Originally Posted by Alex solomon
How is the black level with HP screen ?
Achieving a respectable black level is more of a problem for a projector than it is for a screen. It's easy to make any screen darker to achieve a lower black level - a neutral density filter, lower lamp setting, smaller iris. In this respect, the HP is no different than any other screen. With any projector/screen combination, if the black level is too high, it can be lowered.
All these black-level-lowering methods can be advantageous. If you use a neutral density filter, you can remove it after the bulb ages to get back some brightness. If you use a lower lamp setting (eco mode), the lamp typically lasts longer. If you use a smaller iris, you usually get better contrast and perhaps increased sharpness. If you just like brighter images and don't care as much about absolute black level, the HP can provide them.
Having an HP screen doesn't mean you have to have an unacceptably high black level. Achieving a bright enough image is a more common and much tougher problem. With that, the HP can help.
It's easy to get confused about projector/screen issues. God knows I've had my fair share of misunderstandings, and still do. To this day, I can't quite wrap my head around the differences between PC/Video-Full RGB/Studio signal levels. The one thing I feel pretty confident about, though, is that the HP is a really good screen. For people to complain that it raises black levels is pretty silly. That's what we're asking it to do. When we tell the HP that we want a brighter image, we're telling it that we want it to make the whole image brighter, which includes the black level. It doesn't raise the black level magically while leaving the rest of the image alone. It raises the brightness of the entire image. You could raise image brightness with a much more expensive projector, or a cheap HP screen. With the quality image the HP throws, that's an easy choice for me.
For people who ask the question, can I have a 150" screen with a Panasonic AE4000 projector, the answer may be yes with an HP but maybe not with a lot of other screens. That the HP makes that screen size possible while delivering a high quality image, at a very good price, makes it even more attractive. Are there other high gain screens that are capable of a 150" image as good as the HP's? I don't know. That's another reason I'd like to get more opportunities to do some direct comparisons.
There are others on the forum who are much more knowledgeable about these issues than I am. I defer to them for more technical (and no doubt more accurate) explanations. For me, though, the HP screen is a great answer to a lot of questions about building a home theater. As I said, it's the only piece of home theater gear I've had no inclination to upgrade. I can't imagine that will change with the Panasonic when I get it. I know for a fact that black level won't be an unsolvable problem for my HP, no matter how bright the 4000 is.