To UST or Not to UST? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 09-12-2019, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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To UST or Not to UST?

In my living room with limited light control (no windows behind the projector, but 3 windows with black-out blinds on the left-hand wall) I can do either a standard-throw projector or a UST projector.

If I get an ALR screen optimized for either a standard-throw or a UST projector, does going UST give me any benefits when dealing with the ambient light? Or would a standard-throw projector produce equal or better "brightness" results?
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-12-2019, 03:30 PM
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Regular projector is no match to UST and ALR combo with ambient light, but without ALR forget it

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post #3 of 22 Old 09-12-2019, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco1475 View Post
In my living room with limited light control (no windows behind the projector, but 3 windows with black-out blinds on the left-hand wall) I can do either a standard-throw projector or a UST projector.

If I get an ALR screen optimized for either a standard-throw or a UST projector, does going UST give me any benefits when dealing with the ambient light? Or would a standard-throw projector produce equal or better "brightness" results?
UST doesn't give you any benefits that I'm aware of. In fact they really limit your choice of ALR screen, and the projectors are fewer too.
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-12-2019, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klas View Post
Regular projector is no match to UST and ALR combo with ambient light, but without ALR forget it
I'd definitely get an ALR screen for either projector. I'm curious about which is better:
  • UST projector + UST-specific ALR screen vs.
  • regular projector + regular ALR screen.

Just looking at the illustrations of how UST-specific ALR screens work it would seem they'd have an advantage over regular ALR screens since the majority of ambient light would not be coming from below, the direction from which those screens are most reflective.

I don't know enough about how regular ALR screens work to judge whether they are as good as the UST-specific ALR screens at not reflecting ambient light ...

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Originally Posted by Buddylee123 View Post
UST doesn't give you any benefits that I'm aware of. In fact they really limit your choice of ALR screen, and the projectors are fewer too.
Which is why I'd prefer not to go the UST route. I am just not sure if UST-specific ALR screens are a "making the best out of a bad situation" (not enough room for long-throw projectors) or if they are actually better in high ambient light conditions ...

Last edited by marco1475; 09-12-2019 at 04:27 PM.
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-12-2019, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco1475 View Post
  • UST projector + UST-specific ALR screen vs.
  • regular projector + regular ALR screen.

Just looking at the illustrations of how UST-specific ALR screens work it would seem they'd have an advantage over regular ALR screens since the majority of ambient light would not be coming from below, the direction from which those screens are most reflective.
Basically you already answered your own question regular ALR with front projector is no match to UST with real ALR for UST

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post #6 of 22 Old 09-12-2019, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco1475 View Post
In my living room with limited light control (no windows behind the projector, but 3 windows with black-out blinds on the left-hand wall) I can do either a standard-throw projector or a UST projector.



If I get an ALR screen optimized for either a standard-throw or a UST projector, does going UST give me any benefits when dealing with the ambient light? Or would a standard-throw projector produce equal or better "brightness" results?
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app

Just introduced today. Seems like a 120 inch television for $5999 MSRP. Epson even calls it a television.

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post #7 of 22 Old 09-12-2019, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by skylarlove1999 View Post
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app

Just introduced today. Seems like a 120 inch television for $5999 MSRP. Epson even calls it a television.

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I think Epson really missed the mark on this one. The throw ratio is .29:1 vs .25:1. Judging from the picture it looks almos 4’ from the wall on what I’m guessing is a 100” screen.
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-12-2019, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by bix26 View Post
I think Epson really missed the mark on this one. The throw ratio is .29:1 vs .25:1. Judging from the picture it looks almos 4’ from the wall on what I’m guessing is a 100” screen.

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post #9 of 22 Old 09-12-2019, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco1475 View Post
In my living room with limited light control (no windows behind the projector, but 3 windows with black-out blinds on the left-hand wall) I can do either a standard-throw projector or a UST projector.

If I get an ALR screen optimized for either a standard-throw or a UST projector, does going UST give me any benefits when dealing with the ambient light? Or would a standard-throw projector produce equal or better "brightness" results?
How about your equipment? Doesn't that factor in? I'm in the market for UST because I have a traditional console with a TV on it, and all my equipment is right there. Tivo, Xbox, Receiver, etc. I never considered projectors until I learned about UST. And if I'm going to pay for an expensive ALR screen, then it should serve as a TV replacement as well.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-13-2019, 02:58 AM
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OK here's my take on this debate.

If it's a family room ad you want it to keep the whole family room look about it then I reckon the only way to go is UST, especially if you you already have a TV cabinet where a TV either sits or would have sat if you make the switch to projector. You don't have to worry about a power point on the ceiling or back wall and there's no HDMI cable to try and hide.

Now if all the above don't bother you one bit then I think you should go for a regular projector simply because of the range of choice available compared to UST, there's a better chance of getting your perfect projector and for probably less money.

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post #11 of 22 Old 09-13-2019, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco1475 View Post
In my living room with limited light control (no windows behind the projector, but 3 windows with black-out blinds on the left-hand wall) I can do either a standard-throw projector or a UST projector.

If I get an ALR screen optimized for either a standard-throw or a UST projector, does going UST give me any benefits when dealing with the ambient light? Or would a standard-throw projector produce equal or better "brightness" results?
You talked a little about your room and windows with BOC shades to one side.

I would say to figure this out it would be a case by case situation.

Is your ceiling white and what color are the rest of the walls etc. Cross reflections and projector created ambient light is the biggest factor not windows that are mostly covered. Then secondly is there other light coming into the room from the back.

Then there is the issue of any kind of screen artifacts produced by what degree of ALR the longer throw screen is trying to improve. These screens range from mild to wild.

I don’t think it is as easy question to answer as some would think.

As always the best solution is a light controlled room properly treated for projection. UST projector/screen IMO is a crossover between TV and projection to get larger sizes at lower prices. Not really much difference than the RPTVs of 20 years ago.
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post #12 of 22 Old 09-13-2019, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by moctodavs View Post
How about your equipment? Doesn't that factor in?
I just moved in, so where my equipment goes is pretty flexible.

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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
Is your ceiling white and what color are the rest of the walls etc. Cross reflections and projector created ambient light is the biggest factor not windows that are mostly covered. Then secondly is there other light coming into the room from the back.

Then there is the issue of any kind of screen artifacts produced by what degree of ALR the longer throw screen is trying to improve. These screens range from mild to wild.
The ceiling is white, the walls are "agreeable grey," which is off-white and still pretty bright. The room is an open-plan kitchen + dining + living room, so there might be some light coming from the right (in addition to the 3 windows on the left), but no light coming from the back; that's just a wall.

***

To make matters worse I will likely have to use a tab-tensioned retractable screen and I know that UST projectors amplify any unevenness of the screen That makes long-throw vs. short-throw projectors' pros and cons exact opposites: I can get a long-throw projector that is going to be cheaper and hide screen unevenness better, but I have to run and hide the cables, or I can get a UST projector that is more expensive and will show off screen unevenness, but I don't have to run the cables.

The deciding factor then has to be which setup will provide a better viewing experience in high-ambient-light conditions. So the question becomes:

Are a UST projector with a UST-specific ALR screen better, worse, or the same when it comes to brightness, contrast, and overall "visibility" in high-ambient-light conditions than a long-throw projector with an ALR screen?
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post #13 of 22 Old 09-13-2019, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klas View Post
Basically you already answered your own question regular ALR with front projector is no match to UST with real ALR for UST


This kinda makes sense to me because of the way ALR screens work but do you have any articles or reviews to back this up? Not doubting you, this is just the first I have heard about it. And I think most people here are missing the main question. Does an ALR screen for an UST projector perform better than an ALR screen for a long throw projector?


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post #14 of 22 Old 09-13-2019, 07:44 AM
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I’m far from an expert on UST setups but I thought most of the ALR UST screens were fixed framed screens if not all of them.

I see the ease of having everything up front but I’m also a person that likes the equipment out of eyesight on the sides or back of the room. Getting power and HDMI up to the projector on a ceiling mount is always an issue some times it is pretty easy and other times involves some work.

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post #15 of 22 Old 09-13-2019, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco1475 View Post

I can get a long-throw projector that is going to be cheaper and hide screen unevenness better, but I have to run and hide the cables, or I can get a UST projector that is more expensive and will show off screen unevenness, but I don't have to run the cables.
You don't ALWAYS have to run cables for a standard projector. I have tall shelving that I put the projector on top of and AppleTV and Bluetooth Blue-ray DVD underneath. My sound system has a bluetooth receiver (sounds great and costs around $100) that wirelessly receives the audio from bluetooth via AppleTV or Blu-ray. If your DVD/Blu-ray player player can't broadcast bluetooth you can get a bluetooth broadcast device also for around $100.

My only cabling is a 2 ft HDMI cable from projector to AppleTV, and another 2ft cable to the Blu-ray player. Not to mention many new projectors come with their own wireless capabilities.

It's increasingly more feasible to go without in wall (or under the rug across the room) cables than in the past for front projectors.
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post #16 of 22 Old 09-14-2019, 08:00 AM
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As in everything there are enthusiastic fans of specific types of products who gush about their choice being better than anything in the universe and nothing else should even be considered. So it makes sense for educated consumers to look for objective evaluation when trying to make an informed choice. I'm not aware of any unbiased professional reviews comparing the ALR performance of UST projectors and longer throw projectors with their appropriately designed optimum ALR screens.

In the absence of such data you're pretty much at the mercy of looking for the best available data on each individual solution and trying to read between the lines. In a case like this where there's no definitive answer it might pay to assume that overall ALR performance would be roughly comparable and base your final decision on other factors including cost, number of available options and what throw would fit your personal preferences in your specific environment.
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post #17 of 22 Old 09-21-2019, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marco1475 View Post
I just moved in, so where my equipment goes is pretty flexible.



The ceiling is white, the walls are "agreeable grey," which is off-white and still pretty bright. The room is an open-plan kitchen + dining + living room, so there might be some light coming from the right (in addition to the 3 windows on the left), but no light coming from the back; that's just a wall.

***

To make matters worse I will likely have to use a tab-tensioned retractable screen and I know that UST projectors amplify any unevenness of the screen That makes long-throw vs. short-throw projectors' pros and cons exact opposites: I can get a long-throw projector that is going to be cheaper and hide screen unevenness better, but I have to run and hide the cables, or I can get a UST projector that is more expensive and will show off screen unevenness, but I don't have to run the cables.

The deciding factor then has to be which setup will provide a better viewing experience in high-ambient-light conditions. So the question becomes:

Are a UST projector with a UST-specific ALR screen better, worse, or the same when it comes to brightness, contrast, and overall "visibility" in high-ambient-light conditions than a long-throw projector with an ALR screen?
I'm in nearly the exact same boat as you. I am new to this arena and have been trying to find data on UST ALR screens to little avail - see post

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-sc...throw-ust.html

Also, beware that the choice of motorized/retractable UST ALR is extremely limited! One of the best and most $$$ is said to be the screen innovations product BUT it is not opaque and is thus not suitable for placement over a window (according to the manufacturer) unless you use a separate opaque shade over the window which won't work for my case but not an issue for you. Also, the SI product maximum screen size currently is 100 inches with only a 2 inch drop which is another bummer.

I've read in the forums where EPV (Elite) and Da-lite are supposed to be coming out with UST ALR screens within the next year and there is also the vididstorm floor riser on amazon (waiting to see what user experience with that model is first) but beyond that haven't seen much. For me the lack of retractable UST screen options is driving me away from UST at the moment.
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post #18 of 22 Old 09-25-2019, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoospiff View Post
I'm in nearly the exact same boat as you. I am new to this arena and have been trying to find data on UST ALR screens to little avail - see post

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-sc...throw-ust.html
Yeah, I saw your post and followed the replies with interest.

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Originally Posted by wahoospiff View Post
Also, beware that the choice of motorized/retractable UST ALR is extremely limited! [..] I've read in the forums where EPV (Elite) and Da-lite are supposed to be coming out with UST ALR screens within the next year and there is also the vididstorm floor riser on amazon (waiting to see what user experience with that model is first) but beyond that haven't seen much.
The Vividstorm screen is exactly what I've been looking at
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post #19 of 22 Old 09-27-2019, 11:14 AM
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I just received a VAVA UST projector this week.

I am in a similar position that many of you are in - my house was not designed for home theater. I bought a retractable 120" ALR (not rated for UST) screen from VIVIDSTORM (I looked for a retractable screen specifically designed for UST, but could not find any). Since this screen was only $650 and I knew I could find another use for it, I decided to take a chance.
I mounted the screen over my living room window(only choice).

So far, the experiment has been successful. The light from the window does not bleed through the screen. I control the ambient lighting by using Hue bulbs with presets for watching TV.

Since I could not find a retractible ALR screen for UST, I don't know if this setup would be greatly improved by using a UST-designed screen or not.

I would love to hear from someone if using a UST would dramatically improve my experience or not. At present, my current setup is acceptable.

Now, as for the VAVA projector...that's another story. I think I'll start a new thread on that.
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post #20 of 22 Old 09-27-2019, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Since I could not find a retractible ALR screen for UST, I don't know if this setup would be greatly improved by using a UST-designed screen or not.
I'm sure you've seen VividStorm's floor-rising ALR screen for UST projectors? It's quite a bit more expensive and floor-rising, but seems to be specifically designed for UST projectors.

How is the tension of your VividStorm retractable screen? Any waves or curls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Wagner View Post
Now, as for the VAVA projector...that's another story. I think I'll start a new thread on that.
Please link the thread (or just message me directly), I'd be curious what your experiences are.
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post #21 of 22 Old 09-29-2019, 04:46 AM
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Image wise the long throw PJ with ALR screen is going to be better. Why?

1. There are not many UST ALR screens to choose from. The most common two from Elite and XY have low gain, .6 and .8 respectively. A long throw screen can have much higher gain which means a brighter image (I would recommend 1.2 to 1.4 in a high ambient light environment).

2. They aren't actually ALR anyway, they are CLR (Ceiling Light Rejecting). They don't help fight side ambient light, which is a common requirement like the OP's.
Take a look at this page for simple diagrams of the structure of the surface to see why this is so:
https://darkenergyscreens.com.au/ust-alr

So for now going UST might be great for projector position convenience but IMO it's not the best solution if image quality in ambient light is the priority.

But if you're going to go UST for whatever reason, a UST ALR (actually CLR) screen is going to yield a better image than any other screen or just a wall though.

Last edited by Geordie; 09-29-2019 at 04:55 AM.
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post #22 of 22 Old 09-29-2019, 01:08 PM
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@Geordie makes a great point about UST ALR projection screens actually specifically being ceiling ambient light rejecting (CALR). ALR screens in general have different designs to direct projector image light at viewers and ambient light away from viewers. In most cases the source of ambient light will be more from the sides (windows, table lamps, etc.) than the ceiling (skylights, ceiling lights, etc.), so most non-UST ALR screens are designed to be side ambient light rejecting (SALR) and won't work well with UST projectors.
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