Teach me about projector screens.

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Adam Demuth, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. Adam Demuth

    Adam Demuth Agent

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    I am getting ready to buy a projector screen, but have some questions. I am running a Dell 2200MP projecting a 80" wide picture on a wall (so I can get a feel on what size/position feels best for veiwing). That seems to be a good comfortable size. I'm pretty happy with the brightness, but I feel it could be a little brighter because it's sometimes hard to see things in dark scenes. I'm hoping a real screen will correct this problem (along with producing better colors, the wall isn't exactly white) I'm looking at The Dalite line in a pulldown model. Here's my list of questions/concerns.

    The Dell is a 4:3 native projector, but since I've been using my projector, I almost never use 4:3, always 16:9 mode (I honestly thought that I would use 4:3 quite a bit, I thought wrong) so I think am going to get a 16:9 screen. I'm worried about the dark (very dark) borders being projected past the projector onto the wall... should I be? Or should I get a 4:3 screen and live with the 16:9 not being "framed" (this does not appeal to me at all)

    I can get a glass beaded (+2.5) or a matte white (+1.1) screen for the same price. Why would I not get glass beaded? Is the picture not as sharp? What is the downside of glass beaded material?

    The only pulldown projector screens I am used to are the crappy ones at school that maybe locked at the bottom, maybe a foot from the bottom, or maybe somewhere in between (or maybe not at all, my highschool was poor) Do Dalite projector screens lock in the same position every time? I don't want to have to re-adjust my projector mount every time I put the screen away and pull it down again.

    Also (referring back to my past experience with pulldown screens) should I expect curling on the edges of the screen? Are there ways to deal with this? Or will a decent (non tensioned) screen solve these problems?
     
  2. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Adam:

    I don't know much more than I have read. It is my understand that if you use a Grey colored screen that your black levels and color will be improved over a traditional white high gain screen.

    One place to give a call to and ask what they would recommend is a new vendor to HTF Carada Presentation Screens. Several members have used them for thier own screens and I am sure they would give you the best solution to go along with your projector.

    Parker
     
  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    gray screens should not affect color, but they do help achieve more acceptable black levels with digital projectors which cannot achieve black. Your lack of shadow detail seems to indicate light spill in your room from ambient light, and poor black level performance of your projector. Certainly you should get a proper screen, or build/paint a decent DIY solution.

    Pulldown screens are fine to use, and you shouldn't have to set things up each time. And anyway, you have a digital, so focus is a snap, but you won't have to do anything, anyway.

    You should have a widescreen if possible, along with adjustable masking, as the black bars on that 4:3 projector will be a distracting gray.
     
  4. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    Avoid glass beaded screens if at all possible. Those were developed for much dimmer projection systems where getting maximal gain with little regard for image fidelity was reasonable. The down side of glass beaded is that the beads are too large and themselves become visible as a irregular, gritty, pattern which overlays all images you try to project. there are newer, high gain screen materials which do not have this artifact of glass beaded material.
     
  5. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    If you get a dalite, consider the high contrast cinema vision (which is gray based, so it'll increase perceived contrast, yet relatively high gain so it'll increase brightness to the intended viewing area), or high power (a high gain white screen). Both good choices for the 2200mp, depending on your viewing preferences.
     
  6. Adam Demuth

    Adam Demuth Agent

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    Thank you for discouraging my purchase of a glass beaded screen. I suspected that there would be a texture to glass beaded screens, I figured that there had to be some major downside with a gain of 2.5 with no price difference. Ambient light isn't a problem whatsoever. I think I will mess around with brightness/contrast settings some more once I get home. I haven't bothered with that too much as I don't have a real screen yet, I should try to get it as good as I can before I make a screen decision. Some white paper should be a good simulation, no?

    BTW when they speak of gain, is a gain of 1.0 a neutral gain, or is 0.0 neutral? I don't understand what gain is in reference to...
     
  7. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    1.0 is neutreal compared to a white surface which scatter light equally in all directions (a Magnesium carbonate block).

    A 2.0 gain screen concentrates the light back unequally. The viewing cone light appears 2x the brightness as from a 1.0 gain screen.

    Look also for the words retroflective and reflective as your learn about screens.
     
  8. Adam Demuth

    Adam Demuth Agent

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    Ahh... so a higher gain has a smaller viewing area? In a way it "focuses" the projected light (in a reflective sense) Is this why curved screens have insane gain values?

    Retroflective, like in safety tape, on runner's shoes or traffic signs? Interresting.

    Thanks, you've sparked my curiosity. [​IMG] Your sig also reminded me to run down and pick up the Avia HT setup DVD tomorrow.
     
  9. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Retroflective:

    Light is reflected directly back to the source. Thus, it's much better for the projector to be coffee-table mounted (near the viewer) than ceiling mounted.

    Dalite screens are retroreflective.
     
  10. Adam Demuth

    Adam Demuth Agent

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    Oohh.. I haven't thought of that... my projector is ceiling mounted (or will be once my friend is done making my ceiling mount) It is directly above the couch on at 8" ceiling... will that be bad if I go with a Dalite?
     
  11. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Though dalites are retroreflective, their viewing cones are still relatively large.

    Call them and ask for a free sample (as big of a sample as they will give) of:

    High contrast matte white
    High contrast cinema vision
    High power
     

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