Originally Posted by blister64
thanks for the input man. I figured you would chime in, I've read and learned many things from your posts over the past 2 years along this journey...
I haven't really had any negative feedback on the idea so far, most have been really excited about it. I honestly think with calibration any if these screens would look fantastic, it's just what sort if ambient light level are you looking at or compromises you are willing to deal with.
Since you joined the discussion and have had extensive experience with everything I am looking at, I have a few questions regarding my setup...
Quick initial impressions:
Flexiwhite- great color, seems the most accurate representation. Blacks are ok, but left me wanting darker scenes to seem, well, darker... Any amount of light degrades image quickly
The Flexi-White is indeed the most Color correct....and in a non-ambient light situation
, while it does an admirable job, it's Black Lever rendition and any Contrast preservation is wholly dependent upon two extremely important factors.
- The actual Black / Contrast performance the PJ itself is capable of.....
- How much impact room reflections from the projected content make on the image.
Any / All Unity Gain up to 1.3 gain White screens suffer from black level drop (washout) and reduced contrast under ambient light....never mind actual direct light intrusion. That is why those who have dedicated Theaters that have none of such remain convinced that going with a White screen is preferred above all else.
Flexigray- colors muted slightly, most whites are dulled down, never seems like a true bright white. Blacks are pretty nice. Very noticeably darker. Almost no degradation of picture with the small amount if light we usually use. Just doesn't have the pop of bright color seen in the others.
Yep yep.....the Flexi-Grey does mute the dynamics of any larger sized image that comes from a PJ with lower Lumen output. It achieves it's deeper Blacks via suppression (attenuation) of "ALL" incoming light. While that does deepen the Black Floor, it does and always will dull down the brilliance of bright colors and make White dingy UNLESS that overall tendency toward attenuation is mitigated by additional Lumen punch and effective calibration via a decrease in light output and Gamma adjustments across the gamut of the Color spectrum. The fact that is does not severely attenuate is a point in it's favor, but I personally don't advocate it's use much unless it's pared with a PJ over over 3K lumen
ALR- I have mixed feelings on this one. Contrast is amazing. Deep rich blacks. Didn't really notice how much the color actually pops until watching a full movie last night. Brighter whites than the gray, almost matches the white screen. Holds image quality pretty darn well even with more than normal ambient lighting we would use. Might lose some of the detail in the black just because it is so dark. I actually really like this one just cause the contrast is stunning, but also makes me a little nervous as the viewing angle does slightly alter brightness levels depending on where you sit.
You pretty much nailed that evaluation. It's biggest fault is indeed it's tendency to crush Black oriented shadow detail, but that is kinda a result of it's focus on maintaining gain off a darker surface in the manner it does. Most all ALR Screens are Angular or Retro-Reflective....opting to deliver light back to a more restricted viewing position, and it is exactly the gain that also erases some shadow details within darker content. It's unfortunate that in the process of increasing the appearance increased Color saturation that the added gain suppresses subtle detail, but that is a well known caveat that drives so many White Screen advocates to dismiss the use of such Screens unless the need for them in less that optimal viewing conditions makes them mandatory.
I went into this thinking the flexigray would be my favorite, but that ALR has me second guessing that. The white just won't do well in my setting I don't think, and even with a completely dark room, I'm just a little disappointed in the black performance.
That experience and opinion would change at least a bit with a PJ in use like a Epson 5040-50 and all the more so with a vintage JVC (x790 / RS 540 > and up) The Panny's stated Contrast is ....well overstated, and it's smooth screen Tech is also a contributing factor. That didn't keep me from using it extensively though, because I had the advantage of projecting onto ideally suited painted surfaces, most all of which were taking advantage of the Panny's Lens memory feature. But in the all in all, a White will always be only as good a performer as the PJ in combination with a Room's circumstance can make it be.
With your experience with the materials and AE8000u, after calibration, did you have a material you felt stood out in this combination? I plan to get it professionally calibrated once I make my final screen. Any input you have is appreciated!
Well...........I never did like the ALR offering, as in most all cases viewing cone issues were at the forefront, and the sacrifice of detail was always unacceptable.
The Flexi-Grey was a good standby when painting was not an option and the PJ had acceptable Calibration abilities. The Panny falls into the latter description, but you can expect to lose some brightness as the result of both the Grey surface and the resulting needed calibration. Only the tweaking of the Gamma curves on both Colors and Whites can help, and I'm certain that as long as the Screen size remains at 120"diagonal or less you'll be happy with the end results using the existing PJ.
The ONLY time I've used (...or use...) the Flex-White was when it is being used as a excellent Canvass on which I would paint a High Contrast, Positive Gain ALR solution...because just as your stated preference, I want screens that come as close to doing it all under most any normal circumstances and situations. The tendency for some to dismiss the need of such a surface in a dark, reflection controlled room in preference to a White isn't going to change if the PJs has exceptionally good contrast built in. But all the same, when the saturated colors and shadow detail are both present in a dark room situation...the result is an almost 3-D like realism. Once you experience that....nothing else will ever look as good again.
However no Unity or positive Gain White is ever going to "improve"
color saturation (...just maintain it at best...). The Blacks will only be as good as all the other aspects of the viewing situation will allow.
Of the Three......................I'd cast my vote for the Flexi-Grey, because you can recoup enough White performance to see a difference, all the while achieving just enough ALR(resistance) performance to make a difference over Flexi-White . AND.....considering the very real fact that someday you will upgrade that 'ol Panny, and any newer PJ of at least it's original ilk is chosen, the Flexi-Grey won't disappoint.
Now of course.....one huge advantage you now have and should avail yourself of is trying to bone up on how to at least basically do some simple calibration, because you have before you all three screen examples. Calibrate to the Flexi-Grey first, allow it's image to compare to the others, and if it satisfies.....run with it.