Can paint mixes have ALR properties? - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 60 Old 11-16-2019, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought we had decided that material was going to be undesirable?
Just going to use it for testing.
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post #32 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 01:04 AM
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Using the coated, textured/weave material to test the projector's uniformity for bright/dim spots is fine (or would be if it wasn't doing weird things like you mentioned), but using it for paint testing is a bad idea because it'll make the paints look and perform worse...the more ambient-light rejecting a paint can do, the worse it'll look on a textured surface.
Just warning in case that's the kind of testing you were thinking of..not sure if you were just talking about uniformity testing.

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post #33 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
Using the coated, textured/weave material to test the projector's uniformity for bright/dim spots is fine (or would be if it wasn't doing weird things like you mentioned), but using it for paint testing is a bad idea because it'll make the paints look and perform worse...the more ambient-light rejecting a paint can do, the worse it'll look on a textured surface.
Just warning in case that's the kind of testing you were thinking of..not sure if you were just talking about uniformity testing.
The back side is grey in color, which I understand is not good for paint mix.

The plywood is black on one side and brown on the other. Do I need a white coated plywood, even for testing?
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post #34 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 01:49 AM
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Yes, the white coating can help the sprayed-on mixes look more uniform and bright when projected upon.
Also, if you use a glossy white it'll give you a heads-up about how much texture is hiding on the plywood surface before you paint it with a mix...so you'll know whether or not to expect it to look nice with a mix or kind of textured and grainy.
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post #35 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 02:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
Yes, the white coating can help the sprayed-on mixes look more uniform and bright when projected upon.
Also, if you use a glossy white it'll give you a heads-up about how much texture is hiding on the plywood surface before you paint it with a mix...so you'll know whether or not to expect it to look nice with a mix or kind of textured and grainy.
You mean to expect the texture of the plywood, not of the paint, which should be smooth?

What if a surface is repainted? White plywood plus several coats of paint?
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post #36 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 03:15 AM
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Yes, I mean to expect there might be some texture from the plywood. The sprayed on paint itself should add incredibly little to no texture.

I haven't personally had much luck with extra paint coatings making anything smoother over time, but it can sometimes add extra texture if some of the painting goes on too thick or orange-peel like...though several coats might give you a surface that's better for sanding smooth, I've had mixed results when sanding too, sadly.

I'd recommend starting with just enough to get the panel looking uniformly white, then seeing what you think about the texture as-is; no extra coats, no sanding. If possible, post a close-up picture of the white painted surface with a pen/pencil tip nearby for size reference for us to look at.

Either way, I think a painted plywood panel should still be a lot better than the BlackOutClock..even on its smoother side.

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post #37 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 03:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
Yes, I mean to expect there might be some texture from the plywood. The sprayed on paint itself should add incredibly little to no texture.

I haven't personally had much luck with extra paint coatings making anything smoother over time, but it can sometimes add extra texture if some of the painting goes on too thick or orange-peel like...though several coats might give you a surface that's better for sanding smooth, I've had mixed results when sanding too, sadly.

I'd recommend starting with just enough to get the panel looking uniformly white, then seeing what you think about the texture as-is; no extra coats, no sanding. If possible, post a close-up picture of the white painted surface with a pen/pencil tip nearby for size reference for us to look at.

Either way, I think a painted plywood panel should still be a lot better than the BlackOutClock..even on its smoother side.
If a white substrate is required to paint on, would not multiple coats affect how the latest coat looks like? For testing.
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post #38 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 04:00 AM
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You mean, would multiple coats of the dark-colored mix itself affect how the latest coat looks? ..the FolkArt mix is pretty translucent (not a lot of pigment in the FolkArt metallic, and the mix uses a lot of clear polyurethane), and both the FolkArt mix as well as SilverFire are sprayed on really thin/light.
At least with the FA mix I've noticed it turning out dimmer and sometimes less uniform or even grainy when painted onto a dark surface instead of a light one, but I think the mix's own metallic gain helps when it's painted over itself because the heaviest areas naturally have the most metallic gain at the same time. That said, I don't think I've tried painting over an FA mix with more FA mix after it's coated enough to look uniformly colored. I'm pretty sure the last screen I painted over, I first sprayed white, then used the different mix I wanted to test.

..or are you asking something else?

If you're asking about muliple coats of white VS just a couple, it should be good as soon as it looks like a solid color without a bunch of darker spots/specks from thin or missed spots.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415

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post #39 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
You mean, would multiple coats of the dark-colored mix itself affect how the latest coat looks?.
Yes.
I have a small plywood panel with a white coating, and will probably get some more.
Something like this:
https://sc01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1TE9mH...Xq6xXFXXXZ.jpg

I would like to test different mixes to see what is the best, and they would have to be applied one over the other (after the last one is dry and tested).
Wouldn't the multiple layers affect the performance of the (last layer) of paint vs how it would look like when spraying it on a screen (one layer)?

LE: I don't mean the 6-8 coats that are applied when painting a screen.
I want to apply 6-8 coats with a mix, then after it's tested apply 6-8 coats with a different mix.

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post #40 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 05:37 AM
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I think the mixes will perform at least a little better if you can make the panel white again before applying the next mix.

I've seen Mississippiman suggest lightly sanding before the final coats of SilverFire and while I don't personally think this is a good idea between coats for the FolkArt mix, I DO think it might help to lightly sand either right before or right after the white coating before beginning a new mix IF there's some texture from the painted layers before it.

I've had some trouble in the past with sanding either doing very little against textured paint (if the paint was relatively hardy) or the sanding itself leaving tiny scratches that could sometimes be worse than the surface-texture was in the first place...or both. So that's why I hesitate to suggest sanding unless it's absolutely needed for something like an obviously textured surface.
I've seen Mississippi suggest using a sanding sponge instead of paper+block to at least minimize the chance of scuffing the surface with a corner/edge.

EDIT: Is that plywood/panel really smooth on the white side, like a white-board you'd use for dry-erase markers?

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
I think the mixes will perform at least a little better if you can make the panel white again before applying the next mix.

I've seen Mississippiman suggest lightly sanding before the final coats of SilverFire and while I don't personally think this is a good idea between coats for the FolkArt mix, I DO think it might help to lightly sand either right before or right after the white coating before beginning a new mix IF there's some texture from the painted layers before it.

I've had some trouble in the past with sanding either doing very little against textured paint (if the paint was relatively hardy) or the sanding itself leaving tiny scratches that could sometimes be worse than the surface-texture was in the first place...or both. So that's why I hesitate to suggest sanding unless it's absolutely needed for something like an obviously textured surface.
I've seen Mississippi suggest using a sanding sponge instead of paper+block to at least minimize the chance of scuffing the surface with a corner/edge.

EDIT: Is that plywood/panel really smooth on the white side, like a white-board you'd use for dry-erase markers?
The plywood is not 100% smooth, but more smooth than the surface of Cinewhite for example. Similar to Cinewhite UHD.

Should sanding be done between the 6-8 coats on the final screen?
Or is the sanding to remove or smooth out the paint on the plywood when doing the testing?

The screen will not be plywood, probably Flexi white, a white screen from Harnkness, or whatever similar screen I can find.
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post #42 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 10:02 AM
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The plywood is not 100% smooth, but more smooth than the surface of Cinewhite for example. Similar to Cinewhite UHD.
There is a real need to clarify a few points here....so as to avoid @noob00224 from having to discover things the hard way when some correct knowledge will allow him to bypass known issues.

Unless wood is sealed with a Primer, or a Paint that is heavily laden with Acrylic, the application of paint will raise the grain even on a wood surface that feels smooth to the touch. This effect is both well known and universally accepted by Finishers everywhere. When such a sealer is not available, then multiple light coats must be applied, with a light sanding after every one. This is done so as to remove paint applied to higher points while letting lower ares gradually "fill In". This is a highly inefficient way to go about smoothly finishing a surface, but one often attempted by those not familiar with or unable to use correct methods.

Once a surface is filled in to the point where everything is leveled, a last slightly heavier coat is applied, one that can finally be sanded without the higher points (Grain lines in this instance) no long stand out when a sanding material is used.

Unfortunately, in most cases the application of 1-2 heavier coats simply raises the high points at the same time lower points are filled in. As such all the more paint must be removed off the high points just to get back to a starting point...usually by aggressive sanding. If a fine grit Sanding is done on a raw wood surface until it feels exceptionally smooth,that helps of course, but without a proper sealing, the moisture within a paint (or solvents withing a oil based paint) will be absorbed unequally, again resulting in the raising of the "appearance" of Grain.

There is simply no substitute to the proper preparation of any surface. If a ALR-oriented translucent paint of any type is to be effective without unduly attenuating absorbed light, the under-lying substrate MUST be as reflective as possible without itself introducing excessive sheen or or texture related artifacts.


(Artists who use Canvass as a substrate use something called Gesso, a very thick coating that is "spread on" that hides the texture of Canvass)


As such, applying a different ALR-grey coating over a previously applied Grey coating is self defeating...unless one is willing to accept that attenuation will almost always be increased beyond what should be expected / desired / required.

To close this point out...since DIY'ers have been painting surfaces for screens,there are those who wish to experiment with multiple attempts. And naturally do so without expending any more expense or effort that necessary. Perfectly understandable...but nonetheless something that must always be defined and explained dependent upon the circumstances in order to avoid leading to ineffectual or misleading end results. If one wants certifiably correct results on a given surface by which to make correct assessments, short cuts or the use of unadvised methods should be avoided. Do it right, or accept that you cannot make a validjudgement as to performance, no matter what paint solution is employed.

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Should sanding be done between the 6-8 coats on the final screen?
The reason why a "very" light sanding after the 6th coat is advised is because even with the most care in spraying on Duster coats, the introduction of multiple layers of "dots" of paint can and often does still introduce a light texture. This texture is so slight that it can be "knocked off" with just one very light sanding, allowing the final 1-2 coats to achieve a much smoother surface. Emphasis must be made again that such sanding is extremely light.

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Or is the sanding to remove or smooth out the paint on the plywood when doing the testing?
Both...if plywood is to be used, which according to what is stated below is not the case going forward.

Quote:
The screen will not be plywood, probably Flexi white, a white screen from Harnkness, or whatever similar screen I can find.
All the prior reasons for doing a light sanding apply for ANY surface used. Any surface.
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post #43 of 60 Old 11-19-2019, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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There is a real need to clarify a few points here....so as to avoid @noob00224 from having to discover things the hard way when some correct knowledge will allow him to bypass known issues.

Unless wood is sealed with a Primer, or a Paint that is heavily laden with Acrylic, the application of paint will raise the grain even on a wood surface that feels smooth to the touch. This effect is both well known and universally accepted by Finishers everywhere. When such a sealer is not available, then multiple light coats must be applied, with a light sanding after every one. This is done so as to remove paint applied to higher points while letting lower ares gradually "fill In". This is a highly inefficient way to go about smoothly finishing a surface, but one often attempted by those not familiar with or unable to use correct methods.

Once a surface is filled in to the point where everything is leveled, a last slightly heavier coat is applied, one that can finally be sanded without the higher points (Grain lines in this instance) no long stand out when a sanding material is used.

Unfortunately, in most cases the application of 1-2 heavier coats simply raises the high points at the same time lower points are filled in. As such all the more paint must be removed off the high points just to get back to a starting point...usually by aggressive sanding. If a fine grit Sanding is done on a raw wood surface until it feels exceptionally smooth,that helps of course, but without a proper sealing, the moisture within a paint (or solvents withing a oil based paint) will be absorbed unequally, again resulting in the raising of the "appearance" of Grain.

There is simply no substitute to the proper preparation of any surface. If a ALR-oriented translucent paint of any type is to be effective without unduly attenuating absorbed light, the under-lying substrate MUST be as reflective as possible without itself introducing excessive sheen or or texture related artifacts.


(Artists who use Canvass as a substrate use something called Gesso, a very thick coating that is "spread on" that hides the texture of Canvass)


As such, applying a different ALR-grey coating over a previously applied Grey coating is self defeating...unless one is willing to accept that attenuation will almost always be increased beyond what should be expected / desired / required.

To close this point out...since DIY'ers have been painting surfaces for screens,there are those who wish to experiment with multiple attempts. And naturally do so without expending any more expense or effort that necessary. Perfectly understandable...but nonetheless something that must always be defined and explained dependent upon the circumstances in order to avoid leading to ineffectual or misleading end results. If one wants certifiably correct results on a given surface by which to make correct assessments, short cuts or the use of unadvised methods should be avoided. Do it right, or accept that you cannot make a validjudgement as to performance, no matter what paint solution is employed.

The reason why a "very" light sanding after the 6th coat is advised is because even with the most care in spraying on Duster coats, the introduction of multiple layers of "dots" of paint can and often does still introduce a light texture. This texture is so slight that it can be "knocked off" with just one very light sanding, allowing the final 1-2 coats to achieve a much smoother surface. Emphasis must be made again that such sanding is extremely light.

Both...if plywood is to be used, which according to what is stated below is not the case going forward.

All the prior reasons for doing a light sanding apply for ANY surface used. Any surface.
What is the grit for the sand sponge?

When I looked at the used screens locally there were some cheap screen which I may use for testing. How about getting a larger size Flexi White and cutting or framing it with the part that will not be used, for testing.
Will a folded smaller Flexi White be ok for testing? I'll use the creases as borders for different mixes.


LE: for testing, does the fabric has to be stretched?

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post #44 of 60 Old 11-20-2019, 06:22 AM
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What is the grit for the sand sponge?

If it says "Fine Grit" (not Medium or Coarse) then that should be fine (pun) The really important thing is to use a very solft touch...barely kissing the surface and using long, sweeping strokes. As stated before, the object in no so much to remove paint as to simply knock off any slight bumps (...or collected debris..) prior to a final 1-2 coats.


Quote:
When I looked at the used screens locally there were some cheap screen which I may use for testing. How about getting a larger size Flexi White and cutting or framing it with the part that will not be used, for testing.
Will a folded smaller Flexi White be ok for testing? I'll use the creases as borders for different mixes.


LE: for testing, does the fabric has to be stretched?

Yes...a larger piece cut into 1m x 1.5m rectangles can allow for the testing (...and comparison...) of at least 3/4 examples.


And yes...for both painting and testing the fabric should be stretched or supported. For samples however, simply pegging them securely to a flat surface with Thumb Tacks should suffice.


As for the folds....get them out as much as possible but don't let the discourage testing. You can ignore them against the observed results.
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post #45 of 60 Old 11-20-2019, 07:00 AM
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Poster Board is another possible surface for samples which can pin up well and be found locally for a few dollars in sizes 50cm x 76cm or larger. The kind that works well will look/feel like a heavy "card stock" sheet with a somewhat satin/shiny wax-like coating on one side. The paper's "waxy" coating and the light/fast sprayed coats prevent the surface from curling or warping from excess moisture, and the heavy cardstock rigidity while being thinner than wood or other panels allows it to settle against other comparison surfaces very smoothly and flat, creating a particularly ideal comparison.

It also happens to be very smooth and white to begin with, so no prep is needed before applying a mix once you're able to apply smooth fast/light sprayed coats. Just pin or tape a sheet onto some kind of firm "backing" where a bit of overspray is safe, paint, fan dry, paint, repeat until you get a nice, even coverage using the duster spray method mentioned earlier. And the low cost allows multiple test surfaces without needing to re-use a surface for different mix trials.
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Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415

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Just a heads-up in case it was missed (or I forgot to mention) but I do NOT recommend sanding between coats of the FolkArt mix. The mix itself can spray on incredibly smooth as long as the surface is smooth and clean to begin with and as long as the spraying doesn't accidentally go on too thick/slow where it gets drips/runs/sags.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #47 of 60 Old 11-20-2019, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Poster Board is another possible surface for samples which can pin up well and be found locally for a few dollars in sizes 50cm x 76cm or larger. The kind that works well will look/feel like a heavy "card stock" sheet with a somewhat satin/shiny wax-like coating on one side. The paper's "waxy" coating and the light/fast sprayed coats prevent the surface from curling or warping from excess moisture, and the heavy cardstock rigidity while being thinner than wood or other panels allows it to settle against other comparison surfaces very smoothly and flat, creating a particularly ideal comparison.

It also happens to be very smooth and white to begin with, so no prep is needed before applying a mix once you're able to apply smooth fast/light sprayed coats. Just pin or tape a sheet onto some kind of firm "backing" where a bit of overspray is safe, paint, fan dry, paint, repeat until you get a nice, even coverage using the duster spray method mentioned earlier. And the low cost allows multiple test surfaces without needing to re-use a surface for different mix trials.
I'll see what can be found. Is this something found at school/art supplies or hardware store?

What about a white piece of plastic?
Can the paint be removed, if so with what solution? Paint remover?

@Ftoast @MississippiMan

Kind of related, I was looking into possibly upgrading the PJ, but without treating the room. The Benq has around 1500:1 contrast. In a room with white walls anything with over 2000:1 CR is wasted, how much will a paint mix help with retaining contrast for a projector with say 5000:1 CR. In other words, what is the CR limit for this kind of setup?
Made a thread for a PJ here:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-di...ite-walls.html
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post #48 of 60 Old 11-20-2019, 02:33 PM
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It's typically more of an art/craft store item. Sometimes in office supply shops too.

A white or light-colored (or white painted) plastic can work as a surface. You're more likely to damage the plastic surface than get a clean removal with physical means, but I'd expect solvent to work as long as the plastic isn't made of something it melts (most should be fine, I think). Depending on the price of the plastic sheet VS the solvent itself though, it might be better to simply get another sheet.
Or if you're looking for something large enough to make a full-size tester but cheap enough to throw away, some hardware stores sell large shrink-tight plastic that's normally used to insulate windows. This can be firmly taped at the edges to something flat and smooth or a frame (or even covering an existing screen), then you hit it with a blow-drier to shrink it tight and smooth. Now you have a paint-able smooth surface that can be purchased in very large sizes for $10-15. The only down-sides of it are it'll either need a white/light-colored backing behind it or to be painted white since it's clear as-is, and it's easily damaged (like a thin garbage bag) so it's okay for testing or practicing, but not a good choice for the final screen material.
It's also something that once you're able to get smooth dusters sprayed on without runs/sags dripping, you can be pretty confident you're ready to paint just about anything.


Even with a plain white screen in a white room, a higher contrast projector can look nicer during darker scenes once the lights are out, and some of the more aggressive ALR screens/paints can buy back your projector's lost contrast as much as ~9X. Obviously the contrast will never exceed the projector's own ~1500:1 (or a high-contrast projector's ~5000:1), but a light-fighting screen can be a powerful bandaid for a light-colored or lit room.
If you can get a good price on a nicer Sony, EpsonUB or JVC that also fits your gaming and 3D needs (if any) that can bring a nice leap in quality for darker scenes. Just keep in mind that brighter scenes as well as most/any watching you do with a decent amount of light in the room will look about 95% as good on the Benq which typically has the advantage of cheaper replacement bulbs...so think about the light you use and the content you tend to watch. But if you're the kind of person who can be bothered by dark scenes looking a little hazy/foggy or blacks just not looking deep enough, then a higher-contrast projector can be a lot of fun.
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Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
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Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415

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Even with a plain white screen in a white room, a higher contrast projector can look nicer during darker scenes once the lights are out, and some of the more aggressive ALR screens/paints can buy back your projector's lost contrast as much as ~9X. Obviously the contrast will never exceed the projector's own ~1500:1 (or a high-contrast projector's ~5000:1), but a light-fighting screen can be a powerful bandaid for a light-colored or lit room.
If you can get a good price on a nicer Sony, EpsonUB or JVC that also fits your gaming and 3D needs (if any) that can bring a nice leap in quality for darker scenes. Just keep in mind that brighter scenes as well as most/any watching you do with a decent amount of light in the room will look about 95% as good on the Benq which typically has the advantage of cheaper replacement bulbs...so think about the light you use and the content you tend to watch. But if you're the kind of person who can be bothered by dark scenes looking a little hazy/foggy or blacks just not looking deep enough, then a higher-contrast projector can be a lot of fun.
~9X
So a paint mix (lights off) in a room with white walls can keep 90% of the projector's contrast? Even if contrast ratio is something like 5000:1?
Don't irises increase CR? What would be the limit, in the sense if the projector has 50.000:1, would the paint mix still retain most of it?

LE: trying to figure out the CR upper limit in this kind of scenario.

There is a lot of content with dark scenes, the blacks are very grey. It's bothering. Even on my IPS monitor which has a CR of 3000:1 there is a significant improvement with black levels.

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post #50 of 60 Old 11-20-2019, 03:49 PM
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~9X
So a paint mix (lights off) in a room with white walls can keep 90% of the projector's contrast? Even if contrast ratio is something like 5000:1?
Don't irises increase CR? What would be the limit, in the sense if the projector has 50.000:1, would the paint mix still retain most of it?

LE: trying to figure out the CR upper limit in this kind of scenario.

There is a lot of content with dark scenes, the blacks are very grey. It's bothering. Even on my IPS monitor which has a CR of 3000:1 there is a significant improvement with black levels.
The 9X is more of an extreme situation with the paint/screen, I doubt it's quite that far in a lights-off room. The easiest way to think of it is probably this:
You can make a mix (or buy a screen) that can stay as dark-colored as a 0.1gain surface (when lights are hitting it from a steep angle, or whatever the opposite of perpendicular would be...nearly parallel to the surface?) while providing about 0.9gain to the projected image. You can go further than that, but it gets trickier (especially for paint). This is roughly where screens like the DE Abyss and SI Slate0.8 and the FolkArtGunmetal mix sit.

Obviously this all starts to fall apart if your projector is too close for the screen's uniformity/brightness to appear convincingly uniform, or the seats are too far toward the sides where brightness starts to fall off from the off-axis viewing angle, or if there's significant light hitting the screen from an angle that's similar to the projector or seat.

Most ALR screens still help in unlit rooms with white/light-colored walls because they send more of the projected light toward the seats and less toward the walls, plus they send less of the side/ceiling/floor reflections toward the seats, but they'll still behave less than ideally with light sent to the back wall behind the seats and reflections from there (as well as the floor/ceiling/sides that are farther back in the room, to a lesser extent)...but usually this is the weaker and less distracting light.
That's why I wouldn't expect an ALR screen's full benefit in an unlit room, but at the same time I'd also say an unlit white room doesn't need as much help as a lit room..and a more aggressive screen should still fight reflections more than a more subtle screen. And a lower-gain screen will still force deeper blacks than a higher-gain screen while looking good as long as your brightness and screen-size are appropriate for the amount of gain.

Sorry that got rambly and probably included a lot of "well duh" statements once you get past my habit of using too many words.
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More importantly, I think a higher contrast projector will improve your lights-off viewing a good amount more than the screen. But an ALR screen can still help enough that having the two together (both an ALR screen that you like AND a higher-contrast projector) should be even better.

If you can setup a screen with some kind of gentle/subtle backlighting behind it to wash the wall behind/around the screen without really hitting the screen surface itself, that can also help even a low-contrast projector look a lot nicer during darker scenes. I think a nice backlight (be it LED strips or even plain low-lumen LED lamps behind a screen that's set farther forward if possible) can really help. Kind of like how your IPS panel's weak blacks likely bother you a lot more when watching in a dimmer room compared to watching in the bright daylight.


A well-done iris can keep darks darker and might be paired with a projector/display that uses built-in software to stretch the contrast of darker scenes...essentially letting the iris darken the whole image while the panel (DLP/LCD/LCoS) lets middle and lighter parts of the image be brighter than it normally would to compensate for the lost brightness.
Other, more plain iris simply make dark scenes overall dimmer, which can still help blacks to look deeper to at least some extent, but they don't really improve contrast.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
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The 9X is more of an extreme situation with the paint/screen, I doubt it's quite that far in a lights-off room. The easiest way to think of it is probably this:
You can make a mix (or buy a screen) that can stay as dark-colored as a 0.1gain surface (when lights are hitting it from a steep angle, or whatever the opposite of perpendicular would be...nearly parallel to the surface?) while providing about 0.9gain to the projected image. You can go further than that, but it gets trickier (especially for paint). This is roughly where screens like the DE Abyss and SI Slate0.8 and the FolkArtGunmetal mix sit.

Obviously this all starts to fall apart if your projector is too close for the screen's uniformity/brightness to appear convincingly uniform, or the seats are too far toward the sides where brightness starts to fall off from the off-axis viewing angle, or if there's significant light hitting the screen from an angle that's similar to the projector or seat.

Most ALR screens still help in unlit rooms with white/light-colored walls because they send more of the projected light toward the seats and less toward the walls, plus they send less of the side/ceiling/floor reflections toward the seats, but they'll still behave less than ideally with light sent to the back wall behind the seats and reflections from there (as well as the floor/ceiling/sides that are farther back in the room, to a lesser extent)...but usually this is the weaker and less distracting light.
That's why I wouldn't expect an ALR screen's full benefit in an unlit room, but at the same time I'd also say an unlit white room doesn't need as much help as a lit room..and a more aggressive screen should still fight reflections more than a more subtle screen. And a lower-gain screen will still force deeper blacks than a higher-gain screen while looking good as long as your brightness and screen-size are appropriate for the amount of gain.

Sorry that got rambly and probably included a lot of "well duh" statements once you get past my habit of using too many words.
Is the 9X figure for the Silver Fire as well?

The Cinegrey 3D claims it rejects up to 65% of ambient light. Does that mean it keeps 65% out of the contrast that would have been lost by ambient light?

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post #53 of 60 Old 11-20-2019, 05:30 PM
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Is the 9X figure for the Silver Fire as well?

The Cinegrey 3D claims it rejects up to 65% of ambient light. Does that mean it keeps 65% out of the contrast that would have been lost by ambient light?
There aren't any versions of SilverFire that can get as dark-colored as the FolkArt Gunmetal or DE Abyss because the Rustoleum Pearl and Silver metallic includes a lot of white pigment that'll lighten the overall mix and the mix also includes a fair amount of white paint...so its black-level in an ideal situation is closer to ~0.2gain at the darkest. That means you'd need a lot of boost (around 1.8gain) to get a potential 9X contrast improvement. But paint generally has a soft gain-limit around 1.3-1.5gain where going higher can be really tricky for keeping things like uniformity and texture/sparkling artifacts under control. You might see occasional claims of higher gain paints (like the "S-I-L-V-E-R" mix), but you'll notice few/none of them have any real measurements nor side-by-side comparisons with known high-gain materials.
I think the darker-colored regular SilverFire with a lot of black/dark-colorant is closer to 6X while the more common lighter-colored versions are roughly 3X (or ~2X for the versions with additional flat-white and less silver metallic).

I think the Cinegrey 3D is similar to a really dark-colored SilverFire with around 0.2gain peak black-levels and 1.2-1.3peak gain...so I think calling a 6.5X potential improvement (in an ideal setup) 65% sounds surprisingly accurate (assuming 65% = 6.5X in this context...I apologize for my brain being mush). I don't mean to knock Elite when I say "surprisingly accurate", it's just that there's a lot of fudged numbers and "spec" claims for both screens and displays of all kinds because literally lying about them is either not illegal or not worth persuing for whoever could meaningfully do that kind of thing. ..Not that I'm bitter about it or anything..
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It should be possible to make a darker-colored SilverFire-like mix without losing its metallic gain by using matte-black (or very dark grey) paint instead of the matte-white, and trading away the metallic pearl for an appropriate amount of metallic silver to keep the same gain (the rustoleum silver is about 4X stronger than the rustoleum metallic pearl, gain-wise). That could make a "SilverFire" mix as dark as an 0.1gain surface while keeping around 1.0gain. Though I'm pretty sure this is far beyond what most anyone would recommend since the odds of it suffering noticeable screen artifacts increases significantly...and I'm not sure it's accurate to still call it SF after making so many changes.
I also have no idea how the Deco Art metallic compares to the Rustoleum metallic for gain strength..though I doubt it's anywhere close since most metallics are between 4X-8X weaker than the Rustoleum MA Silver. I may not be a fan of the Rustoleum paints for sprayed mixes (because they seem to add more physical texture than other metallics I've sprayed) but I can't deny the ridiculous metallic concentration/gain in that particular silver.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415

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There aren't any versions of SilverFire that can get as dark-colored as the FolkArt Gunmetal or DE Abyss because the Rustoleum Pearl and Silver metallic includes a lot of white pigment that'll lighten the overall mix and the mix also includes a fair amount of white paint...so its black-level in an ideal situation is closer to ~0.2gain at the darkest. That means you'd need a lot of boost (around 1.8gain) to get a potential 9X contrast improvement. But paint generally has a soft gain-limit around 1.3-1.5gain where going higher can be really tricky for keeping things like uniformity and texture/sparkling artifacts under control. You might see occasional claims of higher gain paints (like the "S-I-L-V-E-R" mix), but you'll notice few/none of them have any real measurements nor side-by-side comparisons with known high-gain materials.
I think the darker-colored regular SilverFire with a lot of black/dark-colorant is closer to 6X while the more common lighter-colored versions are roughly 3X (or ~2X for the versions with additional flat-white and less silver metallic).

I think the Cinegrey 3D is similar to a really dark-colored SilverFire with around 0.2gain peak black-levels and 1.2-1.3peak gain...so I think calling a 6.5X potential improvement (in an ideal setup) 65% sounds surprisingly accurate (assuming 65% = 6.5X in this context...I apologize for my brain being mush). I don't mean to knock Elite when I say "surprisingly accurate", it's just that there's a lot of fudged numbers and "spec" claims for both screens and displays of all kinds because literally lying about them is either not illegal or not worth persuing for whoever could meaningfully do that kind of thing. ..Not that I'm bitter about it or anything..
So by 0.1/0.2 gain you mean the gain of the screen when not hit by a bright image, or low ambient light?

To keep the dark blacks I should be looking at making the darkest mix possible without affecting the colors too much?
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So by 0.1/0.2 gain you mean the gain of the screen when not hit by a bright image, or low ambient light?

To keep the dark blacks I should be looking at making the darkest mix possible without affecting the colors too much?
Yes. Or more elaborately, that's the gain the screen grants to light hitting it from the side when viewed from the front/middle.

Of course this is also the gain the image itself gets when viewed from nearly 90degrees off-center (so the screen is sending roughly 1/9'th of the projector's brightness onto the nearby surrounding walls/floor/ceiling compared to a matte-white screen)...which is great if you're trying to keep the room less lit and the screen less affected by its own reflections, but bad if you have viewers seated farther toward the sides enough that the projector+screensize becomes too dim.


Yes. I usually try to think of the image-brightness first, for example the ProjectorCentral ht3050 was reviewed to measure 1060lm full color-brightness in its most accurate setting which dims to 847lm at long/small zoom and further dims to 576lm in EcoLamp. Spreading that over a 33.5ft-square surface (roughly 106diagonal 16:9) gives a little over 17ftL at 1.0gain. Since the commercial cinema standard is between 14-16ftL (even though many commercial theaters may fall below that), staying pretty near 1.0gain is a safe plan. With that in mind, how dark-colored you can go depends on things like your throw-ratio (the darker the screen and/or higher the gain at the same time means you'll typically need a longer and longer throw-ratio to keep good brightness uniformity on a flat screen), surface and painting smoothness (some folks won't spray or won't be able to use a perfectly smooth surface..and a lighter-colored lower-gain mix can be more forgiving about imperfections of the paintjob and surface). At shorter throw-ratios near 1.3:1 or with less perfect surfaces (or rolled on paintjobs) it can start to get risky going beyond a 3X-4X kind of mix (sometimes I might call this a screen-color to gain-boost, or color to gain ratio.?).
In your situation, it sounds like you'll be using a smooth screen surface and will be able to spray, and your projector will be at a nice 1.5:1 throw-ratio...so all that puts you into a much better position to choose from.
So with all that range to choose from as long as the gain stays somewhat close to 1.0 that just leaves the choice between better uniformity of a lighter-colored screen VS deeper blacks of a darker-colored screen...which can be pretty personal. I and the couple others who have tried the FolkArt Gunmetal mix haven't been bothered by its uniformity, but that doesn't guarantee you will like how it looks..it's a fairly extreme screen, and you're in a position where you're already being bothered by poor screen uniformity, so you're GOING to be looking for it. That's not a bad thing. It's just a reason to warn you that the darker-colored you go while keeping gain consistent, the naturally less uniform the screen will be.
Since you're thinking about trying different mixes and the FolkArt mix/mixes can be tested for only a few dollars, I feel confident enough to suggest you try the Gunmetal to see how you like it because you'll already have a sprayer and a ton of matte water-based poly. It's also one of the darkest paint mixes that still has enough gain to keep your projector+screensize in a good place..so it should give the deepest blacks a screen can give without losing the color vibrance.

But I also think there are more effective ways to get deeper blacks..most effective being a projector upgrade if that's a realistic option (understandably not a realistic option for many). Getting as much light/reflection under control as possible by blocking or redirecting lights/windows and darkening nearby reflective surfaces is great too..at least as much as you're able to get away with without driving yourself crazy or triggering a divorce. I think these should take priority for most people who are trying to get the most out of projection.
I also think back-lighting an ALR screen (it doesn't even need to be a super fancy nor aggressive screen) is one of the better ways to make your contrast and blacks look better.


EDIT: why it the world was that reply so long. My eyes hurt just looking at it.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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Yes. Or more elaborately, that's the gain the screen grants to light hitting it from the side when viewed from the front/middle.

Of course this is also the gain the image itself gets when viewed from nearly 90degrees off-center (so the screen is sending roughly 1/9'th of the projector's brightness onto the nearby surrounding walls/floor/ceiling compared to a matte-white screen)...which is great if you're trying to keep the room less lit and the screen less affected by its own reflections, but bad if you have viewers seated farther toward the sides enough that the projector+screensize becomes too dim.


Yes. I usually try to think of the image-brightness first, for example the ProjectorCentral ht3050 was reviewed to measure 1060lm full color-brightness in its most accurate setting which dims to 847lm at long/small zoom and further dims to 576lm in EcoLamp. Spreading that over a 33.5ft-square surface (roughly 106diagonal 16:9) gives a little over 17ftL at 1.0gain. Since the commercial cinema standard is between 14-16ftL (even though many commercial theaters may fall below that), staying pretty near 1.0gain is a safe plan. With that in mind, how dark-colored you can go depends on things like your throw-ratio (the darker the screen and/or higher the gain at the same time means you'll typically need a longer and longer throw-ratio to keep good brightness uniformity on a flat screen), surface and painting smoothness (some folks won't spray or won't be able to use a perfectly smooth surface..and a lighter-colored lower-gain mix can be more forgiving about imperfections of the paintjob and surface). At shorter throw-ratios near 1.3:1 or with less perfect surfaces (or rolled on paintjobs) it can start to get risky going beyond a 3X-4X kind of mix (sometimes I might call this a screen-color to gain-boost, or color to gain ratio.?).
In your situation, it sounds like you'll be using a smooth screen surface and will be able to spray, and your projector will be at a nice 1.5:1 throw-ratio...so all that puts you into a much better position to choose from.
So with all that range to choose from as long as the gain stays somewhat close to 1.0 that just leaves the choice between better uniformity of a lighter-colored screen VS deeper blacks of a darker-colored screen...which can be pretty personal. I and the couple others who have tried the FolkArt Gunmetal mix haven't been bothered by its uniformity, but that doesn't guarantee you will like how it looks..it's a fairly extreme screen, and you're in a position where you're already being bothered by poor screen uniformity, so you're GOING to be looking for it. That's not a bad thing. It's just a reason to warn you that the darker-colored you go while keeping gain consistent, the naturally less uniform the screen will be.
Since you're thinking about trying different mixes and the FolkArt mix/mixes can be tested for only a few dollars, I feel confident enough to suggest you try the Gunmetal to see how you like it because you'll already have a sprayer and a ton of matte water-based poly. It's also one of the darkest paint mixes that still has enough gain to keep your projector+screensize in a good place..so it should give the deepest blacks a screen can give without losing the color vibrance.

But I also think there are more effective ways to get deeper blacks..most effective being a projector upgrade if that's a realistic option (understandably not a realistic option for many). Getting as much light/reflection under control as possible by blocking or redirecting lights/windows and darkening nearby reflective surfaces is great too..at least as much as you're able to get away with without driving yourself crazy or triggering a divorce. I think these should take priority for most people who are trying to get the most out of projection.
I also think back-lighting an ALR screen (it doesn't even need to be a super fancy nor aggressive screen) is one of the better ways to make your contrast and blacks look better.


EDIT: why it the world was that reply so long. My eyes hurt just looking at it.
The current location can't be treated at all unfortunately. At the windows there are black out blinds, but the rest can't be helped.
Just got a new lamp so I don't know if I will be upgrading anytime soon, although I just checked out the classifieds locally and found a TW9200 (6030UB). There is a lot of dust in this location, and the 3LCD is not sealed. There is a air purifier in the room, but dust got in the light tunnel of the current projector anyway, so that might be a problem. The other options sealed options would be LCOS from Sony or JVC. Haven't found JVC locally and I don't trust courier services not to damage the package. Would be more expensive, plus the expensive lamps. Sony 1080p apparently has panel degradation issues and lamp flicker.
The other option would be the new Benq HT3550 and HT5550 with irises. The last one has ~5500:1 CR with iris. Maybe the next generation for these models, or something from another manufacturer. Not going to hurry though.

The first priority is black levels, the hotspot on the current screen is not that bothersome. It would be nice to be without it, but black levels and keeping the colors from going to dull are what is important now.

The throw range is 1.5x, at the limit. In Cinema it puts out 1160lm (100% color brightness), but the zoom takes out 27%, 846lm. After 500h it will be at 634lm. When the lamp blew up at around 3550h it was at ~560lm. Had to estimate the nits value for the madvr DMT feature so I went through the numbers.
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post #58 of 60 Old 11-21-2019, 03:20 AM
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Sounds like you're doing everything you can then.
I've never seen an iris system nor dynamic lamp-dimming that I've really liked, so I feel like native contrast is much more important while an iris is a distant 2'nd place for projector black-levels. I don't think any of those higher-priced DLPs offer a significant native contrast upgrade over your BenQ so I wouldn't personally chase after a DLP with an iris unless it was really affordable (and still used an RGBRGB colorwheel).

The ~0.9gain FolkArt Gunmetal paint will be dimmer than your Cinegrey3D enough to be easily noticeable side-by-side, but it should still be bright enough for the BenQ's accurate and quiet setting to look nice in a darkened room and you'll still have the option to brighten things with FullLamp (and/or a less accurate preset) if you decide to watch while the room is bright enough to make the image need some extra brightness.
And I do think you should try fitting some LED strips behind the screen to wash against the wall behind and around the screen. If attaching to the screen itself doesn't feel like a good option, you might still get decent results attaching them to the wall where they hit the back of the screen and reflect back onto the wall behind it..as long as they aren't out far enough to be seen (because direct-viewed they'll be obnoxiously bright compared to a projected image).


Also, though it won't improve pure blacks, you might want to try setting the projector's gamma to the next setting brighter, then doublecheck your Brightness/black-level control which may need to be nudged down by a click or two.
This isn't the most accurate thing to do to the image, but it mostly just makes some colors a hair less punchy BUT the increased shadow-detail in darker scenes can really help the contrast look nicer in those scenes which need it most. Plus it's easy to turn back if you don't like the change.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415

Last edited by Ftoast; 11-21-2019 at 03:25 AM.
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post #59 of 60 Old 11-21-2019, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
And I do think you should try fitting some LED strips behind the screen to wash against the wall behind and around the screen. If attaching to the screen itself doesn't feel like a good option, you might still get decent results attaching them to the wall where they hit the back of the screen and reflect back onto the wall behind it..as long as they aren't out far enough to be seen (because direct-viewed they'll be obnoxiously bright compared to a projected image).
Any link to the kind of strips I should be getting?
How would they be powered and controlled, or should they be controlled?
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post #60 of 60 Old 11-21-2019, 10:22 AM
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Any link to the kind of strips I should be getting?
How would they be powered and controlled, or should they be controlled?
Sadly I'm largely an idiot about what separates a good LED strip from a bad one, so most anything I could link you wouldn't be much different to you literally typing LED strip into an internet search and seeing what's for sale, or calling around locally and asking a few nearby shops if they sell any LED strips.

To help narrow things down when you're talking to anyone, the biggest tip I can give is;
"I'm looking for LED strips for accent lighting or for sticking behind a TV or inside a computer case...no, I don't want Christmas lights".

There are both multi-color ones as well as white ones, which isn't super important unless you personally prefer one over the other, BUT you'll usually want them to come with a little remote that lets you dim them...so they'll say something like "controllable, or customizable or dimmable".

Most of them are created so you can plug one strip into another to create longer strips without needing separate power for each, but they're typically USB powered (using a phone charger is common for powering) so it's also possible to simply use a multi USB power-source sold in most electronic/TV/cellphone shops to power several individual strips while still only running a single cord from behind the screen out to a plugin.
So once again, not super important because either way can work alright.

They're also typically sticky-backed where you simply pull off a backing strip to expose the adhesive and stick them onto something.

Usually sold as a roll between 1.25m-5m lengths at roughly $4/m. Getting two ~5m rolls should be more than enough for a 106" screen.

Many of them look like this, but I'm not suggesting this particular one or anything. You can often find them in hardware shops for accent lighting or accessories to electronics, electronic shops, department stores, etc.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415

Last edited by Ftoast; 11-21-2019 at 10:27 AM.
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