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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a JVC X590R projector, which is essentially identical to an RS420/RS440/X570R.

I'm looking to purchase a powered, rolldown screen for it. My budget money left for the screen is about $600, and I want something around 125". I'll be keeping my plasma behind the screen and I will only use the projector at night.

Now that I have the projector, I see how much light comes off of it into the room and I'm concerned about the black level. I have full light control on my windows, so outside light is not a problem. One problem is that this is a basement, with a low ceiling (6'8"), so my wife will only let me keep the ceiling white. (It's a multipurpose room, not a completely dedicated theater.) I definitely see the light reflect off of my temporary tablecloth "screen" and shine onto the ceiling. I'm not so much concerned about seeing the light on the ceiling (it doesn't really bother me), I just wonder how much it's hurting my black level.

Right now, I have a large white tablecloth hanging and I'm shooting the project onto it to experiment. The sharpness isn't where I want it to be and I'd like to see a better black level. It also looks a little washed out. If I stick my head around the back of the tablecloth, I can see the original image reversed, plain as day with full brightness, so I'm guessing that is hurting both my brightness and my black level, when compared to what I would see with a screen.

My original plan was to go with the Elite Screens Spectrum Tab-Tension 125" 1.1 gain white screen (Model Electric 125HT). This is the right size for my room, is tab-tensioned (something I want), and is at the right price for what is left in my budget. Now I'm wondering if a gray screen would be better, but a gray screen from the same company/same size, etc is double the price. I also wonder if the gray will be bad in the long run, as the projector bulb ages and puts out less light. I know this project is known more for black level than it is overall brightness, so I don't want to shoot myself in the foot there.

I know there are ALR screens, but they are all in the $2000 and up range for this size and since I stretched my budget on the projector, I can't go that high.

It's a tough decision to make, as I have no real way to A/B two screens and compare them in my room, so I'm trying to experiment and make the right decision before ordering. Do any of you have white ceilings? What kind of screen did you buy? I just want to make the best decision that I can. Thanks.
 

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In my old house I had a low ceiling basement theater with a white ceiling and it was bad. I painted the ceiling flat black out 6’ from the screen and then put a trim strip painted black across the seam. The room still felt like a white room but that 6’ of black did the trick. I now have a first floor room that is the theater but also acts as a second living room. No windows and black ceiling and 50% gray walls. Even the archway connecting it to the living room has a black velvet curtain we can draw for movies.

She didn’t know about the black ceiling and the dark room when I told her what I was doing but now she loves the look.

I kind of saw it at my old house is she had the rest of the house all bright and light colors I just claimed the basement room as mine.

There is a reason you never went to a commercial theater and saw white wall and ceilings.
 

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As to your white tablecloth screen. I started out with a bed sheet as a screen. In your case 50% of your brightness is passing thru the screen. You could have a 50% neutral gray screen and see the same image in terms of brightness as you do now. On the same token 50% of the light bouncing off your ceiling now and going back to the screen is passing thru and not lighting your blacks. When you get a proper screen more will be reflecting to the ceiling and more back to the screen and all of that will be wrecking the CR of your image.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As to your white tablecloth screen. I started out with a bed sheet as a screen. In your case 50% of your brightness is passing thru the screen. You could have a 50% neutral gray screen and see the same image in terms of brightness as you do now. On the same token 50% of the light bouncing off your ceiling now and going back to the screen is passing thru and not lighting your blacks. When you get a proper screen more will be reflecting to the ceiling and more back to the screen and all of that will be wrecking the CR of your image.
Haha. I didn't think of that. But when light increases by 50% with the new screen, raising my black level, my white level will also go up by 50%. I wonder if that will offset it.
 

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Well you might have to turn the brightness down to get back to where you are now, or go to a larger screen.

I don’t really have any good advice on the best roll up screen in your price range. most of the cheaper ones are not tensioned and will show ripples with time. I have always had fixed screens.
 

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As like Bud, I have only had experience with fixed screens. I have a 120" 16:9 Elite screen, 1.1 gain and Saber frame I like other then I wish I would have gone bigger and scope now. It looks like on Amazon the screen you are looking at is rated pretty high. It won't bleed through like your bed sheet does and it should look a lot better. Another way to darken up the area around the screen without painting would be to hang up some black velvet out from the screen say 3' to 4' . You can get it from a hobby store or Jo Ann Fabrics. That's what some of the guys in our area have done even after they painted the area black.
 
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