• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."
  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

Is a more expensive projector screen really better or worth it?

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
103,524
18,077
136
If you're aiming for reference level and you can personally distinguish those differences, then I would think so, absolutely.
 

olds

Elite Member
Mar 3, 2000
49,621
444
126
Depends on what screen you have now. If it's an old pair of underwear that's been used to ship RAM, then it likely is a good idea.
 
  • Wow
Reactions: zinfamous

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
28,024
2,540
126
I went cheap but recommended. Gatorboard. I went to an art store that had one that was damaged but in such a way that it didn't effect usage for a screen. I bought some paint for it that people at AVS Forums said would make it work a lot better, a gallon, I think it was called Mystic Silver or something, at Home Depot, but never got around to painting it. It works pretty nicely as a screen as is. Quite white. I have it dangling from the ceiling with support under the bottom, such that it tilts down toward my head so the image is almost perfectly not off center. I used to use it a lot but lately I'm almost exclusively watching one of my TCL 43" 4K Roku TV/Monitors for video. The PJ uses a lot more electricity and generates a fair amount of heat. Plus it's in a room where I don't hang out. Plus the PJ is just 1080p, not that I am watching 4K content... I have only one 4K set of discs, and haven't yet subscribed to Netflix 4K.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,815
2,349
126
Yes and no. lol.

I've installed like a zillion home theaters over the years. When I first joined ATOT way back when I was a wee lad back in college on a $7/hr budget, I posted a thread with a picture of my very first home theater. I think it was like a 27" TV, an Oppo DVD player (the OG legit disc player, for those in the know!), and maybe a 2.1 speaker set. That post got massively poo-poo'd on, but I loved my setup, got more of a budget & learned more over the years, and currently have a 135" acoustically-transparent screen with an LED projector, Atmos surround-sound, bass shakers, etc. I've done $200 home theaters & I've done $10,000+ home theaters. Do more expensive projector screens really make a difference? Welllll...maybe. Haha!

You can get a great picture with just paint (good paint mix, applied properly, on a flat surface). You can get a great picture with fabric. You can get a really great picture with great fabric, a great projector, calibration, and a custom room design. Is a really great theater worth it over a just a great theater? Ehh...you run into the point of diminishing returns eventually. Today's technology has advanced quite a bit & both the DIY screen community & the budget off-the-shelf suppliers have improved drastically. I made a number of DIY ALR screens at one point, for example:


Spandex works great if you want to hide your speakers. You can get a $30 projector screen & get really nice results; it's not rocket science. There are nicer screens than others, but anything with a little bit of effort or money into it is really all you need tbh. Projectors & speakers are the same way. My go-to projector these days is the $900 XGIMI H3. 1,900 LED lumens, you can mount it on a side wall because it can shoot offset, super duper clear, bulb lasts 10+ years, etc. The quality is just stupid good! Not my video, but modern projectors look like LED TV's these days:


This is a setup we did at my buddy's office last year. This was even before the wall got painted. The picture doesn't do it justice; it's only HUGE (we shrunk it down a bit due to the emergency lights & outlets, haha), but the quality is outstanding!

screen.jpg
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,815
2,349
126
Same deal with speakers...if you're handy, buy the plans for & build the TLAH speakers & THT subwoofer. Not my video, but the bass output from a relatively simple-to-build subwoofer is just bananas:


There's so much fun stuff out there to screw around with, if you're interested in going the DIY route. I built a half-sized Sonosub a few years back that came out pretty good:

sub.jpg

So the core idea is:

1. Products exist
2. There is a range of quality
3. Once you get into decent & also great territory (past crap territory, but also not into the ultra-expensive law-of-diminishing-returns territory), the lines kind of blur together
4. If you're willing to get creative & go the DIY route, you can make a lot of the stuff for a fraction of the cost...this applies to computers, cooking, speaker-building, projector-screen-building, etc.

Are there decent screens? Yes. Are there great screens? Yeah, sorta. Are there really great screens? Sure, if you're spending $25k+ on a dedicated HT room, then yeah, go for the good stuff. But if you get something like an XGIMI H1/2/3, a $30 screen, whip up a nice-looking frame for it & maybe put a strip roll of color-changing LED's behind it to make it look cool, you're going to have a pretty dang decent picture. It all depends on:

1. What you personally want for your setup
2. What your budget is
3. If you're willing to go DIY & do the work of making things
4. How much you're willing to buy into snake oil

It's like the old Monster Cable dilemma...how does it stack up to a metal coat hanger?


Welllllllll...lol.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,815
2,349
126
Does anything really make a difference? Think about it. You have things, and other things, but they're all just things, so it's all the same, but different, but does it really make a difference?
Some people don't think it be like it is, but it do!
 
  • Like
Reactions: snoopy7548

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
57,570
7,881
126
www.uovalor.com
Me personally I'd just paint the wall white and call it a day, but I'm cheap. :p There are certain things I'm willing to pay lot of money for, but when there is an alternative that is good enough I tend to go that route.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
50,195
3,152
126
I think a lot of it has to do with the lighting in the room too. I know there are more expensive ones that give you a good picture in a room with a ton of lighting. You definitely want a dark border that light can bleed into and you won't notice it because in reality, getting a perfectly squared picture is virtually impossible.

When I got mine I spent like $300 on it I think. I got an Elite Screens white screen. I have a light controlled room so I wasn't concerned with the picture being washed out. It's in my basement with 1 window well that I block during the day.

This is the one I had but looks like it's no longer an option since I got it long ago.


It's still just fine and hanging on my wall.
 

Muse

Lifer
Jul 11, 2001
28,024
2,540
126
I have good window covering system (venetian blinds and DIY black velvet curtains in tandem). I painted the ceiling black! The room is pretty darn dark when I'm projecting in there. The Gatorboard white screen seems great. My experience is that the quality of the projector, if your screen is reasonably OK, is the main thing, once you have ambient light controlled. You want your blacks black! My first PJ sucked compared to the one I have now for deep blacks (contrast). Most movies I didn't really notice but some were unwatchable on my old PJ.
 

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
7,716
940
126
Define 'more expensive'. No one screen can fit every situation, or projector/environment/situation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Muse

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
18,893
1,798
126
Depends on what you're considering expensive? I don't have much to compare it to but I bought a Silver Screens acoustically transparent screen and have been really happy with it and that is much cheaper than some other alternative. The only downside I found was that the milling wasn't the greatest so some of the edges quite sharp. They're largely obscured now that its assembled but I gave myself a nice gash while putting it together
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
24,705
807
126
It can, and it can not. It really depends on the projector.
That and maybe the viewer. Sight is all relative anyways. Your brain fills in shadows that aren't there and messes with colors....this is especially true of whites and grays. (that's where that blue dress gold dress argument came from)
 

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
7,716
940
126
The problem with digital projection is that the light source is always on and the trick is to block it when it isn't needed. Maybe some of the more modern lasers that modulate fast enough can reproduce CRT projection like blacks, but I've not bought into it. I still have two three-eyed monsters in my home plus a couple of digital projectors (Sony and JVC). I miss the ability to fade to black and this is a must considering how well I can see in the dark. There are several movies out there where the shadows are so dark I have yet to see digital-anything be able to reproduce the detail. The world changed 10-12 years ago and people accepted the 80/20 rule, which was 80% for 20% of the cost. And the ROI is no where near linear.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,815
2,349
126
The problem with digital projection is that the light source is always on and the trick is to block it when it isn't needed. Maybe some of the more modern lasers that modulate fast enough can reproduce CRT projection like blacks, but I've not bought into it. I still have two three-eyed monsters in my home plus a couple of digital projectors (Sony and JVC). I miss the ability to fade to black and this is a must considering how well I can see in the dark. There are several movies out there where the shadows are so dark I have yet to see digital-anything be able to reproduce the detail. The world changed 10-12 years ago and people accepted the 80/20 rule, which was 80% for 20% of the cost. And the ROI is no where near linear.
Same deal with MP3's & audio quality. Convenience won out.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
44,815
2,349
126
That and maybe the viewer. Sight is all relative anyways. Your brain fills in shadows that aren't there and messes with colors....this is especially true of whites and grays. (that's where that blue dress gold dress argument came from)
This is very true. I still run into people running HDTV's with a yellow composite cable from their Bluray/HD Cable Box/whatever. Blows my mind.

And yet, some people can't see or are unaware of the "soap opera" effect. It's VERY noticeable to me, to the point where I can't stand watching it lol.
 

snoopy7548

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
5,939
2,820
136
This is very true. I still run into people running HDTV's with a yellow composite cable from their Bluray/HD Cable Box/whatever. Blows my mind.

And yet, some people can't see or are unaware of the "soap opera" effect. It's VERY noticeable to me, to the point where I can't stand watching it lol.
That's crazy. S-Video is where it's at.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: Kaido

ASK THE COMMUNITY