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Does anyone here get acceptable daytime performance without completely blocking the windows or turning the viewing room into a dungeon?


Last week I bought a material called "tileboard" from Lowes. I'm guessing it MAY be melamine since it seems almost identical to a dry-erase board. The backing is a stiff 1/8" cardboard-like pressboard sheet. It cost $13.


Unfortunately whether due to the room, the projector, or the screen, we quickly discovered that our home theater is completely unusable during the daytime (see screenshots below). I am using this with a Proxima x350 LCD projector, 1100 ANSI lumens. I guess this is pitiful, but I can't make a case with my wife for replacing this if we're going to be looking at a $400+ expense.


Here are some relevant screen captures:


Spongebob Squarepants, almost impossible to see in daytime glare:
http://gallery.avsforum.com/showphoto.php/photo/29942


Another disappointing image:
http://gallery.avsforum.com/showphoto.php/photo/29943


Nighttime performance of the screen (not too bad, but you can see how readily it reflects environmental illumination, hence the brown cast):
http://gallery.avsforum.com/showphoto.php/photo/29945


Picture of the screen:
http://gallery.avsforum.com/showphoto.php/photo/29944


What's the deal? Does melamine suck? Is my projector woefully underpowered? Do we have to black out all the windows if we want to see anything? This room is full of skylights and stacked windows, so I don't know if we're fighting a losing battle here.


The nighttime performance is fine but now that I placed my projector over our heads instead of at people-level, I'm now seeing some hotspotting, so it looks like a change in materials is in order. Do you all think I should paint over this tileboard? Or get laminate? And if laminate, will I see THAT much of a difference in performance? I really, REALLY don't want to upgrade to laminate and only find a minor improvement. I just don't know whether to paint on a sheet of drywall, go with laminate, or paint on this melamine (I've heard on some other thread about it possibly causing bowing).


Heck, what do YOU think I should do here?


Tim
 

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I am a complete newb myself (don't even have a projector yet). But based on what I've read so far, laminate would be far superior. The board you have is obviously too glossy, but great for writing notes!
Based on comments on this board, I'm considering an 8'x4' of the Wilsonart Fashion Grey, which should cost less than $100 at Home Depot. I'll check it out soon.
 

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rolypolyman, your photos look like the windows are not covered by any sort of block out drapes or blinds. My Black Widow screen is unwatchable in those circumstances, so you white tile board will certainly be worse.


I added a roller blind behind our vertical blinds. I also placed a piece of wood on top of the vertical blind track to prevent the light from hitting the ceiling. The roller blind is mounted over the window frame and allowed light to come in on the sides. I found some suitable plastic U channel stuff at Home Depot and made side tracks for the blind as well.


The fact that you have white walls is not helping either. I also have white walls and ceiling. With the blinds drawn and all light off there is still plenty of ambient light to see in the room but it is very dim. Under those circumstances we can use the projector during the day.


I would recommend you consider painting your screen with either the Black Widow, or a neutral gray + satin polyurethane mix. If your projector is quite bright you might get away a simple neutral gray paint alone. Just remember that if you go gray, you must do a contrast & brightness calibration. This is easily done using the THX Optimizer that can be found on many DVDs including Cars, Nemo and Terminator II.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by justlnluck /forum/post/15586979


I am a complete newb myself (don't even have a projector yet). But based on what I've read so far, laminate would be far superior. The board you have is obviously too glossy, but great for writing notes!
Based on comments on this board, I'm considering an 8'x4' of the Wilsonart Fashion Grey, which should cost less than $100 at Home Depot. I'll check it out soon.

YFI, the original users of the Fashion Gray laminate no longer seem to recommend it. I believe it was found not to be as neutral a gray as they originally thought. It was also determined that most people had to top coat it with a matte polyurethane to prevent hot spotting. This too is no longer recommended because the polyurethane is not truly clear and added further color shifting.


At this time I have not seen any alternative gray laminate recommended by those with the equipment to test the neutrality.
 

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rolypolyman, that tile board is probably very smooth and you may wonder if paint will adhere to it. I would recommend cleaning it really well with something like Windex with Amonnia D. Then use a very good primer such as the Glidden Gripper primer, Dulux Difficults Surfaces Primer, or if you are in Canada use the CIL Smart3 "Anywhere" Primer. Then apply the screen paint of you choice.
 

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First, don't take anything I'm saying as a knock to you, your room, your equipment, etc. I'm just being honest here... trying to save you time/money.


Your room is WAY (read: extremely) too bright to watch anything but a VERY powerful (lumen wise) projector. I mean that's full daylight based on the pics you took - practically like using it outside. You'd need one heck of a projector and screen to perform satisfactorly in that enviroment... I almost thought you were kidding based on your screen shots.


Even watching a normal crt tv in those circumstances would bother me. Watching any screen / video source is benefitted by less ambient light. There is a big difference between a dungeon (ideal) and the pictures you took.


You need to get that room to be much, much, darker before you worry about your screen material. Even a high power gain screen like a Da-Lite HP isn't going to help your screen brightness with that much ambient. They're just not designed to operate with that much light. You'll need a TV whose light source is enclosed (IE a projection TV, or a crt or lcd or plasma etc) to be able to watch with that much ambient. And even then, it would be a poor viewing expirence at best.


My suggestions if you stick the current setup would be to get dark / thermal / blackout curtains for the windows, and then perhaps blinds for the skylights at the very least. At best, blackout (ie rubber insulated or backed) for all windows and skylights. Curtains can be opened if you want light when you're not using the display - it's a compromise. For even better performance, paint your walls darker to reflect less light (bounced light is just as bad as ambient light, any light that hits the screen is going to wash it out), and get a better screen material, like WA DW laminate that has a gain, and or a grey screen to maximize perceived contrast / black levels.


Furthermore I didn't see any pics of the overall setup, but make sure your projector is mounted high to reduce reflected light issues, and as close to the screen as you can zoom permitting to get the size screen you want to maximize brightness.


If you don't like the idea of opening / closing curtains, perhaps remote opening curtains / electric curtain rods are for you.


Or if you don't like watching with no light in the room, perhaps consider cheap lighting control like x10, for shutting on / off lights from your remote / couch. That way you can leave the curtains drawn. Or consider backlighting / bias lighting the screen.




Still, this is your projector right?
http://www.projectorcentral.com/Prox...Light_X350.htm


That projector is old (2000!), and not HD or widescreen... I wouldn't consider using such a projector for a theatre, or watching movies / playing games. It's simply not up to spec, and meant for things like presentations. etc. I see you're using a 16:9 screen so you really need a 16:9 HD projector. At anything over 30" this will be a huge difference in picture quality. At 75" it would be night and day in quality. You can get a very high quality DLP projector now for under $800 brand new, such as the Sharp DT-510 that I have that I picked up for $690. For it's performance it's a steal.


You mention $400 though. You can't get a brand new 16:9 projector for $400 of any decent quality, or at all. Prices are not that low. Many projectors bulbs cost nearly that much. $600 is considered to be a STEAL for a 16:9 720p projector, and 5 years ago, they were several times that much... Still they assume that you've made other possibly costly adjustments to the room in order to enjoy them.



So my overall suggestion? Assuming you want to keep your room as is, Sell your projector or use it for something else, and pick up a fixed display. In a room that bright, the only thing I'd reccomend would be a plasma, or a CRT TV. A widescreen CRT of say 36" would be still very bright with all that ambient and display a beautiful picture (when calibrated , depending on brand). Though very heavy (my 30" phillips wide 1080i is 230 lbs!). Plasma sounds like it's out of your price range. And I think any projection TV, even DLP or LCoS is just not going to be bright enough with all that ambient. AT least not at a level that I'd find to be enjoyable.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolypolyman /forum/post/15586739



The nighttime performance is fine but now that I placed my projector over our heads instead of at people-level, I'm now seeing some hotspotting, so it looks like a change in materials is in order. Do you all think I should paint over this tileboard? Or get laminate? And if laminate, will I see THAT much of a difference in performance? I really, REALLY don't want to upgrade to laminate and only find a minor improvement. I just don't know whether to paint on a sheet of drywall, go with laminate, or paint on this melamine (I've heard on some other thread about it possibly causing bowing).


Heck, what do YOU think I should do here?


Tim

I think this is the same material that I paint my screens on. I also used some for walls in my laundry room, and tried the following suggestion while looking at the reflection of the bare overhead light bulb.


If you are to the point of throwing it out, try this first. Take a scotchbright pad or possibly 1200 grit sandpaper and go over the surface very lightly. This might reduce the hotspotting. It wont help the ambient light issue though. Try a spot on a low corner while you can see the reflection from outdoors, or from a bare light bulb about 8 feet away.


Another option might be to put a coat of clear Valspar Protector (matte finish I think. The flatest they have is what you want.) I mixed some of this with into a high sheen paint, and it reduced the sheen.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiddler /forum/post/15587858


YFI, the original users of the Fashion Gray laminate no longer seem to recommend it. I believe it was found not to be as neutral a gray as they originally thought. It was also determined that most people had to top coat it with a matte polyurethane to prevent hot spotting. This too is no longer recommended because the polyurethane is not truly clear and added further color shifting.


At this time I have not seen any alternative gray laminate recommended by those with the equipment to test the neutrality.

If this is true, I am back to square one...
 

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The area on the left near the gap was scuffed up, and as you can see the hotspotting was greatly reduced. The light bulb is 150 watts and less than 2 feet away from the wall. The gap is over the doorway to the laundry room which is in my garage.

 
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