Answered AT screen in front of a TV

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by DougAP, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. DougAP

    DougAP
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    I'm in the very, very early stages of contemplating installing a pj in my sitting room (which isn't even decorated yet). I'm wondering what the best approach would be, given the TV and LCR speakers would be behind the screen.

    The attached pic gives an idea of where the TV and speakers would be. The screen would be ceiling mounted and would, ideally, drop down in front of the TV/speakers.

    If I do that, am I right in thinking the TV (and white wall/speakers) would reflect back through an AT screen? If so, is there any way to avoid this?
     

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    Post #7 by chazman88, Aug 10, 2018 (1 points)
  3. xar

    xar
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    Don't want to dampen your spirits but retractable AT screens are very expensive (compared to regular screens). Be careful reading the adverts for the £400 odd ones as only the black surround material is AT, not the main screen. Expect to pay at least £3k plus for a proper one (albeit that might even be on the cheap side).

    To your question, if the AT screen has a black backing with white on top (fixed ones mostly do), then you should be fine for reflections.
     
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  4. DougAP

    DougAP
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    Thats alright - my spirits are undampened - I'm realistic about the costs. I'd probably want masking too, so I know it ain't gonna come cheap!

    I'm at the planning stages, so I'm weighing up pros and cons. Cost is a con of course, but the ability to have wall mounted speakers next to the TV is a pro for aesthetic reasons.

    Another option I'm considering is the floorstanding speaker route. That would mean I could get a non-AT React screen. Perhaps the more sensible option, but less aesthetically pleasing.

    Thanks for the info. I didn't realise some screens come with backing material. I'll have to look into whether any motorised screens have that...
     
  5. xar

    xar
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    Try Rich @Seriously Ltd. He does lots of installs so might have some practical knowledge about options/products.
     
  6. Navvie

    Navvie
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    I've got a Grandview, in ceiling, AT screen. Not cheap, I'd have been better off with a fixed screen and a TV lift a la @KelvinS1965 but I'd already committed before he started his thread dammit.

    Everything is AT, the screen area and the black borders.

    I've got dark walls and just put a light throw rug/blanket thing over the TV or it reflects the light back through. Other than that, it's great.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018 at 7:59 AM
  7. Seriously Ltd

    Seriously Ltd
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    Hi Doug,

    Yes we can advise you on screens. They don’t have to cost the earth by any means. We have a particular brand that we often install thy are sensibly priced. You can still go down the drop down screen route with on walls around a TV.

    [email protected]
     
  8. chazman88

    chazman88
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    Best Answer
    Ive got a Screen Research motorised AT screen that drops in front of my TV.

    It has an additional black material layer that unrolls at the same time as the main projection material to stop any light bouncing back through.

    Not cheep, but works exceptionally well.
     
  9. DougAP

    DougAP
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    Excellent. Thanks v.much, I'll give them a look.

    Thanks everyone for the advice, it's much appreciated and very useful food for thought.
     
  10. beechy06

    beechy06
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    If you don’t want to go for the full expense of an AT motorized screen then you can always just run the LCR below the TV, take a look at my install for an idea (link in my signature), the LCR are slightly lower than I originally wanted but it’s never caused me any issues and still sounds great to my ears. I’ve never had any issues with reflections from the TV either
     
  11. DougAP

    DougAP
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    I've been seriously considering this actually. The main advantage being that I could get a ReAct screen like yours. My room's going to have light walls, so having an ambient light rejecting screen would be ideal. The main disadvantage is that I've tried running a centre below a pj screen before, and I've had an AT screen before, and I far preferred the effect of the latter.

    Either would be a compromise I guess; I either compromise on the pj image or compromise slightly on sound. If only they made ReAct AT screens!

    I must say, I'm far more tempted to go the speaker-below-screen route after seeing your install. You've done an absolutely cracking job - it looks stunning.
     
  12. jfinnie

    jfinnie
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    There are grey screens available in AT, though I think you don't get many that are suitable for "close viewing" like most of us mortals need with small UK rooms.

    I've often wondered about AT drop down screens and how much sense they make in dual-use (TV+PJ) rooms from a sound point of view. None of them are truly transparent - they all have some attenuation at some frequencies, and perhaps some reflected effect behind them - which means curves via Dirac / Audyssey / etc will only be correct for one mode (screen up or screen down). For folk who have done this - is the effect of any significance? Are there AVRs that can have dual profiles loaded?

    When I was thinking of a mega-upgrade of my lounge (prior to deciding to go dedicated room, which is a revelation) I came to the conclusion that best performance without light treating the room and walls would be a fixed ReAct screen with a system to cover it when not in use, and moving the TV up and down into a unit under the screen. It was going to be a fair bit of effort though.
     
  13. DougAP

    DougAP
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    I think several do. I'm pretty sure my Anthem could, although I never used it. Fairly sure the Dirac AVRs do too. It would be an absolute must of course, as you're completely right - the screen unavoidably attenuates the sound somewhat.

    After @beechy06 's post above I mocked up with masking tape the locations of speakers were I to go the below screen route. The Mrs said she'd prefer the speakers that way, so now I'm definitely starting to think that's the way to go.
     
  14. jfinnie

    jfinnie
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    The Dirac Arcam AVR550 I have has plenty of bells and whistles but doesn't have dual profiles, one of the reasons I ask.

    I had (well, still have) LCR (XTZ Spirit 6) on their sides under the TV (and previously, ReAct projector screen). It works really well. Having the speakers in a line and in the same orientation really helps with the sound cohesion.

    DSC_3558 (1).JPG
     
  15. DougAP

    DougAP
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    Ah, hadn't realised that about the Arcam - I always thought it allowed for several Dirac profiles. The Anthems I had (MRX720, and AVM60) did four different profiles. So screen up/down/music/etc.

    That ReAct screen looks great there above the XTZs - really nice and tidy set up. How does the ReAct surface perform with such a bright room? My room's going to be more or less as bright.
     
  16. DougAP

    DougAP
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    I've decided the argument for running LCR below the screen has won. Any slight compromise to the sound of having a centre below the screen is outweighed by the advantage of having a ReAct screen + benefits of equal height LCR + cost saving (minimal I imagine, as the ReAct screen will be expensive). When I mocked up where the speakers would go, I also thought it'd probably look nicer that way (and of course, critically, so did the Mrs).

    There's no going back now! I've pulled the speaker wires through to their new locations, lower down the wall. Drilling through the plaster and cutting into the conduit was a bit scary, as the conduit on the left also contains wires for Atmos, into the ceiling void. I definitely didn't want to accidentally cut those. All good though - worked a treat.

    It should look good when I eventually get round to installing a screen. A 110" scope screen would fit perfectly between the door frame and the cupboard I'm going to build in the alcove, and would be almost exactly the same height as the distance between the tops of the speakers and the top of the door frame. I won't be installing anything for a while though - until then I'll have to put up with a 65" screen.
     

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  17. billiumb

    billiumb
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    The NAD 758v3 has, I think, 3 separate Dirac slots.

    Cheers. Bill
     
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  18. jfinnie

    jfinnie
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    Nice, does look like a great box for the money. @richardsim7 had mentioned he'd moved over to that from the Arcam. It does look like a tough sell for the AVR550 vs the NAD given the differences in slots and the ability to set crossovers for all speakers individually.

    Well, unless I'm missing something it looks almost like the Arcam UI was designed to be able to select different profiles (they even get given a friendly name when you transfer them) but there doesn't seem to be any way to have more than one. Maybe they ran out of resources in the box or something.

    The ReAct works really well; there are a few pics of mine in the ReAct thread. I found that it goes from being merely "meh" if the room lighting is really bright (all windows blinds open, daylight, etc) to being absolutely stunning in the evening with a little room light on to being very good with all the room light off. The latter is absolutely measurably better but perceived slightly worse because when the room becomes totally dark the little bit of light from the screen off things like the light ceiling and wall start to annoy the eye once you get used to the room light level. With a very small amount of room light these reflections are overcome by the room light and you are left in awe at how good the picture is given that you have some lights on (if that makes sense, you really have to see it to understand it).
     
  19. beechy06

    beechy06
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    Glad you’ve settled on the layout / design, sure you’ll be pleased once its all finished (& the Mrs!), make sure you keep us updated with the progress / finished pictures!

    Just to add / echo James’s points a little around the ReAct screen, my room is very light during the day (South facing window) and the side walls are also relatively light, I mainly watch the TV at these times and save the projector for evening / night but for the odd occasion it is called upon during the daytime (during the early kick offs at the World Cup for example) it worked fine but does require some cover from daylight before it starts to shine (I just semi close the curtains). Then when you close them fully and darken the room further the picture just transforms. As much as i’d like a full bat cave its just not practical for a living room environment, although there is side / ceiling reflection in full darkness viewing to me it doesn’t distract too much from my viewing experience.

    Good luck!
     
  20. DougAP

    DougAP
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    Thanks both - that's really useful to know. @jfinnie 's point about the screen working slightly better with a little ambient light is very interesting, and unexpected. I'd never have found that out on my own without a real-world review, cheers. My experience of pj screens is that light is the enemy!

    Personally, in this environment, I prefer the fact that the screen would perform best with a little ambient light. As you say @beechy06 , a bat cave is not practical for a living room. Besides, I used to have one and while awesome, it just wasn't a nice place to be in other than during a film. I game quite a lot, and sitting playing PS4 in gloomy bat cave wasn't that great! My ideal home cinema is one that combines a practical living space with a discrete set up, so that's what I'll be gunning for.

    I'll keep you updated as it progresses. I've been toying with starting a build thread, although at the moment it'd just be me posting about different paint tester pots, so quite dull!
     
  21. jfinnie

    jfinnie
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    Beware that it is a trick of the eye, in absolute terms the blacks are blacker and you'll measure more contrast with the lights off.

    Also bear in mind I'm talking about a fixed ReAct screen with the Veltex black border; that might make a difference to the effect as it had a strong black contrast border. If you're going drop down ReAct try and see it in action as they're expensive. Many folk recommend borderless because of issues with ladder lines on bordered screens from the border being welded to the surface... I've seen borderless and it is pretty good in action, but I much prefer the fixed screen with velvet border.

    Make sure any light in the room doesn't point in the direction of the screen. All my downlighters were fairly narrow beam, and pointed away from screen, so while they put light into the room they didn't put it on the screen.
     

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