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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finished up my DIY gray screen last night. I used a sheet of 4x8 MDF trimmed down to roughly 82" wide including the 1.25" border. I chose Glidden's interior flat latex "Dover Gray" for screen color. The final product is about 6 coats. Here is what I have noticed thus far:


1. Color -- Color rendition does seem to suffer a bit as compared to my previous Dalite matte white screen. I tried my best to compensate for the change but I have yet to find the right settings. Any ideas on where I should head with the color controls are much appreciated. The AVIA color decoder check is not exactly reliable using just my eyes and those filters.


2. Blacks -- I would say at least a 10-20% improvement over the previous setup of FL-D and Dalite model-B matte white. I can now begin to see more subtle details in dark areas.


3. Waves -- Completely gone and color field patterns are more uniform in appearance--yeah!


For a while I did try the AE100 with the FL-D and the gray screen. The colors were pretty bad but I did not have much time to tweak last night. Suprisingly, picture brightness was still adequate using both the filter and gray screen** YMMV. Overall, FWIW, I have to say that I prefer the gray screen to the FL-D.


** Pics of my HT prior to gray screen.
 

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I have found the Da-lite HCCV to be a big improvement over a white wall. with a combination of defocus and the grey screen, the screen door isn't very noticeable, at 1.5x distance. Although it ads a small chunk of change($480 92"diag) to the total cost, I think the HCCV was worth the purchase.
 

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When you try the FL-D what picture mode do you have the AE set to - Dynamic or Cinema?


I'm interested in any progress you make - I've got quite a similar setup and was planning on painting my Parkland to improve blacks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Last night I tried a few scenes from different movies with and without the FL-D. What I noticed was that the FL-D removes a layer of haze or fog. While it may be a weak analogy, the before and after in dark scenes is almost like setting the brightness level correctly on a out of the box television.


Color on the other hand is a bit tricky. In certain shots flesh tones look normal and in others, well not. The image looses a little bit of punch because of the reduction in brightness but like I said before I still find the brightness level adequate even with the gray screen.


Finally, the image with the FL-D seems softer from a loss of detail.


From where I stand there are movies I want to use the FL-D with and then there are some where I don't. For the most part, I prefer animated films, like Toy Story, without the FL-D. With darker live action films I prefer it with the FL-D.


As far as Dynamic or Cinema, everything is set to normal. I like to make all the gamma adjustments throught the computer. Sometimes I like the warm color setting but it is by no means accurate, I normally like the whites white, not redish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I have lived with my DIY Gray screen for a week. Tonight I went back to the HMC FL-D/Matte white combo. This is my impression thus far. While blacks are not as black there is better shadow detail. This could be because the PJ simply is not bright enough for the shade of gray I selected. This is where products like the Firehawk make sense--they make the blacks black but keep shadow detail at the same level of a matte white screen with additional gain.


I'm happy to have more accurate color rendition back too with the matte white/FL-D combo. Personally I think this is the way to go unless you are willing to fork out the $ for a decent HC screen (which I am not).


I also did an interesting test with the Parkland plastics material, cut a strip about 3 inches wide and stuck it to my Dalite pull down screen. IMHO the Dalite matte white performs "better" with my setup--Now if I could only get rid of those darn wrinkles! One of these days when I get a digital PJ that is on par with my old 9PG I'll invest in a proper tensioned screen.


Having gone full circle (perhaps semi) is definitely a learning experience. Still, I have reservations about whether or not the FL-D is the proper filter for the AE100. I am having to boost the green level to get proper grayscale....
 
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