Partial batcave? ALR screen?

CalabiYau

Active Member
Hello

I am using a projector since 2009. Always in a non dedicated room with white walls/celiing. So I am used to washout and contrast destroyed in high APL scenes even though there is no external light (fully blocked).

Now I have managed to reorganize my room getting a bigger projection surface (around 146" diagonal). My viewing distance is around 4.5m (screen around 3.2m wide).

Ceiling and side walls are close to the screen (a plain matte painted wall). So with bright scenes both ceiling and walls are pretty iluminated destroying my blacks.

I am considering to lessen this effect. I know that the good solution would be treat the whole room but as it is a common room is not possible (my wife doesn't want and I also enjoy a bright room).

I consider two compromised solutions.

1) I could treat the first meter of the ceiling with foams with black velvet attached with magnets (as I have metal joists in my drywall ceiling I wouldn't need to glue any magnet so a clean solution). And 1.5m of the side walls with black velvet curtains.

So theoretically I could go from a fully non treated room to a partially treated room without leaving any sign. Nice.

But, is this a significant improvement? Or just masking 1-1.5m won't improve the picture quality in the bright APL scenes?

Painting dark instead of the removable foam is also not an option...


2) ALR screen. To be honest I am reluctant to this solution as it is potentially a much more expensive solution (CineGrey 5d is 1800$ for a 145" screen) and also there is no guarantee of success at all.

I have seen a lot of youtube videos but they are usually referring to ambient light which I don't have at all. But I am not sure how this screen will reject reflections...

And also there is hot spotting, creases, and so on...

So spending around 2k and not fixing a problem is not a good deal. Actually I am still using an old DLP 1080p projector as it doesn't make sense to invest in a better projector until I improve the room.

In a near future I am considering a epson tw7100 (a tw9400 would be an overkill in such a room right now).

Anyway. I'd appreciate any comments about this partial masking. Any similar experiences?

I have read this article Contrast VS projector VS environment - Projection Dream and I have seen how amazing is the contrast in a bat cave. unfortunately they didn't the half treated room. Just full or none...

Thanks a lot!
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
I'm not sure how well an ALR screen would work with a screen that size. I'd want a demo, testing different seating positions, with a similar sized screen and room colour etc.

The partial black front wall sounds good. If you add black curtains for the sides, why can't they go a lot more than 1.5m? Also, where your new black material doesn't reach, can't you have a nice wall colour that's just not white? Most people's nice living areas aren't white.
 

CalabiYau

Active Member
Thanks!

The 1.5m is just because it is usually the width of the velvet roll... So I could use just one strip.
Similarly the foams are usually 2mx1m, so this is the reason I am thinking of 1m of ceiling mask...

This would be a simple solution. I could make it more complicated with more foams and curtains but it will go against my on/off usage...

Anyway, are the side walls the largest contributor to the washout? I though that it was the ceiling...
 

3t3p

Active Member
I thought it was ceiling first too and then side walls. First 1-2m

Important to get wall behind the screen dark too for perceived contrast.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
ALR screen in a non-treated room is probably going to give you the biggest perceived contrast boost.

I have an ALR screen in a non treated room, and a normal setup in a semi-treated room. ALR is just insane, especially if you have an Epson PJ with lumens to spare.

It has drawbacks (viewing cone mainly and angles) but other than that, they are great if u dont wanna treat your room. I wouldn't put a projector in a white walled ceiling room period without one TBH.

If you can though, just treat your room as nothing beats that because of the perceived contrast boost of a black hole. ITs just incredible also makes screen feel bigger because the image is floating.

but if u can't do that and u have the money.. ALR is great.
 

CalabiYau

Active Member
Thanks!

The problem with ALR is that probably my screen is too big. I guess that a 1.4 throw ratio is not enough to avoid artifacts...

And I can't move further the ceiling mount. So the only way to increase throw ratio would be reducing screen size and I'm not considering this.

@kenshingintoki How is your semi treated room?

Is the partial masking going to improve the image in a way that all the hassle is worthwhile?

I am afraid is the only chance I have. Full treated room is not possible at all.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Thanks!

The problem with ALR is that probably my screen is too big. I guess that a 1.4 throw ratio is not enough to avoid artifacts...

And I can't move further the ceiling mount. So the only way to increase throw ratio would be reducing screen size and I'm not considering this.

@kenshingintoki How is your semi treated room?

Is the partial masking going to improve the image in a way that all the hassle is worthwhile?

I am afraid is the only chance I have. Full treated room is not possible at all.


My semi treated room is great but its got gallant grey walls, total light control and natural slate walls. currently slowly moving towards full treatment but it takes time when u have limited DIY skills like me and everyone that can help u thinks ur crazy for wanting to put velvet on the ceiling.

Yeah masking will be great help but TBH a projector is just going to look crap in a non treated room (white walls, white ceiling). I know some people don't mind it but I hate it. An ALR screen fixes it. Otherwise the reflections just go crazy.

Its not a massive issue though, I mean you still have a gigantic image in your room shwoing beautiful content even if untreated - just dont bother wasting money on a high contrast projector if you go down that route and accept you're going to be lacking black level.

Another idea is a projector wall with screen paint. i used grey steel 2 dulux and its awesome, but its not magical like the draper react.
 

CalabiYau

Active Member
I completely agree... Low APL images are really beautiful and the immersion is complete.
Then bright images distract me, as the picture quality is severely degraded because of the massive reflections... And then I start to think how to improve it instead of enjoying the movie :)

I guess I will try the DIY masking and then decide if it is worth to invest in a better projector. Right now it is not certainly...

Thanks for your help!
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I completely agree... Low APL images are really beautiful and the immersion is complete.
Then bright images distract me, as the picture quality is severely degraded because of the massive reflections... And then I start to think how to improve it instead of enjoying the movie :)

I guess I will try the DIY masking and then decide if it is worth to invest in a better projector. Right now it is not certainly...

Thanks for your help!



Good luck. For the cost of masking, I'd just skip to an ALR screen. They are cheap if you shop around. I sold one on here for under £700 recently. 95'' Draper Tab tensioned ALR 3.0 in mint condition, pretty much perfect sample straight from the factory. Can't remember how much I let it go for now but always bargains to be had.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Good luck. For the cost of masking, I'd just skip to an ALR screen. They are cheap if you shop around. I sold one on here for under £700 recently. 95'' Draper Tab Lina (luxury build quality fit and finish) tensioned ALR 3.0 in mint condition with the fixings , pretty much perfect sample straight from the factory. Can't remember how much I let it go for now but always bargains to be had.
 

linnasak

Active Member
Hi

I treated my room with similar solution. Curtain rails at side and extra long run of material across. Then have ability to pull out further than the 1 m it resides in when pulled back. I would say definite improvement. Most of the time we watch with pushed back just at 1 m see pic below. First retracted Then some images with projector. Note 104inch screen 1.3 gain.
image.jpg
image.jpg

Apologies for tidiness, remains of Xmas!


image.jpg
image.jpg


Also set up room with full black walls and ceiling, with 120inch screen and same projector , but then you are like Batman!

Can send pics of this if helps but I don’t think this is on your possibilities

Kevin
 

CalabiYau

Active Member
Thanks Kevin, nice setup!

Based on your experience, do you think that just the first meter masked is a signifcant improvement respect non masked?

What is the lenght masked when you pull out the maximum? And comparing the pulled back first meter and the max lenght? Much better?

Just trying to find out the sweet spot where masking is not that important...
 

markymiles

Distinguished Member
Whilst I think a metre of black helps, I would find it quite distracting if you can see some black and some white in your field of view on the ceiling. There will also be a lot of reflected light still going into the light path of the projector. I know it's not as easy to implement in your situation but if possible I would definitely go further back.

In my room I am 3.2m from the screen and the mvel on the ceiling goes back 2.5m when PJ in use. So it looks like it's completely black unless I raise my head.

Whilst it's a pain, I got the other half to sew two lengths together to get the size needed.
 
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CalabiYau

Active Member
Yes, I agree that it will be distracting. But maybe a full white iluminated ceiling is even more noticeable!

Unfortunately I can't treat the room as much as I want. So I have to comprimise pciture quality and get the most improvement with the less decor impact...

My only doubt is if the improvement of this compromised setup is worth the hassle... It looks like this small mask can generate a nice contrast boost... So I will probably try it...

Thanks to all for your help and suggestions...
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
Room conditions are critical to optimising contrast with a projector, all reflected light off walls and ceiling do is dilutes everything across the screen. I went on the journey of creating a bat cave and what I found was after doing everything back from the screen (ceiling and walls) about 2 meters the contrast improvement was probably 99% there but your peripheral vision was more easily distracted now and it annoyed me that much I ended up ordering more material and covering the rest of the room.

Maybe I was a little OCD about this but it's always worthwhile considering when you even decide to do a partial bat cave.
 

CalabiYau

Active Member
Thanks! This is exactly what I needed to know.

In my case full batcave is 100% impossible. So I could try a partial mask and if the contrast results are good enough I'll have to decide what is worst: Washout or peripherial distractions...
 

linnasak

Active Member
Hi

I tried widening the material by doubling, gave improvement, but I would say only pulled back full length 20% of time. Hence mainly for major film events. Now I think the distraction point is interesting, but because my room is quite wide and I want distance from left / right (audio reasons) I don’t really notice. Bigger impact probably is ceiling. Would try increasing your black ceiling tiles.

Now in summary cost of material and fittings c. £100. So picture improvement per £ is mega.

Have enquired about conservatory ceiling blinds for potential new build. Now very slick but £10k!

I would try the material and tiles then judge the sweet spot for your setup. Always been contentious with my other half on the curtains, I get away with the setup pulled back. Other option to think about is star field, then you can do all the ceiling as feature. Suspended so you can take away to repurpose room. But not as cheap!

Kevin
 

CalabiYau

Active Member
Thanks! 1.5m seems to be a fair sweet spot. Exactly what I am looking for. I hope I won't get distracted by the black and white combo...
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
Thanks! 1.5m seems to be a fair sweet spot. Exactly what I am looking for. I hope I won't get distracted by the black and white combo...
I would first just do the screen wall and see how that looks, depending on how far back your seats are to the screen that is ideally the sweet spot to treat the room to.
 

CalabiYau

Active Member
Thanks! What do you mean with the screen wall? The one where I project on?

The screen is almost using all the avalaible surface. Its edge is only 8cm to the ceiling, and around 25cm to the side walls.

Hopefully in a near future I will fill all the avalaible height with a new projector. Not a big jump in size anyway. And if I get a motorized one like 9400 I could project from wall to wall horizontally in 2.35 format. So I guess the front wall should stay unmasked.

To the floor there is some furniture so no need/way to treat.

In this scenario celing is contributing the most by far. But also the side walls. So probably a partial-partial batcave won't be successful :)

Yesterday I had a look on black velvet in my city. Unfortunately neither Devore or Triple Black velvet are accesible for my country (they don't deliver to Spain), so I have to choose what I have avalaible at local shops (there are a couple of specialists with thousands of fabrics... So no big problem)

I found a very expensive cotton velvet (30eur per linear meter x 1.5m wide) and a lycra Velvet (around 10eur per linear meter)

Other velvets were noticeable less black than these ones. But as they were different shops I couldn't compare them. I will probably stick to the cheaper one, as my goal is not a 100% perfect room and it is difficult to justify the x3 price difference.

I will buy first 1 meter to try it. The lycra one was very deep black but only in one direction. In the other one had some really minor sparkles. So I guess I will have to choose the direction of the fabric based on this.

But it absorbed pretty well the light of my torch...

Again, thanks for your help!
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
^Well at that close to either surface you will ultimately want to treat them. I take it you do t have a screen and are projecting on to the wall itself, if so you should look into painting it with some form of projector screen paint mix, there’s loads if you do a search and it means you get a better image overall.

I don’t know what you want to achieve and if what you are intending to do is or isn’t quickly removable, I went for the self adhesive black velour flock which is like wallpaper and did the entire room with it, is a finished job but isn’t removable just like actual wallpaper and requires the same approach to remove it. Looks class though and the end result is pretty special.

Check out the link to my room in my signature for photos.
 

CalabiYau

Active Member
Nice room! Congrats!

I actually have reasearched a lot about gray paints and ALR screens, but for some reason they are not my cup of tea. I prefer a white one and reduce reflections to some extent.

It is a compromised room and I accept its flaws. I just prefer the pop and uniformity of the white ones. My throw ratio is around 1.4 so angular screens will have huge hotspots and right now I don't have lumens to fill a grey one.

My idea is to have the chance to remove the masking surface easily and without leaving any sign. So I could leave the velvet for the weekend when I watch most of the content and remove it to have again a white bright room.

I have seen examples of this light foam attached with magnets approach and apparently it is a matter of 2-3 minutes installation/removal. Also I mean to take advantadge of the metallic joists in my drywall ceiling to attach magnets. A clean solution.

Obviously I would prefer a full dedicated room, but this is not possible, so I have to give up the contrast or try this system... It won't be a huge investment so if it fails, it won't be that bad...

To be honest the worst part about the removal process is where to store the foams :) I have to figure out a good place...
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
Nice room! Congrats!
Thanks.
I actually have reasearched a lot about gray paints and ALR screens, but for some reason they are not my cup of tea. I prefer a white one and reduce reflections to some extent.
I used the grey with the Epson 9400 when I had it, it improves the blacks which was what I was after and to be honest I didn't notice any drop off in pop but that could have been the screen I choice rather than anything else.
It is a compromised room and I accept its flaws. I just prefer the pop and uniformity of the white ones. My throw ratio is around 1.4 so angular screens will have huge hotspots and right now I don't have lumens to fill a grey one.
Grey screens usually don't give hot spots, that's usually associated with ALR screens.
My idea is to have the chance to remove the masking surface easily and without leaving any sign. So I could leave the velvet for the weekend when I watch most of the content and remove it to have again a white bright room.

I have seen examples of this light foam attached with magnets approach and apparently it is a matter of 2-3 minutes installation/removal. Also I mean to take advantadge of the metallic joists in my drywall ceiling to attach magnets. A clean solution.
Yeah the high density foam panels could be a great solution, I bought the magnets for another job and they work a treat. Best work with as thin of panel whilst still being sturdy enough to deal with repeated putting up and taking off because that is something most people forget about.

This is where the curtain pole and curtains are best but probably doesn't look the neatest either fully pulled out or pushed away again.
Obviously I would prefer a full dedicated room, but this is not possible, so I have to give up the contrast or try this system... It won't be a huge investment so if it fails, it won't be that bad...

To be honest the worst part about the removal process is where to store the foams :) I have to figure out a good place...
I was very lucky because building the house I was able to design it in a way that give me a dedicated room for the job, my only mistake wasn't taking more involvement in the laying of cables etc. Though I have a complete standalone speaker system ideally I would have preferred to have in-wall everywhere but wasn't to be.
 

CalabiYau

Active Member
Yes, the curtain pole would have been a very practical solution but aestethically was not the best to convince my wife...

I hope the foams could do the trick and I don't get tired to set/remove them...

Enjoy your room! Seems really well cared...
 

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