VPL-HW50ES : Black HT Ceiling worth it to improve percieved contrast? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys,

I'm new to front projection and coming from a 65VT25 Panny. I wanted a bigger screen but Sharp 90 was over budget so I decided to go for a front projector...

After some reading and auditioning I decided to buy a Sony VPL-HW50ES and a 120 in Grand View screen. I have a 13 feet throw distance. I really like the overall picture sharpness, motion handling , high brightness, skin tones and expecially screen size of my new HT! BUT, I feel contrast is lacking. Contrast is lacking especially in sceens with bright and dark aeras in which the dark areas look washed out therefore making the overall screen image look too washed out for my tastes. Bright colored sceens are excellent, full screen black sceen are good enough but mildly contrasted sceens... well...look kinda dull.

My HT room is in the basement in a totally light controled room. Walls are dark red/brown color, rug and seats are dark brown, BUT ceiling is white and I feel the ceiling reflect a lot of light back onto the screen, even when there are only small bright objects in the picture. That ceiling seems to weaken my contrast....

I saw an uncalibrated VPL-HW50ES a few days ago in a demo room where the ceiling was pretty high and dark and that had dark gray walls. I had the WOW factor then and fell in love with the Sony. Screen was the same model I bought except for size which was 106 in. Image was sharp and contrasted! Now, I don't have quite that WOW factor in my own basement HT no matter what setting I try ont the Sony... frown.gif

From what I've read the Sony is supposed to be pretty good with contrasts isn't it?

So... do guys think a dark ceiling is worth it to improve my percieved contrast? Plus I have WAF to go for a mate black ceiling wink.gif


Any help, good advices to improve my contrast will be greatly appreciated! smile.gif
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post #2 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 08:18 AM
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The best increase I ever made to my image quality was to put black velvet on my ceiling and walls.

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post #3 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 08:24 AM
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This is not debatable. black ceilings are really not all that noticeable as a negative room treatment. People just don't look at ceilings that much. they tend to look sdtraight ahead and not upor down. Wives tend to look at ceilinggs when they are lying on their backs. honey. do you see that crack on the ceiling. Only you can deal with this and we can't help you here.

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post #4 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 08:35 AM
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I agree it's big benefit. I started with a white ceiling in the room with our projector (JVC RS40) and had similar observations. I put up a checkerboard contrast pattern and measured a very low contrast ratio. My room is not fully light controlled but I measured a significant improvement after painting the ceiling flat black.
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post #5 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I can do pretty much anything I want in my basement, as wife won't argue... Just want to know if black ceiling painting is worth the trouble to improve contrast...smile.gif
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post #6 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhan View Post

I can do pretty much anything I want in my basement, as wife won't argue... Just wan't to know if black ceiling painting or any other treatment is worth the trouble to improove contrast...smile.gif

Yes. Ceiling, walls, side walls, floor, back wall, etc.......the more you black out your room, the more you will get out of your image. I was amazed doing the flaslight test seeing how different areas, colors and surfaces reflected light back to the screen. My carpet was really interesting as it was a medium blue which I thought would be good enough, but the difference between the carpet and black velvet on the floor was significant as far as eating up light and making the image pop more due to less distraction from a much darker surface.

As far as killing off reflected light, black velvet is the best from my tests. I experimented with black velvet, black felt, protostar material and a few other things and black velvet was the best at killing off light.

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post #7 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbw23air View Post

The best increase I ever made to my image quality was to put black velvet on my ceiling and walls.

Mike

+++ 1000

This made a Gigantic increase in my room.
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post #8 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 01:44 PM
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I once measured ANSI contrast (sorry Mark wink.gif) in my room with a white ceiling and light grey side walls. I got 75:1. I then put up a 'tent' of black cotton sheeting that came out about 2 metres from the screen threw some dark throws over the (cream leather) sofas and a black sheet over the oak floor and remeasured, same meter, test patterns, method...I got 230:1. That's over 3 times the ANSI contrast (the relative figure being more important than the actual values due to meter accuracy, methods, etc. To say that the picture looked better would be a huge understatement as it looked like a totally different projector.

Unfortunately it was too fiddly to set up every time I watch a film, so for now I'm back to the 75:1 version. However, I plan to add something much easier to set up and to use black velvet instead. It won't come out as far as the 'tent' did, but I'm hoping that the black velvet might be more effective than the cheap black sheeting I tried as an experiment. I have recently gone from a JVC HD350 to an X35 and have noticed an increase in contrast already, so I'm keen to see how the black velvet will further improve this. I've since seen an X35 in a very good room ( large and black) and even though it was uncalibrated and mine is, the good room made more improvement IMHO.

I really envy those who have a proper dedicated room since I would have the whole area in front of the main seating covered in black velvet. There's a limit as to what I can do in a living room, but I'm going to maximise the contrast where I can.

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post #9 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 01:50 PM
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Is it better than paiting with black? and black velvet with ceiling also or only walls? or everywhere of room?
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post #10 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 02:12 PM
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Yes, because paint still shines, even flat black paint, but black velvet just soaks up the light, like a good screen border does for example.

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post #11 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post

Yes, because paint still shines, even flat black paint, but black velvet just soaks up the light, like a good screen border does for example.

thank you, so paiting with mat dark unnecessary?
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post #12 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 03:52 PM
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If you''re going to cover it with black velvet then yes. But if the room is white and you don't plan on using black velvet, then black paint is better than white.

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post #13 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post

If you''re going to cover it with black velvet then yes. But if the room is white and you don't plan on using black velvet, then black paint is better than white.

Thank you Kelvin I really respect you my helpfull friend my last question what kind of velvet we need? I think velvet have some kinds
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post #14 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 06:29 PM
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I would paint the room flat black and see if that is enough improvement for you. From there you can add black velvet to areas around the screen. If you only cover the area around the screen with black velvet and leave the rest of the ceiling white, I think you will get less of an improvement than painting all black.

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post #15 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 06:41 PM
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Thank you Kelvin I really respect you my helpfull friend my last question what kind of velvet we need? I think velvet have some kinds

I got mine from JoAnns about 3 years ago. I believe this is it. It's very very black and does an outstanding job of absorbing the light. It's a bit pricy but JoAnns is always running 50% coupons off their fabrics.
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post #16 of 37 Old 01-20-2013, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the inputs.

How did you guys install black velvet on your ceilings? Where did you buy it? And what was the cost?
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post #17 of 37 Old 01-21-2013, 01:45 PM
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My room is painted a flat black there is no shine whatsoever. I painted over spray foam insulation there is no reflection from a truly flat black paint. My first theater was painted a dark gray then later painted the screen wall flat black. when I moved to the basement I painted the whole thing black. Whit no light source i can not see my hand in front of my face. i've been thinking about adding bias lighting in the room.
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post #18 of 37 Old 01-21-2013, 03:18 PM
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A dark / non-reflective ceiling doesn't just improve "perceived" contrast - i.e. it's not an "effect" or illusion like backlighting a plasma - it actually increases simultaneous / ANSI contrast.
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post #19 of 37 Old 01-21-2013, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmv50 View Post

My room is painted a flat black there is no shine whatsoever. I painted over spray foam insulation there is no reflection from a truly flat black paint. My first theater was painted a dark gray then later painted the screen wall flat black. when I moved to the basement I painted the whole thing black. Whit no light source i can not see my hand in front of my face. i've been thinking about adding bias lighting in the room.

Have you done the flashlight test as I described above? I found a significant difference between flat black paint and black velvet as far as light absorbing goes which is very important so that reflected light does not get back to your screen. You get MUCH less light reflection with black velvet vs flat black paint. At some point when I am feelling up to it, I would like to treat the first 5' or so of the rest of my ceiling with black velvet vs the flat black paint that is there now. I have my first 3' of ceiling width about 5' out covered in velvet which is my ventilation system so it hangs lower than the actual ceiling and comes right down to my screen frame which is why I was only concerned about using velvet there (instead of the entire first 5' or so of ceiling. I now wish I had just went ahead and did the rest of the ceiling as well which I will get to at some point.

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post #20 of 37 Old 01-21-2013, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post

I once measured ANSI contrast (sorry Mark wink.gif) in my room with a white ceiling and light grey side walls. I got 75:1. I then put up a 'tent' of black cotton sheeting that came out about 2 metres from the screen threw some dark throws over the (cream leather) sofas and a black sheet over the oak floor and remeasured, same meter, test patterns, method...I got 230:1. That's over 3 times the ANSI contrast (the relative figure being more important than the actual values due to meter accuracy, methods, etc. To say that the picture looked better would be a huge understatement as it looked like a totally different projector.

Unfortunately it was too fiddly to set up every time I watch a film, so for now I'm back to the 75:1 version. However, I plan to add something much easier to set up and to use black velvet instead. It won't come out as far as the 'tent' did, but I'm hoping that the black velvet might be more effective than the cheap black sheeting I tried as an experiment. I have recently gone from a JVC HD350 to an X35 and have noticed an increase in contrast already, so I'm keen to see how the black velvet will further improve this. I've since seen an X35 in a very good room ( large and black) and even though it was uncalibrated and mine is, the good room made more improvement IMHO.

I really envy those who have a proper dedicated room since I would have the whole area in front of the main seating covered in black velvet. There's a limit as to what I can do in a living room, but I'm going to maximise the contrast where I can.

Nothing to apologize about. Doing your own measuremenys to see what kind of improvements room treatmeants will make in your roon will make is totally valid.My problem is making in comparison to seme one else' and claiming better or worse than theirs.
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post #21 of 37 Old 01-21-2013, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

Yes. Ceiling, walls, side walls, floor, back wall, etc.......the more you black out your room, the more you will get out of your image. I was amazed doing the flaslight test seeing how different areas, colors and surfaces reflected light back to the screen. My carpet was really interesting as it was a medium blue which I thought would be good enough, but the difference between the carpet and black velvet on the floor was significant as far as eating up light and making the image pop more due to less distraction from a much darker surface.

As far as killing off reflected light, black velvet is the best from my tests. I experimented with black velvet, black felt, protostar material and a few other things and black velvet was the best at killing off light.

toe. i dn't know about your test methodology but did you really cover your room in protec and got better results than protec/ the scientifically meaured results of reflectivity compared to whatever specimens of black velvet, and various types of bclk velvet would grreatly vary would not show black velvet to have anywhere the non reflectivenesss of protec. i have been in completely protected rooms and the resukts are amazing.

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post #22 of 37 Old 01-21-2013, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

toe. i dn't know about your test methodology but did you really cover your room in protec and got better results than protec/ the scientifically meaured results of reflectivity compared to whatever specimens of black velvet, and various types of bclk velvet would grreatly vary would not show black velvet to have anywhere the non reflectivenesss of protec. i have been in completely protected rooms and the resukts are amazing.

From my tests Mark, the protec was more black, but more reflective vs the black velvet I ended up using. Not a huge difference as I remember (but definitely noticeable), but the velvet actually killed off the light better from my tests.

No I did not cover the entire room in either (well, a large chunk of my room is now covered in black velvet smile.gif ), but had large samples of each that I placed in various reflective locations near the screen (floor, ceiling, side walls) and even experimented on the couch and back walls. The whole reason I experimented in the first place was to see which one killed off the light the best and use that over most of the room. This is easy to do if you black out your room as much as possible (I cant see my hand in front of my face in my room with zero lighting) and shine a flashlight on various surfaces and see how much your screen lights up from the reflected light. The black velvet was better at absorbing the light vs the protec stuff every time. Now the protec LOOKS darker with the light on it since it was darker to begin with (and why this type of material would be better to use on frames vs velvet and even on the screen wall since it will make it disappear better since it is more black), but as far as the actual reflective properties, I found black velvet was the best (the least reflective) even over this highly regarded protec material.

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post #23 of 37 Old 01-21-2013, 09:25 PM
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where did you get this velvet? I have 2 samples from a local fabric store that was recommended, but they had more 'sheen' to them than the protostar or the Dalite 'pro-trim' velvet used on the Cinema contours. I bought a bunch of it to make masks when I bought the Dalite screen a few years back. I wanted to make sure the masks were going to match.

I started using it to black out the grid, but it was too thick and made the grid stand out a bit. I switched over to the protostar material which is about 1/2 the thickness and easier to cut. (the pro-trim is like a fabric).

it's amazing to watch my dark sci-fi and stage concerts with no distracting room reflections. Now my HP looks even brighter than before.
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post #24 of 37 Old 01-21-2013, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
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where did you get this velvet? I have 2 samples from a local fabric store that was recommended, but they had more 'sheen' to them than the protostar or the Dalite 'pro-trim' velvet used on the Cinema contours. I bought a bunch of it to make masks when I bought the Dalite screen a few years back. I wanted to make sure the masks were going to match.

I started using it to black out the grid, but it was too thick and made the grid stand out a bit. I switched over to the protostar material which is about 1/2 the thickness and easier to cut. (the pro-trim is like a fabric).

it's amazing to watch my dark sci-fi and stage concerts with no distracting room reflections. Now my HP looks even brighter than before.

The velvet does have more sheen and the Protostar is visibly darker with close to zero sheen. The black velvet kills off light reflection better though, so if your goal is to kill the light so it does not get back to the screen, velvet is better from my tests. The Protostar will give you a darker/blacker room though if that is more the goal since the velvet has the slight sheen. The velvet I used has more sheen depending on which way you turn it, so I made sure to position it where the sheen is noticeably better.

I tried a few different kinds of velvet and found that cheap Walmart black velvet worked the best. Not sure they even sell it anymore since it has been about 8 years since I bought it. I will see if I can hunt it down.

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post #25 of 37 Old 01-21-2013, 11:05 PM
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Some say this fabric is the best (Devore Black Velvet) http://www.whaleys-bradford.ltd.uk/product.htm?productID=124
Google for HT topic on this material.
This one is good for treating furniture http://www.protostar.biz/flock.htm

Edit: But velvet might not be the best option if audio quality is considered. If you drape a lot of surface in the room the sound might become 'dead' (http://www.sae.edu/reference_material/pages/Reverberation%20Time%20Calculator.htm). For this purpose I'm considering now acoustically transparent black cloth used in speaker grills http://www.amazon.com/Mellotone-Premium-Black-Speaker-Grill/dp/B003S62HP4/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t
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post #26 of 37 Old 01-22-2013, 12:47 AM
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I know some on the UK forum that have used black speaker cloth bought from Maplins (Radio Shack in the US). It isn't as good at stopping reflections, but not a problem regarding being acoustically transparent. However, those who use Devore have tried it in front of speakers and say that it is also AT, so it's not a problem. I'm going to get some Devore for my room since it will hang in front of my left/right speakers and I don't want to muffle the sound.

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post #27 of 37 Old 01-22-2013, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post

However, those who use Devore have tried it in front of speakers and say that it is also AT, so it's not a problem.
Try covering your walls with it and I guarantee you your RT60 will drop significantly on high frequencies, making sound 'dead'.
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post #28 of 37 Old 01-22-2013, 10:20 AM
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Well my room is pretty hard walls and floors so I don't think that 2 metres each side is going to make the room too dead. I used thin cotton sheeting as an experiment in a 'tent' arrangement but it didn't effect the sound that I noticed. The Devore is really thinso not like some heavy velvet curtains.

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post #29 of 37 Old 01-26-2013, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

This is not debatable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjmv50 View Post

My room is painted a flat black there is no shine whatsoever.

From what I've seen so far black paint and/or black curtains do make a huge difference!: So I agree that this is not dabatable.

My friend came over earlier this week with his racks and black curtains so we could built a tent around the screen to see how much better the contrast would be. Well... All I can say is WOW!!eek.gif

So I went ahead and painted my HT ceiling flat flack and that alone made a night and day difference in picture contrast. No shine. I'm now shopping for black curtains that I will hang on both side walls to further enhance contrast so that it looks like what I've seen with the temporary tent setup. But as it is now it's already pretty damn close.

Thanks guys for all the good inputs you gave.

Overall picture is out of this world!!!cool.gif
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post #30 of 37 Old 01-26-2013, 10:09 AM
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Black is such a horrible color when the lights are on (I know, I know, the lights shouldn't be on in a dedicated media room).

Is it possible to get almost the same benefit with a dark green, brown, or other non-ugly-when-viewing-in-light color? Are some better than others?
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