Projector setup in the living room?

pfa

Novice Member
My apologies for reiterating on this many-times-discussed question.

I have a living room like this (65'' TV on the wall):

r/hometheater - Living room projector setup?

Here is a picture of the seating area:

r/hometheater - Living room projector setup?


We mostly watch movies and TV shows. No sports, the gaming is very minimal and casual.

The room could be completely darkened during movie nights, but during the day or on casual watching there could be some ambient light coming from the kitchen area (from where the pictures are taken).

The seating distance is 11' (3.3m), which makes even 85'' TV look small on that wall.

I tried top-mount UST with 120'' GrandView ALR screen, which looked like this:

r/hometheater - Living room projector setup?
but it failed miserably with kitchen lights on and ceiling being white. Seems like low-gain UST screens can't do much with ambient light coming from the side, sadly.

Now I'm thinking of a more traditional 110' normal-gain ALR screen with something like LG HU810PW. I have no doubt that it will work great on movie nights with everything darkened and lights off, but I wonder - is it possible to make it not completely suck with at least some lights on in the kitchen? Are there any other options that might work better here?
 

pfa

Novice Member
And a follow-up question: what screen would you recommend for such conditions?
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member

You are going to need a screen like the above, there are 2-3 different makes but a 120" screen is going to cost £2k at least.

 

pfa

Novice Member
The prices seem to vary widely - 10x between something like Elite Screens Cinegrey 3D and SI Black Diamond in 110''. I wonder how high it would make sense for me to go, and would it even provide decent viewing experience in my conditions.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Like I said they are expensive but the only way to get a decent contrast in a partly lit room. They do come up second hand from time to time.

There is a new 150" Black diamond here for £2k for the size that is a bargain

 

iamsludge

Active Member
I tried a variety of ALR screen material samples about 8 years ago, including React2.

Black Diamond I found sparkly, React2 was ok, but the best by far was DNP SuperNova.


Of course the DNP also cost the most by far - but it was the only one I would have considered worthwhile at the time. React3 is likely to be better of course than the React2. I would get demos if you can, difficult in the current covid climate of course.
 

pfa

Novice Member
Like I said they are expensive but the only way to get a decent contrast in a partly lit room. They do come up second hand from time to time.
Huh somehow I never thought about looking at the preowned market, thanks for the advice!

I tried a variety of ALR screen material samples about 8 years ago, including React2.

Black Diamond I found sparkly, React2 was ok, but the best by far was DNP SuperNova.


Of course the DNP also cost the most by far - but it was the only one I would have considered worthwhile at the time. React3 is likely to be better of course than the React2. I would get demos if you can, difficult in the current covid climate of course.
Thanks, though I'm actually in US, and DNP doesn't seem to have a dealer anywhere close.

I'm starting to think that it might be better for me to use blackout curtain as a room divider and go with white, non-ALR screen actually.
 

jakimp

Distinguished Member
one thing not save on is the screen - buy the right one and it was save a lot of wasted time and money and will last for years.

i have a lounge set up and a react 2.1 screen i bought at least 7 years ago and still going strong.

in your room you need a good alr screen as it is very reflective to get a good picture even with the lights off

this is my room but obviously lights off for PJ watching

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these are some phone snaps of my N5 in action

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3t3p

Active Member
Sorry but aren't photos of projected images pointless? The camera self adjusts and makes everyone's images look amazing?

Having said that yours DO look great
 

pfa

Novice Member
I'm actually thinking of putting a divider curtain between the kitchen area and living room area, I wonder how much difference it could make.
 

Vila

Well-known Member
I'm actually thinking of putting a divider curtain between the kitchen area and living room area, I wonder how much difference it could make.

It will certainly make a difference to any light coming from the other side of your room.-


But what you are also fighting against is 'the area your viewing your projector' it still has light coloured walls, a white ceiling, light carpet and furniture all of which create a lot of ambient light in a room.
 

iamsludge

Active Member
Anything that cuts down on light will be an improvement. Room treatment goes a long, long way.

I didn’t buy a screen at all in the end. I project onto a matt white wall - but I do use quite a bit of very black devore velvet (ceiling and walls) which is put up and taken down as I need. It works brilliantly to be honest.
 

jakimp

Distinguished Member
Sorry but aren't photos of projected images pointless? The camera self adjusts and makes everyone's images look amazing?

Having said that yours DO look great
agreed which is why i called them phone "snaps" as it is obviously hard to take representative photos . i just posted them as an indication that the right screen in your room is important and you can get some good black level in an untreated room
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
Sorry but aren't photos of projected images pointless? The camera self adjusts and makes everyone's images look amazing?

Having said that yours DO look great

i have been taking screen shots for a long while, so if this is a genuine question. i can say ... it depends on the camera and how you use it.. to point if done properly the picture you see with own eyes will actually be better than what capture with a camera ... even a top notch one...

no photos still wont look like they do in real life as you are seeing with your eyes... because your eyes actually spot meter all over a scene without you even realising and assembles the image in your brain...

the watchout if using a phone ... they do take dynamic pictures and pump all sorts into them, cranking iso and pumping levels to make them look wow :D there is also a lot of Ai there with filters and such..

it is possible to take more representative phone pictures ... its matter of taking it out of the all auto modes it has ...there are even camera apps for this, and if you use more like a traditional camera.. ie you select the iso, aperture, appropriate shutter speed. white balance in auto is ok if not doing funky things.

I have been using a full frame camera for a while now for screen shots and a 50mm lens to best mimic the perspective of human eye and i take screen shots from where i am seated to best replicate what am seeing. i keep iso in check at 200 so camera doesnt turn night into day. the lens iris i leave wide open at f1.4 as we are photographing a flat plane and to let as much light in as possible. i do leave white balance on auto. if you were anal about it you would grey card it per scene. I instead spot meter to get what to my eyes looks best representative

I also dont post process any images(which is what phones also typically do applying all sorts of enhancements) ... so instead its straight out of camera and while what see in the photo aren't anyways as good as what see with your own eyes its only ever meant to give a representation of what see :) in same ways as a camera is used by photography by most photographers...it just comes down to whether want something closer to reality or a more artistic take on things :)
 

pfa

Novice Member
I'm seeing a lot of recommendations in other places to go for UST with ALR/CLR screen. I'm a bit confused, because my personal experience with this setup suggests that even though it may handle ceiling lights better (due to the lenticular nature of the screen), low gain makes it more susceptible to ambient light coming from the side, as well as making overall brightness lower. Am I missing something here?
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
I'm seeing a lot of recommendations in other places to go for UST with ALR/CLR screen. I'm a bit confused, because my personal experience with this setup suggests that even though it may handle ceiling lights better (due to the lenticular nature of the screen), low gain makes it more susceptible to ambient light coming from the side, as well as making overall brightness lower. Am I missing something here?

just how critical is the watching with lights on ? ambient light will impact any projector and screen

expect some compromise with lights on,

if you can manage some light control might be amazed what can achieve with a 1.1 gain white screen ...still no light absolutely directly on screen...



eg here with 10 year old epson 9000 series with lights in the room

A60BCAA8-3AAD-4246-9191-62AF0E07003E.jpeg


and here a jvc(does have more contrast up its sleeve than the epson) and with lights in the room also here in this case lights from adjoining room

F3E87DC1-717E-4C68-AEE4-23DFE08F6D47.jpeg


this was just before eurovision, we had folks over and once started closed the rear doors so just the lights behind the screen and looked even better :)

and this the cricket over the summer, where leave back doors to room open. but still no direct light on the screen.

B2B4E184-5DEB-4CE3-B780-D8F6D529A33C_1_201_a.jpeg

5D3FDD9D-AFD5-4667-AD54-45B69A32BF6F_1_201_a.jpeg


keeping in mind when if i do shut the doors in the room with no lights on in the room you wouldnt be able to see your hand in front of your face...

light control within the room is important with a projector..

but what is also amazing is how much you can get away with ...as long as light is indirect... and low wattage source ... ie just some ambient lighting say behind screen as i am doing ... whcih gives totally fine results for casual viewing.. folks and friends over and dont want to sit in the darkness ?

if considering alternative to UST and ALR//CLR screens then maybe something else to consider as alternative choice ...
 

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