Question Is a Sapphire SFSC266 screen suitable for my fairly basic setup?

Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
Hi,

I bought a projector for my living room a year or so ago and it's pretty much all I use now.

It's an Optoma UHD300x, at around 3m from the wall / screen giving me around a 114 inch image on full zoom. It's not really much good in any kind of light so I darken the room when I want to watch it.

There are all kinds of sources going through the projector - 4k blurays, 4k UHD streaming, Sky 4k as well as older Blurays and HD, even SD stuff occasionally.

I'm currently using a manual pulldown projector screen that I bought off Amazon for about £80 and, to be honest, it's hard to tell the difference between that and the white wall it projected onto before I had the screen. Except there's a blob of light on the screen where the light of the projector lamp reflects on the screen and it can be offputting in some scenes.

So I'm thinking of replacing the screen with a fixed frame one, as the wall is dedicated to the screen anyway, so it seems to me that fixed frame is the most cost effective way to get a decent screen up there.

I've had a good look around - the usual, cost vs quality etc and I've come up with this Sapphire one. Can anyone advise me on whether it would be a noticeable improvement on the current screen and, also, whether it's likely that it won't reflect that white blob of light that the current one does? (I realise there are probably no guarantees there)

Edit - should add, I guess, that the projector is ceiling mounted.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

 
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Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
So I've bought the Spitfire 112" white gain 1.0 screen that AVOnline are selling as a warehouse deal and I'm very interested to put it up and see what a difference it makes.

However, all the contributions in this thread and some other very useful threads on this forum have got me thinking a bit more, and maybe looking at other options too.

So current situation. Optima UHD300x whith I think is comparatively low on Lumens - around 2200 from the spec. But I got it for a good price on an Amazon black friday deal a year or two back and overall I like it. It's not getting replaced any time soon. It also has a pretty good medim-short throw which was important as I don't have a lot of room. I'm getting about a 114" diagonal image on full zoom from around 3m away.

It's currently set up in my living room. I can black the light out when I want to use it, mainly using a baby's light blackout blind which completely blacks out the light from the window, with no bleed at all. Sticks up with Velcro, easy to put up and down. Less need for it in winter, obviously.

The room is not treated at all. White walls, ceiling, light carpet and curtains. White gloss doors. No real option to do anything significant about that. Everything is reflective.

I do have a spare bedroom I could use, and dedicate. It's 3m x 3m, or a little under. I'd lose some screen size but could absolutely dedicate the room to it. Velvet up everywhere, whatever it takes. Might be a little cramped, but I'd be pretty much sitting still. Then just put a TV in the living room, like 'normal people' do.

So option 1 - stay in larger, more sociable, accessible living room with light compromise, or dedicate a smaller room, compromising on screen size?

Assuming I stay in the living room, I have this new screen on the way. I have to say, even on a white wall (and subsequently a crap manual pull down projector screen that makes no discernible difference whatsoever) the image is still very punchy and impressive, ro me. Always on eco mode too, because it's so quiet really. So I'm expecting some improvement with a more suitable screen.

But I was reading @Broadsword 's comments, and other threads here and I'm now wondering about a grey screen. I could build one with material from PSM, and for the £200-ish it would all cost, it's probably worth a punt. But - and here's option 2 - isn't 2200 a bit on the low side for projector brightness coming from my Optoma? Is a grey 0.8 gain screen going to kill off a bit of colour and brightness?

So yes, lots to mull over. Of course, if I move into another room, I'll likely need another screen anyway, due to smaller projected image.
 
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Broadsword

Well-known Member
I was all set for a grey screen, it’s a light controlled room, see my sig, but couldn’t find one anywhere in the UK so ended up with a white screen. I’m actually glad I did. It makes the image so much more bright, and also it does dampen the reflections a little too so the blacks are not really that much worse. I think you will be good with the screen you have. With the low brightness of your projector and being in a living room a grey screen wouldn’t be much cop I don’t think.

You should be able to have that size screen in you new room to, my room is 3.9m by 3.2m wide. The 110” screen is 2.5m wide which gives room for speakers either side.
 
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3rdignis

Active Member
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Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
Thanks both!

I find the ambient light thing interesting - I mean, surely, a projected image will ALWAYS look brighter with better contrast in a darkened room?! So why would I not darken it when I want to use the projector? Would seem like a waste of bulb hours to watch it washed out in a daylight lit room.

I do have a TV in the living room too, so on summer days always start off with the interntion of watching that during the day. But then once the room gets direct sunlight into it (it's near enough west facing) it makes the TV hard to watch, so I end up closing the curtains so I can see the TV better, then I turn the TV off and put the projector on because I've closed the curtains and it's dark enough for the projector!
 
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3rdignis

Active Member
Recommended thx viewing distance for 112" screen is 11.5'
I think you could safely sit 2-3' closer. (DLP is sharp enough)

If you put your projector and screen in the 3 x 3m room.
Black Matte stage paint and black carpet would be adequate. Then you would probably need a hoya nd2 filter to get the desired 12 foot lamberts.

Here's some material if it's needed.

I use headphones in my cinema room.
 
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Broadsword

Well-known Member
Thanks both!

I find the ambient light thing interesting - I mean, surely, a projected image will ALWAYS look brighter with better contrast in a darkened room?! So why would I not darken it when I want to use the projector? Would seem like a waste of bulb hours to watch it washed out in a daylight lit room.

I do have a TV in the living room too, so on summer days always start off with the interntion of watching that during the day. But then once the room gets direct sunlight into it (it's near enough west facing) it makes the TV hard to watch, so I end up closing the curtains so I can see the TV better, then I turn the TV off and put the projector on because I've closed the curtains and it's dark enough for the projector!

What I mean is that you will still have some light in the room even with the curtains shut, that light will impact the black levels to some degree. Even though my screen isn’t an ALR screen it definitely is helping with the black level and also the reflections off the screen itself. A grey screen in this situation would not help that unless you have really good light control.
 
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Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
@Broadsword So the couriers managed to find me today and the screen has been delivered. It's not quite what I was expecting, but in a positive way.

First of all, the whole package seemed to be factory sealed. All of the boxes, bags, packaging were sealed like they'd never been opened before. So it's not like a return or something found at the retailer on being opened - they came like that.

So onto the frame itself - it's not just one blemish, there are, I'd say, maybe two per length of frame. And there are six lengths of frame.

However, it appears that it's not damage as such. The velvet itself is not torn or physically damaged. It's like it's been gripped by some robotic arm that had some dirt on it. The marks look like the blemished bit of velvet has been 'stroked' in the opposite direction to the rest of it. The worst of it is on the sides of the frame as you'd look at it on the wall, not the front bit that faces you.

So I got a mildly damp cloth and had a go at giving it a clean. And it looks like it's coming off. From its reaction to a damp cloth I'd say it's some kind of soap resodue that's causing the blemishes as it suds up a little when wiped with a damp cloth.

It does, however, appear to be coming out. I've taken a few before and after photos which I'll upload later from my phone if anyone is interested.

I haven't opened the screen material yet, I'll leave that until the frame is ready for it. But current feeling is I'm very happy with it.
 
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Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
I've now built the screen. I felt like I'd got all of the blemishes out of the frame by the time I started building it. There was one area on a 90 degree edge where for maybe 5cm it looked like the velvet greyed a little, like it was worn, but I can put that on the side of the room where nobody will see it.

I was incorrect in a post above where I'd assumed it was a spring type assembly. It was pipes and plastic poppers in the end. I'd found two PDFs for Spitfire fixed frame assembly, one with springs one with pipes and poppers. It was the PDF from the AV Online website, rather than the Spitfire website, that matched this screen.

Assembly was fairly straightforward. Some of the screen edge holes were stubborn and wouldn't open and it was difficult to feed the pipes through at times. I had to stick a screwdriver in the holes to open them up a bit then feed the pipes in.

It looks like 112" was the absolute maximum screen size I could have gone for. Any bigger and there'd have been borders. Interestingly the Optoma UHD300X projects a lot of extra light around the actual picture which goes past the black velvet screen edges and onto the wall.

I haven't managed to get it up yet - it may need 2 people so might have to wait a while. But I propped it up over the old screen and tested with a UHD bluray and the difference in contrast is obvious and I'm very much looking forward to getting it properly mounted and watching some dark films.

Thanks again to everyone who guided me through this! I'll post some images later - they;re on my phone and I couldn't face typing all these words out on anything other than a real keyboard.

Edit, looks like no hotspotting with this screen
 
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Broadsword

Well-known Member
I’ve seen other people mention light going past the screen, there has been a few posts in the last month or so with the same problem. Can’t recall if that was optoma or not. It shouldn’t happen though.

Look forward to the pics.
 
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Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
The Optoma has always done it. At first I assumed that the image was somehow smaller than it should be but I've never found a way to stretch the image into all that extra light.

It's like a projected 10cm frame all around the image.
 
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Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
OK so some photos! I tried to upload these last night but it wasn't having any of it from my phone so I've copied to my PC now.

So the box looked like it had been sttored in a puddle but everything on the inside was well packaged and nothing looked affected in any way.

IMG_20210204_133239.jpg


The frame panels were all in plastic packaging that looked like it had been sealed in the factory and never opened.

IMG_20210204_133833.jpg


The marks.

IMG_20210204_134600.jpg


And after a bit of a gentle wipe.

IMG_20210204_150047.jpg


And a couple more. They've picked a few bits of dust up off the carpet by now so look a bit worse in these photos than they actually were. I tried to do a before and after on the top panel in the image - so here's before.

IMG_20210204_154018.jpg


And after.

IMG_20210204_154253.jpg
 
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Broadsword

Well-known Member
So the old DLP chips did used to have a border like you describe, didn’t think it was as much as 10cm though. The TI chips found in newer DLP projectors have a reduced border to them, but it is still there. Maybe that’s the issue? The 6cm frame of the screen won’t absorb that though which is a shame. Doesn’t sound right though.
 
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Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
It's actually very big, the overhang. The projector image is scaled perfectly to the screen size so all that extra light, it doesn't contain any actual image.

IMG_20210205_185153.jpg
IMG_20210205_185048.jpg
 
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3rdignis

Active Member
Here's the border on my screen.
20210206_091025.jpg
 
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3rdignis

Active Member
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Presuming Ed

Well-known Member
Yes.
I use this tape
Same as the material I linked to earlier but smaller.
This picture illustrates I see no light spill.
View attachment 1455545
I like your screen @Presuming Ed
Maybe you could treat the wall around the screen?

Looking good there.

Thanks yes - I might. The new screen is actually not yet fixed to the wall. It's resting on the media unit below and higher up is 'trapped' against the wall by the manual pull down screen, pulled down slightly and pulling it gently to the wall. It's pretty solid and isn't going to tip.

Once I'd got it built I realised that fixing it to the wall is a two person job and now isn't exactly the time to invite someone around to help. The safest place to store it seemed to be there, and I get some decent use out of it too. I'll do proper alignment when it's fixed to the wall.

I will look into some kind of wall treatment. I have limited options because it's my living room. One option is to move the two dark tall book casses (there's one the other side too) closer and drop some velvet down the side of each book case. There aren't any wide viewing angles in the room so they won't obstruct the picture.
 
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