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Why is dark walls so important? - Page 2

post #31 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATWindsor View Post

No, but i don't see the connection? The answer could be yes on the TV given the right external circumstances. When i ask if a projector is a waste in a light painted room, and you then say it doesn't need to be, becuase a big picture can be important, I feel my follow-up-question is pretty rational. You get a big picture with a cheap projector also, do you fell that anything but a cheap one is a waste if the walls are not dark?

If you don't care about any of the image quality issues caused by light pollution and you know you will never say, "Hey lets paint that wall and see what it does to the picture", and you don't care if maybe you could have spent a few hundred more and got something that didn't make so much noise or leak so much light, then maybe cheap is best for you? Cheap is a relative term and means little unless you have some frame of reference, as in a budget. To some people $5000 is cheap... to others $600 is to expensive.. so again, is a Cheap TV better than an Expensive one.. if you don't care about image fidelity, style or performance then the answer is spend less.

You may want to spend some time in one of the projector forums, your budget will determine which one, less than or more than $3000.
Here is a very helpful thread that may answer some of your questions as to how to pick a projector. Unlike a TV there are a boat load more variables and compromises that need to be examined and weighed.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1391476/coderguys-top-projector-picks/0_100
post #32 of 126
Any screen with gain, throws back light directionally. Light is energy, and energy is neither created nor destroyed so a screen with gain,
throws light back in a controlled way. The higher the gain, the narrower the viewing angle and the faster light drops off, as you move off to
the sides of a room. (That said, in a narrow room, that is a plus. In a wide room, with many seats in a row, a high gain screen is not a great choice>)

Yes, woven screens scatter light. And any positive gain numbers for a woven screen (not punched) are being inflated. (That said, I like woven screens but
the room itself, might make another type of screen, a better choice.)
post #33 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

If you don't care about any of the image quality issues caused by light pollution and you know you will never say, "Hey lets paint that wall and see what it does to the picture", and you don't care if maybe you could have spent a few hundred more and got something that didn't make so much noise or leak so much light, then maybe cheap is best for you? Cheap is a relative term and means little unless you have some frame of reference, as in a budget. To some people $5000 is cheap... to others $600 is to expensive.. so again, is a Cheap TV better than an Expensive one.. if you don't care about image fidelity, style or performance then the answer is spend less.

You may want to spend some time in one of the projector forums, your budget will determine which one, less than or more than $3000.
Here is a very helpful thread that may answer some of your questions as to how to pick a projector. Unlike a TV there are a boat load more variables and compromises that need to be examined and weighed.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1391476/coderguys-top-projector-picks/0_100

I care, I just don't care enough to make my room non-useful for its other purposes than movie-watching. I have considered a Epson Tw9100, but is it a waste of money? Would a projector at half the price to just as well in a light room? I care about image quality, but if the room caps the quality at a given level, its just a waste to buy a projector that is above that level, wouldn't you agree?
post #34 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATWindsor View Post

The whole point of the thread is finding out hoe big or small reflected light from the room is. So yes, I have taken this into consideration smile.gif

Hmm, does that mean all woven screens has diffuse scattering of light? I thought most gain 1.3-1,4 screens where at least somewhat directional?

Here is a performance review of a bunch of screen fabrics done by a professional calibrator here on the AVS forum.
AT screens are in the second section.
http://accucalhd.com/documents/accucal_front_projection_screen_report.pdf

Here is an older thread that explains the difference between angular and retro reflective fabrics. Also check out tryg's signature for other screen articles
http://www.avsforum.com/t/773065/high-power-a-review-part-1/0_100
post #35 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

Here is a performance review of a bunch of screen fabrics done by a professional calibrator here on the AVS forum.
AT screens are in the second section.
http://accucalhd.com/documents/accucal_front_projection_screen_report.pdf

Here is an older thread that explains the difference between angular and retro reflective fabrics. Also check out tryg's signature for other screen articles
http://www.avsforum.com/t/773065/high-power-a-review-part-1/0_100

Thanks for an interesting link, it seems like the gain for the screen i was considering (centerstage XD) is indeed inflated as Tedd said. As its nearer 1.0 than 1.3 Seems like its difficult to get a directional acoustically transparent screen that is useful with a short viewing length frown.gif
post #36 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATWindsor View Post

I care, I just don't care enough to make my room non-useful for its other purposes than movie-watching. I have considered a Epson Tw9100, but is it a waste of money? Would a projector at half the price to just as well in a light room? I care about image quality, but if the room caps the quality at a given level, its just a waste to buy a projector that is above that level, wouldn't you agree?

I think you need to continue your research and understand what you will need in your environment and eventually you will be able to narrow it down. Read over Coder's thread, as you can see there a boat load of variables, strengths and weaknesses.

Where are you located, you don't have a city/state in your profile. Sometime if folks see they are near you and they have a room, they might be inclined to invite you over to see in person..
post #37 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

I think you need to continue your research and understand what you will need in your environment and eventually you will be able to narrow it down. Read over Coder's thread, as you can see there a boat load of variables, strengths and weaknesses.

Where are you located, you don't have a city/state in your profile. Sometime if folks see they are near you and they have a room, they might be inclined to invite you over to see in person..

I have already read that thread. I feel I have narrowed down my choices quite significantly. But the thread doesn't seem to give a very good answer to my very specific question. I can be even more specific, is a epson TW9100 / 6020 overkill in a room with light walls and won't give a better result than lets say the epson 3020?

I don't live in the US.
post #38 of 126
I just want to point out, my room is a COMPLETE compromise. It is for all intents and purposes WHITE. I do not have a projector that can be placed in the optimum location for my HP 2.8 gain screen, I have not reworked the room to be able to use all of the screen. If I did use all the screen, I would be building black velvet covered panels for the ceiling and hanging black velvet curtains around the corner of the room. I upgraded from a 65" portable HP 2.8 to a used 110" and made a masking system put up an and take down every night, projector is placed on a table. So MAJOR compromises but with the retro reflective HP 2.8 screen (no longer made) the fact the screen is several feet from the ceiling and side walls, the image looks very good. I also add bias lighting to help increase the perceived blacklevel as well as eye strain as the HP is very bright even with a low output older projector... Also the small size make for a brighter image..
White Living ROOM Compromises
post #39 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATWindsor View Post

I have already read that thread. I feel I have narrowed down my choices quite significantly. But the thread doesn't seem to give a very good answer to my very specific question. I can be even more specific, is a epson TW9100 / 6020 overkill in a room with light walls and won't give a better result than lets say the epson 3020?

I don't live in the US.

I would venture over to the user threads for each model and see what people have been saying. Are there abundant complaints about bad convergence or failed lamps? Is everyone happy with their purchase? Entry level is not only in image quality but also in build quality.. you are not in the US so you may want to ask in the user threads if there is anyone in you area of the world with the said projector and have they needed tech support/repair? I completely understand what where you are coming from, but you are the only one that can decide if the advantages of the more expensive unit are worth it. Just remember the room can be fixed..
post #40 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

I would venture over to the user threads for each model and see what people have been saying. Are there abundant complaints about bad convergence or failed lamps? Is everyone happy with their purchase? Entry level is not only in image quality but also in build quality.. you are not in the US so you may want to ask in the user threads if there is anyone in you area of the world with the said projector and have they needed tech support/repair? I completely understand what where you are coming from, but you are the only one that can decide if the advantages of the more expensive unit are worth it. Just remember the room can be fixed..

I get that I'm, the only one who can weight the advantages or disadvantages, but if you look purely at image quality, nothing else, will I gain anything with a unit like the 6020, over a unit like the 3020 in a room with light walls?
post #41 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATWindsor View Post

I get that I'm, the only one who can weight the advantages or disadvantages, but if you look purely at image quality, nothing else, will I gain anything with a unit like the 6020, over a unit like the 3020 in a room with light walls?

Again, it all depends.. how close to the ceiling will the screen be? What screen will you be using, if you were to buy a Black Diamond the wall color would be mutt as that screen is made for this type of environment. How far from the side walls will the screen be? Reflected light from the walls will wash out the black areas of a mixed content scene. If you are watching a Dark movie like the last Harry Potter movie, that has very few bright scenes, then the projector with better black level and shadow detail will be a clear winner. If you are a gamer and one of the 2 projectors has less lag and motion issues, that would be a reason to go with that projector and that has nothing to do with reflected light... There are just to many variables to use wall color as the deciding factor, in fact, it really should not be a major consideration at all since it can be corrected after the purchase if so desired. Most people will set a budget and then look at all the units in that range. If you don't want to spend more than $2000, then scrap the 6020 and start comparing other brands and technologies (DLP Lcos and LCD ) in the $2000 price range. Do you want 3D? Do you need lens shift? Do you see RBE or will DLP work for you ? etc etc etc
post #42 of 126
A really simple experiment for someone who's got a projector is to set it up in an ordinary room like bedroom or living area with no treatments - Then simply hang up some dark blankets on the side and back walls -

I've done it and the results were amazing. Instantly sold me on dark for theater and picture quality and also sound absorbing for sound quality. I painted my room darker for that reason.

If you have a projector it's a cool experiment and would really show you real world results.

I'm not sure it's worth further debating the exactness of the extent of difference- bottom line is it makes a big difference. I don't think it makes much sense spending serious money on building a room or quality equiptment if your not going to optimize and set it up properly.

Your better off with cheap equipment since the quality of better gear would quickly be lost in a poor set up.
post #43 of 126
What also matters is we know what "black is". Over a period of at least 30 years for most of us, we know what black is. We understand it...we get it. Thus when something isn't black, we know it. It sticks out like a sore thumb. When you have a non-black room, some of the "light" will get reflected around the room (physics is physics) and will land back up on the screen. Therefore some of the "intended light" will land up on an area that wasn't intended. People tend so say when this happens is "oh, my contrast is getting borked". That is very true. But what is more true is the dark areas will get lighter and we will no longer see "black" in darker scenes. What really jacks this is up is when we put a nice black light absorbing border. Now we KNOW on a continuous basis what black is. We have a freaking reference. So, if you put a bordered screen in a white but light controlled room..good luck with ANY projector. They will all look like crap in terms of contrast and black level relative to that border.

So yes..at any given time we can only do about 100:1 contrast if our field of view is completely enveloped. But when you watch a movie, IT ISN'T. Our eyes see more than the screen. And more importantly we see the border right next to the picture, then light control is even more critical to image quality since we are effectively controlling the F-stop where our eyes are set via the border. This is part of the "magic" when they had the TV's that put out a "border of light" based upon what was on the screen. They are attempting to give you more perceived contrast via some reasonable "mind trickery".
post #44 of 126
Take a look at this thread, you will see that white ceilings do not stop people from using projection and wall/ceiling color should only be a small part of choosing your equipment.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1172966/show-me-your-living-room-non-dedicated-theater-pics/0_100
post #45 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

Take a look at this thread, you will see that white ceilings do not stop people from using projection and wall/ceiling color should only be a small part of choosing your equipment.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1172966/show-me-your-living-room-non-dedicated-theater-pics/0_100

Is true..ignorance is bliss.
post #46 of 126
Dark walls and ceilings I feel add to immersion, and seem to be just a small benefit to contrast, unless of course outside light is an issue.

Take a look at this link.
http://web.mit.edu/persci/people/adelson/checkershadow_illusion.html
post #47 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I'm not sure it's worth further debating the exactness of the extent of difference- bottom line is it makes a big difference. I don't think it makes much sense spending serious money on building a room or quality equiptment if your not going to optimize and set it up properly.

Your better off with cheap equipment since the quality of better gear would quickly be lost in a poor set up.

I think the debate is well worth it personally, its easy to say "darker is better", just as it is easy to say "3 feet of concrete gives you the best sound insulation", but it is the cases where you have limits and compromise that are the most difficult to judge. I can see that others have other priorities, but it shouldn't be difficult for you to see that many people use the rooms for several things, and that optimizing it for a single use isn't the right choice. Compromises makes a lot if sense.
post #48 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trepidati0n View Post

Is true..ignorance is bliss.

So what would you do if having the walls black was not an option?
post #49 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATWindsor View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trepidati0n View Post

Is true..ignorance is bliss.

So what would you do if having the walls black was not an option?

Well.. My wife agreed on a nice grey... that sorta had a purple to it...


That's our bedroom. lol. I probably won't do a Projector in the bedroom after the remodel though...

My theater is going to be dark but I have not settled on the color. Red, Purple, Blue, Grey, Green, there is many colors you can choose that would work well.

If you can't do black you compromise. You can either have the lighter color, or the better PQ, or anything combo in between. It's a moving target.
post #50 of 126
Black may not be an option for you, but maybe a color with low LRV. Light reflectivity value is given by some manufacturers for their colors. http://www.sherwin-williams.com/home-builders/services/paint-technology-and-application/sw-article-pro-worthyofreflect.html
post #51 of 126
If your not looking for a Dedicated Room then why post in this forum? Any reflected light is bad, period, the darker the room the less secondary reflections you get, then the better the image is.

If your looking at a multi purpose room take it over the general forum and not the dedicated.
post #52 of 126
I am taking the approach with mine that a totally windowless room with dull black walls, ceilings and floors is the best. Anything that I deviate from that "takes away." Dark blue walls? Not as good, but better than white. Can't paint the ceiling black? Ok, but be aware you're compromising a bit. Rear surrounds can't go 6' behind me? OK but be aware that . . . etc etc etc

You can't quantify most of these things, and if you could, I wouldn't want to be the guy to calculate the numbers. biggrin.gif
post #53 of 126
You might also look into some other techniques to block and absorb the light reflected at wide angles off the screen. If the screen is built into a cabinet or recessed between short walls or otherwise windowed, the light could be absorbed by some velvet or other black surface such that it doesn't reflect back onto the screen. This isn't as effective as having a totally dark room, but could make a large difference while maintaining some WAF.
post #54 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewaves View Post

If your not looking for a Dedicated Room then why post in this forum? Any reflected light is bad, period, the darker the room the less secondary reflections you get, then the better the image is.

If your looking at a multi purpose room take it over the general forum and not the dedicated.

I think some of you on AVS need to get off of your high horses. Just because you have more money to spend on your Home Theater doesn't make you or it any better. I remember a line back from my old Saturday night drag racing days, "Run what you brung". I Think that can be applied to Home Theaters too. Work with what you have and/or can afford. It is only for the owner to decide if his Home Theater is dedicated or not, not you.


******** There are several reports over on BluRay.com of being ganged up on, on AVS because someone had a differing opinion. That is not what AVS was founded on.
post #55 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by macfan View Post

I think some of you on AVS need to get off of your high horses. Just because you have more money to spend on your Home Theater doesn't make you or it any better. I remember a line back from my old Saturday night drag racing days, "Run what you brung". I Think that can be applied to Home Theaters too. Work with what you have and/or can afford. It is only for the owner to decide if his Home Theater is dedicated or not, not you.
.

His point was that there is another sub-forum, one down from this one (Dedicated Theater Construction) called "General Home Theater & Media Rooms", where he will get a different set of opinions based on the topic. The OP didn't state initially that he was building a non-dedicated space, but later added that information. There's a big difference in the advice given based on that little bit of data... If he was building a dedicated space, I think we'd all push him very hard about choosing dark colors all around. In a non-dedicated space, I would soften that to a suggestion smile.gif as the compromise become a complex balance of room use / aesthetics and video performance.
post #56 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by macfan View Post

I remember a line back from my old Saturday night drag racing days, "Run what you brung".

I remember a line from Stripes. "Lighten up, Francis". wink.gif
post #57 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

His point was that there is another sub-forum, one down from this one (Dedicated Theater Construction) called "General Home Theater & Media Rooms", where he will get a different set of opinions based on the topic. The OP didn't state initially that he was building a non-dedicated space, but later added that information. There's a big difference in the advice given based on that little bit of data... If he was building a dedicated space, I think we'd all push him very hard about choosing dark colors all around. In a non-dedicated space, I would soften that to a suggestion smile.gif as the compromise become a complex balance of room use / aesthetics and video performance.

I apologize for that situation. My original plan was to have a general technical discussion about he matter that wasn't limited by my future setup alone. However when the discussion progressed it seemed necessary to be a bit more specific to bring the discussion forward, and now the thread is in the wrong place frown.gif
post #58 of 126
Neat thread. I'm surprised that no one has actually done any math to determine if/what advantage dark walls make.

Lots of people seem to think dark walls are better, but there are also a lot of opinions that a $200/ft audio cable is better than a $10/ft audio cable, and the (blind test) numbers just don't back that up. Perhaps the same is true for dark walls.

I have recently remodeled my basement and we now have darker walls/ceiling, but I'm not quite sure that it has made any noticeable difference. When I play games or watch movies, I do not stop and think to myself that the walls are too light.
post #59 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by fstanek View Post

Lots of people seem to think dark walls are better, but there are also a lot of opinions that a $200/ft audio cable is better than a $10/ft audio cable, and the (blind test) numbers just don't back that up. Perhaps the same is true for dark walls.

Not the same thing... We know for a fact that stray light hitting the screen will negatively impact the contrast ratio. As for the math, the science involved is probably more compelling in biology and visual perception. Expensive audio cables are faith-based. biggrin.gif
post #60 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Not the same thing... We know for a fact that stray light hitting the screen will negatively impact the contrast ratio. As for the math, the science involved is probably more compelling in biology and visual perception. Expensive audio cables are faith-based. biggrin.gif

Well, you CAN measure difference between audio cables too, if you have good equipment. But that doesn't mean the impact is something we can hear smile.gif I guess you can say the same about dark walls, although its a measurable difference doesn't mean you can sense it (though everything seems to point too that the difference is indeed visible), but it would be interesting to get some more "Hard science"-discussion.
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