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Topic: Advice on adhering high-contrast grey material (Carl's ALR) to white pull-down ceiling screen
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Joined: Jan 8, 2022
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Hi all,

I'd like to improve my contrast and the effects of ambient light by adhering some Carl's ALR to my existing white manual pull-down ceiling mounted screen.

Is this feasible?
Which material? I think I'd go with Carl's ALR.
What to use to adhere? I'm thinking 3M Hi-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive but would love to hear other suggestions.
How to adhere? Any tips?

Thanks
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Joined: Mar 28, 2005
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This isn't something I would personally do as it is more likely to cause a quite non-uniform appearance and ALR material is 'quirky' at best. Most material causes hot-spotting, shimmering, and sparkles. So, while it does improve contrast in a well lit environment, you also lose image quality in some important ways.

In a dark room, ALR material is just a waste of money.

Tread carefully down this path of using ALR material at all.

Be sure you are using a throw distance which is appropriate to the material in use.
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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Quote (AV_Integrated on Aug 15, 2022 4:43 AM):
This isn't something I would personally do as it is more likely to cause a quite non-uniform appearance and ALR material is 'quirky' at best. Most material causes hot-spotting, shimmering, and sparkles. So, while it does improve contrast in a well lit environment, you also lose image quality in some important ways.

In a dark room, ALR material is just a waste of money.

Tread carefully down this path of using ALR material at all.

Be sure you are using a throw distance which is appropriate to the material in use.

Thank you for your advice. I think that I will change my plan and I will instead purchase non-ALR high-contrast gray material and entirely replace the original white screen with a gray screen.
[Edited by shimyns on Aug 15, 2022 at 3:15 PM]
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What is your room like? What projector do you have?

The absolute best way to improve contrast is to improve the room the projector is in. Even the cheapest projectors will get the most benefit from a better room.

But, it also helps to have a projector which can take advantage of that better room.

The screen plays into image quality, but rarely as much as people think.

A negative gain grey screen, for example, makes the entire image darker, it does not actually increase contrast.
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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Quote (AV_Integrated on Aug 16, 2022 4:31 AM):
What is your room like? What projector do you have?

The absolute best way to improve contrast is to improve the room the projector is in. Even the cheapest projectors will get the most benefit from a better room.

But, it also helps to have a projector which can take advantage of that better room.

The screen plays into image quality, but rarely as much as people think.

A negative gain grey screen, for example, makes the entire image darker, it does not actually increase contrast.

I have an Optoma UHD35.

It's in my living room, which has white walls and ceiling and I can't paint them darker.

I watch movies in total darkness. The only ambient light is from light reflecting off of the white screen onto the walls and back again.

Bright scenes/movies look great but the blacks in dark scenes look washed out (grey).

That's why I think the only solution is to replace the white screen with a high contrast grey or ALR screen.

I reached out to Carl's place and they don't recommend adhering their ALR material to the screen. They suggested replacing the white screen with their Ultra-Gray material.

The issue is that I think it's going to be pretty challenging to open up the pull-down screen encasement and swap the screen out considering the spring tension mechanism. I've only found a couple DIY vids for doing that and it doesn't seem all that straight forward.

I want to keep costs down and haven't found a reasonably priced retractable grey screen. The Ultra-Gray material isn't cheap and I'm worried I'd buy it and then get stuck not being able to actually swap it into my current retractable screen.

Any suggestions would be great, including a decent guide on how to do that.
[Edited by shimyns on Aug 16, 2022 at 5:30 PM]
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