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This is my first projector. I've been wanting to get into it for years, but always seemed to back out. I finally decided to give projection a try. I used my old audio equipment and got an Epson Home Cinema 2000 and an Elite Screens 92" manual pull down screen. This is not going to be a permanent installation, so I wanted something that can be taken down or is at least non-destructive to the room (the house is for sale). I built a mount for the screen so I could hang it and adjust its height if needed with the use of chains or hooks or whatnot.

Now, I know that my room is not ideal. 92" inches was the biggest I could go. I'm probably sitting back 12' or so. The walls are white, and there is not much space around the screen. The lighting is well controlled at night though.

Okay, so my first reaction to seeing my projector on screen is.............where are the blacks. I read reviews and looked at sample images. They did not look like this. They actually had "black" in them.

I knew they wouldn't be the best given that this projector is not known for great blacks, and my room is not up to professional standards, but in a completely dark room, I thought I could at least get dark grey, but I wouldn't even call it that. I came in with low expectations too.

I've been using my old 42" Panasonic Plasma for years. Other than that, I have 2 16x10 IPS computer monitors. I'm used to decent blacks.

I chose the Epson over the Benq 1070 because I was scared to death of rainbows. While I've never had the chance to see a dlp projector, I did see the yellow-green phosphor delay in my plasma, and it was a bit annoying. I didn't want to go through that again.

Everything else is fine. Sharpness is good, colors are nice, motion handling is acceptable, but the blacks just look so washed out.

I put it on Eco mode and set the color to cinema. I could not turn down the brightness control in the menu because it would start to lose detail. I can't see anything that would help.

I didn't even know a projector could light up a room like this. I can even read the remote. I thought it would be pitch black or something.

My only other complaint is that I have to keep the projector so high. I am tempted to put it behind the futon if possible because it's right at eye level while sitting down. It gets a bit in the way. The screen is up what it probably standard height from the floor.

Here are some pictures of various scenes while I was doing some testing. I tried to pick bright, medium, and dark scenes to see the effect on the black levels. I have my 55-200mm lens on, so I could not get the full screen. I tried to show the edge so you can see the environment as well.

If I can get the blacks sorted out, everything will be fine. I'm just not sure of what to expect.
 

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I have two of the HC2000s and yes they do light up a room. The reflections off the wall also wash out the black levels. (You should see what happens with the light leakage from a DLP on a white wall. It put me off on getting a BenQ and having one of each.) I run mine on natural/eco/auto iris normal and did the Disney Wow to set it up. I think the almost 2900 hours on the lamp helps as well, but we don't even notice anymore. In fact, the family thinks the 70inch TV is too black on dark scenes even after running the Disney Wow.

I think the video below shows what you are dealing with. Look at the solid black differences and determine if you need to get a better projector.



http://www.avsforum.com/forum/15-ge...a-game-rooms/1527055-steve-s-cheap-build.html
 

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Hmm, well it looks like I may have to just live with it for now. If this is "normal" then I guess there is not much that can be done. Still, the reviews I read showed pictures with very dark blacks. I wonder if their pictures are actually accurate.

I suppose I could try putting a black sheet over the side walls and see if it helps. I tried holding up a dark blanket over one part of the side wall near the screen, but it didn't seem to do anything. Maybe it is just making the room too bright.

I do find the picture pleasing, black levels aside. I do plan on upgrading eventually, but not if the room itself is the weak link.

I only paid around $600 for this projector. Even still though, I was hoping for darker blacks.

I am tempted to get a mount and build a small table for the projector to sit on out of some shelf boards.
 

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Okay, so my first reaction to seeing my projector on screen is.............where are the blacks. I read reviews and looked at sample images. They did not look like this. They actually had "black" in them.

I knew they wouldn't be the best given that this projector is not known for great blacks, and my room is not up to professional standards, but in a completely dark room, I thought I could at least get dark grey, but I wouldn't even call it that. I came in with low expectations too.
I was like you, waited forever to get into the PJ game and when I did, the HC2000 was my first projector (I saw RBE in the W1070). I noticed the same, blacks were grayish and not dark. After a few weeks of tweaking, I came to realize 2 things: my screen was too big for the room (causing a ton of reflected light) and my room wasn't dark enough. White walls are the enemy to a great PJ image. So I got a smaller screen (went from 120" to 106" causing a lot less reflected light off side walls) and I painted the room flat black, this improved the colors and blacks immediately. But I wanted more and noticed I was really lighting up the ceiling too. So I added black foam panels to my ceiling (less permanent than paint) and now my room is just one big black void and the colors and blacks were very noticeably improved. Also, as Steve mentioned, make sure your HC2000 is in eco mode. And you can always lower the contrast and brightness too. But the Epson is a real light cannon, so to off set this, you'll need to darken your room and tweak your settings. Good luck.

(I also tried black velvet curtains tacked to the sidewalls first before painting but looked too "tacky" IMO (no pun intended). And I also eventually upgraded to my current Sony)

EDIT: also remember that the HC2000 is an entry level projector and does not have the greatest of inky blacks to begin with. So you'll only be able to do so much, the rest is just a weakness of the projector. A great PJ for $600 tho. Darkening your room and especially those side walls will really help.
 

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Digital cameras employ all sorts of techniques to make the pictures look black, pictures of a projector screen are generally a waste of time.
 

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Hmm, well it looks like I may have to just live with it for now. If this is "normal" then I guess there is not much that can be done. Still, the reviews I read showed pictures with very dark blacks. I wonder if their pictures are actually accurate.

I suppose I could try putting a black sheet over the side walls and see if it helps. I tried holding up a dark blanket over one part of the side wall near the screen, but it didn't seem to do anything. Maybe it is just making the room too bright.
In our off-white basement, I finally broke down (after well over a year) and put up a 5x7 Garland black $39 "Amazon" rug (no backing) with nine small picture nails on my side wall (second one should arrive today for either the ceiling or additional side wall) . It really made a difference so this weekend we added a dark $79 Sams club rug to cover our almost white carpet. Wow! Now that really made a differnce. Our 16:9 169 inch image looks much better now.

Edit: It is in our basement, so the wife lets me get away with "tacky" as long as it is easy to remove/restore when we move in a couple of years. In fact, I have gone out of my way for tacky to keep my girls from kicking me out with boyfriends/friends.
 

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I just got the HC2000 as well but haven't had much time to watch it yet, just one 3d movie and a little bit of tv. But I have it in a loft with beige carpet and light colored walls, not white but more on the light side than dark. Anyway I was happy with the image so I didn't bother with buying a screen. Placement was difficult as well, was planning on putting it on a table in front of the couch but image was too small. Placed it on a cart and now I just roll it back to however large I want the image to be but its off to the side requiring the keystone correction. I know this is the wrong thing to do but I can't tell a difference in the image with the keystone so it works for me. Just don't like the extra light on the ceiling because of the keystone.

Maybe I'm ok with the black levels because the projector is over 20 feet back, I don't use a screen, my walls are not white, or it is darker because of 3d. Never measured the image but I'm guessing it's about 200 inches. And its really not too bad compared to my plasmas but I did have low expectations.

Got to try out the 3D! So much better when the image is huge.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm anxious to try out 3d as well. I just hope the glasses are comfortable over normal glasses. I may order the Epson 3d glasses or whichever seem to be the lightest or best fit over normal glasses (and as long as they don't rest on my nose!)

I still need to figure out a way to mount the projector. I mean, this thing is around 33" off the floor. The screen is just a few inches higher than a tv stand. When I sit back in the futon, it is kinda in the way. I moved the futon over a bit so I'm nearer to the edge of the screen, but if I look at the bottom right of the picture, I can see the projector in a double vision kinda way. You can actually see the edge of the projector in one of my screenshots. I would almost be tempted with keystone if it could get this thing out of my face...

I am probably going to buy an adjustable mount and build a small table for it, then just mount it to the table. It will keep it secure, it will be adjustable, and I can move it back slightly.

I tried putting it behind the futon, but the image was way too big.

I was going to go with a smaller screen like something in the 80's, but every time I read about it, sitting 12 to 13 feet back is not big enough for a movie theater.

I really don't want to paint the walls. This is a spare bedroom, and the house is for sale as I mentioned. Otherwise, I'd give it the full theater room treatment.
 

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Perhaps you should try without the screen. Sure would make placing the projector much easier as you can aim it anywhere on the wall. The cart works for me since I don't have a screen. If I had a screen, I'd have to do a ceiling mount and then I'd have to figure out how to get hdmi and power up there. Too much work when I barely have time to use the projector as it is.

I don't wear prescription glasses but for 3D the samsung coin cell battery ones are the lightest and cheapest but they aren't very big. Would be kind of awkward wearing two sets of glasses to watch 3D.

If you want darker blacks maybe try wearing prescription sun glasses!
 

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Unfortunately, the wall behind the screen has a very small window on it. Also, the walls have a rough texture.

I would have to build a screen of some sort no matter what. I chose the pull down screen so I can access the window if needed.

Now, I just need to find a mount that has an adjustable height (preferably with lots of room for error since this thing has no lens shift...).
 

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Boy, one thing we did was I knew my basement would be my projector room, so it was painted a slate blue - on the dark side, because of the light leak.
 

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Also, I know you have a window, but can you put a large board or Drywall peice in front of it, in manner that it can be removed? Then you can really customize the screen size?
 
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