AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: BOSTON --- MA ---
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I compared samples of the Da-Lite HP2.4, StarBright7, Da-Lite Silver Lite 2.5, Stewart Silver 3D, Stewart Silver 5D, Mocom Silver Brilliance and Mocom MegaBrilliance; I also have a sample of Vutec Silverstar but in my case it is out of contention due to the fact that the screen is hardmounted to its frame and thus shipped in a huge crate.
As a background for these screen material samples, i used my good ol' 1980's hardmounted silver screen (gain of 10, according to dealer) that measures only 76" diagonal in a 4:3 aspect ratio. That is the screen i have been using for the past 20 years (?!) and needless to point out i am very used to it and currently have it temporarily paired with my Runco LED projector; The picture is plasma-like, with incredibly bright whites, deep blacks and that amazing LED color palette.
After hanging the samples in front of the screen i noticed immediately that with the exception of the Da-Lite HP 2.4, all the materials imparted a "silverish" tint to whites displayed onscreen, with the Da-Lite Silver Lite 2.5 the worst of all : it not only turned whites into a deeper shade of "gray-silverish" but it also "sparkled" noticeably, even from a distance of 12 feet away; Also, the material itself is a dark shade of gray/silver with visible indentations seen at close range that interferes and messes up with pixel visibility ! I was shocked seeing that a major manufacturer of screens would put out such poorly conceived product.
All other materials including my screen also "sparkled", especially when displaying white, some more than others; I guess that's the price you pay for using a high gain material, together with elevated black level.
I was surprised and pleased when noticing that my screen "sparkles" the least among all materials - obviously with the exception of the Da-Lite HP 2.4, which is white, not silver - and the fact that white displayed onscreen do not show any "silverish" tint at all and is incredibly bright but pixel visibility at close range is muddled, nearly indistinguishable.
Of all silver materials the Mocom MegaBrilliance was my favorite although it "sparkles" more than my screen and white shown onscreen displayed that damn tint again, but pixel visibilty was outstanding, i could see the entire grid at close range.
The reason i keep pointing that out is because i find that from a normal viewing distance i want those pixels to be sharply delienated for a visually "sharper" picture, specifically considering that is one of the benefits of DMD chips and DLP tech.
I was also very impressed with the Da-Lite HP 2.4 material, but it's my understanding that to fully get the benefits of its 2.4 gain the projector must be mounted projecting toward the center of the screen in a straight line preferably at eye level (retro-reflective screen) and i would rather mount my projector near the ceiling.
As it stands right now, i feel unsure on how to proceed and which one to get. I am even considering keeping my screen/projector set up the way it is and wait until Fall 2012 when LG supposedly will release its massive 84" LCD HDTV with native 4K resolution and hopefully full local-dimming, and then make a final decision whether to spend a good amount of money on a 100" diagonal screen, which would be rather difficult to fit in my HT, OR get that humongous LG 84LM9600 set, drag it home and just plop it in place !
...OMG, here i go again...Will this illness ever end ?!?!