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White or Grey Fixed EluneVision Reference screen for media room?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I originally posted this question in the Elunevision thread but didn't get any response after a day so I thought it might get more exposure out here as its own thread. Hopefully this does not upset anyone. Anyway, here goes.

I have a very uncontrolled light media room with white ceiling, light green walls, and a few windows with shades. We use the room for about 50% daytime or lights on viewing and about 50% night/lights out viewing. The projector is a new Panny AR100U that is ceiling mounted.

I evaluated samples of the white and grey reference material this weekend and am having a hard time deciding which to get. The white looks better when watching light/bright content and the grey looks better when watching dark content like a Harry Potter movie or CSI.

Conventional wisdom would say to get the grey but I have noticed that it makes the cloudy blue sky background on the Disney WOW calibration disk look like a storm is rolling in. Whereas the white screen makes the same background look like a bright, blue, spring sky. Bottom line is that the grey seems to just affect the colors. Can this be calibrated out or do you just not notice it when evaluating the two materials right beside each other?

The white material also seems to have a slight blueish tint to it when viewed from the side. Not sure if this was due to me setup or not.

I want to get the very best screen I can get for under $1200.00 and I believe the EluneVision reference is it. Just looking for some comments on which material.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
post #2 of 4
I don't have any experience with Elunevision, but I had a DaLite Matte White that I replaced with a JKP 0.6 gray. The picture was much better in terms of black levels and contrast. I am in a bat cave, light-controlled room though.

I think it depends on what kind of lighting situation you're dealing with.

Don't worry so much about how one looks versus another. The sky looks stormy on the gray because you're comparing it to the white. You will only have one screen once you choose, and your eyes and brain will adjust so it won't look like that once it's up.

post #3 of 4
I don’t have any firsthand experience with those screens or your projector although I am a longtime fan of studying the effects of ambient light and screen surfaces that support the best image quality given room conditions that are less than perfect.

Here is what projector central says about your projector. http://www.projectorcentral.com/pana...tor_review.htm

To me it sounds like it has all the needed attributes required to work to your advantage in an ambient room. My studies have all been into DIY screens that are enhanced thru things like a neutral gray surfaces to help with retaining some of the contrast ratio given a lot of stray light in the room. That light can be light naturally in the room or reflected light from the projector coming back to the screen. The perfect solution of course would be to eliminate both and have a unity gain white screen. But that is not possible for most of us or not desirable for others that don’t like viewing in a bat cave.

Gray or white if they are neutral shouldn’t affect your colors. A gray screen reflects all colors equal and is nothing more than turning the light output down similar to what a neutral density filter would do if placed over the lens, except doing it at the screen it also works on the ambient light in the room. Of course there is more to it than that as these new gray screens attenuate light but also have elements of gain designed into them that work against some ambient light as well. They also will require a different calibration in terms of projector brightness than the white screen and that’s why you can’t view them side by side and make any meaningful comparisons.

I personally am a huge fan of high lumens and dark screens working together with carefully designed rooms that allow for ambient lighting.

You haven’t mentioned your screen size and you can do the calculations to compare foot lamberts along with the information projector central provides as to lumen output in different modes.

There is one last part to this and it is maybe the one thing that contributes to overall enjoyment in a ambient room PQ. It’s also the hardest concept for most people to get a grasp on, and that is the concept of perception of contrast. It is how our eyes view contrast based on the total light level they are receiving. Like a camera lens the eye opens and closes an iris and only lets thru the right amount of light to maximize the CR the optics and the brain can interpret. On the basic premise of this if you hold up two samples against a white wall your eyes are making all kinds of compromises and not seeing anything as it will see a single screen of any one type. But more important is the movies and tv we watch. If it is an image filled with mixed contrast and overall brightness, more of an ANSI like image the eyes iris will close down and perception of the dark areas will improve and better CR. The Harry Potter example of a dark on dark image is the worst for perception and is enhanced somewhat by the darker screen. Nothing is going to get such images really good except getting rid of the ambient light or controlling it at least nearest the screen. But gray and lumens will help the darker the better and the more lumens the better. After all the competition is between the projected lumens and the rooms lumens.

Sports bars get away with front projection by showing pretty bright sports images and keeping the screens high up above the down shining task lighting. Many times the ceilings are flat black and a lot of other tricks to drink up that stray light.

I did something like this in my media room by having a dark end near the screen and a light area near the viewers. I then used the darkest neutral gray screen my very bright projector could support and had excellent results. The pleasant surprise was that it worked equally as well when I went lights out.

Hope this helps I don’t post to this forum much and I hardly ever see people talking about how dark screens work. People for the most part have unreasonable expectations about how good front projectors are with massive amounts of ambient light. The room has every bit as much to do with it as the screen and projector. When you get into projectors rated at super high CR numbers most don’t realize that a candle in a pitch black room can take a 10,000 CR down to 1,000 the good news is our eyes can’t discern much more than 400:1 ANSI CR at any given instant but throw in the iris adjustment and with time between light changes they can function to a on off CR of something like a 1,000,000:1
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thorough replies. It sounds like I need to try out the grey by itself to help handle all the ambient light I have during half our viewing.

Again thanks for your truly helpful answers.
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