confused about the Firehawk g3 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-23-2013, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I received a sample yesterday of the Firehawk G3 material. I currently have a 1.1 Elite screen cinewhite. The projector is ceiling mounted. I taped the material in multiple to compare.

Blacks are way deeper with the Firehawk. This is what I like to see. However I was really disappointed in the white levels. This is where I am confused. This screen is suppose to be a 1.25 gain screen. I was expecting the whites to be the same or better than my cinewhite screen since it is only 1.1 gain. This was the case when the material was on top, in the corners and in the middle of the screen.

Are the gain values that Stewart claims way off, or am I not understanding what gain is?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-23-2013, 07:16 AM
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i've been playing with 'grey screen' material as well recently, and though i haven't gotten samples of the firehawk, i did notice that NO grey screen material looked any good at all in white scenes next to a normal white screen. however, when i set up a full 'grey screen'(i used a blanket that was actually super dark) my eyes quickly adjusted and the whites looked acceptable again.

the thing with grey screens is that no matter what the gain is, there is no amount of light you can project on a grey surface to make it look white. just like there's no amount of blue light you could shine on a red surface to make it look blue. but our eyes do adjust, and when you don't have a true white source to compare to, we start to perceive the light grey as white.

i'm trying a cheap grey screen, ordered it a couple nights ago, and i'm hoping for the best. but honestly, even though i'm all about the blacks, i am a little concerned about the grey. it seems as though it's either not going to be dark enough to really improve my blacks much, or it'll be so dark that there's no way the whites will 'pop'.

fortunately i get to play trial and error with my parents theatre first, haha. and they are so far from picky they'll be happy with anything(including the bedsheet they've been using until the screen arrives).

if you have the option, i would strongly suggest viewing some FULL screens(even if it's not exactly the firehawk) in a store somewhere to get a better idea of how they look.

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post #3 of 12 Old 01-23-2013, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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My main concern is not really the whites. The whites weren't as white, but I am really questioning the overall gain of this screen. If the claim of 1.25 gain is true then I should be good to go with the screen while in low lamp mode or in 3d. But if this screen gain is really .9 then I may have a problem.

BTW, the blacks on the Firehawk sample were awesome. I have some samples of other grey screen and they come no where close to the black levels. Most of the other grey screen are very light in color while the firehawk is way darker material wise.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-23-2013, 09:22 AM
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I've used a Firehawk G3 in my theater for the last 5 years. I think some have measured a real 1.15 gain. It's very hard to put screen samples over an existing screen without the existing screen biasing what you see. That blanket trick is a good one! Viewed on its own, whites and colors look great on a Firehawk G3 - especially with those great blacks that the screen helps maintain. Night and outer space scenes rock !

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-23-2013, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natas777 View Post

I received a sample yesterday of the Firehawk G3 material. I currently have a 1.1 Elite screen cinewhite. The projector is ceiling mounted. I taped the material in multiple to compare.

Blacks are way deeper with the Firehawk. This is what I like to see. However I was really disappointed in the white levels. This is where I am confused. This screen is suppose to be a 1.25 gain screen. I was expecting the whites to be the same or better than my cinewhite screen since it is only 1.1 gain. This was the case when the material was on top, in the corners and in the middle of the screen.

Are the gain values that Stewart claims way off, or am I not understanding what gain is?

Sorry to post right behind Craig, but you can't have blacker blacks and whiter whites. The contrast spec of the projector stays the same, you are just moving it up or down the scale together. So if you have darker blacks, then you have darker whites. Placing the sample on the white screen is going to make you happy with the blacks, but unhappy with the whites. If the white screen was not in the background, then you would not notice that the whites are not as white.

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post #6 of 12 Old 01-23-2013, 11:14 AM
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True. This really has to do with how the room affects your screen. Light walls, light carpet, glass, lights on, not having total light control = washed out blacks on your screen. The Firehawk G3 helps keep light reflected back on the screen from washing it out. But there is no free lunch.

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post #7 of 12 Old 01-23-2013, 12:48 PM
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not to mention very few projectors can actually project 0 light on the screen to represent black.

but i had the exact situation described above. when compared at the same time, grey screen made blacks look phenomenal and whites look unwatchable. when i removed the white screen comparison, my eyes adjusted and the pictured looked 'normal' with a slightly darker black level

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post #8 of 12 Old 01-23-2013, 01:46 PM
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And I am running into the same thing in reverse. When I put a sample of the StudioTek 130 G3 over my Firehawk, the whites and colors look great, but the blacks look " terrible ", at least in mixed scenes where there is some bright parts on the screen. And so, I am using a flashlight ( the flashlight test ), and using a heavy " wack a mole " hammer to eliminate reflections that send light back on the screen from my room ( like painting all the walls facing the screen a very dark grey, new black rugs in front of the screen etc. ).

It's working, and it's making the picture on the Firehawk look better too !! .

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post #9 of 12 Old 01-23-2013, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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My carpet is not dark color...more of a khaki color. Do you think a dark rug would help out? My walls are almost black but I do have a light color ceiling that I cannot paint and the light colored carpet.

I was truly impressed with the blacks when I put the firehawk sample. I really don't know how bad my blacks ere until I saw the sample. I also noticed colors looked more vibrant with the sample.

The funny thing is even with the white screen I have now in ambient light my dlp never looked this good. I didn't have blackout blinds then so I always had a little glare with the dlp. At night I still think the projector with the white screen looks way better than the dlp ever did. Guess it shows how good my hw50es is
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-24-2013, 02:12 PM
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A dark rug can help. Try Wal Mart for a decent black one.
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-25-2013, 07:32 AM
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May I know where can I get good deals on Firehawk G3 screen?
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post #12 of 12 Old 01-25-2013, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
May I know where can I get good deals on Firehawk G3 screen?

Sure - shoot me an email ! We sell them right here at AVS !!

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