Join Date: May 2013
Location: Northern California - SF Bay Area
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I would say that the term 'total control over ambient light' can only refer to the possibility of switching off all light sources and blocking all windows. I say this because light coming from the projector, including any reflections back onto the screen cannot really be considered 'ambient'.
Having said that, white walls and a white screen will DESTROY the contrast ratio of your image, almost entirely negating the benefits of the JVC, the Sony, and any projector with an ANSI contrast greater than ~100:1!
I've heard it said often that it's impossible to change the colours of walls in a viewing environment, and I know it's a difficult topic with wife acceptance and property rental agreements etc. There is however a lot that can be done to reduce room reflections, such as hanging drapes, or curtains around the room, and even over the ceiling.
I've read some posts where black sheets were attached to the walls and ceiling using magnets; others have created make-shift tents to surround the viewing environment. I posted my own implementation a few months back, and I can now say that I'm able visually appreciate most of the contrast that the X35 is able to produce. I'm not sure if it would be worth me going further up the JVC line for an even better native contrast, because my reflected light control is still not as good as it could be, and would need to be, in order to make use of the improvements.
One other point... A grey screen helps to improve black level when the projector has a relatively poor native black response. The depth of grey colour chosen is influenced by the performance of the projector, and the amount of truly ambient light in the viewing environment.
With reflected light, your black level is all over the place, changing with every scene of the content that you're viewing. It is therefore impossible to have a grey screen improve the black level at this point. In brighter scenes, you shadow detail will simply be lost, and the grey screen will only serve to enhance this negative effect.
If you really cannot do anything about your viewing environment, there is one solution... Black Diamond screens, and their equivalents from other manufacturers are designed to selectively reflect light. When done correctly, reflected light from walls and ceilings will be absorbed by the screen, rather than reflected back to your eyes. There are negatives to these screens, such as reduced brightness out of the sweet spot, and sparkly effects if your viewing distance is close; they're also damned expensive!