How dark is 'dark'?


Standard Member
I am looking at buying my first projector and have had a demo of the IN76 at my local 7oaks.

If I want to get a better deal off the web, how can I decide what gain and colour of screen to use? At night, the room is 'dark' and during a summers evening, it is 'fairly dark'! As I can't accurately measure light levels, how do I know what type of screen to buy? I've read if you buy the wrong type for your projector and conditions, it can be too dull or too bright etc.

I know there are different gain, but there are different types of colour screens too - like matte white, grey etc.

Can anyone give me an idea of what screen is best used with the IN76 or ways to try and more scientifically assess the light levels?



Novice Member
to watch movies properly the room effectively needs to have no light coming in to see them at their best....also no light sources in the room...

however, dont panic...you can still watch movies quite happily in a room that isnt pitch black..lol....my room has apple white walls, so the light from the PJ reflects off the screen and bounces off the walls, so while you sit there you can still see the room during brighter moments in the film.....however the image doesnt really wash out....

for normal TV viewing you can generally watch in reasonably visible conditions, only proper lighting or daylight will spoil it completely and wash the image out so its unwatchable.....

for surfing with a PC then you can endure all but broad daylight..(by that i mean the sun being able to come in thru the window) that will wash out even a bright computer image....

so basically the darker the better, but so long as you cut out any obvious sources of light you should be ok.....

as for gain, dunno, i bought a screen with my PJ in 7oaks (7205, basically similar to the IN76 but some stuffs a little better, just looks a lot worse..lol), they recommended it, wasnt too pricey, does the job very nicely :)
(altho i'm going to be replacing it soon as i need to move up from 86in to around 100in as my PJ is going to be relocated further back)

anyhow, hope this helps :)

edit: by the way, seeing as you put the folks in the shop through their paces with a demo, it might be a nice idea to buy the PJ from them if you like it......you can always go elsewhere for a screen i guess, but to use their services then wander off elsewhere to buy isnt exactly the decent thing, i doubt you'd appreciate someone doing that to you.......I also doubt you'll find the IN76 much cheaper online at the moment, and quite often 7oaks will do you an upgrade to a Gold warranty if you ask nicely....or perhaps do a little discount when you actually go through the motion of buying, or chuck in cables etc.....the biggest advantage though is the backup if something goes wrong, being an actual shop you can pop back in to get it sorted out, with a web based seller then its all about paying for couriers and not knowing where things are....


Novice Member
The question as to what screen and which gain is not an easy one to answer because, as often, it is very much dependant upon the combination of equipment and room (ambiant/direct light)conditions - KB already ellaborated on that.

From the reviews and various user experiences on the fora, it turns out that the IN76 is considered to be a bright PJ meaning it puts out quite a bit of light. As a consequence, the gain of your screen should not be too high (<= 1.0) otherwise the picture might be subject to hotspotting or sparkles.
Usually, in 'controlled living room conditions', a mat white screen with gain 1.0is recommended.
However, you can also go for a grey screen which has the advantage of improving the blacks (contrast) by absorbing more of the ambiant light.
I have seen some grey and white screens in the US (Stewart) - in a light controlled room - and frankly, I liked the white screens better mainly because the white reproduction is far better (with grey screens, white sort of looks grey :rotfl: ) and the image is more sparkling.
I have found there are some members here that have posted pictures of their screens, may be you can get a look at those (do not recall the threads by heart) - there's one showing you pictures of the HD72i (very similar PJ to the IN76) which look very spectacular.

Edit: here's one already
And another:

The IN76 (and HD72i) are less expensive here on the mainland - I have actually found an IN76 on the net for 1.700 euro, an HD72i will set you back about 2.000 euro. This said, I entirely support KB's point of view.


Standard Member
Okay. Thanks guys. I will have a look at the links and sit in my living room with no lights on to see how dark it is!

With regard to buying from 7oaks. I thought the sales guy was not very helpful. When I went into the room with the projector running, all he said is 'here it is'. Didn't offer my wife or I a seat to watch the screen, didn't offer to put any DVD's on, and didn't offer any information on the product at all. I had to ask all the questions and his relpies to (virtually) each one was 'don't know, can only answer that if we come out and see where you are going to mount it' etc.. Basically, they are after their £75 site visit fee and then you feel 'obliged' to buy from them.

I run 10 shops. We sell products in the same price range as the infocus IN76 and we would never treat a potential customer in this way. We would give them as much information as possible and answer any questions they have fully. We do home demonstrations without charge.

Therefore, I don't feel obliged to buy from them.


Novice Member
if you have another branch of 7oaks close by i'd suggest you give the other branch a try...

like any shops sometimes you get a 'bad egg' (if you'll excuse the old phrase..lol) serving you........

with 7oaks they are a franchise, so it isnt a case of having a company guideline to staff requirements etc (like say Dixons, altho they dont seem to have one anyhow..lol)......the Swiss Cottage branch near me are very good, providing you give them some notice for the demo (they can get very busy due to their particular location) they will happily give you all the time you need........i spent 8 hours till 2am demoing stereo amps once......but they all have a niche product area they can cope with, one guy is best with the PJ's, another is best with AV speakers, another with stereo setups etc....its very well run, the manager is a lovely man, friendly and helpful and always willing to do his shop proud........so sounds like the branch i use in in contrast to the branch you have tried.....consider another branch if its close enough, they may (i hope) be more willing to help you out (it does help if you can at least provide dimensions, perhaps a small diagram for the to get an idea tho)

anyhow, good luck :)


Novice Member
T-Rex, for what it's worth, I received my first PJ today.
It's an InFocus 7210 and the brightness is as per the factory settings - about halfway.

Our lounge is possibly the worst lounge you could have for a projector - check this thread out to see what I mean; http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=377270

It is all white (walls, ceiling, blinds) with about 14 metres of floor to ceiling glass :rolleyes:

I switched the projector on this afternoon to test it (blinds open) and just projecting on to a wall the image was very washed out and not really watchable.
However, this evening when it got a bit darker it was perfectly fine.

I have however gone for the Optoma GWII screen which has a gain of 1.8 to overcome any light issues.
If it turns out that the image is too bright, I'll just reduce the brightness or get an ND2 filter.
I'll test what the image is like during the day with the GWII once I get it all installed.


Standard Member
I take your advice knyght_byte and I'll look for another store. I just got a little annoyed at the lack of information forthcoming. Like you say, probably just 'one bad egg'.

Brogan - thanks for your link. Fantastic place you got there! I can safetly say my room will be alot darker than yours as it's a barn conversion with small windows. Maybe a screen with a 1.0 gain would be more suitable for my requirements?
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