Not logged in
 
Author
Topic: gray or high gain white?
vjr
member
Joined: May 14, 2020
Posts: 2
Reply to PostAlert Moderator
Hi, new member here.

I'm putting a projector in a family room. This will mostly be used for movies after dark, but this is not a dedicated home theater--white ceiling, gold-ish walls that fortunately aren't very bright or reflective. This leaves me wondering about the best option for the screen.

I really want good contrast and reasonable darks for movies, but I also want a decent picture in ambient light for sports or for movies for the kids before dark. The room is not overly bright and can be darkened reasonably well even on sunny days with thick curtains.

I'm leaning toward a refurbished Epson 5040UB for reasons of brightness and room setup (the shorter throw and shift) and wondering if I would be better served with something like a 1.1 or 1.3 gain white screen, or should I consider gray? Budget is a consideration and this must be a pull down screen. I can find lots of affordable 1.1 gain tab tensioned screens. I have seen 1.3 white and 0.8 gray roughly in my price range, which I'd like to keep around $600 for a 100-110: screen. Years ago I had a gray 1.3 gain screen with a very low lumen Optoma projector (H31?) and that worked for me pretty well. I'm not, however, finding affordable 1.3 gray screens today.

Thanks in advance for sharing any thoughts.

EDIT: I have no space or spousal approval for a large tv. vs a projector on the ceiling and pulldown screen.
[Edited by vjr on May 14, 2020 at 12:13 PM]
moderator
Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 12,651
Reply to PostAlert Moderator
My preference in most situations is for the white screen. Sports is non-critical viewing. It won't have 'deep blacks' like a movie will, and with lights on or ambient light viewing, you aren't going to magically get great blacks by switching to a grey screen.

So, a minimal gain white screen (1.1 to 1.4 gain) that is well reviewed is the way that I most often recommend for people to go. It will help give the image greater punch for non-critical viewing, and will add some pop after dark for more critical viewing.

Lighting control is the top thing anyone can do to improve image quality at all times.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
vjr
member
Joined: May 14, 2020
Posts: 2
Reply to PostAlert Moderator
Thanks for the reply. I think I may just go with an inexpensive 1.1 gain white screen and either keep it if it serves or consider it a test for a better screen down the road.