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Topic: Screen for room with blackout curtains but white walls: suggestions needed
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Joined: Feb 15, 2022
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Hello--first time poster here.

I've been using a BenQ HT2150ST with an inexpensive stop gap screen ( White, 1.1 gain) and am ready to invest in a better screen.

As my room served duty as a living room, reading room, guest room, etc. (typical NYC apartment) I'm not going to paint the walls darker, as the room is cheery and bright from natural sunlight when the curtains are open. I realize that this is not ideal for a home theater.

So, even though I am able to keep all external light out of the room, the reflection from the white walls washes out the image on the screen. I assume getting a grey screen with less gain would help and am looking for suggestions.

Some parameters:
-I prefer a roll down screen as a fixed screen would visually overwhelm the room--but will go fixed if that's the only solution I can afford.
-I'd rather spend less than $1000 but will spend more if needed--understanding that a quality screen will last through a few projector upgrades.
-I need a screen that will play well with a short throw projector. There is not enough room for a long throw projector.
-I'm looking for a screen size of about 100"" diagonal, 16:9

Any suggestion would be much appreciated,
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Joined: Mar 28, 2005
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You may get a few more hits at AVS, but the reality is that a grey screen with .8 gain may be fine for you. But, it won't be perfect. Projectors are all about the room. $20 in paint is better than a $2,000 screen every day of the year.

So, getting light removed from the screen area will always make the biggest difference.

Likewise, the best bang for the buck for screens is the fixed frame screen. They are properly square and the accurate aspect ratio almost always. They have the super nice bezel/frame to suck up the light, and they aren't crazy expensive.

All manual/electric non-tensioned screens might as well be the exact same thing. So, you generally end up spending a fair bit for a tab-tensioned motorized screen, which is often not perfectly square. But, at least they are flat.

This said, I would consider a .8 gain grey screen as long as reports are out there which indicate that it does not introduce any sparkle or shimmer into the image. This is a problem with a lot of screens that aren't white, and some that are, so look for screen reviews. I am not that familiar with the grey materials as I've been sticking with white screens these last few years.
[Edited by AV_Integrated on Feb 16, 2022 at 7:36 AM]
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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AV Intergrated:

Thanks for all your advice.

I have begun to look at grey and light absorbing screens, and have order samples from Silver Ticket and SeymourAV. Specifically, I’m considering the Silver Ticket gray (1.0 gain), Silver Ticket high contrast (.95 gain), Seymour Glacier Grey (.8 gain) and Seymour Matinee Wide .9 gain, ambient light rejecting).

The person I spoke with at SeymourAV was quite helpful, and suggested I consider the Matinee Wide as it is more likely than other ambient light rejecting materials to play nice with a short throw projector.

I also used the Projector Central throw distance calculator and found out that there are some regular throw projectors that will fit in my space. For example Epson projectors I looked would not but the BenQ would. So that’s another complication/opportunity.
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I would avoid ALR screens like the plague. Every single one I have seen, to this point, have serious issues with shimmering and sparkling artifacts. They have poor image uniformity and introduce hot spots. This will be somewhat difficult to see on a small sample, so be very critical of any samples you are looking at.

Same can be somewhat true of grey materials, so just be aware and on the lookout for sparkling.

Yes, the 3550 and 2050 models from BenQ are 'shorter' throw, without being short throw. None are typically ideal for use with proper ALR screens, but you should just buy a TV before using a ALR screen.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.