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I've been watching my 36" CRT in total darkness for several years now when playing movies, and after having it recently calibrated, the guy mentioned putting a very dim light behind the TV to help ease the eye strain. What is generally recommended here? I know theater's are total dark, but the screen is so huge it puts out an incredible amount of light, thus making it lighter than viewing in a smaller, total dark room in a home.
 

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Hi ALIENS


Here is a link to Home Theater Archives about bias lighting:
http://www.hometheatermag.com/showarchives.cgi?49


Here is an AVSforum thread about where to buy bias lighting:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=242698


Some folks find a very dark room causes eye strain and some find bias lighting improves black levels on displays that may not have the best black levels (Pioneer plasmas are often mentioned for example). Some of us like a completely dark room (I have a Sony 34xbr800 34" widescreen direct view and sit at 7'). My opinion is that if anyone experiences eye strain, the first thing to do is calibrate the TV with something like AVIA .


Hope this helps. :)


Rick
 

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Just a few comments. Isn't the CRI more important than the temperature of the bulb? Considering what we're trying to do? A high color temp with poor CRI is not so good, though a high color temp with good CRI is best, but these bulbs are VERY expensive and hard to get. Anyway, I spent a fair amount of time screwing around with this, and the best bulb I could find relatively easily was a Philips T8 TL950 type, CRI of 98, 5000K, $10 or less at most places. This is a full spectrum bulb, not a cheaper and easier to find wide spectrum like the ones with CRI around 92 or so. Also, unlike what many will say, the TL950 WILL work in a regular magnetic ballast fixture (I tried it in numerous ones here, of varying ages) but I put it in an electronic ballast fixture (MUCH more expensive!) for the HT room, strictly to keep potential fluorescent electronic noise down. I switch the lamp on/off via X-10. Contrary to what you might think at first, if you're used to viewing in a dark room and have never tried a bias light, the properly placed light does not lower the screen contrast at all...kind of an eye-opener in many ways. Since a fluorescent dimmer is very expensive, as are good ND filters, I decreased the radiated light output from the bulb by putting a cardboard tube over the bulb, works fine, cut tube length to taste.


For a cheap experiment, what I tried first, was a T12 Colortone 50 bulb from Home Depot. I think this has a CRI of 92 or so...not bad, I returned the bulbs I bought from HD after trying them, they don't care...


Re the electronic ballast fixtures, they operate at 20-60kHz usually, not 60Hz like the magnetic ballast fixtures, so the electronic noise is not nearly so objectionable.
 
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