Over the last 4 months, I have been feverishly researching which screen I should choose for my living room "home theater." Considering this was going to be my TV replacement for my living room, the screen had to be very versatile, since my setup was quite unique. I am also susceptible to all screen "problems" like viewing angles, sparkles, texture, hotspotting, etc. Needless to say, the 4 months I took during my screen research were chaotic. I received dozens of screen samples, drove hundreds of miles to see demo screens, and read probably every review, thread, and article on ambient-light rejection screens on the internet.
After 4 months of researching, I finally mounted my screen choice of the 100" DNP Supernova BLADE (08-85).Research
There are only a few players in the ambient-light rejection screen category, so as you expect, I was deciding between DNP, Black Diamond, Stewart Firehawk, Draper ReAct II, and some very-high (4+ gain screens). I was able to receive samples early on for most of these screens, with the exception of DNP. What I quickly noticed was... I am going to be very hard to please. None of these samples really wowed me, with the exception of the Black Diamond. It had very good ambient-light rejection, a large step above the rest of the materials I received. I was very intrigued.
After doing some research into Screen Innovations (the maker of the BD screen), I found the Zero Edge. I was immediately in love. I was going after that 100" plasma look for my living room, so I drove 150 miles to go see one in person to make sure it looked as good as the samples.
After looking at the 92" Zero Edge, I noticed the screen's disadvantages immediately. Sparkles everywhere, extreme hot-spotting (every frame looked like it had vignetting), and the viewing angles were poor. About 20 degrees off center, the far edges of the screen become noticeably darker. Due to my living room layout, people would be sitting on the sides of the screen. There was no way I could go with the Black Diamond for my setup, as these issues were just too apparent for me. The screen itself does look uber sexy. I wanted to like it. I almost convinced myself to gloss over those issues and just pull the trigger. But.... I decided to hold off for just a bit longer...
After posting this thread
contacted me and sent me screen samples of the 08-85 and 23-23 material. I was grateful.
I had the three main materials I was looking for. The Black Diamond 1.4 G3
, DNP Supernova 08-85
, and the DNP Supernova 23-23
I compared these 3 materials for about a month. The decision was literally keeping me up at night. I know it sounds crazy, but I bet most of you can relate to this... haha.
Comparing all three, here is what I found.Black Diamond 1.4 G3
This thing is a champ at rejecting light from the side. Much better than either of the DNP material. However, both DNP materials beat out the BD in rejecting vertical light. The BD does have very noticeable screen sparkles. There is no texture whatsoever, but the sparkles are very much there, causing distraction and loss of perceptible resolution. Screen Innovations claims that the BD is a 4k screen, but even at 1080p, the sparkles were distracting enough to make me feel like I lost detail and resolution. I can only imagine this would be much more annoying with 4k.
Overall, the BD 1.4 is a great ambient-light rejection screen that has many visual flaws. Some people may not notice these flaws or care, but if you do notice hot-spotting, viewing angle issues, and sparkles, this screen has them all. If you have a lot of side-lighting or windows, the BD is your best choice, especially if your seating area isn't very wide.DNP Supernova 23-23
My impressions with this material is only based on samples. Please keep this in mind. First things first, the extra gain on this thing stands out very well. The material itself is much lighter in shade than the BD 1.4 or Supernova 08-85. This essentially makes it a bit worse for keeping deep black levels compared to the other materials. I will say, the extra brightness was very nice, especially because of the viewing angles. The brightness dropoff when moving outside of the sweet spot is buttery smooth. So smooth it is actually hard to notice a drop at all! I did, however, notice a bit of sparkles. Not nearly as bad as the BD 1.4, but they are there. You only see them though on bright scenes. With the BD 1.4, you can see them on most scenes. With the SN 23-23, its only the bright ones. The ambient-light rejection capabilities are there, but with a bit of ambient light in the room, the screen still has a hard time keeping black levels down. The material is just too light to make a huge difference. The extra lumens coming back at you though offsets this with scenes that are a bit bright. This would be the perfect screen for sports.
Overall, I believe a full size screen with this material would be fantastic. The viewing cone dropoff in brightness is very smooth, and the sparkles aren't very distracting, and can only be seen in bright scenes (nearly white). It is, however, the worst material at keeping black levels low, as its base material is a bit lighter than the BD 1.4 and SN 08-85.DNP Supernova 08-85
This is the screen material I ended up going with. DNP claims that there is no hotspotting, no sparkles/texture, and fantastic ambient-light rejection. I happy to report that, most of this is true!
The screen does an amazing job at dealing with light from above and below the screen. The light literally just vanishes. It really is amazing. From the sides, however, very little light is rejected. This makes my side windows a very large problem for me. In fact, the screen almost looks worse than my dark wall in the day time. Come night time though, with artificial light, this thing is outstanding. Literally outstanding.
There are virtually no sparkles. On a bright white screen, if you look really hard, you can see some. But you have to look really, really hard. I'll bet very few folks would be able to find any.
Another thing I am very happy to report is that there is literally no hot-spotting, vignetting, or viewing angle issues. None. I don't care how wide you look, you won't find a brightness dropoff. The screen stays uniform throughout. This is about as unity gain as you can get.
Overall, this material IMO is about the best you can get with ambient-light rejection. No sparkles, no hot-spotting, no viewing angle problems, no dropoff. The only issue is side light rejection, but you can't have great side light-rejection and wide viewing angles. They are mutually exclusive.
While I loved the 08-85 material, I still wanted the Zero Edge look. Through mmiles, I found out about the DNP Supernova BLADE. It is a essentially the 08-85 material with literally no bezel of any kind. Alas, I finally found the perfect screen. The look of the Zero Edge, with none of its issues.Result
Mounted in my living room, this thing is amazing. It looks so much better in person. It literally floats on the wall.
There are two mounting options for the BLADE. You can either suspend it from the ceiling via cables, or drill it into the wall. This is the only downside. There are two holes on the top where you mount the screen to, and those whole are visible on the front of the screen.
You can't seem then in widescreen material, but they do show up in 16x9, when the screen is fully lit. It isn't uber-distracting, but it is a flaw with this design. You have these regardless of which mounting type you choose.
Anwyho, enough talk. Pictures!