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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I have a Sony HS10 projector preordered but am unsure of what size screen or what type of screen to get. I do know that I am only looking for a HDTV ratio fixed wall screen and not a do it yourself screen. I have been researching these issues on this forum but am confused about what to do in my case.


My room is only 11ft by 13ft with what will be a 10ft viewing distance, eyes to screen. The screen wall is painted flat black and all other walls and ceiling are painted flat deep burgandy. I will only be using the system for DVD movies and HDTV. Also, I will only be using the system in a COMPLETLY dark room with absolutely no lighting. The room is a one man home theater with only one chair in the sweet spot. The projector will be used with cinema black on and mounted on the ceiling.


Screen Size:


I have read in various HT magazines that the ideal viewing distance is a distance that covers 30 degrees of your field of vision. For my 10ft distance the screen would have to be around 66 inches wide. I had originally planned for a screen 72 inches wide but don't know what size would be best for me. Even though I think the 72 would be fine for High Def, I am concerned that DVD picture quality would be compromised. I want size but picture quality is equally important to me. Also, I am concerned about seeing screendoor or seeing convergence errors. What size screen do you think I should go with?


Screen type:


I have been cosidering the .95 gain Stewart Grayhawk, the 1.3 gain Stewart Studio Tech, the DA-LITE 1.0 gain Da-Mat matte white, and the 1.1 Da-Lite High Contrast Cinema Vision.


Having read the threads on gray versus white screens I am more confused than ever. I live in a small town and have only seen one screen in person. They were using a Sony 10HT but the salesman was not sure of the screen brand or model. During bright scenes in the demo, the screen was full of sparklies definately caused by the screen. I found these to be horribly distracting and will only buy a screen that is free from this problem. It looked like the image was being projected on to frosted glass. I would really like a screen that is smooth and doesn't show alot of texture during bright scenes.


1. Are any of the screens mentioned free of sparklies and alot of sreen texture?


2. What type of screen should I go with considering my smaller than the norm screen size, completely dark room and desire for no sparklies?



I would greatly appreciate any help. Thanks



Thomas
 

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Hi Tom, as a HS10 owner I'll take a crack at these...


First, the general rule of thumb for these type PJs is a seating distance approximately 1.5 times the screen width. At 10 feet seating, that's a 6.67 foot wide screen, or 80".


Now that's a guideline, not an absolute. I watch at about 1.2-1.3x screen width and love it (which would be an 8' screen in your room), others prefer 1.7-1.8x or more to be rid of all artifacts & such.


I would suggest before you commit to buying any screen, check out the DIY threads in the Screens section. While I agree with buying a nice screen eventually, I strongly suggest you come up with something temporary while you figure out just what compromise between size & quality you want. There's a pretty steep learning curve here, and the more informed you are the less chance you'll buy the wrong screen.


If you are annoyed by "sparklies" the HCCV probably isn't for you. Grayhawk gives very deep blacks, and if you stay with that relatively small screen would probably look very nice. The other two would have a brighter, more colorful image, with somewhat worse blacks.


These days I'd lean towards either of the white screens (DaMat or Studiotek), but that's a personal decision. The DaMat would absolutely not have any sparklies, and is a nice, safe choice- it will always look good, but could potentially be bettered by other options...
 

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I am sitting at about 10' back and 72" wide is fine. You may want to buy your projector first and project onto a wall or rig something to get an idea of what you will be comfortable with. At 1st I found myself looking back and forth across the screen to focus on different things, but that went away.

Also a 2.35:1 movie might be a little small at 66" wide and under 30" high. You can always zoom to make a 1.78 source smaller if you need to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kevin and Jamnett,


Do either of you see screendoor from your viewing distance?. What type of screens do you guy's use?.


Kevin,


When you say that you would lean towards a white screen would you mind explaining why?. Between the DaMat and the Studiotek what one do you think would be better on a small 6' wide screen?. I am not sure that I would need the gain of the Studiotek. I would like to buy a screen that I wouldn't have to sell in the future every time I upgrade projectors.



Thanks again for the advice!


Thomas
 

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At less than 1.5x screen width, screen door is slightly visible, and requires a slight defocus to eliminate. At 1.2-1.3x the defocus starts to soften the image. At 1.5x or greater defocus isn't necessary, IMO. That's why you need to decide whether you prefer the bigger, more immersive image, or maximum sharpness.


At this point, I'm leaning towards white screens. When I first got my PJ, I was leaning towards gray screens, since they improve black level perception. As I've experimented more, trying all kinds of DIY projects I've found I like the somewhat purer colors of a white screen. And while you can get gray screens with some gain, they come with the penalty of needing a reflective top surface (to end up with positive gain). This narrows the viewing angle, and some screens end up with the sparklies. If I would've bought a screen right away, I would have gone much darker than I would've wanted, just a few months later. That's why I suggest experimenting before committing to an expensive screen.


I doubt you'd need the gain of the Studiotek at your small size, unless you prefer a real bright image. There's so many options, and everyone has different priorities.


If I had the money, I would probably get the best of both worlds & buy a Stewart Firehawk, which is about the only screen that deepens blacks while still providing good gain w/o lots of sparklies. It's quite impressive, but comes with a price...
 

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If I may...I'm knew to the projector seen, but from what I have experienced while preparing for my first projector based system, I have the following tidbits to offer:


First, I go by the "3 times the screen height" to seating position ratio, which on a 16:9 aspect ratio is nearly identical to 1.5 times the screen width.


At 10 feet, about 72 inches wide (or 40 inches high) is ideal and should look great.


From my own experience, I prefer a matte white screen with a nearly 1.0 gain. Why? Simply because it consistently makes white look white (and not sparkling) and colours look true. Since I watch movies with friends, the 1.0 gain allows for a wider viewing angle than you will need in a one man theater, but none-the-less, I just find that being a neutral as possible way-lays most of my fears about "missing out" on some part of the picture.


To try it out, you can use what I did and just paint your wall with ultra white paint. Ultra white paint with a matte finish is VERY close to a 1.0 gain and it'll give you a very good idea of what a matte white screen will look like for very little money.


So that's just my two cents, but I thought I'd offer them!


Enjoy your theater!


Rob H.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will definately experiment with a DIY matte white painted screen and a light gray painted screen. A matte white screen sounds like a great all around safe choice.


Do you guy's find blacks to suffer greatly using a white screen instead of a gray screen when using the HS10?


I apologize for so many follow up questions and greatly appreciate all the help. Thanks


Thomas
 

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Here's another way to think about seating distance - field of view. THX recommends 28-36 degrees. I believe SMPTE recomends similar (36 max, I believe). 1.5X width gets you 36.9 degrees. With my HS10, I find that to be a tad too close as I see screen door (and other digital artifacts). Slight defocus helps but so does sitting at 1.8X width (32 deg FoV). I have a 32 deg FoV and am very happy with it.


For getting the best blacks, you should do a search for an earlier thread on calibration and using filters. Go the for smallest screen that gives you a good field of view (so when you lose lumens it doesn't hurt so much), use a filter and calibrate the HS10. You will never get CRT level blacks but you can get pretty good quality.


Given all the great things about the hs10, I chose to accept the black deficiency. I've still very happy with my choice.
 
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