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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Epson 1080UB currently projecting on to a white wall with a diagonal anywhere between 130" and 160" depending on my mood and if I have friends over. I am in the market for a fixed screen, but in oder to figure out what I want/need, I want to nail down what I am currently seeing. I realize that an image that size will not be as bright as something smaller. I am aiming for the lower end of the above (~135") when I do decide to buy a screen. For reference, my projector is 15 feet from the screen, and I sit 12' from the screen. The projector is ~3' above eye level, and will be ~3' to the side of center after I install a screen.


Under most conditions, I have fairly good light control, although not perfect. All of the light that seeps in is diffused via a light filtering layer and I have virtually no shadows in the room. In addition to my projector, I have a 22" LCD on my coffee for general PC use to save my projector bulb. I often play PC based video games on my projector screen while the LCD screen is on, so I can clearly see the differences between the two.


My black levels from the projector are very black. In fact, I feel like the black levels put my LCD to shame. However, the level of detail seems to be much less than LCD screen. I can not make our different objects and details in the shadows from the projector image like I can from the LCD. I've tried adjusting the simpler projector settings (contrast, brightness, gamma, auto iris, high brightness mode)without going into the more detail calibration settings to no avail. Most things that fix the detail levels in the shadows also tends to wash out the whole scene. I admit, the particular scene where I notice this happens to be very dark. I do not notice this as much outside of dark scenes, or notice a particular low white level elsewhere. But, I may also not realize what I am missing in terms of white levels.


When I first got the projector, I followed a "guide" online with the optimal settings for each of the different viewing modes. I use the term guide loosely as it did not inform me how to reproduce the settings, just what they were. I remarked at how good the image looked at the time, but now my bulb is older and I fear these settings no longer apply. It is also the case that my LCD screen is not calibrate to any type of golden standard either. In fact, I believe I have the brightness notched all the way down so as not to blind myself when i turn it on.


Another unrelated problem I'd like to address is how quickly my image quality drops when i turn on any lights in the room.



So I have a few questions to help e figure out what is going on:


1. Generally speaking, how should my LCD image seems compared to my projector image (black levels, contrast, etc)? Is what I have observed normal between the two?


2. Do I need to recalibrate my projector now that the bulb has some age on it?


3. How can I fix the details levels in the shadows? My first instinct was to alter the gamma or contrast levels, but they didn't seem to help much. This doesn't sound like a classic case for a grey screen material either.


4. What are good screen material options to ward of a little ambient light? In general, I like my picture when all the lights are off. But that isn't always practical. Is there anything that can help with ambient light, while still preserving the bat cave PQ? Would a mild gain screen help? I am aware of the power of retro reflective screens for this purpose, and my projector height at least is adjustable. How good are angular reflective screens with > 1.0 gain for ambient light rejection?


5. Any other ideas to fix this?


Edit:


6. Whats the best way to get screen materials to sample?
 

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Sounds to me as if your projector's black level is set too dark. I suggest using a test disk such as DVE to readjust your brightness control. With the room lighting set as you plan to watch a movie, and using the Video Black with New Pluge test pattern, make sure the "below black" vertical bar just disappears, and the "just above black" vertical bar just barely appears. Then adjust the contrast control, making the Gray Ramps with Steps as bright as possible while keeping the brightest step and the next brightest step from blending together. You may have to go back and forth with these adjustments a couple of times, as one setting may affect the other. Finish with the brightness control, as it is the most critical.


As to screens for rejecting ambient light, both the high power and a gray screen with gain > 1.0 will help with off-axis light, but neither will work a miracle. Neither will reject ambient light coming from behind the viewers.


The best way to get screen samples is to ask the manufacturer to send you some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I don't currently have a copy of DVE (it's now on the top of my netflix queue), but did have a copy of Avia2. I found a test pattern with BtB and WtW patterns, but these did not show up on my projector. These did, however show up on my LCD screen. After some research, it turns out that my receiver is clipping btb and wtw signals over HDMI. After routing direct to my projector, I was able to see the test patterns properly and adjust. The adjustment did make a difference.


Since I am moving to HDMI audio soon, and will have to use my receiver for HD codecs, are there any test patterns on Avia2 or DVE that can be used to optimize contrast and brightness without using btb or wtw signals?


Edit:

More back on the topic of screens: how does gain effect perceived black levels and shadow details?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowKntSDS /forum/post/16977473


Thanks for the feedback. I don't currently have a copy of DVE (it's now on the top of my netflix queue), but did have a copy of Avia2. I found a test pattern with BtB and WtW patterns, but these did not show up on my projector. These did, however show up on my LCD screen. After some research, it turns out that my receiver is clipping btb and wtw signals over HDMI. After routing direct to my projector, I was able to see the test patterns properly and adjust. The adjustment did make a difference.


Since I am moving to HDMI audio soon, and will have to use my receiver for HD codecs, are there any test patterns on Avia2 or DVE that can be used to optimize contrast and brightness without using btb or wtw signals?


Edit:

More back on the topic of screens: how does gain effect perceived black levels and shadow details?

Just what I suggested: Pluge and Gray Ramps with Steps.


If you keep the same size screen, higher gain raises both the white level and the black level. (The CR stays the same.) If you go to a larger screen area in proportion to the increase in gain, there should be no change in either white level or black level.
 
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