Question Advice needed - I am at a loss with my set up

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by simion1989, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. simion1989

    simion1989
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    Hi all,

    I am looking for some advice on my current set up. I have an Elite Screens Spectrum 100" 1.1 gain MAxWhite screen. This sits around 3.2m away from my JVC HD100 Projector, which is ceiling mounted around 100mm from the ceiling.

    My room is painted (walls and ceiling) in a dark grey matt paint. I have dark furniture and mahogany parquet flooring which is not overly shiny.

    I use a black velvet curtain to shut out light so my room is essentially 100% light controlled.

    I have an issue with contrast i.e. blacks look a murky grey colour and shadow performance is not very good. I have done everything I can to give the picture the best possible chance of looking decent (light controlling the room and painting it grey) so I thought it must be a problem with the projector.

    I bought an Optoma UHD51 (I know it's not as good as the JVC in terms of black) because it does 4k and is super bright. I thought this would produce a better picture. However, like the JVC, the black performance is poor. I had the grand tour playing from amazon in 4k and then stranger things, again the blacks look grey. As it's an optoma the blacks are going to be far from perfect but they shouldn't look that bad.

    The only thing I can think of that could be causing it is the screen. The screen seems to just really illuminate when either projector is on, even in a scene which is flat black you can see the white of the screen lit up. The colours look fine but, for whatever reason, the blacks are being completely washed out. Could it be my screen? Is there anything I'm missing here?

    Thanks a lot

    Simon
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  2. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    Have you set the contrast and brightness controls on the JVC using a test disk?

    It could be you have the JVCs brightness control too high, giving you grey blacks, and the DLP looks grey because they generally are in comparison.

    Some THX disks contain an 'optimiser' for setting the contrast and brightness correctly. I think some Disney disks contain something similar, like The Incredibles for example (IIRC). You can buy a test disk, or download and burn a free one like the AVSHD709 disk:

    AVS HD 709 - Blu-ray & MP4 Calibration - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

    How close is your screen to the walls and ceiling? Even with grey walls, a white screen can still suffer from washout during bright scenes. Do you notice the walls or any other surfaces lighting up during bright scenes? What about reflections from furniture or the speakers? Covering things like that in black velvet can help.

    A grey screen will make a difference, but make sure it's nothing else causing the problem before going down that route.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  3. simion1989

    simion1989
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    Peter,

    Thank you for your reply. I have calibrated the JVC using the Disney WOW calibration disc so I have got it looking as good as it's going to look.

    The screen casing is approximately 150mm from the ceiling and sits right up against the walls. The screen is over an archway and when fully out it covers the width of the archway. I use q acoustics 2000 series speakers in high gloss black. The fronts are situated directly to the left and right of the screen and are wall mounted. The centre sits on a small black table directly under the screen when in use.

    The sofa is dark brown leather and the small tables are dark brown, almost black.

    It feels like the room does light up quite a bit when the projector is on, especially in light scenes. However even in dark scenes you get a kind of murky grey instead of black. The "black bars" on the top and bottom of the 16x9 screen never look black, even when I turn the brightness of the JVC down to the minimum. It's like the screen is ultra reflective and regardless of how low the brightness goes it doesn't make a difference to the black levels.

    Could it be that the PJ is too close to the screen?
     
  4. simion1989

    simion1989
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    Just another thought, tonight I'll try projecting directly on to the grey wall and see what results I get. The only issue is that the wall is much darker than any high contrast screen I would likely be able to purchase.

    I'll also take some pictures of my set up and post here.
     
  5. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    Does sound like it's the room then.

    My first cinema room (converted loft) had grey walls and the screen was very close to the sloping grey ceiling. The wash-out was quite bad and the ANSI contrast was around 50:1, so not too good. Changing to a wider but less tall 2.35 screen moved the screen away from the ceiling and walls and improved the ANSI contrast. Covering the first 5ft of the walls and ceiling with black cloth (and the speakers too) increased the ANSI to around 200:1, so that was a big difference. Although grey walls and ceiling may be colour neutral with the reflections, it doesn't seem to help much with contrast.

    The pj being close to the screen shouldn't make a big difference, although the angle of the light hitting it from a closer position does mean more will reflect out to the walls. A longer throw has a narrower angle and the light bounces back more to the pj than the walls. I doubt the difference would be noticeable though.

    I was going to suggest projecting onto the grey wall as that would reduce the amount of light reflecting back into the room and back onto the screen, so you should see a difference. I'd be interested in seeing the pictures of the same scenes comparing the screen to the wall. Can you fix the shutter speed etc so that the camera is fixed and not adjusting it's settings?
     
  6. simion1989

    simion1989
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    Yeah I should be able to on my phone. I'll take it off auto and use the same settings for both photos. The test is going to be conducted with the optoma as the JVC is still on the ceiling and I plan to replace it with the optoma anyway.

    I'll also get some pictures of my room set up when it's in normal use too.

    Thank you for your help on this. Maybe a grey screen is the way IllI need to go. I'm just surprised other people don't need to when their rooms are way less ideal than I thought mine way!
     
  7. simion1989

    simion1989
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  8. simion1989

    simion1989
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  9. simion1989

    simion1989
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    First two pictures are set up.

    Second two showing wall vs screen using optoma.

    A massive difference. My only concern is that the walls are very dark and I don't think I can get a retractable grey screen as dark as that.
     
  10. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    The screen doesn't have to be as dark as the walls, though if you're happy with the overall image brightness, you can get low gain grey screens. Could you live with the image you are getting using the wall? Could you rearrange the room and use a wall instead of a screen?

    One other option, especially with very bright projectors, is to use an ND2 filter on the pj lens (assuming the pj doesn't have a manual iris). It reduces the lumens by 50% and depending on the screen size (and how our eyes work), you may find the black levels appear to reduce a lot more than the white level, so that might be worth trying. One advantage of the filter is that you can remove it if needed.
     
  11. Abacus

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    I have a 1 gain screen and cream walls/ceiling and a DLP projector, if I whack the brightness up full it looks like your top picture so your brightness settings are way out of kilter, I find using a THX test disc allows you to get the best settings that make the image look real, so try a THX disc first.

    NOTE: in your top picture adjust the brightness so that the black part of the picture merges with the black bars, as this should improve the picture no end.

    Bill
     
  12. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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  13. Abacus

    Abacus
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    I did, but having a worse room than his, and not having anything like the problems he has got, there is something definitely amiss, so I posted the way I went about it to get the optimum picture (And the test disc used) so that he may try it to see if it reduces his problem, because there is no way with that colour room he should be having major problems like that.

    Bill
     
  14. simion1989

    simion1989
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    Rearranging the room is an option however with there being speakers on the ceiling (for Atmos) it will be a bit of a pain. Also my girlfriend will probably want to leave me if I suggest it.

    I have ordered a 0.8 gain matte grey screen. I'll post results here.

    Thanks I've read about filters before. I'll definitely consider it.
     
  15. simion1989

    simion1989
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    Bill, thanks for your reply. I agree this should be the solution but, for whatever reason, no matter how much a lower the brightness on the JVC or Optoma, with that screen I get a whitish grey picture in dark scenes. It has to be the screen as I feel I've eliminated all other possibilities. As you say my room is more than likely better than the average PJ owner.

    Fingers crossed the new screen improves the situation. The next step would be a DIY job painting one of the retractables I have with ALR paint. I see others have had success online.
     
  16. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    The Optoma would be considerably brighter than the JVC, so I can see why that would be generating the problem you are seeing, but the JVC should be dimmer and with better blacks/contrast so not have the same problem.

    I did wonder if the JVC had some kind of fault due to aging, but found this:

    JVC DLA-HD100 D-ILA Projector

    The downside of the vents carried over from last year is light spill aimed right at the screen. There are diagonally placed fins behind the vents, but this projector still sprays enough light into the room to be distracting and lighten the black bars on a 2.35:1 movie.

    So I wondered if there was an element of that going on. Having said that, it didn't seem like a common problem that people were complaining about when that was a current model.

    I found these numbers for lumen output of the 51A - I haven't looked at what the difference is between that and the standard 51 but if they've been measured correctly and are ballpark, you can get an idea of what kind of image brightness to expect:

    Optoma UHD51A Performance
    Brightness.
    With the zoom lens on our test sample at its widest angle setting, we measured ANSI lumens for Bright and Eco power modes as follows

    Optoma UHD51A ANSI Lumens

    MODE BRIGHT ECO
    Bright
    1690 1127
    Cinema
    1153 769
    HDR Sim
    996 664
    Game
    1044 696
    Reference
    754 503

    Divide the screen area of 29.4 into the lumens and multiply by the screen gain to get an idea of the reflectance level. DCI spec for cinema is 14fL. HDR will need as many lumens as you can get, but the HD51 has an HDR Sim mode which I beleive it switches too automatically, and has four different settings to choose from.

    Reference in eco mode will be fine for SDR if 14fL is what you would like (you will get a tad under 14fL with your new screen assuming it's the same size as the one it is replacing), and that will dim as the lamp ages. All others will be brighter and have different colour balance.

    Hope the new screen fixes the problem - will be interesting to see how both projectors look with it.
     
  17. ShanePJ

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    I'm unsure if this has been asked, but how many hours are on the lamp, also is the HDMI set to limited or full range on your outputting device, Read more about this here!

    The Optoma will be greyer without a shadow of a doubt (no pun intended) due to it's extra brightness and the fact that JVC's technology also delivers blacks inheritanly better.

    You could also look at page 30 of the manual which enable you to increase the black detail when the projector looks a little washed out, Check your lamp setting to, is it on high or normal. High will create a greyer look.

    Most of these I expect you've already done, but just in case you've missed the basic's :)
     
  18. Normal Bias

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    There is something amiss with this picture. The projector is clearly dithering to achieve near-black in the black bars, which it should not be.

    Either the brightness is set incorrectly or the source is sending the wrong kind of signal (RGB full range, 0-255) and the projector is expecting 16-250, or the other way round. When the setup was done for the brightness, did you use the same source? I would fiddle with the source RGB output settings.
     
  19. simion1989

    simion1989
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    You're right, it is very difficult to find any complaint about the HD100. I'm starting to think more and more that it's the screen I have.

    Thank you for the info on the UHD51a, it's essentially the same as the UHD51 (and I believe the UHD50 released in the USA) but it doesn't come with the Alexa feature.

    I really hope so, the screen will be here on Thursday and I should be able to put it up that night. The JVC will be a good benchmark to see how the Optoma looks. I bought it from Sevenoaks online, meaning I have 30 days to try it out and can send it back because of their no quibble return policy. If it's no good I might seek out an earlier used JVC e-shifter.

    Thanks for all of your help and advice Peter, I really appreciate it.
     
  20. mattius1989

    mattius1989
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    The second attachment shows the same projection on a different surface looking hugely improved so I don't suspect the RBG range is at fault.
     
  21. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    A simple way to set the black level with DLP used to be to go up to the screen so you could see the mosquito noise in the black bars, and lower the brightness till it stopped (rock back and forth with the control to get it just right). Depending on the pj settings, you may find that you crush 17 doing that. So if a test disk was used to set it so that 17 was visible, it's possible it may have raised 16 into dither. Later JVCs when set for best blacks often almost totally crush 17 which is only then visible when you go right up to the screen to look for it, so if you then set it for good shadow detail, you raise the black floor.

    It's been a long time since I calibrated an HD100 so I can't remember much about it, but I don't think I had any problems setting the black level. Getting the over saturated gamut to look acceptable was the biggest problem IIRC.

    Having the wrong HDMI (enhanced) can raise the black floor if you've already set things using standard, but if you're using a test disk I think you should still be able to get black as dark as it should be. I've not tried that myself for a very long time so I'm not sure what other issues arise in that scenario.
     
  22. simion1989

    simion1989
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    I have it on limited. I have played around with this in the past using the JVC and, you're right, this washes the picture out even more.
     
  23. Normal Bias

    Normal Bias
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    Ok. I guess you could project onto black cloth, that would improve the black level, too. :)

    If the RGB range is ok then the brightness is set too high. There is no way you should be seeing that dithering/speckle on the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, regardless of what surface you are using. Try turning the brightness down until they disappear..
     
  24. ShanePJ

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    Why not take a picture of all the menu settings so we can give it the once over, this also includes the last page with all the information on. Maybe there is something amiss. Have you checked the setting on page 30 of the manual (mentioned above with a link to the manual) which decreases the black detail by 7.5%?

    It's been many years since I played with the HD100 and although it's black's aren't as black's as modern JVC's, they we're better than what I'm seeing with your images. From my memory, it was the colours, contrast and shadow detail that were striking differences with the HD100 over it's HD1 counter part, but from what I can see, your black bar's are grey which certainly isn't correct hence I also asked about the lamp life too :)
     
  25. simion1989

    simion1989
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    Just to confirm these pictures were of an Optoma UHD51. The JVC performs similarly but nowhere near as pronouced. Also the black detail you refer to is only available when using NTSC or S-video. I am in the UK and using HDMI so this setting does not apply to me. Also, trust me, I have exahusted all other possibilites other than the screen.
     
  26. paulr2006

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    In my less than perfect room with cream walls & white ceiling & beige carpet my blacks as expected were not great (though nothing like as bad as yours). However changing the screen from white to a high contrast grey .8 gain Tiziano screen has made a huge difference, blacks are now really good.
     

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