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Home cinema and wall colours

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by eurytus, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. eurytus

    eurytus
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    I have a question about setting up a room for home cinema.
    I have read that it is necessary/preferable to have dark, matt walls in a room you are using for home cinema.
    I have had a demo of a projector and on that occasion the walls were pretty dark.

    Assuming you are able to black out the room altogether and you are using a proper screen, how important is it to have dark, matt walls. To what degree will the image be compromised if your walls are cream coloured for instance?
     
  2. PJTX100

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    It is preferable but not mandatory to have dark walls. The ability to black out any external light is more important....PJ :)
     
  3. eurytus

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    And is the PJTX100 good for that situation?
    I understand it has pretty good brightness.
     
  4. PJTX100

    PJTX100
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    It is a bright machine. I have cream walls BTW, though there's lots of shelving holding DVDs, CDs etc so combined with dark wood door & 2 windows with blackout blinds there's probably less than 40% walls left uncovered.

    TX100 is a great machine but for the price the Z3 for £850, plus free bulb, plus 3 yr warranty has the edge in terms of value for money. Though I wouldn't swap...PJ :)
     
  5. Timbo21

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    I was worried about this, like light going onto my silver telly, but it's no problem at all. Unless you are going to have white walls, it probably will be fine. My white ceiling didn't detract from the viewing at all.
     
  6. Ray

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    I'm nearly at the end of building my HC room in the garage and I'm just about to paint the walls and ceilings a very very dark matt red. I'd prefer not to have a room so dark so it would be pleasant to sit in when not using the pj but my experience of switching the pj on with light walls wasn't so good. When I had just finished plasterboarding I set-up the pj so I could check for positioning and screen size etc. I projected onto a white wall but all the other walls and ceiling were a light matt blue (normal knauf soundboard finish) and although the picture was great I found that the whole room lit up and spoilt that dark cinema experience. I will be getting a screen soon and maybe that will reflect less on the walls and ceiling than the current painted wall - who knows ? But for peace of mind I'm going for a dark colour scheme. If the dark walls don't do the job I'll try carpet around the area near the screen so as to cut out all reflected light.

    Ray
     
  7. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    The darker the better really, but that's not always practical for a room that isn't a dedicated viewing room.

    Light walls will reflect light back onto the screen during bright scenes, and if that scene also contains dark areas, they will get washed out,so the intra-scene contrast will suffer. Kodak 18% grey is a neutral grey that will have a lesser effect on how the image is effected (Duluxe 6000N), and doesn't look too bad IMHO when you have some lights on. It isn't the dungeon effect that a matt black room will have so is a good compromise if you don't mind the colour.

    A screen with gain helps reject ambinet light as it sends it back to where it comes from moreso than towards the viewer, and a grey screen with gain is the best option if you have any ambient light problems.

    Carpet near the screen area is a good idea as it's more likely to absorb light than reflect it. Try to find something that has good light absorbing properties - failing that black felt would do the trick. I have often thought of doing that for the first 3 feet from the screen just to see what improvement it makes.

    Gary.
     
  8. BDCSTENG GARETH

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    Can I put my 5 pence worth in?

    In the broadcast industry (TV & film), I have specc'd quality control suites, with specifications from the EBU and ITC...

    For a "technically" neutral background, The colour temperature must be 6500 degrees kelvin. The luminocity of the background must be at 15% compared to the raster and peak white of the PJ o/p.

    Just thought I'd throw this in here, Ive not done it... my front room is cream also!

    Gareth.
     
  9. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi Gareth,

    Intersting info, thanks.

    6500 kelvin is a line in colour space (so can be any colour on that line), so do you mean D65 as that is a white point, and are you talking about a colour of grey for the background?

    When you say luminocity, are you saying that you should have some lighting on in the room? If so, then is that a spec for a mastering or editing studio? For a home theater, you don't want any light on in the room or that will adversly effect the black level and contrast ratio of the image.

    Just curious.

    Gary.
     
  10. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    If you want the best image then make walls dark, non reflective colours. For what area's to treat first look at the position of the pj relative to the screen. Think of the screen as a mirror. Fire light at that mirror and it'll get reflected off it at the same angle it hits it. So with a ceiling mount pj the floor is more of a problem than the ceiling.....and with a floor mounted pj the ceiling can be more of an issue than the floor.........actually the ceiling is always an issue. If you have ever been able to see a projector system in a white cream room then the same system after the room is painted dark you will be amazed.......it's a BIG difference.

    If you have to use a cream walled room then don;t worry it'll still be fun.....

    Gordon
     
  11. BDCSTENG GARETH

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    Ive just worked out whats wrong in my meathod... a projected display does not have a raster, so some other variation of the 15% respective luminocity must be found for this theory to be put to viewing a PJ... hmmm... will have a think and probably wake up in the middle of the night and realise its impossible and i'm talking utter crap! Anyway, Im just trying to compare technical subjective viewing environment with HT :rolleyes:

    this was only a melting pot aditive anyway... not a statement of fact (thank god)! :suicide:

    to answer your questions though...

    "6500 kelvin is a line in colour space (so can be any colour on that line)"

    yes and no! yes it is in colour space, no its not a line, and also not a colour, unless you subscribe to 'balck & white are both colours'...

    maybe the line you were htinking of are the black-body?

    D65 is actually a lighting term for 6500d.k daylight.

    I'll shut up now! :eek:

    Gareth.
     
  12. Gary Lightfoot

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    Hi Gareth,

    D65 is the spec for colour balance in displays, so we calibrate them to D65 to ensure that the colours you see on the screen are the same as the those the original source was mastered too. You probably know that already though. :)

    6500k can be measured with too much green for instance because it's not a specific point in colour space and it's not on the black body curve like D65 is - it has no x,y coordinate so doesn't have specific co-ordinates to place it anywhere in particular, and will lie above or below the curve I believe, intersecting at D65. That's how I understand it, but you can measure a colour temp of 6500k on a display showing the 11 bar IRE greyscale, and they can have a tint of colour such as green. I've measured high colour temps that have had similar values from a projector, and they can be green or blue due to a lack of red from the lamp. Too blue or too green can have the same high colour temp.

    If the bars are all grey, then they're at D65. I don't think I've ever seen a plot of 6500k on a CIE but if there is one I'll see if I can find it, just out of curisoity if nothing else. :)

    Gary.
     
  13. cyberheater

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    Your room should be a flat mat black cave with total light control and no led's or other light sources in the room.

    When you eyes have adjusted to the darkness. You should not be able to make out the shape of your fingers when you put your hand in front of your face.

    You should also be wearing dark clothing.

    You'll be amazed at the contrast of your PJ.

    Any more light then that and your contrast will suffer. Greatly...
     
  14. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Don't forget the balaclava, and squint a lot. :D

    You have a PM BTW.

    Gary.
     
  15. binbag

    binbag
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  16. binbag

    binbag
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    3. Before anybody asks.
     
  17. BDCSTENG GARETH

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    Indeed :D, but only grey scale... colour bars do everything!


    Colourspace is a really.. really... HUGE can of worms :eek:

    I work with these damn :censored: theorys every day... :suicide: :suicide: :suicide:

    In my mind... D65, D6500, 6500K are the same thing. I know some sources state that the IRE D65 is a reference point for daylight, and say this is different to 6500K, but then others say that they are the same...

    I don't doubt you, but I believe something else... :rolleyes:

    Gareth

    P.s. I like the idea of the whole family watching films all in ninja costumes :rotfl:
     
  18. Gary Lightfoot

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    And I thought I was the only one. :p

    Gary
     
  19. eurytus

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    Thanks for all the info people. Very useful.
    If a bit worrying in part. Realistically speaking I think some kind of "earthy" colour might be as dark as I can go. The carpet is kind of "biscuit" coloured if that makes sense and the ceiling similar. Black out blinds will be installed of course. But even with all that it sounds like I may have problems.

    Perhaps a DLP rear projection TV might be my only choice. I can't live in a room that is too dark.
     
  20. Gary Lightfoot

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    The ideal is all black etc if possible, but if you have good light control with no light going directly onto the screen and room colours that are not too bright and reflective, you will still get a good image. Bright walls etc will make some difference to the image during bright scenes, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't go front projection.

    A good example is your local cinema - now days they no longer have full blackout conditions, and as well as the emergency exit signes they leave some dimmed spot lights on for health and safety reasons. I'll be surprised if the contrast is much above 1000:1. If you are happy with the kind of image you currently see at the pictures (and lets face it most of the public are), you will also enjoy a projector at home.

    On forums and places like this, we tend to try to improve upon what we see at the cinema and what we already have, and it's actually qute easy to achieve. The more you read the more you'll pick up on the subject and then you can decide if you're happy with what you have or want to try to make it better. It's all a matter of choice really. :)

    Gary.
     
  21. binbag

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    I wouldn't let it put you off a FP setup. All we're saying is that less ambient light improves the picture. Contrast (sic) this thread with the number of people that are happily projecting onto a big space in their off-white painted living room wall. Tonal differences across a particular colour range can be subtle in daylight but appear more effective once direct lighting is removed and giving your screen a dark backdrop (curtains - black roller blind etc) is very useful as this what your eyes see most.

    (edit) That Gary - He type too fast!
     
  22. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hehe,

    Well, at least we're all preaching from the same hymn book so to speak. :)

    Gary.
     
  23. eurytus

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    Ok, you guys are making me feel a little better. Because I really do want a projector. If I don't do it know I never will. But that link at the bottom of the previous page put the fear of god in me. People talking about putting dark carpets on the walls and velvet on the ceilings etc and contrast being useless without it.

    On a side note, if you do have slightly light coloured walls and ceiling would there be any advantage to having a LCD above a DLP projector?
     
  24. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    DLP is capable of better intra-scene contrast than an LCD so DLP may suffer more from lighter coloured walls but it could end up with both being equallised, though I doubt you'd be aware of that performance difference when viewing.

    There are more obvious differences between DLP and LCD that may make you choose one over the other, and the biggest deal breaker for DLP is the rainbow effect - because DLP uses a colour wheel to sequentially build up the image, some people see the RGB colours as trailing artefacts on some moving objects - normaly light against dark like a flickering candle for example. LCDs can have vertical banding and if that's visible anyone will se it, but it depends on how much either effect you as an individual whether or not it's a problem or not.

    Try to get some viewing done of both technologies and see which you prefer.

    Gary.
     
  25. eurytus

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    Thanks, I am tending towards LCD, specifically the Sanyo. It is difficult because I have been totally unable to obtain a demo of an LCD but I have had the 4805 DLP demo'd. I decided against DLP simply because, even if I do not suffer from rainbows during the demo it does not prove I won't and also the people who have not been present at the demo may still suffer from them. I don't want to worry about each person I show it to being unable to watch.

    It seems to be that DLP's potential flaws may make it unwatchable. Whereas LCD's flaws merely result in a slightly worse picture. At least you can still watch it.
     
  26. 0B1-1

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    Eurytus,
    pls see my link (click on Slideshow). I chose light paint colours so that my home cinema room did not look like a dungeon, and to keep my wife happy!. I guess it's a compromise to some degree but I only ever use the room at night and have to say that with my DLP projector I am very happy with the image quality. I am using a draper LUMA grey screen.

    http://photos.wanadoo.co.uk/album/1405141
     
  27. eurytus

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    Thanks for that OB-1. Seriously that is massively helpful. The pictures show me very well what I can expect. My walls are a little bit darker than that, so if I can get a picture similar to yours I will be more than happy!

    Ta.
     
  28. Rick1486

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    Because our living room is also our cinema room, and not wanting a screen, we went for EGYPTIAN COTTON (in matt not gloss) - it's either Dulux or Crown I can't remember which, and that works very well for both the darks and the lights, at least it has in my experience - might be worth a try mate.
    Rick
     
  29. dancingmatt

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    My new Z3 is in a smallish living room, projecting onto a white wall (~80" pic from about 8 feet away). I rent the flat so I can't do anything with it - white walls, white ceiling, wood floors. There's a streetlight almost outside my balcony at one end of the room, and the curtains in front of it are ok but not blackouts by any means.

    So put it this way, not the ideal set up! But it's brilliant. I can even use my PC on it during the day with the curtains closed, so long as I have it bright, which isn't what I bought it for anyway.

    Eurytus - snap it up now! I was against a DLP for exactly the same reason - I do see rainbows as it happens but even if I didn't my girlfriend and mates might instead. The Z3 is too good to miss at £850, even without the lamp voucher which will save you the best part of £300. Hey, with an extra lamp, you could just run the lamp twice as much as you planned to...! And get it from Ivojo - they'll do a free pixel check, free delivery and are great.

    You'll be dead pleased with it now and can then improve things by making a screen, buying a real one, painting etc etc later if you want to...

    Go on!

    DM
     
  30. eurytus

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    Dancingmatt (and everyone else) thanks very much. You have convinced me.
    Especially since you are talking about the very model I was thinking of getting.

    Now I can't wait to get it.
     

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