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"Black" Theater Improvment Thread (Once you go black you never go back?) - Page 3

post #61 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

Rich, I have to give you credit - after just watching movies happily in our theater for the last 3 years, I ran across your theater build thread again here at AVS forum a couple of months ago. For some reason, it gave me the bug to start changing my theater to see if I could darken it enough ( without going to the " every square inch is black velvet " extreme and pissing off my wife ), to create an enviroment where a white screen worked as well or better than my Firehawk. When I reached the point where a StudioTek 130 G3 sample looked as good on really dark scenes as my Firehawk did, I decided to pull the trigger and replace my Firehawk. That required painting my ceiling very dark gray, painting my light gray walls darker gray, totally covering the beige carpet with a wall to wall black rug ( s ), and a few other tricks.

The new StudioTek 130 G3 screen looks absolutely outstanding ! Watched Flight on it Wed. night after installing it. It was almost like looking out a window at the real world. With the Lumis the picture is just top notch. Thank you for inspiring me to get back to work improving my theater. The payoff is more than worth the effort and expense !! Craig smile.gif

PS - the moral of the story is you don't necessarily have to go 100% black - depending on the room, very dark grey flat paint in various shades can work too ( with black velvet around your screen ). You can make a room work and have some WAF too!

Boy, that's gratifying to read Craig.

I was tormented when choosing a screen (as many of us have been) and had considered the Firehawk for quite a while. I'd seen it in action so many times and the way it kept such great contrast and black levels always amazed me. But I felt I needed a bit more brightness and ultimately I'm a stickler for even illumination/screen uniformity, lack of screen artifacts etc, so I went with the ST-130. The ST-130 immediately amazed me with the general quality of the image - the brightnes/"pop"/clarity/detail etc. But I have to admit it DID take some effort in room treatment to get where I felt I was getting both the benefits of the ST-130 and the high contrast/black levels I'd often see on Firehawk images. (Obviously, with all the caveats in there about variables of projectors/brightness/screen size etc determining these things). Now when I see a JVC projector on the Firehawk I am particularly aware of the screen texture, hot-spotting and slightly lower brightness. I feel I get more "wow" factor and closer to the whole shebang of image quality when I watch my projector/screen set up at home.

Do these observations jive with your own experience of life after the Firehawk?
post #62 of 721
Quote:
Do these observations jive with your own experience of life after the Firehawk?

They do, however, it does take considerable effort on the room. The Firehawk still is a good screen and has its place. But if one can alter a room like you did - the ST 130 G3 can't be beat. My room is about 85% there.

Watched Skyfall last night - looked just stunning !! smile.gif
post #63 of 721
One more business trip for your wife and you will be able to finish it. smile.gif

BTW If your screen is small enough or your projector is bright enough, the Stewart Snomatt 100 is vastly superior in image quality than the ST 130G3. I know, I made the switch .Dramatic improvement.
post #64 of 721
I finished the project late Friday. My Wife and her sister were laughing playing the song "Black Velvet" on Saturday. We watched This is 40 and they all said it looked 10 times darker and better. The walls, floor and ceiling seemed to disappear. My new avatar shows the outcome but I may post a pic of it tomorrow. Total work time about 14 hours. Cost was around 150.00 (black velvet with 50% off coupons, big steps pads, spray adhesive). I plan to document the project on my site soon. Thanks again Sowk for the inspiration and ideas. smile.gif
post #65 of 721
I mean no offense to anyone but this is an unusual thread, I am reading and it feels like it was caught in a time warp or something, as if this was some new breakthrough idea that a black-out HT would deliver optimal viewing conditions. confused.gif

I was in a velvet treated (CRT based) HT some 12 years ago and it was impressive but even then the owner stated the designer had already been doing it for years (I wonder who that designer was/is, he must have been way ahead of his time).

Odd too that it has sparked the fire for some of the more enthusiastic enthusiasts.

Jason
post #66 of 721
Thread Starter 
Joerod, you are welcome. Also around your screen is even darker then mine now. smile.gif
post #67 of 721
Great job guys

I have a question not regarding the light absorbency of the black velvet fabric but its acoustic transparency.
I am wanting to use Fidelio Black Velvet fabric on false walls (front, sides and rear) which will be in front of the existing walls which have all my acoustic treatments and speakers attached, so my question is:

Is the Fidelio Velvet acoustically transparent enough to be able to use it for my application or would i need to stick with something like GOM FR701?

I'm needing the light absorbency as well as the acoustical transparency.

appreciate your feedback
Edited by Ian13 - 4/1/13 at 5:24am
post #68 of 721


Very happy with the "black out" results. This Black Velvet came from Joanne Fabrics. It was their stretch type which really worked well. I was able to pull it super tight towards the edges so it seemed like a second skin. Only two in my area had it in stock. Well worth the drive to get it. It is even darker than my Carada Masquerade. Maybe I should cover it. biggrin.gif Just kidding. Seriously though the walls seem to disappear during a movie now. When I had it painted flat black you could see the light reflection. Not now. smile.gif

Oh, last night I put a piece over my corner sub and now you can't even see it anymore either. eek.gif
post #69 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian13 View Post

Great job guys

I have a question not regarding the light absorbency of the black velvet fabric but its acoustic transparency.
I am wanting to use Fidelio Black Velvet fabric on false walls (front, sides and rear) which will be in front of the existing walls which have all my acoustic treatments and speakers attached, so my question is:

Is the Fidelio Velvet acoustically transparent enough to be able to use it for my application or would i need to stick with something like GOM FR701?

I'm needing the light absorbency as well as the acoustical transparency.

appreciate your feedback

The Fidelio is thick and heavily backed. It is not acoustically transparent and won't serve the needs you described. GOM type fabric will be best in terms of acoustic transparency. If you want a sort of in between solution there is this velvet:

Silk/Viscose Velvet Black (Devore)

http://www.whaleys-bradford.ltd.uk/product.htm?productID=124

It is both one of the darkest, most light absorbing velvets you can buy, and also happens to be (mostly) acoustically transparent. Many of the guys on the UK AVforum use it. For a bit more detailed description of it's characteristics and how I used it, see my recent post on this material on my build thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1254505/rich-hs-variable-image-size-home-theater-build-thread-completed/180#post_23146092
post #70 of 721
Looks awesome Joerod. A perfect black box. No equipment lights or reflections around the image. The ideal.
post #71 of 721


Last pic, I promise. biggrin.gif

I had a few people ask me about the floor so I added this close up showing how dark it really is. With lights on it can sometimes look lighter but once the lights are dimmed all bets are off. It is like walking into the black hole.
post #72 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Looks awesome Joerod. A perfect black box. No equipment lights or reflections around the image. The ideal.

Thanks. smile.gif
post #73 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by joerod View Post



Last pic, I promise. biggrin.gif

I had a few people ask me about the floor so I added this close up showing how dark it really is. With lights on it can sometimes look lighter but once the lights are dimmed all bets are off. It is like walking into the black hole.

We did the same thing for the floor area, it seems. I extended the black velvet out a few feet (covered boards) on the floor. What I like about doing this is not only does it make the floor near the screen disappear, but it provides a more cohesive, designed look. The little black "stage" area provides a natural demarcated point in which L/C/R speakers can sit, separated from the rest of the room. Without this area
you get more of the "i put up a big screen and placed some speakers on the floor near the screen"...a more "equipment thrown together" look, which I personally would like to avoid. Covering my speakers with black velvet further increased the coherence of the screen area.
post #74 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGamePimp View Post

I mean no offense to anyone but this is an unusual thread, I am reading and it feels like it was caught in a time warp or something, as if this was some new breakthrough idea that a black-out HT would deliver optimal viewing conditions. confused.gif

I was in a velvet treated (CRT based) HT some 12 years ago and it was impressive but even then the owner stated the designer had already been doing it for years (I wonder who that designer was/is, he must have been way ahead of his time).

Odd too that it has sparked the fire for some of the more enthusiastic enthusiasts.

Jason

I can understand some of that sentiment. I was blacking out around my plasma since 2001 or so, and even though when I moved to projection I didn't have the luxury of a dedicated room, it was an absolute requirement for me to black around the image at least, and cut reflections in general. I can understand the problem of treating non-dedicated rooms (that's what I had to deal with) and why therefore the decor can be sub-optimal for projection. But when it comes to dedicated home theaters, all the work that goes into them (and/or all the money if you are paying a pro), I'm often surprised at the light decor choices I see in people's dedicated theaters. (Funny enough, the images of pro-installs I see in AV magazines are at least as guilty and I have to presume they were following some sort of aesthetic orders of the client vs doing what was best for the image).
post #75 of 721
I think a lot of people build their theaters for social purposes rather than to get the best picture. In a really dark room it can be a problem just to see to get in and out.

My theater is very dark. I used Black GOM on all acoustic panels and painted the walls and ceiling black. The walls behind my acoustic panels are also black. I used Rosco paint which has been discussed extensively in this forum(http://www.avsforum.com/t/1218000/the-blackest-most-flat-paint-period). I compromised a bit on my carpet in front of the screen using a gold and black pattern but it is still fairly dark. I used velvet around the screen and on the stage.

I would love to see a Stewart Snomatt 100 screen in my theater but I don't think my projector is bright enough to use a neutral gain screen( I have an AT Stewart ST130 G3).
post #76 of 721
Quote:
I mean no offense to anyone but this is an unusual thread, I am reading and it feels like it was caught in a time warp or something, as if this was some new breakthrough idea that a black-out HT would deliver optimal viewing conditions.

I was in a velvet treated (CRT based) HT some 12 years ago and it was impressive but even then the owner stated the designer had already been doing it for years (I wonder who that designer was/is, he must have been way ahead of his time).

Odd too that it has sparked the fire for some of the more enthusiastic enthusiasts.

Jason

Jason, you have to remember that there are always new people here on the forum, asking whether to get a white or grey screen for their gloss white home theater. So these subjects need to be re-visited over the years.

As far as "sparking the fire for some of the more enthusiastic enthusiasts ", I just got busy rock climbing, collecting vintage wine, learning white water kayaking and learning / training to do winter biathlon the last couple of years. But now I'm back into " the messing with the home theater " phase again. When I finish doing a few more improvements to our theater, I'll be back to just watching movies for awhile.......................and so it goes ! smile.gif

Quote:
One more business trip for your wife and you will be able to finish it.

Ha ha - Mark, you are reading my mind.....................cool.gif
post #77 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

The Fidelio is thick and heavily backed. It is not acoustically transparent and won't serve the needs you described. GOM type fabric will be best in terms of acoustic transparency. If you want a sort of in between solution there is this velvet:

Silk/Viscose Velvet Black (Devore)

http://www.whaleys-bradford.ltd.uk/product.htm?productID=124

It is both one of the darkest, most light absorbing velvets you can buy, and also happens to be (mostly) acoustically transparent. Many of the guys on the UK AVforum use it. For a bit more detailed description of it's characteristics and how I used it, see my recent post on this material on my build thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1254505/rich-hs-variable-image-size-home-theater-build-thread-completed/180#post_23146092

Thanks for the detailed reply- much appreciated.

I apologise upfront for i should have mentioned in my post that i am able to get the Fidelio Velvet without any backing on it - would this help enough to consider it?
I will definetly check out the velvet you have mentioned and have a read of your build thread.

cheers
post #78 of 721
I haven't seen the Fidelio without backing, so I couldn't help you. Sorry.
post #79 of 721
I am one of those people that goes from rental to rental due to working in different cities sometimes. Anyhow, my quick and sloppy solution on a rental property to not mess up the ceiling is just tacking velvet to the ceiling (or even black sheets). Staples sounds good too, but sounds harder to remove. I am middle-aged, so I do not like removing stuff on a ladder all day (hurts my back).

Dumbest thing I ever did was hang 10 feet tall blackout curtains (nice curtains though) with aircraft wire which means I needed to use sheetrock insert holders every few feet or so (because otherwise the wire would get slack in it). Though I might have done it wrong, online all these sites said "it's so easy just buy this and this", but I never could get the slack out without doing the inserts every few feet. I didn't use standard curtain rods because I wanted them flush. When I had to remove the curtains, took all day, then I had to putty all the holes (it was absolutely horrid). Afterwards I could not walk for 2 days. This last time I just tacked the curtains near the edge of the ceiling, too bad I put minor small holes in my $500 curtains, but oh well such is life and it only took me 1 hour to hang them all (24 feet worth).

I have a few beige carpet spots showing in my theater (though when testing I will get out the black sheets and cover it up), but point is I have a black hole except for those tiny spots (which I am working on), but I would like to improve aesthetics this time. Aesthetics is trickier with a rental property because you cannot screw up their room (oh I did kind of once, and they charged me $2000, not worth it - long story).

Anyhow, my only problem now is I need some bigger rugs (10x12 or 8x10 feet), and those are expensive unless you buy the cheapo ones which you have to be careful as they can look like crud.
Long story short, I am working on improving aesthetics in temporary setups, and it's not easy to do!

Oh I also have to figure out how to blacken my AC vent on my rental, bah I guess I need to buy a black one and swap it out, but then I have curtains that need to go over it (tough one). How do people handle AC vents that are in bad places?
Edited by coderguy - 4/1/13 at 10:47pm
post #80 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by joerod View Post



Very happy with the "black out" results. This Black Velvet came from Joanne Fabrics. It was their stretch type which really worked well. I was able to pull it super tight towards the edges so it seemed like a second skin. Only two in my area had it in stock. Well worth the drive to get it. It is even darker than my Carada Masquerade. Maybe I should cover it. biggrin.gif Just kidding. Seriously though the walls seem to disappear during a movie now. When I had it painted flat black you could see the light reflection. Not now. smile.gif

Oh, last night I put a piece over my corner sub and now you can't even see it anymore either. eek.gif

Looks great around the screen but does all the light wood, posters & equipment add any distractions while viewing a movie in any way? I've always thought that you should never put the equipment on the front wall with your screen. How big is the screen? It looks so small for the space. eek.gif Either that or that is one huge room! smile.gif
post #81 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cutter View Post

Looks great around the screen but does all the light wood, posters & equipment add any distractions while viewing a movie in any way? I've always thought that you should never put the equipment on the front wall with your screen. How big is the screen? It looks so small for the space. eek.gif Either that or that is one huge room! smile.gif

It's actually 120" screen. I took that pic from 24 feet away (over half of my basement is dedicated to my theater). The screen was also closed in 2.35:1 (Carada Masquerade). With the lights off you dont see posters or the rack way off to the right. You get completely immersed with the screen area. It works very well and I only wish I did it sooner. Oh and it is actually a darker shade of brown. That is camera flash making it look light.

smile.gif
post #82 of 721
Hey JoeRod,

Your theater looks great!
I was hoping to catch you in Chicago, I was in Naperville for 1 month, but I got sick at the motel (caught a virus, darn maids mixing germs), and so I had to work sick all month, so it was like uh I'm not going anywhere.

Maybe soon I'll get a non-travel job and stay in one place so I can make my theater room more permanent, until then I keep redoing it every year or two, I guess it's good practice at least smile.gif
It doesn't look as good as some of them in here, but it's as functional anyhow. I need to do some dressing around the screen area though.
post #83 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by joerod View Post

It's actually 120" screen. I took that pic from 24 feet away (over half of my basement is dedicated to my theater). The screen was also closed in 2.35:1 (Carada Masquerade). With the lights off you dont see posters or the rack way off to the right. You get completely immersed with the screen area. It works very well and I only wish I did it sooner. Oh and it is actually a darker shade of brown. That is camera flash making it look light.

smile.gif

That makes more sense! Hard to get the scale of the size & color with the flash. Thanks for the explanation. smile.gif
post #84 of 721
No worries. smile.gif

I should do a close up shot.
post #85 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

They do, however, it does take considerable effort on the room. The Firehawk still is a good screen and has its place. But if one can alter a room like you did - the ST 130 G3 can't be beat. My room is about 85% there.

Watched Skyfall last night - looked just stunning !! smile.gif


Craig,

Why didn't you select the Studio Tek 100? I would think that a 1.3 gain would not be necessary in a really dark room.
post #86 of 721
Quote:
Craig,

Why didn't you select the Studio Tek 100? I would think that a 1.3 gain would not be necessary in a really dark room.

Three reasons.

A - my room isn't a completely black velvet lined pit. It's dark, but not to that extreme. So the ST 100 could wash out more *.

B - I am only using the StudioTek 130 G3 for my 2.35:1 screen. I don't use an anamorphic lens - I have too short a throw distance. So I use a 1.1 or 1 gain screen for the 16:9 screen, and by using a 1.3 gain screen for the 2.35:1 screen, it pretty much matches the brightness of the 16:9 screen even with the light lost from blanking part of the chip for 2.35:1. .
C - I like a bright picture - 20 foot lamberts ( or at least 18 foot lamberts ). cool.gif

I am planning on replacing my current 16:9 gain screen too in the near future.

Trust me, when you watch a Lumis with a new lamp on a 118" wide 2.35:1 ST 130 G3 at 20 FL - it isn't a very dark room any more.......... eek.gif



Quote:
*
The StudioTek 100 is a professional screen primarily intended for use in post-production and optical lab scenarios. It will perform best in a black, non-reflective room environment. Stewart Filmscreen normally does not recommend that this screen material be used for home theater, since most consumers do not have the black walls, floors and ceiling required to eliminate reflected light for the screen's optimum performance.

Edited by Craig Peer - 4/4/13 at 4:36pm
post #87 of 721
So I'm trying to figure out the best way to cover the wall around the screen & about 60" of the side walls & ceiling. Did most people just cover the walls & ceiling directly or cover something smaller & cover the area in pieces instead? I'm putting up my screen now & just ordered my projector so I want to get on this project soon. biggrin.gif
post #88 of 721
Sort of depends on the size of the area you are covering. Black velvet drapes ( from Amazon ) were perfect in my theater behind the screen. Flat black paint above and black rugs below.
post #89 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cutter View Post

So I'm trying to figure out the best way to cover the wall around the screen & about 60" of the side walls & ceiling. Did most people just cover the walls & ceiling directly or cover something smaller & cover the area in pieces instead? I'm putting up my screen now & just ordered my projector so I want to get on this project soon. biggrin.gif

I use black velvet on the side walls (and also around the screen on the screen wall) and protostar material on the ceiling out about 8 ft from the screen wall (attached to the ceiling with pushpins). I couldn't find a simple way to attach the velvet material to the ceiling without it sagging.
post #90 of 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

Three reasons.

A - my room isn't a completely black velvet lined pit. It's dark, but not to that extreme. So the ST 100 could wash out more *.

B - I am only using the StudioTek 130 G3 for my 2.35:1 screen. I don't use an anamorphic lens - I have too short a throw distance. So I use a 1.1 or 1 gain screen for the 16:9 screen, and by using a 1.3 gain screen for the 2.35:1 screen, it pretty much matches the brightness of the 16:9 screen even with the light lost from blanking part of the chip for 2.35:1. .
C - I like a bright picture - 20 foot lamberts ( or at least 18 foot lamberts ). cool.gif

I am planning on replacing my current 16:9 gain screen too in the near future.

Trust me, when you watch a Lumis with a new lamp on a 118" wide 2.35:1 ST 130 G3 at 20 FL - it isn't a very dark room any more.......... eek.gif

Without the lens are zooming or using VP to scale it?
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