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Maximising image contrast - Part 2

Discussion in 'Projectors' started by jacked, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. bravogolf

    bravogolf Member

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    You should watch Ben-Hur, stunning!
  2. kbfern

    kbfern Well-Known Member

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    I'll second that the new restored version on Bluray makes the film look like it was made yesterday,sublime:thumbsup:
  3. richard plumb

    richard plumb Active Member

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    thanks. I think i'll concentrate on light control then. I have windows all along the south side of the lounge which let in way too much light. Trouble is, the missus doesn't want blackout linings as the current curtains are translucent so they can be closed to filter out the sun when its too bright but still leave the room light.

    might need either a second curtain track or something that'll fit over the windowframes themselves.

    Anyone got any novel solutions for blacking out windows?
  4. Ideal AV

    Ideal AV Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    try some bricks, that usually works :D

    well you did say novel ;) :rotfl:
  5. kbfern

    kbfern Well-Known Member

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    A pot off black paint is cheaper and you don't need a brickie to do the job:D

    Seriously though other than a blackout curtain or blind there is no other known solution that i am aware of so as Allan points out a Draper is your best bet if wanting to satisfy the wife.
  6. bravogolf

    bravogolf Member

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    You could perhaps get wooden blinds or something that go behind the curtains?
  7. bravogolf

    bravogolf Member

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    My devore panelling has upgraded in scope slightly :) I'm now going to paint the room too and place devore over that. Am thinking a dark (bitter chocolate 1) ceiling with a toned down version (bitter chocolate 2) on the walls. The first half, or third, of the room will have devore panelling and I'm getting a new stewart screen too!
  8. Mr_Grinch

    Mr_Grinch Member

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    Setting up my home theatre room on a budget. I've picked up a reconditioned Optoma HD200x and ordered a ceiling mount. Next up I'm looking at improving the room itself. At present it's all cream (it's a new build). The floor is cream carpeted, the ceiling is a slightly lighter cream and the walls are a slightly darker cream.

    So in summary: cream.

    I'm going to struggle to get the ok to paint it all a dark colour (it's occasionally used as a guest room too with it's double futon) but I was thinking of putting a few hooks up on each wall and hanging some material from them. Would I be able to do that with the devore? Would the cream walls still shine through?
  9. jetsetjimbo

    jetsetjimbo Member

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    I was thinking of doing something similar to this. I can probably go darker than cream on the walls / ceiling but there'll still be reflections.

    It would probably be possible to back the devore with something and weight the bottoms so they hung flat when on the hooks.

    Alternatively some lightweight devore panels? They will be harder to store when not in use than something that can be rolled though.

    I'm thinking of trying something removable like this for the ceiling above the screen using rare earth magnets to secure it in place.
  10. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Devore is any thinner than the cotton sheeting I use for my 'tent' and the white ceiling behind doesn't seem to reflect back to the screen. Discrete hooks would be a good way of fixing the material though I like the idea of magnets if you can get it to work I might try that myself next winter. :smashin:
  11. mcspongy

    mcspongy Member

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    Mr Grinch

    I have put Devore over the gloss white door which is adjacent to my screen wall, and you cannot tell what colour the door is - no light gets through, it just looks black. The Devore is taut down the door but I didn't need to stretch it so I'd imagine you should be alright with hooks top and bottom.
  12. jetsetjimbo

    jetsetjimbo Member

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    How does your tent work?

    I think magnets should be doable. The rare earth ones really are pretty powerful and you can get them in all shapes and sizes.

    Even the smallest of these counter sunk ones have a 1.1kg pull stength and can be attached with screws! The largest have a 20kg pull strength per magnet and they even do them coated in a black rubber.
  13. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Well-Known Member

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    Well...not very well at the moment. :D :rolleyes:

    I built a pelmet for my screen and made two 1" holes in the front of it each side. Into this I slot two lengths of 1" dowel. The thin cloth is sewn onto one of the dowels (both just didn't work) so the unsewn one is clipped in place with clothes pegs. it sags a bit in the middle too, so I use more clothes pegs to clip it to a light fitting. This covers both side walls and the ceiling upto nearly 2 metres from the screen, plus I have another section I can throw on the floor, though the rug is quite dark anyway over an Oak floor.

    Trouble is the poles has bent slightly over time so the 'tent' is very close to getting in the picture. It can sometimes take 5-10 frustrating minutes tugging at the cloth (it's only thin black 'sheeting' cloth from Dunelm Mill) to get it to work. Hence why I haven't bothered for the last 6 months or more.

    As posted on the original section of this thread, I measured ANSI contrast with and without the tent as my room has a white ceiling and light grey walls: It went from 75:1 to 230:1 so even though it isn't made of devore it does make a big difference. I intended to take some screenshots of the two setups but never got round to it.

    I'd like to rejig the setup to make it easier to setup, but I've slightly lost interest due to other hobbies...I just prefer to lower the screen and put a film on. The pictures not as good, but it's just less hassle and it was putting me off using the projector, which is a bit self defeating. I don't use the PJ much in summer (ha, what summer :rolleyes:) so I might follow your lead with the magnets and look again in the autumn ready for viewing season.

    Sorry for the ramble...off work sick and rather bored. :D
  14. sheep

    sheep Member

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    Ive fitted curtain rails around the sides of my screen. I bought some cheap black curtains to test. When the screen is up the curtains fold back with the normal window curtains and look quite good(well I think so) when the screen is down I then just sweep them out and they work really well at covering the side walls out to about 5 foot. I painted the ceiling matt black out to about 5 feet and then used some venered wood to break up the black from the rest of the ceiling which again works well and looks pretty good. I can try to post some pictures if your interested.
  15. jetsetjimbo

    jetsetjimbo Member

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    Of course. :)

    Kelvin - The tent sounds like a bit of a rigmarole! I want to get something as quick, easy and robust setup so it doesn't put me off using the projector.

    I'm going to DIY a fixed screen which I'm then going to cover, again with some form of magnetised system. If you're using a electric screen in a steel case some system utilising magnets could be ideal.

    I'll be getting the keys to my new place in a few weeks, then the planning will really get underway! :)
  16. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is a rigmarole. :) Which is why I've stopped bothering. I'd so love a proper dedicated room that could be decorated more suitably for a projector. I'm helping a friend setup a projector in a 'cinema' room, but it has glass down one side and is all light colours. :facepalm:

    Good idea with the magnets and the screencase, but mine is inside the MDF pelmet I built so can't be reached for this purpose. :( I did have grand plans for extending the pelmet around the room and fitting electrically operated devore blinds that would drop down. The OH was OK with this plan too, but I've done so much DIY over the last few years, it's on the back burner so to speak.

    At least it's saving me money as I know there's little point me upgrading my projector until I sort out the room/tent alternative. :)
  17. sheep

    sheep Member

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    Taken with my tab so pretty crap but here you go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And the results

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The missus keeps her front room and I get as close to bat cave as I will ever be allowed lol. She even likes the ceiling as the veneer breaks it up and makes it a feature.
  18. kbfern

    kbfern Well-Known Member

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    Very nice sheep you have made a decent job of it mate.:thumbsup:
  19. sheep

    sheep Member

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    Thanks mate, They were only £19.99 curtains but work really well lol. Just need to get my grey screen and a calibration and I will be happy.......for a while lol
  20. mcspongy

    mcspongy Member

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    Yes some very "interesting" pictures there!
  21. Rich H

    Rich H Member

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    I'm going to get around to posting pictures of my new reflection-killing measures in my room.

    But first a rant...

    I am continually amazed when I flip through the home theater magazines, especially ones like Home Cinema Choice, at the incredibly poor choices made in so many rooms in terms of impacting the performance of the (often expensive) equipment. This is is particularly true of the rooms featuring projectors. So often it's bright, bright, bright decor! And not only by newbies, but by people who should know better, professional installs.

    One of the worst examples is currently featured in the DIY section of Home Cinema Choice - the final of 3 parts being available in the current magazine, but part 1 and 2 available on line here:

    DIY INSTALL: Room with a View: Part 1 - DIY Installs

    DIY INSTALL: Room with a View: Part 2 - DIY Installs

    Now, one would expect such magazines to try to show how to do things right, and how to create rooms that maximise image quality to the extent that is possible or reasonable. Of course, some times people are not dealing with dedicated home theater rooms and so compromises have to be made. I'm quite familiar with that, as it's exactly my situation. I had to turn a bright living room in the front of our house with big bay windows into our AV room, projection-based. But, jeeze, at least I made some sensible attempts at making a room that allowed for good performance in terms of projected image quality. As have many others in such situations.

    But this DIY install wasn't just a "let's throw up a screen on the wall, honey." As you can see from the links, it's a major renovation of the room for people "serious about home theater."

    But, egads, LOOK at the result! I don't think I've ever seen a room that is WORSE for projected images! White ceiling, white walls, screen near the top of the ceiling, cream carpet, white furniture and a white screen!:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    What the ????

    If this were a pre-existing room I'd be thinking "What a nightmare for a projector, boy they've got some work to do!" But this thing is the END RESULT of a full renovation of the room with home theater projection in mind. Worse, it's not just any newbie, it's apparently the project of someone who writes for the magazine!!!

    Now, in part two the writer does say: "When the plaster dried, the walls were painted white. Now,*we know this is probably the*worst colour you could choose for a home cinema; ideally you would choose black, or a dark blue or battleship grey, to minimise reflection from the screen. But since this room would also be used for music listening and other family affairs, it didn't seem practical to go for those options as they would have been too gloomy for everyday use."

    So, let me get this straight, a professional home theater writer takes on a full renovation of an existing room and he can't think of any solution to combining an entertainment/living space with the demands of a projector, but to say "Ah...to hell with it...let's go for the worst possible choice of decor for watching movies with a projector, and let's use a white screen, so that no projector has a chance in hell of giving the image you bought it for. There aren't any better choices to be made." Where plenty of people have come up with nice living spaces that do not crush any hope of a good image.

    And then this stuff is put up as education on how to do home theater installs, for the readers!

    I'm just amazed...

    Rant over. That felt good. :)
    • Thanks Thanks x 6
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  22. s_inman

    s_inman Active Member

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    This is the exact reason I choose to avoid such publications! I'm paranoid my bat cave isn't dark enough... I think I would have a heart attack if I paid for a professional installer that suggested i did this to a room!
  23. Mr_Grinch

    Mr_Grinch Member

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    Projector up, looks great! White walls are VERY lit up at the moment in bright scenes though so am keen to get something else on the walls. Where's the best place to get devore? Would simple black/dark sheets from Tesco do the job in the interim?
  24. bravogolf

    bravogolf Member

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    Awesome :thumbsup: Anything that will reduce reflection will help as an interim measure. Whaleys is the best place to buy devore from
  25. spideydavef

    spideydavef Member

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    I have used the magnets to hold 3.5m wide screen masks (made from upvc and wood) in place so yes, they should do the job. They are in fact VERY strong so watch your fingers and don't over do the strength as you'll have trouble getting the panels of again!
  26. Pecker

    Pecker Well-Known Member

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    In part 1 of this thread I proposed an idea. One of the main contributing factors to poor contrast is light bouncing off the screen on to white walls/ceiling, then raising the overall amount of light entering your eye, resulting in the iris of the eye closing and letting less light in, making it more difficult to see the contrast available.

    The other day I proved. Playing pirates!

    Freya and I were in the living room playing pirates. She brought me the cardboard tube from a kitchen roll to use as a telescope, and sat on the opposite side of the room on a black recliner/swivel chair.

    I looked at Freya. I then looked at Freya through the telescope.

    WOW!

    Massive difference. With the 'telescope' all I could see was Freya and the chair, and none of the white walls in the room; but the amount of light on Freya hadn't changed at all.

    But because less light was entering my eye (because the 'telescope' blocked out my view of the walls) my iris clearly opened to let more light in, and the contrast in what I could see improved immediately and significantly.

    Here's the thing. Try it! You can see this for yourself.

    Before anyone asks, no I'm not going to watch my films from now on through cardboard tubes.

    :D

    But can anyone think of a way this knowledge can help.

    Steve W
  27. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot Active Member

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    All you've done there Steve is reduce the amount of light bouncing off of your bright walls and entering your eye. The tube still won't stop the light that's bouncing around the room and washing out the dark parts of the image on the screen.

    Making the walls dark is like moving the tube effect to the walls - the black material stops the unwanted reflections so they don't enter your eye or have any effect on the screen image.

    If you had a light meter, you could use it to measure the ANSI contrast (or just throw up any image that had light and dark parts) and measure the light and dark parts. Do it before and after you put the tube on your eye and you'll see the ANSI CR hasn't changed. If you did the same test but blacked out the walls, then you'll see the same kind of difference as the tube plus the image quality will also be better. You'll be able to measure it too.

    Yes. Use dark décor on your walls floor and ceiling. Black velvet is a good choice. I think there might even be a thread around here where people are doing just that. :)

    HTH

    Gary
  28. Ideal AV

    Ideal AV Active Member Assured Advertiser

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    :D
  29. gingerone

    gingerone Member

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    I've got my dedicated room set up now and I'm very happy with the results I've got, I have a black out blind over the window and complete blackout curtains as well.

    I have black rugs from ikea over the floor and it sounds and looks brilliant.

    However I havent yet gone down the route of addressing the ceilings and walls as my new landlord nearly had a fit when I mentioned painting the ceiling black:mad:

    So now I'm thinking that I will get some devore fabric and use drawing pins to attach it to the ceilings and side walls and leave the rest of the room as it is.

    Would this work?

    I'm looking to have as little impact in terms of lasting damage to the room as possible to avoid making my landlord have a heart attack:D

    Forgot to mention I have some plain black fabric that I could use for either the ceiling above the screen or down the side walls.
  30. mcspongy

    mcspongy Member

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    Hi Ginger

    I have got some devore to put up on ceiling and I did think same as you, just put up with drawing pins. I've decided to make a lightweight wooden frame and stretch the material over that (and screw it up on ceiling) because I think it would be really hard (unless you are really, really patient) to get nice straight lines) using the pins. I have used drawing pins where I've put devore over the inside of a white door adjacent to the screen. It's functional, i.e. the door reflected massively back onto the rh side of screen before, but now it just looks black, and doesn't wash out the image on that side of the screen.....but it looks a bit of a bodge job when you look at the door (from seating position 3m away I obivously don't notice it, so acn live with it, but if it was similar on ceiling, and maybe in my eye-line it would bug me).

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