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Discussion Starter #1
My HT guy is currently suggesting I get a 106” Dragonfly Fixed 16-9 Ultra White Projection Screen with high gain and texture free. I prefer watching movies with some low level ambient light, which it seems is not poplar with projectors. Is there a screen that will help with this? Does it even matter very much? I’m still looking at projectors too. Is a fixed 16-9 screen a good choice or too limiting? I don’t want to have the black bars on the screen every time I watch a movie but also don’t want to have to mess with settings frequently.
 

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My HT guy is currently suggesting I get a 106” Dragonfly Fixed 16-9 Ultra White Projection Screen with high gain and texture free. I prefer watching movies with some low level ambient light, which it seems is not poplar with projectors. Is there a screen that will help with this? Does it even matter very much? I’m still looking at projectors too. Is a fixed 16-9 screen a good choice or too limiting? I don’t want to have the black bars on the screen every time I watch a movie but also don’t want to have to mess with settings frequently.
Any lamps in the room are going to wash out the image. A room with white walls, ceiling, and floors is going to wash out the image as well. It sounds like you should consider an ALR screen. There are many options that fit various situations, supplying us with more details can help us make better suggestions. Budget, viewing content(tv movies 4k hdr 3d etc), room size, wall/ceiling color, flooring, light fixture locations, etc. Etc.

There are motorized masking systems and you can look up "constant image height" projection systems, which have an involved setup and can be expensive but will be simple to use once completed. You can also do manual masking, I have a top masking panel that I pull down over a retractable screen and move the bottom of the screen up for 2.35 movies. With darker alr screens you might find the black bars more tolerable as well.
 

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@Wastingmytime, it's important that you provide all the fine details about your total system including projector model and total budget or you may get less targeted advice that doesn't fit your actual circumstances. In another thread you asked for advice on a projector
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Any lamps in the room are going to wash out the image. A room with white walls, ceiling, and floors is going to wash out the image as well. It sounds like you should consider an ALR screen. There are many options that fit various situations, supplying us with more details can help us make better suggestions. Budget, viewing content(tv movies 4k hdr 3d etc), room size, wall/ceiling color, flooring, light fixture locations, etc. Etc.

There are motorized masking systems and you can look up "constant image height" projection systems, which have an involved setup and can be expensive but will be simple to use once completed. You can also do manual masking, I have a top masking panel that I pull down over a retractable screen and move the bottom of the screen up for 2.35 movies. With darker alr screens you might find the black bars more tolerable as well.
My HT room is in the early stages of construction so plenty of time to adjust anyhing. I plan on going with dark walls and rock pillars for accent. I will be using it strictly for watching movies and streaming. No games or music. I know nothing about the ALR screen but I will do a search on it. Here’s more info on my set up:

Room Dimensions: 12’Wx23’Lx9’H
Configuration: 7.2.2, might be changing to 5.2.4 from member here saying it’s better, or maybe even 7.2.4 if I can make it work.
AVR: Marantz SR7013

Display: 106” Dragonfly Fixed 16-9 Ultra White Projection Screen. Just got some advice to today to look at Silver screen and from Dave below for Stewart Filmscreen so I will look at both of those.
Projector: Epson 4K ProCinema 6040UB OR JVC. Still trying to decide on this.


@Wastingmytime, it's important that you provide all the fine details about your total system including projector model and total budget or you may get less targeted advice that doesn't fit your actual circumstances. In another thread you asked for advice on a projector
 

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If you're watching movies, a decent amount of light shines back at you from off the screen even if your room is pitch black dark. Like enough light to eat dinner on your lap etc. Any ambient light will absolutely destroy your blacks.

Otherwise, the black diamond 2 is a good choice for ambient light.
 

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@Wastingmytime, most higher end home theaters are optimized for viewing movies in the dark. That is, they have all dark room surfaces and all lights turned off, similar to a commercial movie theater. For those conditions one of Stewart Filmscreen's reference white screens is considered optimum. You can learn more in the Stewart thread. If you also want to view with some lights on in the room, that will have a tendency to at least somewhat wash out black levels in the image so it won't be optimum for viewing movies. But if you only want to view things like sports when lights are on then if you manage the lighting properly to keep it dim and away from the screen and turn your projector up to its brightest setting it could work for you.

You are planning a significant financial investment so I recommend that you take it slowly and do proper research before committing a single penny. Professional installers vary greatly in quality. Some push products they make the most profit on while others will cater more to what's best for you. On this forum you will get more neutral advice from video projection enthusiasts with a lot of experience in home theater. You can take some of the ideas you learn here, bounce them off your installer and see how he reacts. That will give you an idea of how open he is to satisfying your needs versus maximizing his profits.
 

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@Wastingmytime, here's another thought. You say that you prefer watching movies with some lighting in the room. That's different from most who invest big bucks in a home theater who prefer viewing movies in the dark as movies are shown in commercial theaters. Viewing movies with lights on is more of a TV experience. While it's possible to get something close to a TV viewing experience with video projection, once ambient lighting is in the room a TV is going to be able to produce a superior image.

You say that you want to have a 106" screen. That's on the small side for a dedicated home theater and not drastically larger than the biggest TVs currently available. Since you mentioned a budget of up to $10k for the projector alone that means you could also consider one of the big high-end TVs. While the screen won't be as large as 106" it will handle ambient light much better than any projector/screen combination. If you're absolutely committed to viewing movies with lights on, unless you've totally ruled out a big screen TV it might be worth your while to explore that option in the TV sections of AVS Forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you're watching movies, a decent amount of light shines back at you from off the screen even if your room is pitch black dark. Like enough light to eat dinner on your lap etc. Any ambient light will absolutely destroy your blacks.

Otherwise, the black diamond 2 is a good choice for ambient light.
Yeah that’s what I was fearing. I like the ambient light with viewing but also don’t want to negate everything I’m trying to build.

@Wastingmytime, most higher end home theaters are optimized for viewing movies in the dark. That is, they have all dark room surfaces and all lights turned off, similar to a commercial movie theater. For those conditions one of Stewart Filmscreen's reference white screens is considered optimum. You can learn more in the Stewart thread. If you also want to view with some lights on in the room, that will have a tendency to at least somewhat wash out black levels in the image so it won't be optimum for viewing movies. But if you only want to view things like sports when lights are on then if you manage the lighting properly to keep it dim and away from the screen and turn your projector up to its brightest setting it could work for you.

You are planning a significant financial investment so I recommend that you take it slowly and do proper research before committing a single penny. Professional installers vary greatly in quality. Some push products they make the most profit on while others will cater more to what's best for you. On this forum you will get more neutral advice from video projection enthusiasts with a lot of experience in home theater. You can take some of the ideas you learn here, bounce them off your installer and see how he reacts. That will give you an idea of how open he is to satisfying your needs versus maximizing his profits.
@Wastingmytime, here's another thought. You say that you prefer watching movies with some lighting in the room. That's different from most who invest big bucks in a home theater who prefer viewing movies in the dark as movies are shown in commercial theaters. Viewing movies with lights on is more of a TV experience. While it's possible to get something close to a TV viewing experience with video projection, once ambient lighting is in the room a TV is going to be able to produce a superior image.

You say that you want to have a 106" screen. That's on the small side for a dedicated home theater and not drastically larger than the biggest TVs currently available. Since you mentioned a budget of up to $10k for the projector alone that means you could also consider one of the big high-end TVs. While the screen won't be as large as 106" it will handle ambient light much better than any projector/screen combination. If you're absolutely committed to viewing movies with lights on, unless you've totally ruled out a big screen TV it might be worth your while to explore that option in the TV sections of AVS Forum.
Good points. I am looking into all the suggestions I’ve received here. I’ve made a list and am doing more research. I will follow your advise and approach my HT guy with some suggestions and see how he responds. I originally was going to do a TV for the better display and being able to watch with some light but again me HT guy said it wasn’t optimal due to the seating distance and relatively small display in contrast to a projector. He said he could configure it so that the ambient light wouldn’t be a problems but I wasn’t sure and after asking about it here it seems a bigger concern than he related. Thanks for the help!
 

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... I originally was going to do a TV for the better display and being able to watch with some light but again me HT guy said it wasn’t optimal due to the seating distance and relatively small display in contrast to a projector. He said he could configure it so that the ambient light wouldn’t be a problems but I wasn’t sure and after asking about it here it seems a bigger concern than he related. Thanks for the help!
What will your viewing distance be (eyes to screen)?

There really is no definitive answer to choosing between a big TV and a video projection system. In the end it's a matter of personal preference. AVS Forum is filled with those who wouldn't sacrifice the image size of a big projection screen for the sharpness and brightness of a TV and those who wouldn't sacrifice the sharpness and brightness of a TV for the image size of a big projection screen.

We all grow up with TVs and understand all their pros and cons. TVs have become common appliances to us. Relatively few are exposed to video projection and have no personal experience with the pros and cons. It's easy to go shopping for a big TV and have a good idea of what we're going to get. It's hard to know in advance how we will react to a video projection system in comparison. Ultimately you need to understand which side of the personal preference divide you're on.

I would highly recommend you not spending a lot of money on a video projection system without first having personally experienced one. See if your HT guy can demonstrate one of his previous installations to you in the kind of lighting that you plan to view in. You will certainly be impressed with the size but pay close attention to the brightness, sharpness and black levels. Then go to a big box store and look at the biggest TVs on display. Try to view each from the distance at which you will be viewing in your home.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The distance will be 18’ for rear seats and 12’ for front seats. Great points on the TV vs projection. I guess that really is part of my hesitancy is my lack of experience with projection. Good suggestions, I’ll see what he says, thanks!
 

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From 12’ and 18’ seating distance I would want a 180” 2.35:1 screen doing constant image height presentation.

I think if your HT guy is recommending anything smaller than 150 16:9 screen you need to find a new HT guy. 106” is way to small IMO.
 

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From 12’ and 18’ seating distance I would want a 180” 2.35:1 screen doing constant image height presentation.

I think if your HT guy is recommending anything smaller than 150 16:9 screen you need to find a new HT guy. 106” is way to small IMO.
Heh! Big! 150" 16:9 at 12' is a 50° viewing angle. I've got about 40° and it's pretty big. The 106" at 12' is 36° which is the thx standard. This is where seeing different installations or putting up a sheet or projecting onto a wall to get an idea of size is very useful. You may find 36° too small, you may find 50° to big or even to small still you may want imax 60°.

See this theater https://www.avsforum.com/ht-of-the-month-the-hahn-theater/?amp
It has a 4 way motorized masking and automated zoom functions for a smaller image for certain content and a huge image for others.
 

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Heh! Big! 150" 16:9 at 12' is a 50° viewing angle. I've got about 40° and it's pretty big. The 106" at 12' is 36° which is the thx standard. This is where seeing different installations or putting up a sheet or projecting onto a wall to get an idea of size is very useful. You may find 36° too small, you may find 50° to big or even to small still you may want imax 60°.

See this theater https://www.avsforum.com/ht-of-the-month-the-hahn-theater/?amp
It has a 4 way motorized masking and automated zoom functions for a smaller image for certain content and a huge image for others.
Yes I followed Rob Hahn and his theater for a long time.

I follow a variable screen size philosophy myself. Rob is even a little stricter than what I like as if I remember he does CIA.

You are exactly right IMAX in my opinion should dictate new theater standards, well IMAX1.89 some call LieMAX. The big push now with UHD being the standard is IMAX enhanced wanting to be the top dog at home. There is a new audio format they are finally moving the IMAX DMR version to home media of the blockbusters and giving us the increased material and height they were chopping off. THX standard is ok and with an IMAX sized screen I can return to that easy enough to watch a poor BD or DVD transferred from 35mm film. But if you are watching the cream of the crop modern blockbuster and soon being able to get a copy in UHD that’s IMAX1.89 worthy why not crank the immersion knob.

The nice thing about variable immersion is you don’t have to always use it. I have about 3000 DVDs I have no plans on upgrading and still enjoy from time to time. They look great still at around 30-35 degrees.

The bed sheet and the projector on a teacart for a few months is a great idea and I often advise the same.

https://www.imaxenhanced.com/
 

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The distance will be 18’ for rear seats and 12’ for front seats. Great points on the TV vs projection. I guess that really is part of my hesitancy is my lack of experience with projection. Good suggestions, I’ll see what he says, thanks!
With two rows at that distance you can forget the TV. Even the biggest TV currently available would not be cinematic from 18'. Really, a 106" image would be undersized for 12' and 18' viewing distances.

Viewing video projection in the dark is generally referred to as home theater while viewing in ambient light is generally referred to as home video or home entertainment. Most dedicated home theaters are optimized for viewing in the dark while most viewing in ambient light is done in family rooms or living rooms similar to TV viewing. You are just in a unique position of wanting a dedicated home theater with ambient light and are going to need special consideration for your setup.

Other than the $10k you mentioned in the other thread being willing to spend on a projector I haven't seen any further mention of budget. Realistically speaking, what's your total budget for projector, screen, sound system, seating, installation, etc.?
 

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THX recommends 36° for the back row of a THX-certified theater. From 18' that 106" screen would be the equivalent of viewing from the lobby of a THX-certified theater. :)
I thought it was 2/3 into the room.
 

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I would much prefer seating distance for CIH or CIW HT be a function of screen height. Roughly 2X would be front 1/3 of theater immersive and 3X be back 1/3 of theater and 2.5X be the center.

People then doing CIW would see how much loss of immersion they have compared to a commercial theater.

The new IMAX home media coming out I will be watching about 1.5X.:eek:
 
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