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Making Mattes for HT Projectors

This is a short video discussing the benefits of using mattes in your home theater projector set up.  It is Part 47 in my calibration training series.  This one looks at the effect of using mattes on your fixed screen projector set ups.  Yes it is decidedly low tech but it works and has the ability to provide a massive improvement to the perceived image quality for such a low price of admission.  The cost of the sheet of fiberglass is $9 these days from the local Lowes or Home Depot.  The black paint I got from the crafts section at Walmart for $4.  The Business card magnets are usually available from places like Staples.  Under $20.  The matte system was originally used in my system just after 2006 when I was using a BenQ 720p projector.  I originally tested the performance with my wife (who was not too critical of the TV performance to begin with.)  Tried it without the mattes, then put them on … then took them off.  She immediately asked that they be put back on.  These things make the black levels in every projector look better including budget projectors that are black level challenged.  Their usefulness diminishes a bit if you have a top end projector with better black levels like JVC DILA/LCOS projectors.  If the movie is on the well lit side … then the black levels of the black bars might look black enough.  Now throw in films like Harry Potter and the mattes are needed again and clearly improve the image.

Over the years, I’ve seen some people use industrial strength magnets to hold up plywood or 2×4’s used for mattes.  Black velvet material can be purchased from any local fabric store if you find that black paint is not sufficiently dark enough for your room.  In my case, the paint was all I needed.

Sit back and enjoy.  Don’t forget to tell me what you think.