Dumb question - is it worth painting the screen?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by dagr, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. dagr

    dagr
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    For home cinema, I use a simple IKEA Tuppl-something blind which is in a dark basement. I noticed that that blind is not quite white and I was wondering if I would gain in contrast by painting the blind true white (or maybe it would make it worse?).

    If so, what type of paint would be best?

    Cheers

    David.
     
  2. GeoffWork

    GeoffWork
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    243
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +12
    There is a theory that off-white is better because it reduces glare and improves skin tones. I use my wall to project onto and it is light cream, works well.
     
  3. chedmaster

    chedmaster
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    2,661
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +28
    i use ice storm six which is a very light grey, highly reccommended by diyers, its greatly improved my blacks over true white. I think white or a shade of grey is best, cream may screw with your colours.
     
  4. cyberheater

    cyberheater
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Messages:
    3,234
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +189
    I don't think a screen can improve contrast. All they can do is change the light level that is bounced back.
    You can have a very high gain screen that will look very bright but the blacks will be gray or you can have a darker gray screen which will improve your blacks but the whites are dulled. You can't have it both ways.

    Luckily, as most PJ's are pretty bright and if you intend to use it in a light controlled room then a mid gray screen is the way to go.

    I've used the tuppler blind for quite a while and always found that it gave a great picture as the gain of it was less then a normal bright white unity gain screen. I found it renders much better blacks and the colours seemed a bit more saturated.
     
  5. Monster

    Monster
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2000
    Messages:
    978
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Ratings:
    +30
    You would probably percieve more of an improvement in contrast if you painted a black boarder on the blind.

    I have done this with mine using indian ink (best material I could think of that would dry without causing too many ripples)

    The difference is very significant and I can't recommend it highly enough.
     
  6. Oakleyspatz

    Oakleyspatz
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    3,704
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Woking
    Ratings:
    +237
    This is not quite correct. High contrast grey screen such as the GrayWolf screen have a glass bead coating and a gain of around 1.8. What these glass beads do is reflect light back to the viewer with greater intensity than is being projected onto it, yet the grey colour makes the blacks even blacker. This does indeed result in an increased contrast ratio as can be seen in a side-by-side comparison of this screen against a white one. Whites look brighter and blacks look darker. With no light on the beads, the grey comes into play and darkens the blacks, where as when the light shines onto the beads, increased brightness is projected back to the viewer.
    Black at the end of the day is made either by the absence of light (as with a white screen) or a combination of the abscence of light and a shade which darkens the black (as with the graywolf screen). The beads counteract the grey dulling the white when light is shined onto it by reflecting the light directly back to the viewer but with a greater intensity than is being shone onto the screen.
    So if you're after increased contrast, certain screens can indeed give you that .
     
  7. chedmaster

    chedmaster
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Messages:
    2,661
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    68
    Ratings:
    +28
    however projectors still project a small amount of light when the screen is black, so this will be "amplified" by the glass beads as well.
     
  8. Oakleyspatz

    Oakleyspatz
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2004
    Messages:
    3,704
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Woking
    Ratings:
    +237
    Maybe with an LCD but the technology of DLP can achieve much better blacks anyway as their mirrors are either 'on' reflecting light, or 'off' and reflecting no light. This is much more a problem with white screens though as with little light shining onto a white screen, you are still seeing a white screen, not a black one. With a grey screen, with no light shining onto it, then you are at least looking at grey, not white which is much closer to true black.
    As I said, this grey would normally subdue the whites when they are displayed, but the glass beads counteract this extremely well and still produces stunning bright whites. We can argue this all day and night, but I have done a side by side test of both types of screen, and the Graywolf does indeed produce a much better 'perceived' contrast ratio.
    Now the Graywolf is not perfect by any means, it has a very shallow viewing angle and if you move too far off center, the brightness drops considerably. Also the glass beads sometimes add a kind of 'grain' to bright images which you may find irritating. But on a purely " Can a screen improve the contrast ratio?" I would say definitley YES!
     
  9. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2001
    Messages:
    14,088
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    UK.
    Ratings:
    +3,492
    Screens cannot increase on/off contrast, but a grey screen can increase ANSI contrast compared to a white screen.

    Gary
     
  10. cyberheater

    cyberheater
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Messages:
    3,234
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +189
    Yes but to expand on Garys answer, this is more a characteristic of the room conditions then the screen itself. Because less light bounces off a gray screen and is directed (via the beads) to the viewer, there is less chance for the light to hit objects in the room (walls, ceilings etc...) which allows the PJ's ansi contrast ratio to not be diluted by the room. In no way does it improve upon the native contrast ratios of the projector.

    In other words. A high contrast gray screen would not demontrate any improvement compared to a normal white screen in a batcave.
     
  11. Monster

    Monster
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2000
    Messages:
    978
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Ratings:
    +30
    Interesting.

    It would seem then that the answer to the original post is that a screen such as a Greywolf can increase the contrast of the image that you are looking at, particulally if your existing image is being washed out by ambeient light that has been reflected from the screen onto surfaces in the room and then back onto the screen.

    I have a roomm that I can almost black out (and it is black when its dark outside), but as its in the living room with beige walls and white ceiling, the reflected light does wash out the black. I have been thinking about getting a grey (but non-glass beaded) screen to help with this. Is this a good move or would I be better offwith a normal white screen?

    Thanks.
     
  12. Jammyb

    Jammyb
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,029
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Coventry
    Ratings:
    +576
    Paint the walls and ceiling black! My GF won't let me, but maybe if you make a good job of it then I can show her some pictures to convince her....

    I think painting the ceiling any colour other than white would make a big difference as that where most of the reflected light falls, but it also seems to be the least accepted surface to have any colour other than white....

    I've got this idea for a dark roman blind that could come out horizontally above the screen, but I can't see it working...or at least not looking awful...

    You get those blinds for covering conservatory ceilings though?
     
  13. Monster

    Monster
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2000
    Messages:
    978
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Ratings:
    +30
    Hopefully the black drop at the top of a 'proper' screen will help reduce reflected light off the ceiling.
     
  14. Jammyb

    Jammyb
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,029
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Coventry
    Ratings:
    +576
    that's just what 'they' want you to think!! you keep your £20 blind and paint your ceiling black! Do it while everyone else is out and then deny all knowledge :thumbsup:
     
  15. cyberheater

    cyberheater
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Messages:
    3,234
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +189
    Unfortunately, it does not.

    Anyway. You don't need to paint your room black. Try a matt midnight blue instead ;)

    Seriously though. I saw some demo's of PJ's at the recent Cedia show and they were in hotel rooms that had temporary material covered frames that went from ceiling to the floor. So basically the walls and ceiling were covered in black drap material with total light control and it made a HUGE and dramatic difference to the presentation. Admittedly, the PJ's on show were a bit special but it's amazing the shear impact of a large screen seemingly suspending in a black void has on the perception of the image. Incredible.
     
  16. andyturner28

    andyturner28
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I just had an idea. 2 black roller blinds mounted on the floor of the side walls which you can pull up when watching a film. I have chockolate saude front and back walls so shurely this would make a huge difference.
    Anyone know where to get really cheap 8 or 9 foot blinds? Or has anyone made their own roller blinds?

    Andy.
     
  17. cyberheater

    cyberheater
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Messages:
    3,234
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +189
    That's a good idea Andy. I've been thinking of something similar myself.

    Ikea do quite cheap roll down blinds so you'd need a max of 4 to almost cover the rear and the two side walls. The mateial wouldn't even need to be blackout blind material. As long as it was dark and had a matt finish it would be enough.

    It would only cost 80 and would look spectacular.
     
  18. andyturner28

    andyturner28
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I think i would only need 2, as the room is just under 13' long and the front and back walls are a dark chockolate colour, so if i get 2 7 or 8' blinds that should stop all reflected light bouncing back onto the screen.
    I could even remove the skirting boards where the blinds would be fitted and box them in.

    This was just a wild idea that just popped into my head yesterday but i think i will definately give it a go now. My side walls are a Dulux burnt almond colour which i chose thinking it would not be as reflective as white (and because my parents would not allow me to do all 4 walls in chockolate suade:thumbsdow ) but it dose affect contrast in a big way.

    How much are the Ikea blinds and what sizes do they come in (width+length) Has anyone found the equivilant cheaper on the net?

    Cheers,

    Andy.
     
  19. cyberheater

    cyberheater
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2003
    Messages:
    3,234
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Scotland
    Ratings:
    +189

Share This Page

Loading...