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WOW! You guys weren't BSing. One of the best tweaks I have ever implemented.


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#1 of 91 OFFLINE   MichaelO

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Posted January 17 2001 - 01:59 AM

Mattes. Simply amazing is all I can use to describe the difference, and it only cost me 7 bucks. This is a tweak that everyone should try. I have a 50" RPTV, and I can't tell you the difference it makes. Even the people that were over watching the movie with us were impressed by the difference and they said that they were going to do the same thing to theirs immediately.

Anyway, I wanted to share and to try and persuade those of you who haven't tried this to do so, you will be impressed. Thanks again forum, you guys are the best!

Michael

#2 of 91 OFFLINE   David Ely

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Posted January 17 2001 - 02:03 AM

Is this a joke?

If not, do you mind sharing with us what the $7 magical tweak is?
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#3 of 91 OFFLINE   Rob Gillespie

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Posted January 17 2001 - 02:05 AM

David, first word of his first paragraph.
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#4 of 91 OFFLINE   brentl

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Posted January 17 2001 - 02:07 AM

Mattes....made to fit the size of your screeen and movie. Blocks out everything else. Makes the movies look "proper".

I am sure somebody has photos posted somewhere.

Anybody??

Brent L

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#5 of 91 OFFLINE   Robert Bailey

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Posted January 17 2001 - 02:14 AM

Having a dark room to view movies in would save you $7.

I always get a laugh when people complain about black bars on 4x3 displays, because the black bars are the same color as the rest of my room when I'm watching a movie. Some sources say that a completely darkened room is hard on the eyes, but in my 12 years or so of HT, I haven't found that to be the case. I've tried watching with a small 6500K light behind the set, but I found that way too distracting to keep doing it...

Rob

#6 of 91 OFFLINE   David Ely

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Posted January 17 2001 - 02:19 AM

Hehehehehe Posted Image This goes to show that I have no right reading posts the moment I wake up. When I read 'Mattes', I though it said "mates", as in "Hey there mates, look what I did".

Sorry for the confusion.
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#7 of 91 OFFLINE   RicP

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Posted January 17 2001 - 02:40 AM

Quote:
Having a dark room to view movies in would save you $7. I always get a laugh when people complain about black bars on 4x3 displays, because the black bars are the same color as the rest of my room when I'm watching a movie

What kind of Monitor do you have? Before you go discounting someone elses tweak, perhaps you could try to understand why it works so effectively. The fact is, that most large RPTV's unless they are hooded and Duvetyned will show some ringing and the letterbox bars will be a little more grey-black than true black.

Using simple mattes ensures that the letterbox bars are indeed true black and indeed makes the picture come alive against the true black background.


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#8 of 91 OFFLINE   MichaelO

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Posted January 17 2001 - 02:45 AM

Well, I never called myself really complaining about the black bars on my 4:3 TV but you definitely could see them easily in a dark room. Sure they are supposed to be black but they aren't pitch black, more like a really really dark gray. Like I said in the subject, I always thought it was a bunch of BS but I decided to try it when I happened upon some black foam board at a hobby store my wife was shopping at. I came home threw in a widescreen movie (MI:2) and measured the black bars at top & bottom. Got a straight edge and cut the foam board to fit exactly over the black bars. Place the boards/mattes over the bars and turned out the lights. Fired up MI:2 and we were all impressed with the difference it made. No more really really dark gray bars to distract you, nothing but solid pitch black room with only the viewable image showing. It really gives you a theater look. Heck for under $10 bucks everyone who has a 4:3 TV should give it a try, like I said earlier I thought it was just BS but now I know what everyone was talking about.

#9 of 91 OFFLINE   Deane Johnson

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Posted January 17 2001 - 03:11 AM

Why is it on this forum that when someone suggests a method of improving something, someone has to jump on and start knocking it? It happens with mattes, cables, and other things.

I've noticed that in most all cases, the person criticizing the tweak has not tried it themselves or hasn't run any tests of their own, they just knock what someone else has tried.

Just wondering what makes this happen?

I happen to have installed the masks and it made such a major difference that I motorized and remote controlled mine (for front projection). I wouldn't watch a movie without them.

Deane



#10 of 91 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted January 17 2001 - 03:13 AM

Michael: do you have a completly dark room, or do you have a bias-light near the TV?

There has been much discussion about having a light mounted behind the TV to splash against the back wall. This gives your eyes a constant light-source so they are not constantly opening/closing with the TV being the only source of light in the room.

Another poster found some clearance dark-blue flat sheets at a store and hung them to either side of his TV to improve the Matting. (I guess he had a very tollerant spouse Posted Image ). But he did not say if he masked off the top & bottom.

Oh, another question: this would work for most DVD's, but what happens when you try and watch some non-anamorphic feed (CABLE/DSS)? Do you have to remove the foam boards?

#11 of 91 OFFLINE   Luis Gabriel Gerena

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Posted January 17 2001 - 03:37 AM

---"Having a dark room to view movies in would save you $7."---

Are you serious?! Obviously you haven't tried it yet... There is no way that the black bars are going to be pitch black in a mass market tv and making the room pitch black won't make them blacker. My room is pitch black and still needed mattes; boy it makes a HUGE difference. Maybe your brigthness level is way too low cause there's no other explanation for your statement. Also, a $7 tweak in our expensive HT hobby is as close to a freebie as you can get...
To the others reading, don't be discourage, try it yourself and you'll be very pleased.
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#12 of 91 OFFLINE   MichaelO

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Posted January 17 2001 - 03:44 AM

Bob, yes you would have to remove them when watching full screen material. But the way I have mine they go on and come off with ease. I figured that it would have to be something that was going to be easily removed and repositioned since many movies have different aspect ratios, hence different sized black bars.

BTW, I watch my movies in a pitch black room. I have tried the lighting trick in the back of the TV and I can't really decide which I like better. In one way it is easier on the eyes as it does reduce strain but in another way I really like the black theater look. Of course, I understand that in a theater the screen is much bigger and it offers more light which in turn reduces eye strain but I still like the look of "all lights out" in my room. Alas, I am still playing around with the technique.

#13 of 91 OFFLINE   Bill Adlhoch

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Posted January 17 2001 - 03:52 AM

retard alert: (ME)

What exactly is a matte, and how did you implement it

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#14 of 91 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted January 17 2001 - 04:07 AM

Bill,

Matting is putting a physical blockage in front of the "black bars" for watching letterbox material. Usually this is made of felt or cloth, mine are cardboard covered with felt. When this is done, the only part of the screen that is seen is the actual picture / movie.

The best tweak you can do if you have a 4x3 monitor, bar none (pun intended Posted Image).
Quote:
Having a dark room to view movies in would save you $7.
I always get a laugh when people complain about black bars on 4x3 displays, because the black bars are the same color as the rest of my room when I'm watching a movie. Some sources say that a completely darkened room is hard on the eyes, but in my 12 years or so of HT, I haven't found that to be the case. I've tried watching with a small 6500K light behind the set, but I found that way too distracting to keep doing it...
Robert, unless you happen to have one of those new TVs that can suspend the laws of physics, this tweak will do wonders. Particularly for watching in a dark room, physical matting makes a world of a difference. (just ask anyone who went to my meet last weekend where I demoed my mattes) I've been a staunch advocate of the technique for years.

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Thsnks to all who came to my meet the 13th. Thanks especially to Andrej for bringing the SVS, and for Phil for the "Phantom Menace" LaserDisc, which blew everyone away! No thanks to the gremlins who fiddled with my DTS decoder settings before the meet! Pictures coming soon!

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#15 of 91 OFFLINE   rick forrest

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Posted January 17 2001 - 04:17 AM

Can somebody please post some pics showing the mattes in a lighted room, so I can get some ideas for construction?

thanks.



#16 of 91 OFFLINE   MichaelO

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Posted January 17 2001 - 04:33 AM

I found some here http://www.hometheat....ML/005333.html

#17 of 91 OFFLINE   Ray R

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Posted January 17 2001 - 05:54 AM

It seems the assumption is that less than black bars are caused by ambient light only and that a completely dark room would eliminate the need for mattes. This has not been my experience. I have found that light from the image on the screen bleeds into the black bars. This can easily be seen in the chapter with flashing strobe lights from Alien. My tv is an older direct view CRT from Sony, but I would think the same thing would happen on RPTVs.

#18 of 91 OFFLINE   Ken Situ

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Posted January 17 2001 - 05:59 AM

How do you compensate for different aspect ratio such as 1.66:1, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, and 2.85:1 since the width of black bars change? Do you keep a matte for each ratio?

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#19 of 91 OFFLINE   millercv

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Posted January 17 2001 - 06:10 AM


I've been doing this for some time - I've had some made of black on black foam board but I found that it was hard to get the velcro to keep a good grip on it so I devised another idea.

My current mattes are made of black shower curtain! I put a legnth of velcro (the hook side) on either side of the TV (that way it is hidden from view) and the other side horizontally on the mattes (a few different places). It is totally adjustable (no need for multiple sizes) and since it is flexible it is good for gripping the curves of direct view TVs. Also when you are done they can then just be rolled up and stored anywhere....

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#20 of 91 OFFLINE   Max Knight

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Posted January 17 2001 - 06:12 AM

Ken,

I use the same set of mattes, I just move them up and down (the wonders of velcro!) to accomodate different aspect ratios.

People who come over to watch movies are usually more amazed by this than actually hearing surround sound! Go figure...

Sounds can be flying by their heads, the floor shaking from the bass, and people are still saying "Wow, those black boards you put up really make it look like a movie!" Mattes and getting an SVS really improved my movie experience, and sometimes I swear the mattes made as much difference as the excellent subwoofer!
-Max
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