Well the samples arrived
They sent 1.2, 1.8 & 2.5. The samples are roughly A4 / US Letter size .
I had a quick look last night.
First off, let me describe my room/set-up. It's 18' x 30' room, I project onto the 18' wall, typically an image 120" wide with my JVC DLA-X3/RS40, and sit 14' back from the wall, so effectively use half the room as a living room/projection area. The ceiling is white. All walls are magnolia. The carpet is cream.
Currently I just project onto the magnolia wall. For what it's worth when I got the X3 I went through the Disney WOW disc and ended up with my projector settings being as per out of the box settings.
When I have the lights all off and curtains close on a night the room is very dark. Once I turn the projector on however, watching a movie, there is quite a lot of light bouncing around and the room is a lot brighter in general. Not bright enough to read a book, but not far off. But to be honest, to my non-expert untrained eyes, the image is currently actually pretty good (I probably don't know any better).
I'd like less light bounce back into the room to make viewing more immersive though, and if there's a way of using the projector with some lights on so others in the room can read or work at a Mac whilst I use the projector that would be great.
Between the projector and the wall there are over a dozen 50 watt halogen recessed in-ceiling lights. Obviously if I have all these turned on the 2d image is totally ruined, and if I watch 3d material then I need lamp in high-power mode and can't have any lights on.
So, on to the screen material.
I fixed the three samples to the wall with blu-tac whilst I had the lights on.
Straight away I could see that the material (especially the 2.5 gain) actually did what it was supposed to. It made the image watchable with all the lights on. Now when I say watchable, I mean that there was much more contrast and colour vibrancy. However, I do think the image looked a little bit washed out ( I suppose you can't have everything and remember there was 14 x 50 watt ceiling bulbs on between screen and projector). The image also looked a little bit "fake" or "processed" and less natural. I think I would say it gave the image a bit of a blue tint, which it might be possible to eradicate with calibration. I would say that the black floor had been raised (blacks were less black than with lights off) but colours, contrast and pop remained. All things considered, if the lights are on then the image looked best with the 2.5 material (out of the 3) and better than the image just onto the wall.
When I turned the lights off, I would say that the blacks stayed black and the colours and brightness were still given a lift. However, the image still looked a bit processed to me, and I kind of preferred the image on the wall (i.e. without the material) when the lights were off.
Now remember, this is only a small sample of material not a full screen. So if I had a full screen of the material the image would likely look different, as there there would possibly be less bounce back into the room? So I might actually prefer the material to the wall with lights off if I had a full screen of it.
I know you guys will be interested, so I would mention that when I viewed the screen samples last year the DNP SuperNova really wowed me. I do not remember thinking it had a tint, I don't recall thinking it looked washed out with the lights on. But memories are fallible, I really want to see both side by side.
My next step however, is going to be creation of some sample static images to project that has a repeating image in a grid system so I can more easily compare different samples. Unless someone knows of something like this that already exists? I'll do that today and review again tonight.
Lastly, the Skyline material is flexible material, and so if not totally flat suffers from wrinkles/shadows (same as any flexible screen material). To me this is a big positive of the DNP SuperNova aluminium-backed screen (fixed frame screen). Though to be fair, all screens should be flat as flat on a flat day in flatsvile so not necessarily something to consider?
I'm not making a final decision yet as I am buying a new house and that room will be different (darker floor, but it will be wood, and possibly even lighter coloured walls).
Elix/Noah_Katz pm me your postal details for the round-robin if you like.