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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need screen/gain recommendations. My seating will be 1.5x screen width. Projector mounted in a sofit. I will have a bar and pool table behind the theater area so, some ambient light will exist. I want a "bright" "punchy" image. Will the HS20 cut it? If so, what screen gain do I need?


Thanks,


Frank T. Lee
 

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Frankly, I think you are going too big. 136" diagonal gives a screen width of 119". If your seating is 1.5X that, you are sitting 178.5' from your screen. At that screen size and seating distance, I am fairly certain you will see significant Screen Door Effect, (SDE), especially on non-HD material. Also, the image may be somewhat washed out at that size, especially with some ambient light. Finally, I think the image would be so big and you would be so close to it, you would find yourself turning your head to view different parts of the image.


With my HS20, I find that my current, temporary screen, (a 4 x 8 piece of white bathroom wallboard, approx. 98" diagonal) is plenty big at a viewing distance of 168" (almost exactly 2x screen width) and the "WOW" factor is more than adequate.


I have ordered a 92" Da-Lite HCCV. I initially ordered a 106" HCCV, but after zooming out to that size (about 3" of over-scan on my screen) and watching for an extended time, I found that I like the smaller image a lot better. It is better integrated with no visible SDE. The colors are vibrant, whites look brighter and blacks are deeper and richer. I also find it much easier to "fit" the whole image into your visual field. Overall, it's got what you're looking for -- more brightness and punch.


Projector Central has a really good article about screen size.
http://www.projectorcentral.com/home.cfm

See the third article under Commentary. I really don't think you need to go as big as you are considering.


Craig
 

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I have a 130" screen with my HS10. It is a diy frame utilizing Dalite HCCV material. I projected directly on my white wall for a year and experimented considerably with different size images before settleing on a size that spans the entire width of the wall. I've been quite satisfied with the brightness and punch of the image, even at this large a size.

From my seating, 16 - 18 feet back, I see no screen door effect. I have to walk up pretty close to the screen to see it.
 

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The visibility of the SDE is a function of distance relative to the screen size, not just how big the screen is. ftlee said he will be sitting 1.5x the screen width. At that distance for ANY screen size, SDE will not be an issue. Even if he can slightly detect it, a click or two off-focus will eliminate that concern.


I think your question about gain on that screen is a good one. And, I think the answer depends on a couple of things: how dark your room is and what your PQ preference is.


A Stewart screen distributor recommends the Firehawk up to a 106" diagonal for an HS20. Anything over that, he recommended the Ultramatte which has a higher gain. A Da-lite rep recommended their High Power screen for anything over 106". Personally, I don't think you need a positive gain screen even at 133". I do think you need to stay away from a grey screen when you get that big -- unless you REALLY like the effects of a grey screen.


When you get that big, light intensity fades and you won't need the grey material so much to darken the picture.


From the materials I've seen, recommendations, and readings here, I would recommend plain old matte white (or Da lite high power -- if you want to add zip (and visual contrast) to a picture that size).
 

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This is copied from Projector Central, (see link above):


"As a rule of thumb with XGA or WXGA resolution projectors, a viewing distance of less than 1.5 times the screen width will get you into the trouble zone where pixelation and artifacts become more visibly intrusive. While it is true you have a very BIG image in front of you, these distractions can compromise viewing satisfaction.


On the other hand a viewing distance of 2.0 times the screen width or greater gives you beautiful image integration in which pixelation is invisible, artifacts are minimized, and the picture appears as a solid unified video image.


The range in between these two, that is a viewing distance of between 1.5 to 2.0 times the screen width, is the area where the trade-off happens�the closer you sit, the bigger the screen looks obviously, but the more you begin to see the flaws in the image also. In my personal experience, with XGA or WXGA projectors, a viewing distance of 2.0 times the screen width is the perfect solution, yielding large screen drama with just enough distance to cause the image to be fully integrated and resolved visually. But that is just me. Your preferences may be different than mine. You may want to sit a bit closer and live with a bit more pixelation or artifact noise than I would. Or you may find that an image that is 2.0 times the screen width is still too large for your tastes."


This is obviously their opinion and it is given as advice. I happen to agree with these comments. I like the image better when it is not over-sized. I have seen other systems where the image is too large for the room and seating distance. In my opinion, the "WOW" factor is diminished by the imperfections that become visible. With anything less than HD material, (DVD's, SD TV, etc.) there are very visible imperfections in the signal. I can tolerate them better when they aren't so magnified by an over-sized screen. If all I was watching was HD, I would probably get the 106" screen, (and someday, when HD DVD is available, maybe I still will). Until then, I will prefer the brighter and cleaner image that a smaller screen can provide. Imagine a 92" Plasma monitor! The "WOW" factor of that is incredible.


For ftlee's room, with some ambient light, the concentration of the lumens on a smaller space will provide an image that is more tolerant of the ambient light.


If he decides to stick with the 133" to 136" screen, then I would agree that a higher gain, white or silver screen is the best choice. Viewing angle can be compromised, but that is the price you pay for a bigger, brighter screen.


Just my $0.02. worth.


Craig
 

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One last thought:


ftlee, when you get your 136" screen, if you can set up your projector so that it can zoom down to 100" or so, I would be interested in your opinion of the differences between the two image sizes. Thanks.


Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry guys, I forgot I started this thread. I am going to go with a 123" Firehawk screen. The actual screen with is 107" so, I will be sitting at approx. 1.79 x screens width back. That should be ok, no?


Frank
 
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