Should I bite the bullet and paint my ceiling black?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by VTPete, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. VTPete

    VTPete
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    Hi all,

    My old standby Sanyo PLV-60HT is still running fine, but I'm considering stepping up to the new 1080 Epson or Panasonic AE1000u (with that $1,000 rebate!)

    I have a completely light controlled home theater in my basement that's just wonderful. When I painted the walls, I went with a coffee colored wall and plain white ceiling tiles.

    My screen is roughly a foot from the ceiling and there is definite spill of light onto the ceiling, as well as spill onto the surrounding wall.

    Since painting textured ceiling tiles will require quite a bit of work, I'm wondering if any members of this forum have had experience with the benefits of painting a room or ceiling a much darker color. Obviously it will help... but will it help enough to be worth the time, money and potential spilled paint on the carpet?
     
  2. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    You can use Maplin speaker grill felt which is pretty good at absorbing light, and apply it to the ceiling using some batons - screw some thin wooden batons to the ceiling coming out from the front wall to the rear of the room, and then staple the cloth to the batons. You don't have to do it to the entire ceiling (although that would be ideal), just the first 5 or 10 feet (I think that's roughly how wide it is, and you buy it in half meter lengths).

    If you see the staples, you can either use a black felt tip or similar, though I can't see them where I have stapled the cloth at the leading edge to keep it flush. You could use a wooden strip covered in the material as a finishing strip which may look more professional.

    It will be less reflective than the paint which even though it may be matt, still has more reflective properties than the material.

    Gary
     
  3. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    I've also been wondering if my light walls and ceiling are effecting the black levels from my AE1000. One temporary solution might be to try pining a black or dark coloured sheet/throw to the ceiling to see what improvement it makes. Your ceiling tiles should take a few drawing pins easily to hold it in place.

    I'm thinking of making up some arrangement where I can drape a black cloth up the left wall, across the ceiling and down the right wall, but only during films. I'd need something like a thin 'stair rod' under each side of the ceiling/coving to thread the cloth through. Either that or 3 separate pieces, then where do I put them when not in use? As the room is our living room, I'd like it to be a bit lighter than black when not watching a film, so I need some solution....

    Please post back your findings if you do go ahead with painting the ceiling...I'm interested to see how much difference it makes.:thumbsup:

    EDIT: Gary beat me to it... and with a better suggestion! Think I might be going to Maplins soon.......
     
  4. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    I did try something like that at first using curtain rod (the flexible stretchy stuff used for net curtains). My room is a loft with sloping ceilings, so I put them in the corners where the sloping parts meet the flat ceiling, then draped the speaker cloth through them. I pulled the material tight and fixed it where the sloping parts meet the lower walls, but the rods would flex a little too much and the material would hang lower across the ceiling. That's when I decided to make up some pieces to screw into the corners and that puled everything tight.

    It's difficult to find a removable solution that will work, but a grey screen is probably the best solution for combating reflections in white walled rooms. A grey scree with gain is better, so maybe a Da-Lite grey screen might work. The (Optoma?) Greywolf screen seems to work very well and is good value, but being 1.8 gain it does show some 'sparklies' at times which some find distracting.

    Gary
     
  5. KelvinS1965

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    I haven't had the Graywolf very long (in fact I haven't yet finished the pelmet that it is going in!), so I would have to wait a long time before getting a Da-Lite screen. I don't often see the 'sparklies' so I can live with that side. At least I can watch in daytime if I want with the Graywolf...like I did today as I'm off work with a back injury.:(

    When I'm better I hope to finish my pelmet and tidy up the front wall (I wall mounted my TV and buried the cables in the wall). The missus has agreed to a dark 'Mocha'/Chocolate colour which can only help. The side walls will have to be a lighter shade of Mocha and the ceiling white, hence my thoughts about the black cloth. The floor will have a dark rug so that should help too. Do you find it makes much difference just blacking the first metre (or whatever the width of the cloth)?

    I think I'm in danger of obsesing about black levels.:D It's just even my LCD TV seems to have better blacks than my current PJ setup.:eek: I really need to get better and get some DIY done.:smashin:
     
  6. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    If you have the Greywolf already then I'd stick with that - it's a grey screen with gain so the Da-Lite won't improve on it with regards to cross reflections. Because of that, I think your colour scheme will be a good compromise, though you won't know how good until it's up and running and can see how reflective the walls and ceiling are.

    If you watch your LCD in normal room conditions (plenty of ambient light), then it could well look as if it has better blacks, but try it in the same conditions as you'd watch a movie on the pj and see what it's like. Have you set the white and black levels on the pj using a test disk? That will optimise the pj for black and white and may make a difference depending on how you currently have it set up.

    Gary
     
  7. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    I've set the PJ up using DVE and also the built in waveform monitor, so I'm happy I've got it set as well as I can without going for a full ISF calibratiion. Like you said I need to try the new colour scheme to really see if it makes the difference....I just need to get better first.:rolleyes:

    I watch the TV in a carefully controlled light, never too dark otherwise as you say the picture will tend to grey, but the blacks do seem more 'solid' than I'm getting with the PJ ATM. Time and a tin or two of paint will tell.:D

    BTW I lke your setup Gary, I had a look on your link.:thumbsup: Nice to see someone else still using an ATI 9600 graphics card.:D Nearly ordered an 8600GTS until I found it has a problem with my motherboard being non compatable.:thumbsdow I think a moajor upgrade later in the year is coming on that front.....
     
  8. jacko5

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    I didn't know DA-LITE did a grey increased gain screen. Can you quote a model ref. Thanks.
     
  9. VTPete

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    Thanks, All!

    I have tried pinning some black cloth up on the ceiling near the screen, but it was quite distracting... not to mention ugly when the room is being used for other purposes. It seemed to help, but oddly, not as much as I had hoped. Of course, I only covered four feet infront of the screen.

    I don't see a way of attaching photos to these posts that aren't links... otherwise, I'd include a shot of my theater. (Let me know if there's some other way.

    By the way, I used to have a pull-down da-lite screen that drove me nuts with sparkles. I ended up using my amazing sheet-rocking skills to create a smooth white wall that works great. Honestly, I've never bought into the "grey screen" school of thought since it cuts down on whites as well.

    -Pete
     
  10. KelvinS1965

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    Thanks for posting back with the results...even if they weren't what I'd hoped.:)

    I just did my first post today with photos, I attached them as thumbnails using the 'paperclip' icon top centre of the thread typing screen. You may have to resize them, but I just used MSPaint to reduce the size of the image until I got it below the limit (can't remember what the limit is ATM).

    I'll give the black cloth idea a go at some stage, just to see how much improvement there is in my setup. TBH there are so many problems with my current arrangement that each little improvement is needed.;)

    You can see my current setup on the 'Member's Home Cinema Gallery' forum:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=514454

    It can only get better from this.:D
     
  11. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    Hi Jacko,

    http://www.da-lite.com/products/selecting.php

    Having said that, when compared to other screens using a common measuring technique, the gain was less than advertised:

    http://www.projectorcentral.com/projector_screens_brightness.htm

    As the Stewart Studiotek 130 measured as 1.3, I would think the test was reasonably valid in comparison.

    Gary
     
  12. pmc

    pmc
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    What is this $1000 rebate of which you speak?
     
  13. jacko5

    jacko5
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    Re-Da-Lite screens, thanks for your help Gary.
     
  14. VTPete

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    PMC,

    You don't know about the $1,000 Panny AE1000u rebate? You can get one of these projectors for $2,800 USD these days! No kidding! Rebate ends in 5 days, however!

    Here's a shot of my theater after I had just finished the walls, lighting, etc. The current set-up has more decor, but it's basically the same. I'm most concerned with splash from the ceiling.

    -Pete
     

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  15. VTPete

    VTPete
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    Update:

    I decided not to paint the ceiling black... Instead, I bought some black foam core (foam board to some) and stuck it up on the ceiling. Roughly two meters worth from the front of the screen and a meter to the left and right. IE, not the entire ceiling, just the area of most bounce. I doesn't even look TOO bad.

    This took me about 15 minutes, tops.

    The results are quite amazing really. The increase in contrast is dramatic as the black levels are now much improved.

    Lesson learned? When you build your home theater, start with a black ceiling so that you never have to get your wife's permission later. :)
     
  16. cyberheater

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    Remember the married mans mantra:-

    "It's easier to seek forgiveness then seek permission..."


    Piccies please :)
     
  17. Steve Collier

    Steve Collier
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    i had very positive experiences simply dying a couple of double bedsheets black and fixing them to the wooden ceiling with a staple gun. Easily reversible, and hides all the cables stuck up there too. Like you say, the most important area was just in front of the screen.
     
  18. VTPete

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    Stupid me, I didn't take a screen shot before I put the foam core up. Still, I'll take a photo when I get home tonight and post the results.
     
  19. Member 55145

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    id be very interested to see those results! pics too

    last time i had a projector in my room the room had dark purple walls (gfs choice... not with her anymore :rotfl: ) now my room has cream wallpaper and think this could be a big problem.

    my solution would of been a pinup visor type system tho. whenever you wanted to use your projector you lift up the folded away visor to reveal your screen.

    it could cover top and sides a bit like the visors you get on those library projectors for old newspapers
    http://shopper.cnet.com/desktop-mon.../4014-6513_9-31849992.html?ar=o&tag=pdtl-list
     

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