New build - Gray or white screen? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-05-2020, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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New build - Gray or white screen?

I am building a 20x30 family room / sports bar / theater above my garage (thread here with pics). I have an Epson 5040UB and want to put a 120-130" 16:9 in-ceiling dropdown screen at the far end in front of the double window. The near end will have a bar opposite the stairs. Seats and social areas in between, with a few TVs on the walls.

I plan to have highly controllable lighting and if we want to go full movie mode, it'll be easy to black it out. But I intend on having the projector running sometimes with at least some lights on, people socializing while the game is on the big screen etc.

I'm leaning toward the Stewart Cima AC screen. I did some testing with a dropcloth, and I think 123" would be ideal. The Neve (white) 1.1 seems to be the more popular choice, but considering my intent to use the projector beyond just blackout-mode movie nights, should I consider the Tiburon (gray) instead? I'm hesitant because with the only windows being at the ends of the room (and the larger one being completely blocked when the screen is down), I will have a lot of control over the light. But I don't want blackout mode to be necessary for the screen to be worth watching.

Thanks,
-Mike

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post #2 of 7 Old 05-05-2020, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlavineBoy View Post
I am building a 20x30 family room / sports bar / theater above my garage (thread here with pics). I have an Epson 5040UB and want to put a 120-130" 16:9 in-ceiling dropdown screen at the far end in front of the double window. The near end will have a bar opposite the stairs. Seats and social areas in between, with a few TVs on the walls.

I plan to have highly controllable lighting and if we want to go full movie mode, it'll be easy to black it out. But I intend on having the projector running sometimes with at least some lights on, people socializing while the game is on the big screen etc.

I'm leaning toward the Stewart Cima AC screen. I did some testing with a dropcloth, and I think 123" would be ideal. The Neve (white) 1.1 seems to be the more popular choice, but considering my intent to use the projector beyond just blackout-mode movie nights, should I consider the Tiburon (gray) instead? I'm hesitant because with the only windows being at the ends of the room (and the larger one being completely blocked when the screen is down), I will have a lot of control over the light. But I don't want blackout mode to be necessary for the screen to be worth watching.

Thanks,
-Mike
Hi Mike,


My first concern is if you plan on using the theater during the daytime? I viewed your room photo that you supplied in your link. The issue I am most concerned is when the screen rolls down in front of the window during the day, and sunlight hits the back of the screen, it can cause a very distracting artifact on the viewing side. The white Neve material is close to 99% opaque and the light gray Tiburon is over 99.5% opaque. Even with that high amount of screen material opaqueness, the sun and mother nature will win against the 2500 lumen Epson projector.. So my question is, if you plan on using the screen during daylight hours, can you make a provision to black out the window behind the screen?

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post #3 of 7 Old 05-05-2020, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Don Stewart View Post
So my question is, if you plan on using the screen during daylight hours, can you make a provision to black out the window behind the screen?
Thanks for replying Don, that's a great point I should have been more clear about. I will have blackout shades on that window and use them whenever the screen is down.

There will also be blackout shades on the other window to use as needed, I visualize that end being more necessary for "full immersion" things like a movie night.

I haven't finalized paint colors yet but I am taking the screen into consideration. I will be using matte finishes and something other than a white ceiling.

Ultimately if a handful of people are over to watch a game, I don't want them needing flashlights if the screen is on. It will mostly be recessed ceiling lights (dimmable and split so each part of the room is independently controlled) and illumination off a few TVs that will be perpendicular to the screen or angled away from it.

I might be overthinking it, but with multiple options available and my desire to stretch my budget to get the nicest screen I can afford that will last many years, I wanted to make an educated decision.

-Mike
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-05-2020, 02:45 PM
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@GlavineBoy

Easiest way to find out is to get some samples.

Regardless of screen type, the relevant issue is the brightness of the content. If there is no light being sent to that part of the image, ambient light will take over. Grey and ALR screens will have major issues with non bright content as well.

With an ALR screen the minimum recommended distance for projector to screen is ~17' in your setup.

Angular ALRs also require no lights to be coming from the same direction as the projector. Not sure how bright the lights at the bar would be, but as long as they are not bright and or recessed it should be fine.

Although not the same setup with the source of the light, this is what an ALR screen setup can do, depending on the type of content (brightness wise), and light pollution. The white paper reflects how a white screen will behave. A grey screen will behave much more similarly to the paper since it's also matte. Ignore the hotspot, it's because of the limited throw ratio (1.5x):
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-sc...l#post58809924

In the setup above there is a desk with a monitor on the right side (looking at the screen). Even with a white image displayed, the screen does not really take notice.

Example with windows on the opposite side of the screen:



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post #5 of 7 Old 05-18-2020, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noob00224 View Post
Easiest way to find out is to get some samples.

Regardless of screen type, the relevant issue is the brightness of the content. If there is no light being sent to that part of the image, ambient light will take over. Grey and ALR screens will have major issues with non bright content as well.

With an ALR screen the minimum recommended distance for projector to screen is ~17' in your setup.

Angular ALRs also require no lights to be coming from the same direction as the projector. Not sure how bright the lights at the bar would be, but as long as they are not bright and or recessed it should be fine.
Thank you for the advice, noob. The projector will be ceiling-mounted; the lens will probably end up 2-3 inches shy of 17' from the screen. All of the lights will be recessed dimmable LEDs, with 2-3 zones. I will try to get some samples to try helping narrow down my decision.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-18-2020, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlavineBoy View Post
Thank you for the advice, noob. The projector will be ceiling-mounted; the lens will probably end up 2-3 inches shy of 17' from the screen. All of the lights will be recessed dimmable LEDs, with 2-3 zones. I will try to get some samples to try helping narrow down my decision.
If there is room an ALR screen would be great. Some people will say it degrades image quality but if it's far enough I don't think there will be any issues. The screen will also improve contrast in the dark.

These screes are great for bright content aka sports and other similar broadcasts. You can see from those examples that the screes is usable even in daylight.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-19-2020, 08:55 AM
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I had the epson 5010 with the same lumens. Washout was terribleand i speant countless hours studying alr screens. In the end i painted the ceiling black (from white) and the walls a medium beige (from offwhite). My windows always had blackout shades with a little leak at the perimeter, no change here. Overall, problem solved! Astonished how much darker paint helps. And after one day to get used to the black ceiling now i prefer the look. It matches screen border, stereo components, etc. Best improvement ive ever made. No more washout, even in daytime, lights can be dimly lit if need be. Looks super modern. You will need 2 coats, looks terrible after one.
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