I have applied Ken's goo to Parkland plastic. I would never have heard of either had it not been for AVS, so I owe a report. The report is preliminary, however, because I have not had the time to properly calibrate the PJ. I had problems using the CE DVD, and have ordered AVIA. To put this matter in perspective, I have only had the time to watch one movie since the installation was completed. My time for calibration is therefore even more limited.
Here is what I know.
First, the setup involves a piece of plastic 49" x 87 1/2 "; a Plus Piano, Ken's digital goo, and a Sony NS700P DVD player.
The goo applies to the plastic very well. I had my contractors spray it on, not roll it. The finished product looks very even and very professional. I can see no evidence of hot spotting. My only regret is not having applied the plastic to a more substantial backing. I used thin MDF (1/4"), which introduced a very slight waviness to the finished screen. I don't think it affects the image, but when you look at the screen from the side (as you do when you enter the room, because of my layout), you can see that it is not perfectly flat. I would consider applying it to a sheet of glass to obtain perfect flatness. Next best bet: apply it right to the wallboard.
I used a DYI technique learned here to attach the Piano to the ceiling without a mount. I am thrilled with the result. The 16:9 image hits the screen perfectly. The NTSC 4:3 image fills the height exactly, leaving unilliuminated bars left and right. I will make masks someday to fill those bars, but right now they do not bother me.
One fortunate move: I had a 4" wide wood border attached to the wall surrounding the screen, and painted it black. The Piano shoots some light above and below the 16:9 screen. Nearly all of it is absorbed by the border.
The walls in the room are light tan, except for the wall with the screen, which is a darker brown. The ceiling is white. The room has a green rug and a green sectional sofa. I know, I know, but the room has multiple purposes. It is in the basement, so control over sunlight is total. There are several recessed lights in the ceiling.
I initially used Piano settings previously posted by Bublichki. I realize that I am pushing the Piano a little beyond its limits by using a screen that is as large as mine. Plus wants up to use a 1.3 gain screen, and would rather have us limit screen size to 80". Mine is 100", and the gain on my screen is, if Ken's recent posting on this thread is correct, somewhere in the 1 - 1.15 range. Maybe higher because I had the goo sprayed?
My initial reaction to the image was sheer joy. After I recovered from the shock of actually having a PJ and an HT for the first time, I got a bit more critical. I started to notice that the complexions of some actors seemed gray -- like they were ill. Tropical flowers seemed dingy. Then I set up a piece of unpainted Parkalnd plastic covering about 1/3 of the screen, and everything changed. The white plastic showed brighter flowers and better complexions. The dark portions of the picture were, however, relatively washed out. The unpainted screen's image lacked some body that the painted portion had, but the painted portion lacked some vivid coloration.
In this regard, I followed with great interest the thread started by Icon Master at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/membe...o&userid=25463
. His observations about the white screen next to the grey one matched my experience. The many thoughtful responses, including the especially creative one by Joe12South on 3-15, were very interesting.
Holding a white screen next to a grey one is not a fair test, for several reasons. One of which is that the eye works on the basis of relative brightness, and relative coloration. When I don't hold the white plastic next to the grey screen, I am much more satisfied with the grey screen. Portions of the image that are supposed to be brilliant look so again.
The discussion on that thread confirmed my initial belief that at least part of the problem stems from having all of my PJ and DVD settings match those of another AVS'r who is projecting his Piano onto a white wall. So I ordered AVIA, which has not yet arrived, and did a little home cooking with the settings. I found it easier to tweak the DVD player's settings than the Piano's, although I will get around to that. But I found that by greatly increasing a setting on the DVD player called "Picture" (what the heck is that?), many of the initial problems were greatly ameliorated. The tropical flowers got more brilliant. The complexions no longer looked like the actors were ill; and the extra "body" of the grey screen remained.
One surprise: I can turn the lights on in the room (unscrewing the only bulb that washes directly onto the screen) and still have a very enjoyable image. I don't mean that I turn the lights on all the way. They are on a dimmer, and I can turn the dimmer up half-way and still get a good picture. This is a very pleasant surprise, because it means that for casual viewing of a baseball or football game, people don't have to give up the sociability of being able to see each other. I am guessing that the grey screen significantly improves the performance under these lighting conditions.
I still need to adjust the Piano further, and will continue to do so. I suspect that, by pushing the limits of the screen size beyond where the Piano is supposed to go, I have introduced compromises that will not go away entirely.
At this point, I would say to you Parland enthusiasts, that Ken's goo is likely to improve your image noticeably if you have the lumens to deal with the grey color. I would not say that it is an improvement that is consistent with the extreme frugality of the Parkland plastic, since the goo costs several times what the plastic costs. I cannot imagine, however, that in the context of AVS, where people are spending thousands on their setups and lots of time thinking of the latest and greatest tweaks, that another $100 or so is a bad buy for an improved image.
To complete the story of my system, I used a Denon 2802 receiver and (horrors!) six audiosource in-wall speakers purchased on eBay, along with a Sony 12" subwoofer. (Frankly, I care much more about the picture than about the sound). This kept my all-in budget for the HT to $5k, including the cost of the goo, etc. Like many of you, I am both thrilled with what I have, and looking forward to improving it. But I will sit tight until HD-DVDs are readily available, then go for another round of blood-letting.
Any thoughts from Ken would be very wlecome.