Backlighting for television

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom Weeks, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. Tom Weeks

    Tom Weeks Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know how many of you attempt tweaks to try and improve your A/V systems. I have tried several, such as expensive wires, isolaters, etc. Usually I end up trying to convince myself that it really did make a difference and it really was worth the extra cost. Then after I convince myself, I try to convince my wife and friends. They are usually brutally honest and vary rarely admit to being able to detect ANY difference. I recently installed a backlight behind my Toshiba after reading about it here and Lo and Behold, they finally saw a difference. I got a universal thumbs up from them all. For some reason, not totally understood by me, this really makes watching DVD's more enjoyable. Eye strain is gone, colors seem more intense. One of the best things about it, to me, is it was not expensive. Nine dollars for a 24" single tube fixture and $4.00 for a Phillips Daylight bulb. If you like subtle changes and have not tried this yet, give it a shot, you will like it.
     
  2. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Cinematographer

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    Backlighting is a godsend. After you do it, you'll wonder how you ever watched films without it. Maybe I'm getting better results than some...but for me, the improvement was immense.

    Bruce
     
  3. Bob D

    Bob D Extra

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    Tom,

    What brand of fixture did you buy and where did you purchase it? Thanks!
     
  4. Tom Weeks

    Tom Weeks Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought a 24 inch single bulb fluorescent fixture and a daylight bulb from Home Depot. I think the total was about $13.
     
  5. GeorgeAB

    GeorgeAB Second Unit

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    I got my backlight from www.ideal-lume.com. It's more expensive, but has an excellent warranty, 98 color rendering index and it came to my door. They also offer a Rosco neutral-density filter kit for dimming the light to the SMPTE-standard 5-10% mentioned on Avia and Video Essentials.
     
  6. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    I got all my stuff from Home Depot as well. After I had my Tosh 65H80 for a week or so, I was getting headaches after watching TV. Found out this was due to eye strain, intalled the backlight, and no more headaches. I love the way it looks as well.

    BTW, my backlight is plugged into one of the A/C outlets on my Denon AVR-3300 receiver, so it comes on automatically when I turn the receiver on.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  7. Masood Ali

    Masood Ali Supporting Actor

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    Forgive my ignorance, but a friend suggested I simply buy a small taplight and adhere it behind my RPTV. Would this be a decent solution, or are there any inherent drawbacks that would warrant a more proper backlight?
     
  8. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    Love the sig,

    "We all end up dead, the question is how and why."

    But I'd add.

    If there isn't anything after death, then it doesn't matter aftwards.

    If there IS life after death, then it doesn't matter afterwards.

    ---------

    The tap light would not be of the correct color of white (D65) which is needed to avoid biasing the color perception of your eyes. Ideally, you would have a neutral gray back wall which is illuminated to achieve a D65 color and also have the grayscale of your display also at D65. If the backlighting is too yellow, as with a tap light, your perception of colors on screen will tend to be too blue.
     
  9. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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  10. Dwight Amato

    Dwight Amato Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you guys have your sets along a wall open to the sides and top? My questin is, my TV is in a notch in a wall, so there is not much room to the sides (a few inches) and is open to the top. I am going to build a shelf system above it that will close off most of the wall above the TV, again leaving a few inches. Does it make sense to have backlighting then or would it actually be worse, causing more attention to the walls?
     
  11. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Good question Dwight. I'm not sure but I'll take a stab at it and say that any light that you could put in the upper shelves would help even if your TV is in a notch in the wall.

    My understanding is that eyestrain is caused when your pupil opens up due to the darkness in your HT room, but the light coming from the TV is not intense enough to close them back appropriately. However, that light can still be damaging. The reason this is not a issue in movie theaters is b/c the light coming from the screen is taking up most of your field of vision in a theater, which is not the case with your TV.

    Backlighting gives your eyes a sense of depth within your field of vision and something else to focus your periphial vision on, thus reducing the amount that your pupils would open.

    If I've screwed something up, I have no doubt someone while correct me and set you straight.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  12. RyanDinan

    RyanDinan Stunt Coordinator

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    So where did you guys mount your light fixture?

    My RPTV is almost directly against the wall, and is flanked on each side by a black entertainment center, complete with a bridge on top, connecting the two shelf units.

    So I can see 'wall' directly above my TV.

    The entertainment center DOES have lights inside each of the shelf units, but the bulbs are obviously way too yellow, and access to them is tight- So turning them on/off is a pain.

    I guess I could replace those with a bulb closer to D65K, and also mount a nice long 24" light on the bridge aiming down, and towards the wall....Then just find an easier way to turn them off/on...

    Any suggestions are very welcome!

    Thanks!

    -Ryan Dinan
     
  13. Tom Weeks

    Tom Weeks Stunt Coordinator

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    I mounted my light directly in the center of my tv. I mounted the fixture to the wall so the light is shining towards the back of the tv. I have a 2 ft. fixture which was almost too wide for my 36" Tosh. I can't explain the dynamics of it but, when you are watching a movie in a totally dark room it really takes the strain off the eyes and makes the picture seem brighter. Give it a try.
     

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