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Screen-Where to Purchase?  

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a newly obtained Sony 1270Q that I purchased on E-Bay and am quite pleased with the projector's image projected on my wall. Now that I've found the projector to be in good working condition, it's obviously time to buy a screen.

I'm thinking about 72x96. I'm going to do MOSTLY 16x9 BUT I want to be able to watch movies and non-HD sports on a full 4:3 screen and the 72x96 looks like a nice compromise. I would like to go a little bigger if I can but I don't know what the next 4:3 "normal" sized screen is. I believe that my projector will be bright enough to handle the jump. Should I do this next logical incremental jump in screen size and if so, what size would this be (without having to have a screen custom made)? which leads into question 2...

I'm really doing this "on the cheap" and would like to get the best "good" value with the most bang for my buck when I purchase my screen. I understand that the screen is probably the second most vital part of the "system" so I don't want to screw up but I don't want to screw up and end up with a screen I'll throw away in 2 months either.

Even though I will be able to control ambient light to a large extent; I would like to have a high-gain screen in hopes that I could watch it in daylight sometimes (with the shades pulled on two large windows).

I've seen these glass-beaded 1.1 gain Da-Lite screens on E-Bay for around $200 (72x96). Will I be content with one of these or is it a piece of junk. AVScience is supposed to have B-Stock on Draper's but I can't seem to find any. They are WAY more expensive than the Da-Lites on E-Bay. I assume there MUST be a reason for this other that just the gains available.

I ended up "stealing" a real nice projector so I don't want to skimp on the screen now BUT my wife's gonna kill me if I spend much more since I've sunk over $15k into HT equipment these past 12 months already. What about used? Where? I can't seem to find anything on the net outside the Draper and the Da-Lite sites and they don't even have links to resellers!

Please help me
post #2 of 10
FYI - Glass beaded screens are good if you are going to floormount the projector. But they will produce some undesireable hotspotting if you're sitting low, and the projector is up there on the cieling.

I have to warn you that some (not all) of these screens being sold on ebay, can have defects, scratches, markings, and may be being sold because they got a better screen. Some screens also look "sparkly" and you do not want that in your home theater.

For cieling mounted projectors, go with a reflective screen if you go for any high gain technologies.

Just so that you know!

Mark Rejhon
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for the response. This discussion and the FP discussion group have had me really frustrated of late since I'm fairly new (actually VERY new) to these two groups. It seems that there's a "click" in these groups and if you're not part of it; your questions don't get answered. It's really frustrating since I "come from" the HD group where EVERYBODY has an opinion and everybody jumps in (good or bad... LOL) to "help."

Thanks for the suggestions. I am definately ceiling mounting because I have housecats and they're more important to me than any stupid projector or TV (don't flame me here folks, I just love my animals).

I ended up buying a 1.1 gain matte white 72x96 Da-Lite Wall-Mounted Pull-down on E-Bay for $200 tonight after getting no responses from my question posted here and in the Projector discussion group. It's not really what I wanted (I wanted a higher gain I think) but it'll get me by until I can decipher what I really want and can convince the wife to let me buy it! hehehe

Thanks for the advice. It's nice to see someone's reading these posts after all.

[This message has been edited by LearningMan (edited March 04, 2000).]
post #4 of 10
One other point is that glass beaded screens are usually not washable. They are designed for use with LCD/DLP projectors with more even light dispersion. CRT FPTVs will generally have both hotspotting and colorshifting issues with glass beaded screens, a Draper M2500 screen is a better bet being washable and having twice the gain with less hotspotting.

I also second Ken's opinion that a 96" wide 1.1 gain screen will be dim with your projector without pushing the brightness/contrast to blooming.

As a general rule, it's best to let a post go for a day. Different people chime in at different times. Also, the more obscure the question, the fewer people will answer right away.

There aren't 10,000 people watching all of the posts like some of the largest forums/newsgroups, so not every question will get tons of feedback, but there are some really knowledgable/personable people on this forum, so you are less likely to get flamed here, and more likely to get an informed answer.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Ken and Dean:

Thanks gentlemen. I really appreciate the advice. The guy who "sold" me the 1.1 is a Da-Lite "dealer" and has offered me an upgrade path (based on what you folks have said)...

1) Glass-bead 2.5 gain. 30 deg viewing angle. I understand that there are some problems with ceiling mounted projectore with this and that cleaning might be an issue.

2) Video-Spectra 1.5 gain. 35 deg viewing angle. This seems to be a nice compromise but is it enough increase in gain to have any noticeable gain in brightness (forgive my ignorance about these things... I'm learning

3) High Power 2.8 gain. 25 deg viewing angle. This seems to be the one except for what I have read about hot-spotting.

All of the above have been offered to me at what I think are reasonable upgrade prices from the guy on the auction. They're probably B-Stock and I understand that but if one of'em will get me buy till fall (WITHOUT burning up my projector in the interim!) I'll buy a true "brand-name" then. Yes, I did "steal" the projector and would like to think I won't have to look another to steal very soon!

What about the viewing angle/cone? Is it really that big of a deal with one or two couches centered on the screen? Any advice on the above would be greatly appreciated. Pick one for me guys!


[This message has been edited by LearningMan (edited March 05, 2000).]
post #6 of 10

It's good that you have lots of options here.

Personally, I wouldn't choose any glass beaded screen for use with a CRT FPTV. They are really designed for high light environments and PC display presentation use with LCD/DLP FPTVs which have more even light dispersion and a single source of light, which compansates for the viewing angle problems, color shifting and hotspotting that glass beaded and high gain screens can cause with CRT FPTVs. The 2.8 high gain screens share these problems and sometimes add a sparkly-shimmering effect too.

Out of your list I'd pick the Video Spectra 1.5 gain screen. The size is maybe a tad large, but should be fine for a room with good light control.

For the viewing angle, it should be fine with the 1.5 gain screen, but the higher gain screens can have a noticable light falloff at angles outside the viewing cone, as well as more extreme color shifting problems at the off angles.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot. Ironically enough, I had to make a choice (since I won an auction) today and the Video Spectra 1.5 was exactly the screen I chose. I must be learning something.

Thanks again. I'll let everyone know how it turns out. Based on the preliminary testing of my projector on my gray walls; I'll be very pleased. I don't really know any better like a lot of you. I have no basis of comparison since noone around here even believes it'll work much less have ever even seen one. It might not be up to the standards of people in this forum but it will surely be the talk of my small town (30,000) anyway!

Thanks again... to all.
post #8 of 10
Try to keep contrast down - something like 65% contrast. Then you'll have a long life out of your projector. The projector tubes will burn out exponentially faster at 80-100% contrast.

Mark Rejhon
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mark. I was shooting for 50-60% on the contrast (though I doubt this is very realistic). I am encouraged that "driving" the contrast to 65 or maybe 70 won't hurt much in the long run. This will make my life MUCH easier based on my preliminary, albeit crude; testing so far "on the gray wall."

Thanks again... EVERYBODY!
post #10 of 10
Hey there Learningman--

Don't get over hear much but saw your thread and decided to offer my opinion too:

I feel everone should be calibrating their FP with a good test (Avia has one)and set the contrast according to the test patterns to optimize contrast and brightness. When I did this on my FP I found the picture looked good in total darkness but was washed out in the daytime. The test will show when the edges will just bloom out, then back off a bit and that should get you good bright picture and good tube life. To get a good picture on the 96 inch screen simply control your room lighting. I recall you can do that in your intended HT room. I had to take special measures with light blocking window shades to achieve satisfactory compromise picture in the daytime. At night the picture is very watchable. I'm still working to improve this here. I use a 92 inch wide screen but only a 1.0 gain. As you recall I must floor mount my FP so I'm stuck with having to use a 1.0 gain screen to avoid hot spotting and color shifts that many have complained about with higher gain screens and floor mounting. Also, another trick I learned from Lee Anton is to use dark, preferably flat black walls in the HT room. AND use black carpet on the floor, especially in front of the screen as back scatter light reflecting from the walls and floor and cieling that originated from the screen picture itself will tend to wash the picture. While I have framed my screen wall in dark draperies, I am still using a teal carpet that is causing noticeable back reflectance at night. This will be an area for improvement in my HT as we do plan to recarpet within the next year. My cieling is white but it is too high to be an issue. This height also was one of the problems in me cieling mounting my projector as I hate screens that cause you to look up. The center of my screen is at eye level. I did not have the room to create a seating riser like some HT's need because they do a cieling mount from a high cieling.

Speaking of cieling mounts, be sure you design yours so that you can do maintenance easily. ie. get to your connections, get to the mechanical focus and get to any board swap slots without having to pull the heavy projector down. I've seen some cieling mounts that are down right scary with respect to simple maintenance. An idea I had when I was considering cieling mount is to use one of those electric hoists just above and center of the mount so I could easily lower and raise the projector for maintenance. They're not that expensive and would be well worth the installation time.

Soon I will be posting my latest variable AR screen system pics on my web site showing my own way to achieve an enhanced picture with the electric roll down 4:3. You will probably want to add this feature as it greatly enhanceds the visual look of the movies to have an exact shaped screen to match each movie AR.

Don Landis
NEW! Home Theater Pics at:www.scubatech.com updated 2/15/00
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