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Orange screen! (What the...?)  

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
While we're waiting for our new home to built (with dedicated HomeTheatre room :p ) we've had to make do with projecting onto our living room wall. The saddest part is that the wall is orange. And I do mean ORANGE!!

While most of you are I'm sure thinking about the incredible bad taste we have in painting our living room orange (and rightly so:)), my main reason for writing is to try and determine what color to paint the wall intended for screening in the new house.

I've read all the informative posts on the forum but my experience with my orange wall has served to confuse me.
Here's why:

With a great deal of help from the friendly people on this excellent forum, 3 weeks ago we finally settled on a NEC VT540 projector, and I love it!

Having blown the budget though, the first thing I did was to go out and buy some Curtain block-out material, thinking that i'd have to make a screen. I spent $100 or so on all the materials I raced home and fired up the projector using the wall to get an idea of what size and shape i'd need to make my screen.

As you'd imagine the initial image was quite red/orange, particularly when viewing skin tones, but by going into the Advanced settings menu and reducing the Green (not red) by 2 clicks I was amazed at the result.

My first thought was wow, if it's this good now, then projecting onto something white will be awesome!! And so I proceeded to temporarily blue tack my fabric screen onto the wall.
The result was equally as surprising, but for all the wrong reasons.

Where by using my orange wall i had a very rich colorful image, using the white block-out material resulted in an image which although a lot brighter was quite washed out.
I know I could've adjusted the color settings via the menu, but
more to the point the white screen showed up all the defects/noise in low resolution images like tv/video and the screendoor effect (invisible on the orange wall) was quite noticable on everything including dvd's.

This was with a projected image of about 2.5m horizontally, and with viewing distance of about 5m.

I've since gone on to test my wall against everything white I can lay my hands on: cardboard, canvas, paper, even dinnerplates :)
but the result is always the same. To my untrained eye, the increased brightness is great but the visibility of screendoor is a major drawback.

I could happily live in ignorance using my orange wall - it gives a very rich filmlike and seamless image, but I can't shake the nagging feeling that using an orange wall is just plain wrong! ;) So I'm hoping someone can suggest something in between or totally different (but not shades of white) which will give a 'slightly' sharper image, but still hide the screendoor effect and general noise you get from tv/video.

Love to get some feedback.
ie: Am I the only crazy one? :D

post #2 of 9
I suspect you would find a gray screen provides you with all the benefits of your orange wall while providing significantly improved color balance. That is to say that I suspect what you find attractive about your orange wall is how much light it absorbs.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

I think you're probably right. Grey could be the way to go.
I think you understand what I'm looking for.
As I say Orange was a real surprise but perhaps because it absorbs so much light it does give images a bit too much of a soft look.

One thing which concerns me (which I'm hoping is just be because of the color of the wall, and doesn't indicate a faulty projector) is that the right hand edge of the picture quite often has a yellow tinge to it, which is obvious whenever a light/ white background is shown.
On the left side it has a blue tinge, but not so obvious.
The bulk of the picture looks fine though. Weird?!

Any thoughts? :confused:

post #4 of 9
Sorry, no thoughts. I've read something similar somewhere around here. But, I barely qualify as being ignorant on this subject.

post #5 of 9
Just so you don't feel ..."alone" I alos painted my living room a shade of orange. I have a red/orange brick fireplace, a red oak floor and a large burnt orange sectional couch with matching carpeting going up the stairs.

So orange was the choice. Anyways white or cream walls are for cowards...bring some color into your life!

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Just so you don't feel ..."alone" I alos painted my living room a shade of orange.
Wow you did that just so I wouldn't feel alone?!
Thanks man ;)

(Concentrating hard) Now I command you to send all your dvd's to me. (Well it was worth a try :))

Orange rules!

post #7 of 9

I've just finished going through this process, and I ended up with a Stewart Greyhawk.

Depending on viewing distance, a gray screen is a good consideration. I'm viewing from about 9.5' from the screen which is almost directly under the projector. Others will recommend a + gain screen around 1.2 or 1.3:1 as an option for more "punchy" presentation.

It's loud as heck so you must do something with the noise. I have a hushbox on order myself....

Here are a few images, all are around 320x240.

First, is the Greyhawk by itself to give you an idea of the "grayness" of it. This is standard color, .95 gain. A friend of mine who's using a very bright projector just ordered a .82 gain (or something around there).


The next shot is Joe Walsh on Pretty Maids All in a Row -- note that this image was projected on a white sheet. The picture is better than you'd expect, but I had done no tuning of the display whatsoever. Take a look at the background between Walsh and Felder, and note the blueish light. The white shirt is a touch greenish which was probably the color decoder.


Followed up is the same shot projected onto the Greyhawk with no tweaking of the projector at all. Wow things are very muted here! The grey kind of drags down the blue between and makes the white short seem almost, well, gray!


Finally, this weekend I pulled out VE to do some initial settings of the "Four major food groups" for video: brightness, contrast, color, tint. I'll have another post about some issues with that a little later. Check out the blue between Walsh and Felder... it's well, blue! Joe Walsh's shirt is much closer to white. Don Felder's "grunge look" plaid shirt isn't ready to throw away just yet ;)

Now this is far from "fully calibrated", I don't have the toys to set Gray Scale yet, nor am I a video expert -- but even with my relatively untrained eye a nice improvement was wraught from a pass with Video Essentials.

Hope this helps.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow. Great post John!

Thanks for going to so much trouble :)
Even on my computer screen the difference between the three photos you showed was clear.
I think i'll need to get myself a copy of VideoEssentials.
I haven't seen it locally (in Australia) but have seen copies of 'The Ultimate DVD'. Do you know if this one is as good?

Thanks again. I think i'm definately going grey. Screen and hair from worrying about how I'm going to pay for my finished HT.
Ah but it's a labor of love :D

post #9 of 9
Actually, I'm probably going to run it through Avia as well.

I'd like to say that this was all for you, and please feel free to think that's the case ;) but I'm actually using those images for myself anyway!

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