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A better grey screen

post #1 of 918
Thread Starter 
My earliest experiments with gray screens left something to desire. Although blacks and shadow detail were enhanced, whites were crushed and colors were sometimes overly muted. The trade off had me rushing back to flat matte white.
Enter "Mist gray". Here is a color that seems to bring forth the best of white and gray. Blacks are enhanced, there's more shadow detail, colors remain vivid or sometimes just slightly muted, and whites don't have that dull dingy appearance. This may be a near perfect balance for my Z1. But, I have yet to tell you the best part. The 'screen door effect' typical of LCD projectors is hugely deminished. Or, put another way, I had no problem increasing from an 80" image to a 100" image. This particular color did a great job masking the SDE.
I'm still experimenting, so more details later.

Two years and eight months later, S-I-L-V-E-R replaces good ol' Misty Evening. Still a wonderful one-can, one shot solution, however.

Go Here for shortcut:
post #2 of 918
I think we need more information that just the words "Mist gray" even if you are going to provide more details later, such as "who makes 'Mist gray' and where did you get it?"
post #3 of 918
CMRA, I agree with Gray Davis......MORE INFO PLEASE!!! You certainly got my attention. Now I simply MUST have more details on this discovery!!
post #4 of 918
Thread Starter 
...here are some details. Mind you, I'm still testing. Anyway, here are the particulars:
Glidden Evermore Paint
"Misty Evening"
It's a flat latex for exterior Masonry and Stucco
It is widely available at Home Depot and most likely any retailer who deals with Glidden.

After more testing I'll post my findings.
post #5 of 918
Here's an idea...

Since your only dealing with paint, would it be possible to paint half the screen the standard matte white and the other half mist grey, then have screenshots taken to compare the two?..

Good job CMRA.. you results interest me since I am a Z1 owner without a screen...
post #6 of 918
Interesting, I am considering ditching my old direct view elephant and using my HT1000 as a replacement, and getting a 16x9 PJ for the larger screen. Projecting say a 60" diagonal superbright image on a dark silver paint (we do not have a dark silver hipower yet) to use during daylight hours. My only query, I have heard people state that silver and not grey was the way to go (I'll probably just run my own test).

What do you think, CMRA? Good luck with your test.
post #7 of 918
Thread Starter 
I too have read the results on silver. I have only experimented with silver fabric an the results were 'unwatchable'. My silver experiment did nothing to enhance black level detail, produced sparklies, enhanced the screen door effect, and magnified DVD artifacts. I obviously tested the 'wrong' silver.
Flat white matte is the easiest to work with and color correct for. However, it's this new gray finish I'm most excited about. I do have to adjust for the loss of color saturation and whites are slightly compressed. This new gray has four significant advantages: Reduces visable artifacts, deminishes the screen door effect, enhances the blacks and controls the amount of light reflected into my room and back on to the screen.
In the white vs gray vs silver war, so far it's the gray that delivers the most satisfying viewing experience for me. Other projectors in other environments may produce completely different results.
When viewing 2.35 to 1 dvds the 100" vs 80" screen at 12 feet does indeed have impact.
post #8 of 918
Thread Starter 
Those following this thread may be please to know my testing continues. Tonight I viewed 'Gladiator' for the umpteenth time. Never has it looked so good. At only 12 feet away on my 100 inch screen I had to work at detecting the screen door effect. On my white screen 16 feet would be the minimum viewing distance. More later.
post #9 of 918

Have you tried any filters on your Z1? and if so, how did it/they compare to the grey screen? I am using a Neutral Density and an FL-D filter, but wonder if a grey screen would be better for me than the ND filter, especially for screendoor. I'm limited to an 82" screen from 13 feet back only because of screendoor.

post #10 of 918
Thread Starter 
Filters? No. I read where others have used CC filters, but with the Z1's ample adjustments I see no need. I can only speak for this discovery, and as far as screen door effect goes, misty evening gray is very much in the right direction. Could there be better? Perhaps. The cost of gray sceeens being what they are, this is bargain city. One thing is certain, I am enjoying a wonderful 100" picture at 12'.
post #11 of 918
Thread Starter 

Originally posted by dr_mark2001
Interesting, I am considering ditching my old direct view elephant and using my HT1000 as a replacement, and getting a 16x9 PJ for the larger screen. Projecting say a 60" diagonal superbright image on a dark silver paint (we do not have a dark silver hipower yet) to use during daylight hours. My only query, I have heard people state that silver and not grey was the way to go (I'll probably just run my own test).

What do you think, CMRA? Good luck with your test.

CMRA thinks with the right projector and setup, silver may be the best way to go. I have only tried one silver solution and immediately dismissed it as doable. Then again, I have an LCD projector. I have read many positive reviews and comments and even seen some screen shots of Vutec's offering. I'm sure I'd like it too and could adjust my projector to make it look great. However, I read it also costs upwards of $58.00 a square foot! Right now, I'm getting an image that bests any cinema I've been to in recent memory. In the not to distant future when my 'busy' friend finds the time to truck it over I'll have another 'silver' screen to try. I'll post my experience.
post #12 of 918
Thread Starter 
In the next two days I will go head to head with another silver solution. Hopefully it will better my last silver attempt. As usual, I'll post my findings.
post #13 of 918
Given the CEDIA results, I may just get a HS-20 or LT240K and blast away on a 50-60" diagonal grey screen for a direct view replacement. Is this Misty Evening a dark or light grey, what does it look like in the daytime?

Thanks and good luck.
post #14 of 918
Thread Starter 
Misty evening is a lighter shade of grey. Sample color swatches are available at home depot and other distributors of Glidden paints. I have tried darker greys and they crush the whites too much. ( I suppose with a high lumen light canon like the Nec 240 that won't be an issue). By the way, it is very inexpensive and retouches well. My touch-up goes unnoticed. It looks light grey in daylight.
post #15 of 918
Thread Starter 
Looks as though silver is coming in spades. I'll have three new silver solutions to test before the evening is through. Keep posted.
post #16 of 918
Thread Starter 
Well, two of the four silver fabrics went under the scope today. Of the two, the lighter one produced the more flattering picture. In fact, it had as much snap as the misty evening paint. Blacks were acceptable. The darker silver, disappointed greatly..a real tosser because it really crushed the whites. However, both bested my first silver attemp. The lighter silver fabric actually competed favorably with the misty evening except for one area. It dramatically enhanced the screen door pattern. I would imagine members with very high resolution projectors such as those who own DILAs would find immediate favor with the material. For now, for me and LCD, misty evening grey is the best answer. Two more silvers coming.
post #17 of 918

What material is the screen made of?
post #18 of 918
Thread Starter 
Here's an enhancement that totally took me by surprise. On some dvds, in some scenes, there is a visably enhanced 3d effect. In particular, I played 'Chicken Run'. Another was 'Nighmare Before Christmas'. This may be unique to 'claymation' type dvds and it was only apparent in some scenes. A nice bonus nonetheless. Has me thinking. I read something similar about screen goo coupled with a modified X1 awhile back.
post #19 of 918
I'm painting my screen tomorow and I'm having a guy who paints cars do it with latex paint, but he needs to know what color code to go with. Need expert help asap. I live in europe but other color code will probably be fine

Thanks in advance
post #20 of 918
I also went to Home Depot looking for grey paint to use for a screen with my Epson S1 LCD projector. I settled on a CIL flat paint - Touch of Grey. I remember seeing the Misty one, but can't remember how it compared to Touch of Grey.

I am very happy with the results. I projected half of my image on the newly painted grey screen, and half on my Pure White Satin wall to do a comparison. The whites are muted slightly, the colours are richer, screendoor is visibly reduced, and the blacks are beautiful and deep (relatively speaking). For a very dark room like my HT, the small sacrifice in whites is worth it.
post #21 of 918
Thread Starter 
I do not have a source code and the home depot code would be useless ( I would think) in Europe. Have your paint retailer cross reference "Glidden Misty Evening". They should be able to formulate a close match.
post #22 of 918
Thread Starter 
Fellow members,
Looks as though there will be a delay on the two remaining silver fabric screens for testing. I'll keep all informed.
post #23 of 918
Can I paint a Parkland Plastics screen with this Misty gray paint, CMRA?
post #24 of 918
Thread Starter 
The real question should be: will paint bond to the surface of Parkland Plastics? I don't have a definitive answer for you. Latex paints will cover some plastics but will peel very easily. If I were to try that route I'd pretreat the surface first with a good white primer such as Kilz after scuff sanding the surface. A better approach would be to acquire a sheet of Luan or hardboard (basically pegboard without the holes), prime that then paint it. Both can be purchased at your local hardware store for under $10.00 (usually).
post #25 of 918
Thanks a lot, CMRA! I think I might try your mist gray idea.
post #26 of 918
Thread Starter 
The next silver fabric is here. Actually, it's sitting in my truck awaiting an elevator ride to my testing room. Stay tuned.
post #27 of 918
What's with the silver fabric? Are you backing away from misty gray? I thought that was the best so far.
post #28 of 918
Hi everyone,

I too just picked up some Misty Evening paint from HD after reading this post. It is a very light shade of gray.

I am going to use this on my screen that i will start to build tommorow using blackout cloth.

I do have one question though, should i primer the cloth with white primer first or can i just go ahead and paint it? I will be using a foam roller to apply the paint. Is this a good roller to use?

post #29 of 918
Perhaps you can put aside a piece of the blackout cloth unpainted, and then take some screenshots with it over the Grey screen for a comparison?
post #30 of 918
Thread Starter 
Painting on BO cloth? If painting works then priming and painting will work that much better. Primer sets up paint to give it a smooth, even finish. I have found Kilz 2 an excellent primer when painting with latex. It's cheap enough to try both ways and determine which results you prefer.
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