Originally Posted by joeybutts
I wouldn't mind a stitch brighter.
So F, what would you recommend?
How does what you are recommending compare to what MM is recommending? Just looking to gain a wee-bit of the knowledge you two possess on the topic.
Your N8.5 screen should be around 0.68gain if flat/matte or slightly brighter in the center if it's eggshell (the higher gloss "eggshell would give it a warmspot most likely), so an N9 would take your brightness up to 0.79gain and white would be all the way up to 0.9-1.0 while SF would be in the 1.2-1.3range...probably on the lower end with MississippiMan's suggested changes.
Since a 20% difference in brightness is about the minimum needed to see a difference that's apparent, a flat/matte-white or Mississippi's SF or MMLL would be a good way to step the brightness up.
If your wall is already smooth or you are willing to make it so and you're able to spray, those two specialty paints should yield good results with a step up in brightness over flat-white..and two steps over your existing screen. BUT a botched paintjob or a mark/bumps in the wall will show up on your picture..so you'll want a good surface and don't rush through the painting.
If you use flat/matte-white, surface flaws as well as any messups during painting will be well hidden because flat paint reflects light evenly and doesn't get misdirected by surface flaws. This means you can roll the paint on without worry and are basically guaranteed it will look beautiful under the projector. It'll also be a step up in brightness over your current screen but a step below the brightness if SF or MMLL.
Because it reflects light evenly and is color-neutral, it will give the highest level of perfection when showing your projector's image in a good room.
The specialty screens such as MississippiMan's can give back contrast when it's washed-out from certain angles of light hitting your screen, but they'll do nothing of the sort in a room that isn't lit or reflective. The only things they can do in your dark room that a flat-white cannot is increase overall brightness beyond 1.0gain.
Specialty screens are also unable to fight light coming from a similar angle as the projector or seating, so they aren't particularly useful against a table-lamp near your seating either.
Basically it's $75-$85 and a somewhat careful sprayjob that can add 20%more brightness and the ability to fight near screen-wall angled ambient light in a bad room OR $10-$15 for a perfect reference-white that can be rolled on with nearly guaranteed success.
If you can spray and the $80 doesn't hurt, go for it. When shopping for ingredients, get a gallon of flat-white instead of the quart for about $3 more..that way you'll have a $3 N9.5 screen waiting for you just in case AND you'll be able to see if you prefer the added brightness of SF or MMLL.
If not, take comfort in knowing that a high-end smooth flat-white screen costs $2000+ and will not look any better than your smooth flat-white option.