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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an NEC VT540 projector I am extremely happy with. I am replacing an older pull-down screen I have that is hi-gain. I think I will get a fixed screen. I will be ceiling mounting my projector. A couple of questions:


1. Size: Should I get 1.85:1 (Letterbox video) or 1.78:1 (HDTV)


2. I don't want to spend a fortune for Stewart Greyhawk. Of the Da-Lite materials which is best? Da-Mat, High Contrast Da-Mat or Cinema Vision?


3. Any other suggestions?
 

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The Stewart comes highly recommended but the next in line would be the Da-lite high contrast. I have not seen this material myself but it is their version of the grayhawk.


A gray screen will enhance any digital projector.


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Alan Gouger

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[This message has been edited by Alan Gouger (edited 07-13-2001).]
 

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Xray- While not a direct answer I got my NEC 540 2-3 months ago and have really enjoyed it (thanks John Andrews!). I was projecting on a light yellow wall and recently put up a DIY white Hancock backing fabric 92"x"52" screen ($25) per a post on the Screen Forum here. (you are aware of it correct?) and it went a tiny bit darker. I haven't tried any paints yet, I'm a tinkerer at heart. I'm just gonna make an adjustable horizontal mask with some felt and velcro. The ultimate of course one of those super adjustable mask jobs $$$, but I'm just one of the common folk and I haven't seen them at Walmart yet.


At first you might wanna just try some cheap fabric cut to your choices (or at least block off the area) to see what format you like best. And I think some screen companies will send you samples of their fabrics for testing. Remember, the DVD's are comming in all ratios, good classics (and my new Kubricks) are often full frame. If you have HDTV access that may be a good ratio, also clue me in on where you are getting all the programming http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Next I'm gonna throw a cheap HTPC at it (Iscan pro now) as I have heard that can help quite a bit. Also for my mount I got lucky, my viewing area was such that two bent 20" pieces of mild steel and fasteners ($5) from Home Depot form a nice fixed mount. And no, I'm not associated with "The Sultan of Cheap" he,he


Also, Alan Gouger, thanks for this great forum. It is really a great service for us. Although we're all probably broke as heck now!!! I thought giving up fast cars and fast women would help my bank account, then comes along stupid home theater and DVD's! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


[This message has been edited by kbconv (edited 07-13-2001).]
 

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Unless you plan on manually adjusting the zoom whenever you change A/R, you might as well just get a 4:3 screen. If you think about it for a minute (took me a week) you'll se why - without adjusting the zoom, you're going to have a VHCW (variable height, constant width) setup, so the width at 4:3 is as wide as you're going to get. Of course, if you plan on using an ISCO or Panamorph permanently, then this is all out the window....


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I have a 120" (diagonal) home made gray screen 4:3 aspect ratio that I use with my VT540 -- looks fantastic, even in econo-mode. Unless you buy a Panamorph or Isco, I'd recommend using 4:3 aspect ratio. You can always use masking to get it down to whatever else you want.


Although lots of people do it, I don't really understand why anyone would use a screen with different aspect ratio than their projector.


"Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong" -- Dennis Miller (whose show is presented in 4:3).


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BB80301
 

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I agree a 4:3 aspect ratio screen should be used with a 4:3 projector unless you are using an anamorphic lens. I use a homebuilt 90" diagonal matte white 4:3 with my VT540. I needed a wide viewing angle because I had some off-axis seating in what is really a front living room, so I couldn't use high gain. I later added a black painted shadow box frame to give a crisp edge to the picture and to suppress a slight reflected light halo on the surrounding white wall. I may experiment with gray paint to darken the screen, because my decor includes a fairly light colored carpet and even some off-white furniture - blacks in very bright scenes get a little washed out due to light from the screen which then bounces off the furnishings.


Gary


[This message has been edited by Gary McCoy (edited 07-14-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I only view movies with my projector - they are are usu. 1.85 or 2.35:1. I don't watch anything that is 4:3. With a letterbox aspect ratio, I won't have to deal with the large grey bars or manually mask it off. This will give a more movie like appearance. I don't want to tinker making my own screen. I can afford to buy a real one, but don't want to be extravagant and spend for the Stewart. What is the best Da-Lite screen ( or equivalent)?
 

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Short answer to your question. Almost a no-brainer for me, go with the hi-contrast da-lite. Everything across the board will look better except the whites. I know this material is supposed to tame the whites but I think it might take it a tad too far. That being said, if you go in the other direction and lighten up the grey you will find the blacks suffer. It is too bad the Greyhawk is so expensive because it appears he has gotten it right with so many rave reviews.


Also, I like the hdtv size screen. It may not be a popular opinion but this is why. There are so many newbies who come into my home theater and see this HUGE 120" screen. If you watch a 2.35:1 movie I feel some of the effect gets lost since so much of the screen is not being used. I then get people saying, "Hey, let's watch this with the whole screen, it will look so much better!" Eegad. Anyway, an hdtv screen is still overwhelming and I love the masking. Of course it isn't perfect for dvd's but I still think it looks much better than 4:3.


The long answer is, like the others here, I would opt for the diy screen. It isn't a terrible amount of work or time and you can use a grey that is right for you.


Finally, as an aside to the other vt540 owners out there. I cannot believe the number of you that are still using a line doubler with this projector! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/eek.gif I have tested between using my dvdo and a htpc and it is safe to say the difference is dramatic. Just grab a pc, throw in a Radeon LE (follow the radeon guide at dtvmax.com), and watch Small Time Crooks or Fifth Element....stunning.


Good luck and please let us know how it goes. The more vt540 users the better. If it wasn't for the NEC LT150 the Sanyo and Infocus guys would have run us out of here a long time ago http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


[This message has been edited by JP (edited 07-15-2001).]
 
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