I first learned of Crystal Screens at CEDIA 2016. I was so impressed that I had two of the company’s optical engineers on Home Theater Geeks to talk about their technology. At CEDIA 2017, the company was there demonstrating its newest ambient light-rejecting (ALR) materials, Crystal Screens Reflect 2.5 and 3.0.
Crystal Screens is a division of Luminit, a company that specializes in precision light diffusors. The Reflect screens consist of four layers: a substrate, a mirror-like reflective layer, a layer of nanoparticle diffusors, and a transparent protective layer that is perfectly flat. Dubbed Nanolens Technology, this structure allows the optical engineers at Crystal Screens to control the gain and viewing angle to an unprecedented degree.
As its name implies, the Reflect 2.5 material has a gain of 2.5, which is quite high for a residential projection screen. Amazingly, its viewing angle is specified as ±60°, which is remarkable for a high-gain screen. Even more impressive, the material exhibits no hot-spotting, normally a serious drawback of high-gain screens.
New at CEDIA this year was Crystal Screens Reflect 3.0 with a gain of 3.0. In this case, the viewing angle is ±35°, again with no hot-spotting. Also introduced at the show was a new 2.40:1 fixed frame measuring 130″ diagonally, which can accommodate the Reflect 2.5 or 3.0 material.
The demo was conducted in the company’s booth on the show floor with no attempt to block the high levels of ambient light. An Epson Pro Cinema 6040UB was firing onto a Reflect 2.5 screen in the new frame, and it looked remarkable in that environment. As I moved from being directly on axis to fairly far off axis, the image retained its color, contrast, and brightness beautifully, and I did not see any hot spotting.
Then, a company rep hung a smaller, vertically oriented frame on the front of the main frame, as seen in the photo above. The top half of the smaller frame had a piece of Reflect 3.0, and the lower half had conventional matte-white material with a gain of 1.0. As you might imagine, the white screen looked totally washed out, while the Reflect 3.0 looked wonderful. The image on the Reflect 3.0 dimmed as I moved somewhat off axis, but it retained much of the color I saw on axis.
The new frame with either Reflect 2.5 or 3.0 material carries a price tag of $4499. That ain’t cheap by any means, but these are among the best ALR materials I’ve seen.