So I’ve had a 106” Da-lite High Contrast Matte White (HCMW) screen for going on three+ years now. The gain is listed at 1.1, but my measurements place it more at 0.9, so negative gain. Sure, it helped the black level, but also hurt my brightness, but I’ve been pretty happy with it for years. I originally purchased the HCMW for a couple of reasons. 1) It was a “grey screen” and I was very concerned about maintaining a low black level. 2) It has a very wide viewing angle. However, I have found that the more I do calibrations, I tend to favor higher brightness, even if it means a raised black level. I have an Epson 1080UB projector, which has a decent native contrast, but not stellar. (I turned off the dynamic iris long ago because I could notice it working and it distracted me some.)
Anyway, I’ve had an original 2.8 gain high power screen sample lying around for a while now, and every time I placed it over my HCMW screen, it was just SO much brighter. So finally I decided, what the heck, and decided to order the current 106” Da-lite 2.4 High Power screen. I’m so glad I did.
WOW! I was concerned about the smaller viewing angle, but shouldn’t have been. Even standing outside the screen area, this thing is just as bright as my HCMW screen. Within the screen area, there is a VERY noticeable improvement in brightness (which should be expected I guess.
My projector is mounted on the wall behind me, 20 feet from the screen, so I have a very long throw which causes a loss of brightness from the projector. My viewing angle ends up being about 12 degrees off axis from the “optimal” maximum gain. (see attached drawing of my layout) By my lux measurements, if I lowered my projector as much as possible (before the shadow of my head enters the picture area), I would gain about 20% more brightness. However, as is, it’s still PLENTY of gain. If I move my head from side to side, I don’t notice a brightness change. I was worried about that with such a high gain screen, but this thing has a large enough viewing angle that it’s not an issue.
I don’t notice any screen texture from where I sit, 13’ back, even though you can see some on close inspection of the material. The screen is also uniform. I don’t notice any screen artifacts, but I’ve only had it for one evening now. I do notice less light spilling onto my side walls and ceiling, since more of it is being directed back at the light source rather than being scattered with my old screen. So the only negative for me has been the raised black level. This is something that I can live with. The brightness and other aspects much outweigh that negative for me. …and, when I upgrade to a new projector with much better native contrast (…cough, cough, JVC), that black level will be much improved.