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I was going to call this thread How to get 25% more lumens out of your projector (or make it seem like it) but the last thread I started the title got people a bit worked up so I'll stick to the facts a bit better here.



I know this topic has been explored many times before but as I like to do (rarely) I start a new thread when I make a major improvement in my viewing room and over the last weekend I went thru a gallon of flat black paint. For the paint mixers out there my flat black was white base with 14 oz of lampblack added. You really get your moneys worth when you buy a gallon of black. Its full to the brim.


I installed a trim strip made from back to back ¾ inch quarter rounds (making a half round) about 5 feet out from my screen. I masked and painted out an area 5'x14' of ceiling and the right side wall about 16' long. Click on thumbnail below.




Everyone should paint a ceiling flat black once in their life as it is a strange thing to experience. You start out being able to see what you are doing perfectly fine and as you go you think you are going blind. I kept adding more and more lights and I couldn't see what I was doing. The second coat was even worse and if it wasn't for the wet paint having some sheen you would be painting by feel. For some reason the walls didn't seem as bad. Maybe being field stones the texture helped keep my point of reference.


As an attempt at conveying the ambient light level in the room I took the following shots. The first looking at my screen with the setup screen displayed with all lights on there were (8) 60w ceiling can lights with flood pattern bulbs a 21CRT monitor and a few smaller desk and computer lamps on. Basically every light in the room and all dimmers are on full. The second and third thumbnails are looking back from the screen first with all lights on and second with just the back row on located 12' from the screen.

 

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The next set of thumbnails shows a screen image taken under each of the lighting modes. It's of a basketball game on SDTV. The pictures are in order, all lights on. mid and back rows only, back row only, and lights out. In these 4 photos I held a piece of paper at arms length in front of the cam to try and show about the light level in the seating area. I like to call task light / beer drinking pizza eating light.




The next (3) thumbnails are lights out shots from the movie The Hulk to show the reduction of ceiling reflection compared to a before example.
 

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After



Before



In conclusion the purpose of this thread is to show (hopefully) that the good effects of a black ceiling can be had without turning the whole room into a bat cave. I'm really happy about the PQ improvements I'm seeing after doing this and didn't sacrifice any of the brightness I can have in the seating end of the room. The improvement works both with some lights on and also in total black out. What I'm finding when viewing movies alone I go for total light kill still or just the slightest task lighting. When viewing movies with others they seem to like just a little more rear row (maybe 1/3 power).

Sports with the guys back row 2/3 mid row 1/3. PQ is awesome and everyone can see really good still. As far as the front row I would never see a reason or want them on they are just there for when the room is used for non viewing activities.
 

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Nice work Bud... what a difference!


I have three PJs and unfortuanately for me, not one of those areas in the house (all at least semi-formal) are not appropriate for black paint. One of these days I'll do a dedicated theater in the basement where anything goes. I do envy those of you who can get away with painting flat black!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by tattootearz /forum/post/0


I masked my ceiling & side walls in Black from about 24".... It looks great with the lights on but it's absolutely stunning with the lights out.


Great thread!

Depending on your ceiling height and projector, screen placement the distance out from the screen where you start seeing benefits of a black/dark ceiling will vary.


I went with 5' out because my screen nearly touches the ceiling. (not recommended but you have to do what you have to do)
It was pretty easy to figure out how far I wanted to go by watching the plume dance around on my ceiling.


I'm glad it worked out well for you.
 

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Hello


Came across your "Black" thread and had to leave a comment,


I recently added flat black around my screen and the ceiling, also added black curtains to the sides and top of the screen.


The result is simply amazing! My 92" screen hangs in a 4 foot recess with angled walls, in effect it has become a large completely black recess, sort of a shadow box,

(the basement foundation walls are in a bow window shape )


This recessed area fits the screen perfectly, anyway....blacking things out was the best improvement I have ever made!!


The picture pops off the screen, brights are bright and darks are dark wow!!!


My front, centre speakers & sub are all black and have "disappeared into the black hole....."


The interesting thing is that the screen now seems to float and acts like a window it's hard to explain.


People walk up to the screen and are not sure how far back it is they put there hand up and have to keep walking a few feet before they touch it.


As well ambient light has much less of an effect, my room is completely light controlled but now I can easily leave a couple of lamps on while we watch a movie or play Xbox 360.


While this may not be an option for some it worked out great, I didn't have to paint the whole room, and the WA factor wasn't hard to deal with after she saw the picture....


Pretty cool


Just my 2 cents







 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sloan1


The pictures look great and you said it all much better than I could have.


For the cost involved and the PQ improvements, it's defiantly the best bang for the buck I have done.


My speakers are also flat black and they just vanish into the Blackness.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloan1 /forum/post/0


Hello


Came across your "Black" thread and had to leave a comment,


I recently added flat black around my screen and the ceiling, also added black curtains to the sides and top of the screen.


The result is simply amazing! My 92" screen hangs in a 4 foot recess with angled walls, in effect it has become a large completely black recess, sort of a shadow box,

(the basement foundation walls are in a bow window shape )


This recessed area fits the screen perfectly, anyway....blacking things out was the best improvement I have ever made!!


The picture pops off the screen, brights are bright and darks are dark wow!!!


My front, centre speakers & sub are all black and have "disappeared into the black hole....."


The interesting thing is that the screen now seems to float and acts like a window it's hard to explain.


People walk up to the screen and are not sure how far back it is they put there hand up and have to keep walking a few feet before they touch it.


As well ambient light has much less of an effect, my room is completely light controlled but now I can easily leave a couple of lamps on while we watch a movie or play Xbox 360.


While this may not be an option for some it worked out great, I didn't have to paint the whole room, and the WA factor wasn't hard to deal with after she saw the picture....


Pretty cool


Just my 2 cents

I'm a noob to front projectors, but I noticed in your last pic that the black bars on the top and bottom look almost as black as the curtains around the screen. Are you not using a digital projector, or is something else at play here to make the black this good?
 

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Hello


Well yes I am using a digital projector, it is an Optoma HD6800 (HD72) from Costco. I am projecting onto a Panoview Greywolf ll screen.


The image is fed from my HTPC via DVI, video card is Asus 7600 GT, running Nvidia Pure Video Drivers, at 1280 X 720 resoloution.


The blacks are very deep, I am thrilled with the results I am achieving, it took a little while to get things right.

I have only calibrated with the THX test disc, and the Test patterns within MCE. I havent tweaked the video card much at all, but to match the test patterns my brightness settings on the projector are cranked down, I had it much to high for a while.


The black bars are slightly noticeable, but with everything blacked out including the white screen frame the black bars really do fade away.....


Oh and something else, the brights / whites seem brighter because of the deep blacks contrast?


I was a little skeptical of paint, but I can't emphasize enough how much it enhanced the picture.


 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by WebEffect /forum/post/0


I'm a noob to front projectors, but I noticed in your last pic that the black bars on the top and bottom look almost as black as the curtains around the screen. Are you not using a digital projector, or is something else at play here to make the black this good?

WebEffect


I think Sloan1 like myself has found that with the darkchip2 DLP do a great job of masking when set to the other formats than native.


In my case I use a DIY neutral gray screen that further helps with darkening the self-masking. Some of the photos I have posted show almost no contrast with the self-masking and the true flat black surface and that could be slightly affected by the digital cam taking the photo. The below photo though is about as close to what I see in contrast during the worst case under lights out viewing. Now with some ambient lights on the degree you see that dark black self-masking in comparison to a true masking of black paint or material will vary. Most of the time when viewing under ambient lights turned up it's a more casual setting watching bright images such as sports and the masking isn't as important IMO. That's shown in second thumbnail below its hard to see the self masked area because I'm filling the 4:3 screen but there is a small edge you can see. Keep in mind the second photo was taken with (8) 60 w flood lights on the closest two being 3 feet from the screen.



 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bud16415 /forum/post/0


Keep in mind these photos were taken with (8) 60 w flood lights on the closest two being 3 feet from the screen.


]

Well Bud, not in the first shot of the Girl there. Those Cans directly above the screen (3ft away) are clearly off.



I must say painting your ceiling Black was an absolute necessity because I cannot remember anywhere seeing a screen that crowded the ceiling like that biggun'
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan /forum/post/0


Well Bud, not in the first shot of the Girl there. Those Cans directly above the screen (3ft away) are clearly off.



I must say painting your ceiling Black was an absolute necessity because I cannot remember anywhere seeing a screen that crowded the ceiling like that biggun'

The typo has been corrected.


In 4:3 mode it both crowds the ceiling and the floor. It's 72x96 and the ceiling is 76. That gave several other challenges such as finding a projector that fit my bill and had a negative drop height offset. It's doing it's job with keystone set to zero.


80% of my movie viewing is done in 16:9 mode and the 10X gives me 18 of vertical digital image shift in that mode. I don't normally view with the image tight against the ceiling like that. I ran it all the way up to show the results of the black ceiling in its worst possible light. Most times viewing in a small group the image is centered around eye level or slightly higher. It is a nice feature to have if you want to watch reclined though.
 

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see pics of my "BLACK" room in my sig. Actually the ceiling is a flat black. PAINTED ceiling tiles(and they said it can't be done) The walls are more of a grey than I like but my wife wanted the sandstone texture. So because of that I used Rustoleum American accents "stone creations" spraypaint in a tan color to give some contrast in the trim and sconces and poster frames.
 

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..and this is the reason why I keep a loaded gun in the armrest remote control cubby hole.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloan1 /forum/post/9736997


People walk up to the screen and are not sure how far back it is they put there hand up and have to keep walking a few feet before they touch it.
 

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Bud, what took you so long? FWIW, blacking a ceiling's biggest benefit is eye fatigue relief from bright reflections, especially in bright scenes. The higher your ceiling (distance from the top of the screen) the less blackening needed...just like 'reel' theaters.
 

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I have a flat black painted ceiling as well, but I still get some reflection... its diffused, but it is there as my screen is only 4" from the ceiling.


My plan of action is to cover 5 ft of ceiling with black velvet, towards the screen. Still trying to understand what the best way to achieve this is, since I want it to look nice and even (pro finish).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnolivos /forum/post/12762396


I have a flat black painted ceiling as well, but I still get some reflection... its diffused, but it is there as my scree is only 4" from the ceiling.


My plan of action is to cover 5 ft of ceiling with black velvet, towards the screen. Still trying to understand what the best way to achieve this is, since I want it to look nice and even (pro finish).

Have you considered making a half circle of plywood and then covering it with the felt. You could suspend it an inch bellow the ceiling. You might even consider putting some rope lights above it to create a nice soft lighting effect.
 

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Hah, I like the idea! I have no electricity runs up there though. Not even can lights! May have to do without the rope lights

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler /forum/post/12762461


Have you considered making a half circle of plywood and then covering it with the felt. You could suspend it an inch bellow the ceiling. You might even consider putting some rope lights above it to create a nice soft lighting effect.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnolivos /forum/post/12762814


Hah, I like the idea! I have no electricity runs up there though. Not even can lights! May have to do without the rope lights

When you get it done be sure to post some pictures.
 
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