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Topic # 239836 7-Aug-2018 10:12
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Hi, so I'm sure this has been covered more recently, but the only thread I can find is really old. 

 

I've just bought a cheap projector - and it's absolutely brilliant! We've got it displaying a 130" inch screen, and I'm wondering why we haven't done it before. The wife and kids love it. 

 

So now we have the bug. Next purchase (before a quieter projector ideally with a shorter throw), is a screen. 

 

There's a 130" 16:9 on trademe for $250 delivered. That seems very cheap so naturally I'm suspicious. I can't go see it, so I'm reliant on reviews and advice. 

 

Are the cheap trademe screens (motorised) any good? 

 

Or would I be better painting the wall (currently grey) - fixed screen is no problem, the room is dedicated. 

 

Or is it better to get a good brand - perhaps an older, 2nd hand one? I was thinking about pulling it apart and stretching the fabric over a fixed frame because I can't find proper fabric here. 

 

There's an old one on TM now (American brand), local, 150". Perhaps that could be the fabric donor?

 

 

 

Any advice much appreciated.

 

Cheers, Havanother


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  Reply # 2069193 7-Aug-2018 10:34
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Avoid the cheap screens. They are invariably smelly (really! and it takes AGES to go away) and the surface is generally too specularly reflective meaning you see hot spots on the screen from the lamp.

 

Find a secondhand elite, Ambertec, or DaLite screen. You will NOT regret getting a good screen.

 

 

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/electronics-photography/projectors-screens/screens/listing-1720559335.htm?rsqid=0ad3a54862c94cd3beff46820b5e5531

 

 

 

Bargain. (for example)

 

 

 

CHeers - N




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Geek


Reply # 2069202 7-Aug-2018 10:55
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Hi, further to this, just found one at PB tech that looks OK. Brateck. What bras have to do with projector screens I don't know - nice to look at, difficult to take off? 

 

 

 

https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/MOABRA1090/Brateck-PSAA135-Motorised-135-Electric-169-Project

 

 

 

Havanother


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  Reply # 2069205 7-Aug-2018 11:11
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That looks fine.. The killer is one where they have PVC screens.

 

 

 

Cheers - N




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  Reply # 2069208 7-Aug-2018 11:21
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Hi, thanks so much for the speedy replies. 

 

There's this old monster on trademe:

 

https://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=1719105551

 

I imagine it's 4:5 but I could remove the material and frame it up myself to fit my 16:9 130" pic. 

 

There's photogear too - who seem reputable:

 

https://photogear.co.nz/150-manual-projection-screen-16-9.html

 

Manual ones are super-cheap but again, can't see them (or smell them!) so I'm not sure if they're better than the cheap ones on Trademe. 

 

 

 

Havanother


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  Reply # 2069448 7-Aug-2018 18:09
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Avoid cheap screens, particularly those that are motorised.

 

To begin with, they tend to wrinkle and crease over time.

 

Next up, most are imported and won't have a CE tick..

 

Plus they tend to offer up overly reflective screens that hot-spot, as previously stated.

 

 

 

I personally prefer fixed screens in dedicated rooms.


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  Reply # 2069618 7-Aug-2018 22:45
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I have a slightly differing view of screens. No pun intended.

Firstly, despite flat panels becoming accessible and arguably cheaper and produce higher dynamic range than a projector, there is still something about a projection setup that is just compelling.

You don't mention the model of projector?
Although the old statement, "you get what you pay for" is somewhat true, however there are tricks to projection that help make mid and in some case low priced setups keep expensive theaters honest.

The main nemesis of projection is ambient light, control this and your experience is vastly better, especially with our daylight saving. If you have light leakage, address this first.

Projection is a two piece gig, mis-match and the result does indeed suffer.

Most common mistake is to use a large screen greater than the projector capability. Projectors have a limited light output usually rated as lumens. Their specs typically over rate their ability using dynamic mode when their true output is can be 50~60% lower when in a mode that is created with more accuracy in mind, and the accurate modes are really where you want to be.

Back to screen size, the basic problem is the larger the screen, the limited light output is spread over a larger surface area thus the image is visibly dimmer. The secondary issue is that projectors second nemesis, the bulbs run out of puff after several thousand hours use, which actually means at the bulbs rated hours the light output will be roughly half that of new. If the screen is too large the image can actually become unwatchable way before the rated bulb hours.

Unless your projector is high powered, and typically costly to be powerful, you are better served to have a screen in the 90"~110 " range. The only way around this is to replace the bulb sooner.

Type and quality of screens.
I have calibrated painted walls to 20k screens, ( I personally use a 105" motorized @1k cost). The trick in this statement, Calibration, which is aligning the RGB channels (white point) and colour to Rec709, or Rec2020 for the modern projectors.
The main difference in quality screens to low cost is being reflective without damaging the optical balance of light. Calibration can tune out a lot of ills, but not all ills if the screen is bad.

If you must go cheap, say painted walls. Just use resene white or dulux white, and use matt or at the most one step up of sheen. Using grey paints actually cost you lumens, a mid grey could be 20~30% light. really not worth the effort, just use white.
Paint prep and perfect walls are a must, any imperfections stand out like proverbial doggy hanging parts.

Same with fabrics, grey types are for battling ambient light, use white in all other cases.

Gain, use 0.9 ~1.1 gain, avoid anything cheap rated at 1.5 or as you will get hot spots. Note that typically quality screens are only 0.9 ~1.1 gain but they preserve the reflected balance. The main thing about quality screens is you don't notice them.

In the end you also have to be pragmatic, home theater is about an enjoyable experience. If you achieve this with a cheap setup you have won!




Masterpiece Calibration Ltd, isf certified

 

www.mastercal.co.nz

 

 

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  Reply # 2069671 8-Aug-2018 09:31
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Because you have the luxury of a dedicated room, then a fixed screen, done right, will be better than a motorised one.
The money that would otherwise be spent on a quality roller, drive mechanism, limit switches, housing and tension bar can all go into the best quality fabric, correctly tensioned and bordered in a frame.
The only downside of fixed that I can think of is its 'exposure'. Either to dust and dirt, or if you have kids, damage. It's not outside the realms of possibility to have a PlayStation controller (or anything for that matter) thrown at a wall when kids get overly 'excited'.
In the above scenario, a properly prepared wall, with specialist paint might be the most appropriate.
I envy the fact you have a dedicated theatre room.

Edit: And as I've said in other threads, beware the Home Theatre Bug. A cheap projector and screen are just a gateway drug into the ever more expensive and addictive 'Total HT Experience'. ;-)




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  Reply # 2069687 8-Aug-2018 10:08
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I am in the same boat.  I have an Ambertec 106" motorized screen. I have a Sony HW50ES which I am replacing with a VW285ES 4K in the coming weeks. I had a look at the screen calculator and it seems to indicate my current screen is suboptimal at my 4 Metre viewing distance for the 285, but ideal for the HW50ES. 

 

The problem is I don't have room for a 135-140" model easily, which is where the green is sitting. The 120" Motorized screens seem pretty expensive, other than the $200 ones from TM. It seems you either pay $250 or $1500.

 

 

 

I think maybe I am misusing the tool. I am assuming the throw distance is from the front of the projector to the screen, and the viewing distance is where you sit, to the screen. In my case, the same as the projector is above our lounger in the lounge.

 

I do have some ambient light, but we have curtains with backing over the windows.

 

 


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  Reply # 2069792 8-Aug-2018 12:23
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A 285 Sony?

 

Are you importing it from the States?


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  Reply # 2069796 8-Aug-2018 12:26
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Dunnersfella:

 

A 285 Sony?

 

Are you importing it from the States?

 

 

Whoops. I mean the 260ES. I keep forgetting it's different here than there. The issue being if you want information you get it from the US :)

 

It's a 260, but it's the same projector.




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  Reply # 2070051 8-Aug-2018 14:34
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Dingbatt - too late! The whole family has the bug. Whereas before it was just daddy mucking around in the spare room, now they've seen the big screen, they are TOTALLY into it. The wife even signed off on a budget increase!!! We're all looking at the cheapie thinking 'this is awesome, let's go the full monty'. Which was the idea really. I bought a cheap Chinese thing - Cheerson or something. And just flung it at the (roughly Gib coloured) grey wall. I have a nice sound system so I think that helped. But whatever, the idea is sold and it's obvious we're actually going to use and enjoy it so things can progress. 

 

The trick is, there's still carpet, curtains, recovering the sofa, painting, lighting and more gibbing to do... 

 

Masterpiece - thanks so much for such a comprehensive reply.

 

I'm thinking the Trademe ones are out. And that fixed screen is the way to go - given it's a dedicated room (roughly 3.5mx4.0m) with no windows. I'm still trying to figure out where to get the fabric from though. At the moment, I'm looking at a manual pull-down from photogear.co.nz - it's 150" which should give me enough fabric for our roughly 130" picture. Although, on Masterpiece's advice, I might go a bit smaller.

 

Just dunno about the fabric quality. It seems to cheap to be any good. It's so hard to know without being able to see it. If I'm going to go to the trouble of making a frame and whatnot, it better be good!

 

Thanks again for all the advice,

 

Havanother

 

 


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  Reply # 2070198 8-Aug-2018 20:14
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To avoid costly re-purchases by researching as much as possible.

Good info on websites, mostly US based, AVSforums, Hometheatershack, projector central
Most of them have dedicated sections for screens and theater designs, plenty to keep the addiction going for years!




Masterpiece Calibration Ltd, isf certified

 

www.mastercal.co.nz

 

 

"I'm not a robot!"

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Master Geek


  Reply # 2073573 14-Aug-2018 21:46
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My homemade screen probably sounds a bit downmarket, but it gives us a great picture. Blackout cloth from a curtain shop in New Lynn stretched over a wooden frame. I used a guide found on YouTube when I made it.

It is absolutely flat and wrinkle free, and the picture off it looks very nice. 96" diagonal.

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