Should I buy Stewart Firehawk screen or DIY with Silver Fire 2? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 03-13-2012, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone,

I'm new to AVS Forum and home theater. I've read quite a few threads on this forum and found a lot to be useful. I suspect that I might get flame beeing a newbie, but I'm here to learn so please teach me.

Some background:
I Bought a BenQ W710st 720p Projector. I have limited budget and live in apartment but I'm dying to have a projector. The living room will have ambient lights and I would to be able to watch movies or play game turning on the light as well.

The Question:
- I have a friend that will sell me a 93" Stewart Firehawk screen for cheap, which i can afford
- I already made the frame of the screen and ready to mix and paint with Silver Fire 2 formula

With the amount of ambient lights I have and would like to be able to view the projector while lights on (gaming purpose). Which option should I go with?

Thanks for your inputs in advance.
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post #2 of 22 Old 03-13-2012, 03:46 PM
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Never been a fan of the Firehawk. You might want to read Jeff Meier's screen material review.
http://homecinemaguru.com/?p=1713

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post #3 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cconfusionn View Post

Hello everyone,

I'm new to AVS Forum and home theater. I've read quite a few threads on this forum and found a lot to be useful. I suspect that I might get flame beeing a newbie, but I'm here to learn so please teach me.

Some background:
I Bought a BenQ W710st 720p Projector. I have limited budget and live in apartment but I'm dying to have a projector. The living room will have ambient lights and I would to be able to watch movies or play game turning on the light as well.

The Question:
- I have a friend that will sell me a 93" Stewart Firehawk screen for cheap, which i can afford
- I already made the frame of the screen and ready to mix and paint with Silver Fire 2 formula

With the amount of ambient lights I have and would like to be able to view the projector while lights on (gaming purpose). Which option should I go with?

Thanks for your inputs in advance.

The Firehawk would sparkle like crazy.

Silver Fire 4.0 will do an excellent job for you.

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #4 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericglo View Post

Never been a fan of the Firehawk. You might want to read Jeff Meier's screen material review.

Thank you for your link, that was very useful information.
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post #5 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 07:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

The Firehawk would sparkle like crazy.

Silver Fire 4.0 will do an excellent job for you.

Thank you for your suggestion, I will consider trying the Silver Fire 4 mix
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post #6 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Are there any threads that give tutorial on how to mix SF or Black Window in details? Being new and there are so many information out there I don't know what's the right sequence and what are the do's and dont's
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post #7 of 22 Old 03-16-2012, 05:45 AM
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There are two threads you should check out. The first page of each gives most of the information you need. The original Silver Fire gives some more details on how to do it and what you need http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=752415, and the Silver Fire 2.0 gives the new formula http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1311989

I also found this thread very helpful
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1378624
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post #8 of 22 Old 03-16-2012, 07:32 AM
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There is a BW thread around here that should have the info that you are looking for. If not, then do a google search and you will find the info.

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post #9 of 22 Old 03-16-2012, 10:55 AM
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You can forget about Black Widow entirely, simply because it's under 1.0 gain (0.85 to be exact), it also has decided graininess, and it dulls out white levels because of it's lack of gain.

SF 4.0 is darker than BW, yet still maintains a Gain factor of of over 1.0

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #10 of 22 Old 03-17-2012, 02:51 AM
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I don't know about the Firehawk but I just built a Silver Fire screen and the thing is freaking awesome. It just pops.

It does take a bit of work though.

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post #11 of 22 Old 03-17-2012, 11:54 AM
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Toksook Bay;

welcome to avs. you were one of the silent ones... didn't even know you were doing a silver fire screen. congrats, glad you love it.

-pb
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post #12 of 22 Old 03-17-2012, 01:47 PM
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Thanks PBMaxx,

The Screen is about 2 days old today I am going to buy velvet and wrap it. I put lots of lighter coats on as I was afraid to put too heavy a coat on I think I did 7-8 coats (I couldn't throw out the unused paint). I used the graduated formula posted on the original Silver Fire thread I also tried to mix it close to 4.0 I'll post some pics in a new thread soon.


I didn't need much help but spent many hours searching through these forums. The needed information is a little bit spread out. What really confused me the most is the paint formula is different in the 2 Silver Fire threads, even though it states they both have been updated to the most current.

Bottom line its a gratifying project and the screen preforms as well or better then anticipated.

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post #13 of 22 Old 03-17-2012, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

You can forget about Black Widow entirely, simply because it's under 1.0 gain (0.85 to be exact), it also has decided graininess, and it dulls out white levels because of it's lack of gain.

SF 4.0 is darker than BW, yet still maintains a Gain factor of of over 1.0

Why would you say that? He says he is going with a 93" wide screen. A BW should be fine for that size screen unless he want more ft/lmbs.

Have you seen a BW to say that it has graininess or are you just guessing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toksook Bay View Post

I don't know about the Firehawk but I just built a Silver Fire screen and the thing is freaking awesome. It just pops.

It does take a bit of work though.

Did you compare the SF to anyother screen?

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post #14 of 22 Old 03-17-2012, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericglo View Post

Why would you say that? He says he is going with a 93" wide screen. A BW should be fine for that size screen unless he want more ft/lmbs.

Have you seen a BW to say that it has graininess or are you just guessing?



Did you compare the SF to anyother screen?

No, I just compare it to my $1300 1080p costco tv sharp aquos. It blows it away!

Also, my projector looked pretty good on white drywall and raw Sintra, but the Silver Fire makes it look awsome.

I'm not an expert just stumbled on this site since my new house had room for a projector and bought it instead of a big flat screen. I can say I"m more then happy with how it looks now.

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post #15 of 22 Old 03-18-2012, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericglo View Post

Why would you say that? He says he is going with a 93" wide screen. A BW should be fine for that size screen unless he want more ft/lmbs.

Which if course he does, I don't think you or anyone else would venture to compare BW to a FireHawk.

Two reasons.
Pro...BW's image is actually more Neutral
Con...BW's gain is significantly "lower than".

<<...both share a common issues. Sparklies. The FireHawk is worst....but the BW's are there easily seen. This is the case rolled or sprayed....>>

If size matters, one cannot afford to sacrifice gain.

But hello....the only reference I've seen about "screen size" is that one "bargain" option was a 93" FireHawk. I didn't see 'nuthin' mentioned about the OP not wanting something bigger if possible...something "DIY".

Given the opportunity, coupled with desire, most will go as big as can be accommodated. (...and justified...)

But that won't come very easily if one is starting in a "hole" by shooting onto a sub Unity Gain Screen.

The initial question / fight about the need to introduce Gain into a Gray surface solution to improve brightness "and" contrast has been thoroughly tested and tried. By DIY'ers and Mfg. So it's pretty much a given that your not going to achieve a comparable level of performance from a .85 - .90 gain screen.

And the bigger he goes, the more emphasis is placed on the above.

That's why I would say that.

Quote:
Have you seen a BW to say that it has graininess or are you just guessing?

Absolutely (I have seen...) I first painted two large examples,1 rolled ( 135") and 1 sprayed, using one of the earliest "Post Henry" AAA formulas. The rolled example showed quite a bit of graininess. The sprayed was significantly better. But "side to side", The sprayed Behr UPW/ SilverScreen looked just as good. With no trace of graininess. Things were looking pretty dim, considering the PJ was a LG-... and after some retrospective consideration, it was adjudged that I was mistakenly told to use a Flat Latex BB Base instead of Interior Enamel

Soon after, the Base paint was changed to Interior Flat Enamel. That brought the BW up to it's present "almost" .90 gain. But it also highlighted the granularity of the Aluminum, especially if rolled.

From what I personally experienced, and judging from what has been reported and published a great many times, I'd suggest that the question of BW's graininess is moot.

But mist important of all, the Op asked specifically about SF as opposed to a Firehawk. BW wasn't even mentioned until..............

To quote James T. Kirk;
"I'm laughing at the superior intellect"
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post #16 of 22 Old 03-18-2012, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toksook Bay View Post

No, I just compare it to my $1300 1080p costco tv sharp aquos. It blows it away!

Also, my projector looked pretty good on white drywall and raw Sintra, but the Silver Fire makes it look awsome.

that's the beauty of silver fire... when it's done right... it can make a 50in+ plasma, led, or lcd look inferior. but that's mostly because i can easily pick up the pixelation and motion issues of those larger sets.

as for BW... it lacks in both black level detail and white levels to impress... and most on this site have found it to be too dark.
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post #17 of 22 Old 03-20-2012, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Which if course he does, I don't think you or anyone else would venture to compare BW to a FireHawk.

Two reasons.
Pro...BW's image is actually more Neutral
Con...BW's gain is significantly "lower than".

<<...both share a common issues. Sparklies. The FireHawk is worst....but the BW's are there easily seen. This is the case rolled or sprayed....>>

If size matters, one cannot afford to sacrifice gain.

But hello....the only reference I've seen about "screen size" is that one "bargain" option was a 93" FireHawk. I didn't see 'nuthin' mentioned about the OP not wanting something bigger if possible...something "DIY".

Given the opportunity, coupled with desire, most will go as big as can be accommodated. (...and justified...)

But that won't come very easily if one is starting in a "hole" by shooting onto a sub Unity Gain Screen.

The initial question / fight about the need to introduce Gain into a Gray surface solution to improve brightness "and" contrast has been thoroughly tested and tried. By DIY'ers and Mfg. So it's pretty much a given that your not going to achieve a comparable level of performance from a .85 - .90 gain screen.

And the bigger he goes, the more emphasis is placed on the above.

That's why I would say that.

Until he mentions another screen size, I will go with what the Firehawk size.

Quote:
Absolutely (I have seen...) I first painted two large examples,1 rolled ( 135") and 1 sprayed, using one of the earliest "Post Henry" AAA formulas. The rolled example showed quite a bit of graininess. The sprayed was significantly better. But "side to side", The sprayed Behr UPW/ SilverScreen looked just as good. With no trace of graininess. Things were looking pretty dim, considering the PJ was a LG-... and after some retrospective consideration, it was adjudged that I was mistakenly told to use a Flat Latex BB Base instead of Interior Enamel

Soon after, the Base paint was changed to Interior Flat Enamel. That brought the BW up to it's present "almost" .90 gain. But it also highlighted the granularity of the Aluminum, especially if rolled.

From what I personally experienced, and judging from what has been reported and published a great many times, I'd suggest that the question of BW's graininess is moot.

But mist important of all, the Op asked specifically about SF as opposed to a Firehawk. BW wasn't even mentioned until..............

I have never seen anyone else mention graininess.

I mentioned BW as an alternative. If he doesn't like the suggestion, then he is free to disregard it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

that's the beauty of silver fire... when it's done right... it can make a 50in+ plasma, led, or lcd look inferior. but that's mostly because i can easily pick up the pixelation and motion issues of those larger sets.

as for BW... it lacks in both black level detail and white levels to impress... and most on this site have found it to be too dark.

And if it has gain then it will raise the black floor, which would give the black level detail. Some people prefer to have a lower black floor to give them a darker black. On/off cr is fixed and can't be changed.

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post #18 of 22 Old 03-20-2012, 11:02 PM
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in the full spirit of diy...i wouldn't go with the firehawk at any size unless you can get it for at least 75% or more off.

as for BW... just like SS... it is a DIY alternative...
and in my opinion, not much better than SS... if at all.

as for BW's graininess... along with its well documented difficulty in it's recommended application (ie rolling and roller marks)...
it definitely suffers from sparklies and graininess.

here's a recent comment by a BW owner...

I ended up rolling a BW screen for now awaiting warmer weather to spray a sheet of Sintra. I like it, but it sparkles in a very few spots which is a bit distracting to me. It also seems a little grainy to me eyes. Nobody else really notices it until I point it out (which I no longer do....). Soon I will be looking for recommendations for something else, looking to reduce the sparkles I see and perhaps something that isn't as grainy
.

as for the BW's contrast ratio...
it suffers the same fate as SS. it's black floor and it's deeper colors suffer the same fate... they are too dark for the level of grey that they are and the white levels are too muted as well. both of them seem to shift colors and contrast ratio lower... rather than maintain a pj's full potential.
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post #19 of 22 Old 03-21-2012, 10:37 AM
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Interesting feedback on the BW. I haven't heard that and didn't see any with the screen I observed.

Your comment on the BW's cr doesn't explain it well. Of course, it will reduce the black floor and the white floor. It will reduce them equally. Just like a gain screen will raise both equally. Some prefer the darker blacks that a N7 screen provides and some think it doesn't have enough ft/lmbs. Just as some would hate the washed out black floor that a gain screen provides or some might like the higher ft/lmbs.

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post #20 of 22 Old 03-21-2012, 11:37 AM
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Sounds like what we need is a paint that reacts to light and changes its color to be lighter or darker based on the light being projected upon it
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post #21 of 22 Old 03-23-2012, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

You can forget about Black Widow entirely, simply because it's under 1.0 gain (0.85 to be exact), it also has decided graininess, and it dulls out white levels because of it's lack of gain.

SF 4.0 is darker than BW, yet still maintains a Gain factor of of over 1.0

heh finally some numbers and exact to the 100th decimal. Impressive.

Now I know that screen you compared measurements uses magnesium carbonate in order to give gain numbers and they are only one decimal accurate. How did you measure so exact?? What did you use??
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post #22 of 22 Old 03-23-2012, 08:17 PM
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Actually, the guys over at HTS have measured BW. I am not sure how they measured it though. As for SF, well you know that wasn't measured except by eye.

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