post #8 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 04:49 PM
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This is what THX recommends regarding screen size and height, all in respect to the viewer's distance and viewing angle:

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/hdtv-set-up/

Since the inclination of the higher portion of the wall will force you to hang the screen closer to the viewer's seat, I recommend you to analyze your options according to THX, and make the choice you consider to be the best.

Regarding the AT dilemma, I think it would be wise to go and compare the picture quality between the them at local HT stores, so you are sure that you are fine with the picture quality before you spend your money.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-22-2013, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses so far. I chatted with someone from Elite today, and they were kind of steering me away for the AT screens. Not sure if it was just this guy's personal opinion, but he suggested getting their 84" standard screen, and hanging it as high as I can in my room, and placing the center channel below. If I do that, the center channel still feels to me like it would be too low. According to my measurements, the top of the speaker would be a little over 2 ft off the ground. Is that too low or is it okay?

So it seems like I've got two choices:

1. Smaller standard screen (84") with center channel below (top of speaker ~27" from floor)
2. Bigger AT screen (100") positioned lower, with center channel behind.

A possible 3rd choice would be the center channel above, but given the slanted ceiling, I think installation would be too difficult. I'd kind of like to do #2 if I thought the picture would still look good, and if I can confirm the back row would be able to see the bottom of the screen (given the lower height, and bigger screen).
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post #10 of 19 Old 08-22-2013, 10:31 PM
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For what it's worth and I am by no means an expert.....but there is nothing wrong with an AT screen...but..... You have to make sure it has the black backing if it's a motorized screen or a screen that is not boxed in. Any light escaping must be taken care of or else it will bleed back through and wash the image out. So the light to the screen has to be contained and the black backing (at least with Seymour) takes care of this if a sealed (false wall) is not an option.

You must also sit the appropriate distance from the screen to deal with the weave. That distance is different for everyone and will guess 10-12 foot distance would suffice for most.

There is something about having the sound come from where it's supposed to come.....it makes for a pin point accurate sound to visual imaging that was unmistakable and very noticeable when I first set mine up. Now it just seems normal as I have come accustomed to my setup. If you have the front three speakers the same and all at the same height, the seamless fronts disappear into a natural more realistic experience. This of course is just my opinion from my experience.

Bigger is better and with an AT screen you can basically fill your whole wall....if you wanted to. The projector will have no problem filling a 120" plus screen.

Good luck.
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post #11 of 19 Old 08-23-2013, 05:38 AM
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I'm hanging a Seymour fixed 120" from Jamestown screens in front of a dark red wall about 13" away from wall is the light going to reflect back and was out the. Image. I have a bright projector bemq 1070 in a small room
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post #12 of 19 Old 08-23-2013, 09:40 AM
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It might. My buddy bought a screen without the black backing and so much light passed through, lighting the room with the projector light from behind and the image was really washed out. He was a couple of feet from his back wall. He then got a screen with the black backing and it stopped the light leakage and the image was so much better.

If you do get a lot of light issues, maybe call Chris Seymour and he could send you the black backing and install yourself??? not sure how easy/hard it is to do.
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post #13 of 19 Old 08-23-2013, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy11 View Post

Thanks for the responses so far. I chatted with someone from Elite today, and they were kind of steering me away for the AT screens. Not sure if it was just this guy's personal opinion, but he suggested getting their 84" standard screen, and hanging it as high as I can in my room, and placing the center channel below. If I do that, the center channel still feels to me like it would be too low. According to my measurements, the top of the speaker would be a little over 2 ft off the ground. Is that too low or is it okay?

So it seems like I've got two choices:

1. Smaller standard screen (84") with center channel below (top of speaker ~27" from floor)
2. Bigger AT screen (100") positioned lower, with center channel behind.

A possible 3rd choice would be the center channel above, but given the slanted ceiling, I think installation would be too difficult. I'd kind of like to do #2 if I thought the picture would still look good, and if I can confirm the back row would be able to see the bottom of the screen (given the lower height, and bigger screen).

Whoever talked to you at Elite should be fired! If Elite suggests an 84" screen...........well, you might as well go find a Sharp LED 80" TV and call it a day!! rolleyes.gif

First, you don't hang the screen as high as you can.........no more than 10-15 degrees viewing line sight or 30-36 inches above ground is a good number.........

Second, AT is the only way to go................as suggested, audio is an integral part of the movie experience. Having sound coming from two feet above ground will ruin the experience............not to mention SBIR issues placing L/R in the corners of room!!! eek.gifeek.gif

I've found my local and regional B&M's have no clue on what is best for customers ie. size screen, material.......type of speakers needed ect.....................pushing product is the bottom line!! You'll get better advise here at AVS that your local AV store!!!

Before you figure out what size screen you need...........you better figure out what ratio would fit best. Looking at your room............you have options.

BTW..........I sit 12.5" from a 140" wide AT screen and love it! Bigger is better................wink.gif
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post #14 of 19 Old 08-23-2013, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hedi View Post

This is what THX recommends regarding screen size and height, all in respect to the viewer's distance and viewing angle:

http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/hdtv-set-up/

Since the inclination of the higher portion of the wall will force you to hang the screen closer to the viewer's seat, I recommend you to analyze your options according to THX, and make the choice you consider to be the best.

Regarding the AT dilemma, I think it would be wise to go
and compare the picture quality between the them at local HT stores, so you are sure that you are fine with the picture quality before you spend your money.

Sure........that will work....................but the OP needs to be independent!!!!!!!

Break out painters tape and have the OP figure it out himself!!!! What does painter tap cost................$4..........great investment to figure out ratio.......size........distances, viewing angles etc. THX numbers are a starting point only.............

If I listened to THX's numbers..............I'd have a 10' wide screen? rolleyes.gif
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post #15 of 19 Old 08-23-2013, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crabalocker View Post

It might. My buddy bought a screen without the black backing and so much light passed through, lighting the room with the projector light from behind and the image was really washed out. He was a couple of feet from his back wall. He then got a screen with the black backing and it stopped the light leakage and the image was so much better.

If you do get a lot of light issues, maybe call Chris Seymour and he could send you the black backing and install yourself??? not sure how easy/hard it is to do.

What you were seeing was the image reflected off the back wall.....................ie. image wash.

If the rear wall is black and non-reflective.........no need for an additional layer of black AT fabric. I was given the material................and don't use it due to black linacoustic RC lined wall. Losing 1-2 db's on HF wasn't worth it....................no wash out on my screen! Just a 3D like beautiful image...........biggrin.gif
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post #16 of 19 Old 08-23-2013, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

Isn't that the truth!! Having to mount the center high or low can be a compromise audio wise. IMO, acoustically transparent screens can compromise the picture somewhat. You sort of need to decided which compromises you can and can't live with, and build accordingly. There is no one correct / perfect solution for every theater.

Always the argument here............and yes, AT screens compromise picture quality to a MINIMAL degree. smile.gif

On the other hand..............placing the speaker above, below screen is a HUGE audio compromise!! wink.gif
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post #17 of 19 Old 09-02-2013, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I'm getting pretty anxious to pull the trigger on something. I'm got my speakers mounted, but the screen is still the final ingredient needed. I'm leaning towards giving the Elite AcousticPro1080P2 a try. Has anyone had experience with this material and can weigh in? I've found very few reviews on the web, but would really like to get some confirmations before going for it.
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-04-2013, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublewing11 View Post

Always the argument here............and yes, AT screens compromise picture quality to a MINIMAL degree. smile.gif

On the other hand..............placing the speaker above, below screen is a HUGE audio compromise!! wink.gif

I am in the same camp. Like my sound coming from the screen. smile.gif

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post #19 of 19 Old 09-04-2013, 11:56 AM
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Another thing you could look at is running a 9.1 sound system. I have my center speaker below the screen and use the Front Left Height and Front Right Height to pull the sound up to the middle of the screen.
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