Originally Posted by whitecamaross
After contemplating to buy the 8350 for the past 2 months, i somehow stumbled upon what i thought was a good deal on a brand new epson 8700ub. I paid $999.99 for a brand new unit yesterday when the 8350 is currently selling for 1149.00 on amazon. So far, i have been playing with this projector for about 3 hours and i like it. however, i dont have a screen yet (but will order it in the next few days). I have the projector in my living room, white walls all around which includes a white ceiling and a big window with vertical blinds so it does get some external light during the day. Here are a few of my concerns:
1. Should i get a grey screen or a white screen?? i have done lots of reading and grey seems to be best when walls are white and you have possible ambient light from the outside. I am going to project around 100 inches..
That is a very good deal indeed. And as I'm sure that Tinman will attest to, the 8700UB has a wealth of brightness available with it's 1600 lumen output due to it's lens configuration and it's exceptional Dynamic Contrast specs. And at / on a 100" screen, from a average of 14' throw, you's get 24 foot lambert of reflected brightness on a 0.8 gain Gray surface. Bump up the gain to 1.2 and you achieve 36 fls...a truly "usable" level of reflected brightness.
All respect due Tinman, his referencing a SilverStar as an example isn't really relevant since even with adjustment to a more acceptable gain specification (2.5) than the ambiguous 3.0+ gain the Mfg originally stated, you'd be up in a stratospheric level of brightness...76 fls That's not "PoP"...that's more akin to having a unmitigated Solar Flare headed your direction. Hence, if a 8700 is calibrated to D65 and run on Low Lamp mode, any Screen with /or an excess of 1.2 gain will be sufficient for your needs.
Your in a pretty "Gray" area now (...a Pun, but an appropriate one...) because unless you do one or more of the following, your room will work decidedly against your maintaining optimal Image Quality.
- Substantially reduce your Room's reflection index. The singular worst case is the Ceiling, unless the side walls are really crowding the outside edges of the screen. If you cannot consider changing your room's color scheme.....
- ....You have to concentrate on using a +1.0 gain Gray surface, one that is just as retro-reflective as the SilverStar, so as to minimize / eliminate light scatter from reaching the ceiling / walls.
- ....but that also means limiting yourself to the kind if projector positioning such screens require.
The type "Mfg" screens you need to consider that would effectively erase your ambient light concerns cost upwards of +3x what you managed to latch onto the 8700Ub for. Or more.....a LOT more. Owwww.
The Black Diamond / Silver Star / DNP Supernovas are the ones to reference . Check the AVS Classifieds, or the corresponding Screen Threads for each....because many people sell their old Screens quite often.
As for any other more 'sanity-based price' options, your saving grace is the smaller screen size you have....and if you can crowd the screen with a shortest possible Throw Distance (10'.2") and achieve a whoppin' 61 fls with a 1.2 gain Gray, you can then offset your room's reflections...leastwise as much as possible without having to repaint or cover the offending surfaces.
You can source a few Mfg Fixed Screens w/High Contrast Gray material that will price out at a more reasonable $800.00-$1000.00
........................or consider one of the high performance DIY Painted Screen options over on http://www.avsforum.com/f/110/diy-screen-section
Why, at 100' diagonal, The Silver Spandex Screen application is also a consideration, and even the most expensive DIY option will price in at under $250.00 total. There are 1.3 / 1.4 gain Gray or Silver DIY Screens to consider.
2. WHY do i feel as if the image is not very sharp? i have done the blue pattern and adjusted it over and over again, but even on blurays it looks somewhat "out of focus" like it doesnt have pretty spot on sharpness. Is it because i am using the wall right now? will it look sharper once i project the image on an actual screen?
Much has to do with surface smoothness, as well as pixel density. At 100" diagonal and with a 8700UB shooting from a minimum distance, clarity should NOT be an issue at all. You might want to consider match up your 8700UP with a Darbee Doublet processor. I've used them on PJs ranging from 1280 x 800 presentation PJs to top end JVCs and all of them can obtain a degree of improvement.
However........... if the 8700s convergence is way off, or you actually do have a optics issue, no processor or calibration will turn the proverbial Sow's Ear into a Silk Purse. I do tend to take slight issue with the comment that the 8700's optics could be inherently at fault out of hand (...price point wise...) , because when "New"...it most certainly was NOT a "el Cheapo" Projector, nor one considered to be a compromise performance or hardware wise. In fact, it has to be said that at the price you pad for it, your PJ has absolutely far better optics than it possibly could otherwise be expected to have
3. I have read about a zillion reviews and most rave about the thx mode. I have personally used it and it looks somewhat "dull" or does not pop. Actually, i like the "theater 2" mode better. Does anyone feel the same way here?
Viewing Mode selection is completely subjective. One Man's joy is another Man's sorrow. What is certain is that THX Mode in fact has more naysayers than advocates one the End User really starts exploring calibration options. THX Mode is a "Out of the Box" preset Mode that is intended to get you closer to what the Director / Editor intended you to see. That is not to say you'll be happy with it, and in your case, the greatly lessened Lumen output won't do much to help you combat the effects of ambient light wash-out. Any "projected Black" that hits the screen with more intensity than ambient or reflected light does will tend to maintain a higher degree of image quality than a image that has less to work with. while this may seem patently obvious, for many it's something that totally escapes their reasoning. ..............and, if the Screen surface also works to enhance black levels, and is supplied with adequate lumens, those same blacks will maintain their quality all the more readily and easily.
4. I have tried looking for calibration settings from others to see if i can improve upon factory settings, but i have not found any. Can anyone link me to some good settiings?
thanks in advance for your help. Happy holidays to all of you.
Forget about using other's settings. about the only time that can work at all is if you have a wholly optimal room set-up (...and you do not...) the PJ is placed exactly the same....and the Screen surface employed is identical. And even then, the variables between Lamp performance, calibration software, and personal preference makes successfully using such pre-tried settings a case of problematical success at very best. Reviewer's settings usually are simply to compensate for adverse Factory settings...that's about it.
Here's hoping you and yours all have a Happy, Blessed, and safe Holiday season. And hopefully you'll ring in the New year with a good understanding and directed purpose as to how to maximize yout great PJ investment.