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Paint Colour - and Your Home Theatre

D

Deleted member 133

Guest
Folks,

First off a disclaimer: this thread has nothing to do with any of your home theatre rooms that I have visited, nor any that I have seen you post about - at least not directly.

What primed my need to post was a recent HT mag article wherein there were pictures of someone's HT - and the walls were a vivid red colour.

Now don't get me wrong; in the right setting that shade of red might have been been fantastic; or at least conjured images of fantasies. But in a HT?

I've also seen greens and blues and... well you get the drift.

My point, and question to all of you: are you willing to sacrifice the in-your-face cache of colour, in return for improved on-screen image?

I'll (hopefully) elaborate.

When in 2006 I re-did my very modest basement room that was and is my main HT I did a little research. I discovered the Munsell neutral value scale. Without any technical mumo-jumbo (do a Wiki search for that), it's basically a continuum of "colour" ranging from white through grey to black. The colours on that scale are "neutral" to other colours. This means they don't reflect or absorb any other colour relative to any other. (This is all my interpretation - to make my point that follows.)

What it means in practice is that it will not affect the colours of the images that are projected on your screen - either by reflections off it, nor by distracting your eye and fooling your brain. That bright red room?: well if onscreen there was an image that contained that same bright red (or even close to it) it would appear less vibrant, perhaps washed out, to your eyes because they're already bombarded with the red from the wall colours. Won't happen with a shade on the Munsell neutral value scale.

I choose a mid to light grey colour - chosen from a set of samples provided by a paint company for exactly this type of application. See the shot below of my room during the 2006 reno. Walls and ceiling are painted. Note that it's shot under bright fluorescent lighting so the walls appear lighter than they actually are. The speakers' wood gives a good contrast. The next shot shows that same corner of the room, now with black acoustic panels on the wall. The observant will notice the carpet: this is a holdover / testament to my cheapness. It's got too much colour. I've still not replaced it with a neutral darker grey area rug - which I intend to do (sometime.)

The bottom line is that the room is kept colour-deprived on purpose. To my eyes (and in comparison to other rooms I've been in - but this a VERY subjective judgement call on my part) it gives better on-screen colour / better perception of on-screen colour.

Yes it's not flashy. Yes it's dull. No it won't ever be featured in HT (or anywhere else.) And in cases where the better half will be an active user of the room as well, it just might not be her first choice. But it's my room and I had carte blanche when I re-did it. I opted for screen image over flash.

Would be interested to know if such thoughts ever crossed your mind(s) when building your HT.

Jeff Mackwood
 

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Batman

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Famous
I have subscribed to the principle of keeping the screen wall black and the side walls somewhere within a grey or neutral scale and a non-reflective finish regardless of color chosen. In general I'm not a fan of really exuberant colors but on more of a personal level than scientific...I find myself giving out this advice in general too, mostly because it's easier to bring in and remove color by means of area rugs, furniture, art, etc than to repaint the walls every time a change in taste occurs, although it's probably cheaper to repaint HeHeHe.
 

Flint

Dog Faced Pony Soldier
Superstar
Production studios for TV editing use a specific shade of pure gray to ensure the color accuracy of the displays. That's what I used for my walls. It makes the color TV easier to calibrate and it pops in the room.
 

Botch

I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S!
Superstar
If I had a "dedicated" home theater room I'd definitely go with the "Munsil" greys (something I'd not heard of, thanks!) but since my room is also my living room, the decorative zebra stripe stays. :happy-smileygiantred:
 

Botch

I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S!
Superstar
PS Jeff: do you have pics of your whole room? The corner we see is VERY impressive! :text-bravo:
 
D

Deleted member 133

Guest
Botch said:
PS Jeff: do you have pics of your whole room? The corner we see is VERY impressive! :text-bravo:
Botch,

In the "Speakers" section there's a thread called "Who Uses a Horizontal MTM Center Speaker." There I posted pics of my front and side HT walls as they currently look.

Here's a current unimpressive shot of the back, showing my sweet spot, and gear. The IKEA shelves and drapes separate the HT room from the rest of the basement - which has roughly five times more volume than the HT. By design it effectively uses the rest of the basement/house as a bass trap, resulting in very flat in-room bass response. The trade-off is that unlike a closed or sealed room, I don't get that real "pressurization" effect. And because all of the speakers (except for the rear surrounds) are sitting on the poured concrete floor, I get little or no direct transmission of vibration to the house structure. I do have some buzzing in the walls from time-to-time - with heavy LFE and loud "theatre" levels. The previous owner never designed it as a HT room. I've given some thought to ripping it all out and re-doing it, but you know what, I'll probably just leave it as is, and still be happy.

If you are interested, and if you PM me your email address I'll send you a gear list / wiring diagram for the whole thing.

Jeff
 

Botch

I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S!
Superstar
JeffMackwood said:
In the "Speakers" section there's a thread called "Who Uses a Horizontal MTM Center Speaker." There I posted pics of my front and side HT walls as they currently look.

Here's a current unimpressive shot of the back, showing my sweet spot, and gear.
"Unimpressive"... You talk funny, Jeff! :laughing: I can see all you have to do to check/change wiring is move the curtains aside, that would be so convenient.
I'm now heading to the Speaker section to see the rest! :handgestures-thumbup: :text-thankyoublue:
 

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Superstar
Well, my HT has bright green walls... :oops: My wife and I both like brightly colored rooms, I don't think we have a white wall anywhere in the house, except the dining room. But it was painted that way before we moved in. Yeah, if I cared more about video and was starting from scratch, I'd go with a neutral color. Right now I don't care anywhere near enough to change it.
 

Towen7

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
JeffMackwood said:
My point, and question to all of you: are you willing to sacrifice the in-your-face cache of colour, in return for improved on-screen image?
My answer is yes... And no.

I understand the theory behind grey walls and I briefly considered it for my space. The reason I didn't choose grey is that my room has wood wainscoting around the entire space. Since my room is intended to be as much a gathering space as a theater I wanted something more atheistically appealing. Grey walls are fine but grey wainscoting, not so much. I cant afford the expense of removing the wainscoting and replacing it with drywall (though it would make addressing accoustics a lot easier). I thought about red for the walls above the wood but rejected it based primarily on the principle being discussed here. I choose what I think are neutral enough colors.
 

DIYer

Well-Known Member
Famous
JeffMackwood said:
Yes it's not flashy. Yes it's dull. No it won't ever be featured in HT (or anywhere else.) And in cases where the better half will be an active user of the room as well, it just might not be her first choice. But it's my room and I had carte blanche when I re-did it. I opted for screen image over flash.
If you use this space for movie watching only, then go with what optimizes the images on the screen.
If this is multipurpose space which include movie, music or relaxation, go with whatever color that's pleasant to you and makes you want to keep coming back.
I don't remember the name but there are computer graphics that allow you to view the room with different color schemes. The paint stores may know this.
 

milpool

Active Member
I turn the lights off when I use my projector, so gloss tends to have more of an impact on me than color does. Not to say that a 109" screen doesn't illuminate the whole room anyway, but I'm really not watching the walls. In fact, I was watching The Social Network two nights ago (awesome movie BTW), and I was an hour into it when I realized that it wasn't full screen. I'm so drawn into the picture, that I don't even notice letterbox bars, much less paint color.

The scientific part of me fully comprehends, and endorses the Munsell scale approach. Unfortunately, my HT is also known as my living room. I'm amazed that my wife lets me load it up with gear and acoustic treatments. (Almost done with a super-chunck wedge to suppliment two other traps.) So there needs to be some style to the room, other than techno-geek. If I had a dedicated room, I would go all out, for sure. But my living room HT has proven to me that I can get fully immersed into a movie, even with olive green walls. :D
 

MatthewB

Grandmaster Pimp Daddy
Famous
Those of you have been in my place (or seen the pics) know that I have two colors in my great room system. I chose beige behind the TV and the rest of the room is a lighter than dark blue color. I chose semi glass paint (flt would've seem too dull in my room and wanted to keep the GF happy) I chose a lighter color behind the TV to help with the 6500k light I have installed behind the TV to help with eye fatigue and I chose a darker blue color on the rest of the walls to help "darken" the room while watching movies. It's not light at all so it doesn't reflect the TV image back into the room. The two colors also compliment each other and people who enter the room have no idea the main reason behind the color choice, just that the blue makes my pictures pop off the screen (along with the white trim) and with the beige it helps lighten the room so it doesnt look like a man cave. I get compliments all the time on the color choice, so I figure I must've done something right.

But would kill to have a room like some of you. (Bats and Flints dedicated rooms come to mind.)
 
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