Noob with an Epson 3500 in need of a screen - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-05-2016, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Noob with an Epson 3500 in need of a screen

I am committing a cardinal sin of joining a forum by immediately posting two similar threads in two separate forums...for give me!

I am starting to piece together an entry "home theater" that is more mulipurpose/living room than theater.

I have two in ceiling surround speakers installed now, as well as an Epson 3500. I am using awful L, R, and C speakers and sub until I upgrade.

Right now, my immediate need is a screen. Referencing the pic below I am looking at

- 120" fixed to the wall
- seating 13-16' from the screen
- projector about 12' from the screen

I am overwhelmed with options. I have no windows and can essentially control all light, BUT would like the screen to look good in the light shown below (half the cans are on with the lowest setting of the dimmer).

I thought about an AT screen, but am worried I'll see the holes and that I will regret mounting the speakers in the wall vs mounting brackets for bookshelf speakers.

I am not sure if I should get white or grey.

I am not sure if ambient light is an issue or not.

The screen will be used for sports, family movie nights, and some gaming. It is not our primary screen. I will upgrade speakers later.

My budget is about $400, maybe? I have looked at Elite Screens, but am stressing about the above. Any advice?

Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-05-2016, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I forgot to add that the entertainment center and bookshelves are temporary, so the wall is essentially bare, although the cables in the ceiling come out behind the center.

The sectional will also be replaced, but I am very likely to get something similar (larger and with recliners) as opposed to stadium seating. The sectional in the picture is too far to the wall and the audio sweet spot is at the very right edge.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-05-2016, 03:59 PM
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How do you like the image you get now projected on the dark painted wall, the 3500 is a light cannon and can handle a dark screen quite well? Is the wall flat and free of defects. You might want to consider just painting a screen, check out the DIY screen section. A white normal gain screen is out of the question because of the white ceiling, floor and desired lights on. With your budget of $400 it excludes any of the expensive ALR screens like a black diamond.

"Smart enough to know better, to old to care" ------ Dedicated Home Theater, Mitsubishi HC7900DW Projector, 110" 16:9 Jamestown screen with variable power masking for CIW 2.50:1 to 16:9, Denon 1912 AVR, 7.1 with Ohm mains,3 DIY Subs (2 15" (1 ported, 1 sealed and a 12" 4th order bandpass), 1 DIY butt kicker, Custom Built HTPC, 10TB DroboFS NAS
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-05-2016, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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The wall has moderate orange peel...so noticeably textured. I can't see past the texture right nown and it drives me nuts, lol.

So I should look to spend a few hundred more on grey? I suppose it won't look as nice when off...the grey screen, I mean.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-05-2016, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarpNinja View Post
The wall has moderate orange peel...so noticeably textured. I can't see past the texture right nown and it drives me nuts, lol.

So I should look to spend a few hundred more on grey? I suppose it won't look as nice when off...the grey screen, I mean.

Are you going to spend a lot of time watching it when it's off?
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-06-2016, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
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No, but we would be in the back half of the room.

It looks like Silver Ticket has a grey screen under $400. I will look more into that one. Thanks.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-06-2016, 04:26 AM
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With your 2500 lumens and 120” screen size and ability to have no side or top incoming light, you have the right combination for a great neutral gray screen setup without the need for any of the ALR tricks. I personally would go with DIY also as mentioned above and just finish and paint that section of the wall to act as a screen. Even if I was planning on a screen that would go a long way in helping you decide if the screen size is what you want and if a neutral gray screen meets your needs.

Right now your two biggest issues are the white ceiling and the can flood lights. We can see you have little ones and that requires some lights on in the room. You have to at minimum change out those fixtures with something that shields the light from being directed to the screen wall. I would drop the image height also and relocate the equipment to a side wall. Ideally the ceiling should be darker out at least 5 or 6 feet from the wall and with the projector close to the ceiling you may be getting a plume of stray light bouncing off the ceiling from the projector and diluting the image. Ideally use the back lights on a dimmer and leave the front set off.

In my old house I ran a trim strip across the room on the ceiling and painted the ceiling flat black. I didn’t get any complaints about the look but realize some people wouldn’t care for it. In my new house the whole ceiling in the media room is flat black and although there was questions at first about doing such she now loves the relaxing effect it has almost like being outside at night. Those are personal issues though but the change in your PQ will improve more with light control than the most expensive screen could ever provide.


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post #8 of 12 Old 01-06-2016, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Frustratingly, the cans aren't wired front half/back half. I thought maybe it would be easy to rewire so it was (the junction box is in a storage room just right of the picture, but my brother seemed to think it would be complicated to do as such.

I agree with lowering the screen. I also noted before posting the immediate glare on the ceiling at the projector. I am wondering if there is something I should do with the ceiling just off the lense?

Other than the fact the basement was already finished before I could start this project, not having a screen to see what will work or not is stressful. The orange peel texture is strong enough that I can't commit to a mental image of picture quality if it were flat.

I thought about DIY, but have two things keeping me from attempting that. One, I am not handy and the whole flattening/smoothing is scary, and two, It is harder to change should I decide on a different position, etc. The framed screen would give me some wiggle room to make moves and filling drill holes is easier than retexturing.

I came across this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A330XBNPFIPBVL

I am also going to call the electrician about rewiring too.

Last night I did some recon on ways to hide wiring in the event I move the receiver, etc from its current spot. I did find some pics of grey rooms with light grey screens as well as short/longer entertainment centers. If I had to, I could just put the receiver on the floor until I am ready to buy a different entertainment center.

Finally, I moved the sectional for better audio positioning. I am using OLD crappy front speakers for now, and my receiver needs a subwoofer RCA. I only have cable +/- with the my speakers, so I don't have the sub connected. I thought I could get a converter, but it looks like, even if I go +/- to rca, it may not work.

I am trying to be patient with the speakers and focus on the screen, but it is so hard, lol!
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-06-2016, 07:24 AM
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The light plume can be blocked with a piece of black paper or such hung a few inches in front of the lens. At my old house (low ceilings) I had black card tacked to the ceiling for years. Now I fire my projector backwards and reflect off a mirror so front light leakage is not an issue, but that’s a whole different story.

If the lights come to a Jbox in another room and are all joined there that should be a simple job of breaking them up and put on dimmers as you need. changing the bulbs of the back ones from floods to spots should go a long way to getting task lighting off the screen.

What you are seeing as orange peel is more than likely surface sheen of the paint. A screen wants to have a very low sheen paint and most likely your walls are semi-gloss or something other than flat. As to smoothing a wall with joint compound if you even have to is really pretty simple on the DIY scale of 1-10 I would call it a 2 along with rolling flat paint.

My wall is what I call a stealth screen wall and the whole wall is painted the neutral gray. I can zoom larger when I watch scope movies or sometimes smaller it the PQ of the source is bad. I change my height up and down etc. as I like best. What I have found is the gray bars don’t bother us and with a darker screen wall I hardly even notice them.

I do find the equipment lights distracting if they are under the screen though.

My speakers are an assortment similar to what you say you have and I have (2) 12” subs and an old pre HDMI receiver. I take the sub output from the receiver and run it into another amp and old Carver built for some serious loads. That I then run to the subs. I have one of every type cable run directly to the projector and HDMI goes straight to the projector from the BD player. TV runs thru the receiver and I have composite and component going to the projector and also VGA from the laptop. Point is you can work around things and still have great results until you can get newer equipment if you ever feel like spending the money.

I have seen guys buy the screen you posted it’s a light gray so it should help a lot if you don’t want to try the $15 paint method.


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post #10 of 12 Old 01-06-2016, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great post. I will see if I can snap a pick of the orange peel. The texturing is pretty noticeable on the wall, so it isn't a light orange peel.

I will read up more on DIY tonight for sure. I can do some more experimenting on "final" wall placement before doing anything. I do like that a framed screen is easier to manipulate and remove if the time came. Money aside, is there a pro to painting that I am missing over a physical screen?

Thanks for the tip on handling the flare. I am sure I can come up with a fix for that!

I talked to the home builder and he is going to come by to see if there is anything I can easily do to rewire the light switches. They are all on dimmers, but they are controlled by row not by room sections.
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-06-2016, 09:28 AM
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I would say in my case the biggest advantage to painting a screen was cost and flexibility. I watch a lot of 4:3 movies and a lot of scope movies and then the regular 16:9 HD stuff so I’m always changing aspect and masking was never right and a lot of messing around. My old projector was 4:3 AR and This new one is 16:10 so I get a 110” 16:9 image and also a when I switch to 4:3 I get an extra 8” of height. When I watch scope movies I don’t have an anamorphic lens so I make the image wider with the zoom setting as wide as my room permits and that gets me close to 16:9 height. I also use my computer on the projector and I had all the smart TV function 10 years ago when smart tv wasn’t invented. I do movies made on cell phones and movies made at home with different recorders thru the computer along with slide shows of photos. I would be forever masking my screen if I could even decide on a size I wanted.

The other pro is with a light cannon the benefits of a gray screen with working around ambient light go past what you can find in a commercial screen in terms of dark gray. The type of screens you can buy that are the dark screens also have a high price tag and lots of angular gain built in that causes other PQ issues. My screen is a .5 gain gray screen that has unity like light dispersion. That in a nut shell means it takes twice the projector brightness to light up but also absorbs 50% of the stray light in the room.

You can experiment at home by taping a piece of white printer paper to your wall. You can also using a program like paint print out sheets of paper that are a solid gray of any shade you want. From that you can get a feel of how black levels can be maintained with a gray screen.

An electrician will be able to figure out how to best zone your lights or add a couple new ones where you want them. They have some eyeball spots that work great for lighting up the pizza without lighting up the whole room.


Bud

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post #12 of 12 Old 01-07-2016, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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After talking to a rep from the local home theater store and pouring through more info on this site, I am pretty set on a actual screen. They sell three brands with one being Dragonfly (cheapest) and the mid level being another brand mentioned frequently on here. I can't remember the name, but it starts with an "S".

They have a HT display I will check out tomorrow. He felt with my room layout that a white screen would work, especially since I want a good viewing angle. I might still look at something grey, though.

To do 110" with a velvet frame would be around $800 either brand. I am still looking at the Silver Ticket as I am ok with "entry level" at this point. I also still think I want 120".

So...

My steps tomorrow are to check out the display at the store and then test my no-screen set up with different ambient light scenarios. For example, I can unplug all the front par cans and have just the back on. Depending on how that looks, I will then decide if I want to talk to the electrician about rewiring the switches. That will also help me get some pics of pic quality against a generic grey wall.
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