Should I Use a White or Grey Screen for my Viewsonic Projector?
Q: I read ProjectorCentral's review of the Viewsonic PX727-4K and am seriously considering buying it. My confusion is around which screen to choose for this projector.
I have a light controlled room with dark painted walls but a white ceiling (ceiling is 11 feet).
Silver Ticket sells a 1.1 gain white screen and a 1.0 gain grey screen, and given the fact that this and other similar projectors have decidedly average contrast performance, I can't decide which one to go with. Any help would be appreciated!
A: Hassaan, when deciding on a long-term purchase, such as a screen, it’s great that you are looking at both the projector and the room as considerations. Most often, the best choice for any room is a white screen, but a grey screen can help with boosting perceived contrast and reducing the impact of reflections from a white ceiling. In your specific setup, it’s a very appropriate time to use a grey screen.
But, is it definitely right?
That’s always a question that I think individuals need to answer on their own, and the only way to do that is to know what content you watch, how much you value the pop of a bright image compared to a jump in contrast you may get using a neutral gain grey screen, and then figure in if the projector you are buying has the extra light output to handle the slight fall-off of brightness that grey screens typically deliver.
In the case of the Viewsonic PX727-4K, which is a reasonably bright projector (2,200 lumens specified, 2,029 measured for our review) with good black levels, and assuming a screen size of 120 inches diagonal or less, you likely can get good results from a grey screen in this room, and it is something I would recommend.
Since you have a room that is ideal for a grey screen, why would you or someone with similar conditions still consider a white screen? Because white screens tend to deliver a bit more pop to the image. They don’t dull the image in any way and often add a bit of gain which makes the whites appear more vibrant. While a grey screen can enhance the blacks, it can make an image appear somewhat dull by comparison with white material, especially with dimmer projectors, larger screens, or aging lamps. This is becoming less of an issue with newer projectors which have higher brightness to compensate and better contrast to begin with. But, the newest 4K DLP models don’t have the same reported black levels of the previous generation 1080p models at this time, so getting a bit more contrast with a grey screen is a good thing.
What to watch out for? The screen material is always something to take care in selecting. Read whatever reviews are available for any screen and surface which is to be used, paying close attention to negative reviews. Be aware that missing hardware, or the occasional wrong fabric being sent can happen, but is a rare occurrence. Instead, look for reviews that speak directly to the quality of the image that the material reproduces.
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