Pics of my new Zebra black projector screen - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 55 Old 07-08-2014, 03:48 AM
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Try robert.hart@rtpmanhattan.com
Don't know if anyone else owns a Zebra screen. Robert Hart seems to be working on a new screen called "Panther"
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post #32 of 55 Old 07-08-2014, 08:03 AM
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Any chance this might work from 7'5'' feet? Projecting on a 100 inch screen.

Also and I don't mean to hijack this thread but are there any ambient light rejecting screens for such distances? None of the ones I keep seeing mentioned seem to work
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post #33 of 55 Old 07-17-2014, 03:32 PM
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There has been two days since I have tried contacting Robert Hart by email, Facebook and Google Plus but I got no reply from him. Is there any other way of talking with him?
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post #34 of 55 Old 07-17-2014, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helderlima View Post
There has been two days since I have tried contacting Robert Hart by email, Facebook and Google Plus but I got no reply from him. Is there any other way of talking with him?
He replies by email but he does take his time. Just be patient.
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post #35 of 55 Old 08-03-2014, 09:28 AM
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Just to give some updates: I bought this Zebra screen last Wednesday and it'll take about 2-3 weeks to deliver here in Brazil. Robert Hart seems very attentive.
I also plan installing an Ambilight-like kit (standalone with Raspberry Pi) behind the screen. Despite the screen having only about 100" in 16:9 format (max size available in this aspect ratio), it'll seem larger because of Ambilight, likely a 115" screen.
I'll post some photos as soon as it's installed.
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post #36 of 55 Old 08-04-2014, 03:10 PM
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I believe the research for the Zebra screen was done mainly over at the Home Theater Shack. I can't recall where I saw it over there but it was there somewhere...
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post #37 of 55 Old 08-05-2014, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmiejohn View Post
I believe the research for the Zebra screen was done mainly over at the Home Theater Shack. I can't recall where I saw it over there but it was there somewhere...
Are you sure? Can you give more info about that? I know that he had a thread in the DIY section of this AVS forum.
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post #38 of 55 Old 08-06-2014, 01:42 PM
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He posted under the name New Design I believe.
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post #39 of 55 Old 08-06-2014, 03:29 PM
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He posted under the name New Design on this forum, where all of his research is on record. There's no record of anyone named New Design posting on the Home Theater Shack forum.
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post #40 of 55 Old 08-07-2014, 04:30 AM
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When Robert posted on HTS, he was quickly berated for his efforts by the Moderators themselves. (...something along the order of "It's been tried before, it's not possible, so why are you bothering us....") Taken aback, he responded to such biased comments, asking simply why they would act so overtly against his ideas and be allowed to insult his efforts, and he was immediately banned by the very person doing the berating. Not so strangely enough, it was that self same person who was banned for life from AVS for insulting the AVS Hierarchy. Go figure.

Intolerance motivated by the Moderators' self imposed aggrandizement, a wholesale lack of support for a new member's ideas, and a double standard that protects the offender if he is a Moderator, and punishes the respondent should he dare question "why" is the reason Robert wound up on AVS.

Robert found a willing audience here on the DIY Screen Forum, and enough support to encourage his efforts. Yes, it's a shame that his efforts could not have produced a application that could easily be "DIY' selfed", but in the end it's the support AVS Community support that did go a long way toward making Robert's effort successful.

This sort of thing has happened before. Several AVS Members got started in Business by working through their ideas on Forum. SMX Screens is a prime example. Of course there exists a fine dividing line between starting out with DIY intentions and crossing over to using the Forum to establish & promote an idea intended to be sold.. Not that it doesn't happen almost continually though. Sometimes, depending upon the subject and individual, it gets overlooked...at other times the intent is so obviously promotional immediate action is taken.

In Robert's case, over the course of several emails I let him know of and be aware of the above dangers well in advance of his final decision to go commercial. It was becoming very obvious the his idea was not going to become a true "DIY" reality and so being, he did the right thing and pulled out of active Forum posting. As such, due credit and a good degree of confidence can be attached to both him and his efforts.

But....the DIY effort toward such a screen has not died! The research and efforts go on in Robert's (New Design) Thread by others determined to do something similar for less expense. Will they succeed? They very well might.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #41 of 55 Old 08-09-2014, 02:19 PM
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Interesting history, although sad.
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post #42 of 55 Old 08-14-2014, 08:37 PM
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Hey guys I'm a new member but a long time reader of this forum. I just thought I'd sign up to share a bit of info, unethical as it may be I think a black screen should be something that a diyer should be able to slap together without paying a ton of money. I found the zebra screen on ebay for sale the seller was roberthart******. I did some digging thru his feedback and found he had purchased "´╗┐Window Tint Film 2 PLY Professional Roll 60"x50ft Tinting 50% VLT" item # 181324915933. I think that it should be safe to say that since it is being bought in bulk and so big, that this isn't for product testing, it is most likely being used to create the screens. Like I said unethical or not there it is for those of you brilliant diyers who love to tinker and don't have wives to stop you from doing so.
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post #43 of 55 Old 08-16-2014, 05:25 PM
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This is his Youtube channel which has video updates of his screen

https://www.youtube.com/user/Robertbhart555
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post #44 of 55 Old 08-17-2014, 06:45 AM
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Last I seem to remember read about his work, was that he was looking at a reflective base material + window tin+ defuser and was then tryin to find best way of sticking them all together without getting bubbles and losing image quality.
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post #45 of 55 Old 08-17-2014, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imbloodyskint View Post
Last I seem to remember read about his work, was that he was looking at a reflective base material + window tin+ defuser and was then tryin to find best way of sticking them all together without getting bubbles and losing image quality.
That's exactly what I remember. I believe he reached the conclusion that he couldn't create the "sandwich" without expensive production equipment beyond the means of a typical DIYer, and that's when he decided to turn it into a commercial project. So even if a DIYer knew exactly what materials were being used, proper integration would be the limiting factor on creating a quality finished product.
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post #46 of 55 Old 08-17-2014, 11:13 AM
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............and yet there still exists a distinct possibility of doing exactly that. Some AVS oriented experiments are ongoing, and if they bear fruit, they will provide a way to create the sandwich.

As to if the exact materials in use with the current product would be revealed....that remains as best problematical. But at least such an advance would not rule out similar experimentation.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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post #47 of 55 Old 08-17-2014, 02:07 PM
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Well what do you guys think of this for an idea of sticking the layers together: when making car windshields and bullet proof glass they fuse several of glass together using paper that turns to invisible adhesive once heated up. If we could get our hands on some of that adhesive it maybe possible rig up the appropriate layers (in there rolls) on the wall and pull them onto an empty roll with the adhesive in between the layers and heat up the layers on the new roll with a heat gun as it spins. Sorry for the bad explanation hopefully this bad picture will explain things better.
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post #48 of 55 Old 08-17-2014, 02:45 PM
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Well for that matter all the materials needed should come with adhesive once the backing paper is removed correct? So bear with me on this one. What if the first reflective layer is applied to a big piece of glass (or any smooth glass like surface should work the same) but don't pull the backing film so it doesn't adhere to the surface permanently. Once it is all nice and smooth apply the tint layers to the reflective layers like you would when tinting a window using the adhesive and soapy water to apply. once the tint layers are on, then the diffuser goes on the same way, once cured for a day or so in the sun light you should be able to pull all the layers off the glass (or smooth surface) at once and have a perfectly bonded multi-layered sheet. "F*** YOU SCIENCE!"
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post #49 of 55 Old 08-17-2014, 03:40 PM
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MississippiMan, I should have added at the end of my last post what I was thinking -- that DIYers can be clever, resourceful and persistent, and just because Robert couldn't find a DIY solution doesn't mean that others will (or should) give up.

frozen-hampster, you should post your ideas in the DIY black screen tests thread in the DIY screen forum, where lots of brain-storming and experimentation is being discussed.
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post #50 of 55 Old 08-17-2014, 03:54 PM
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Haha yep it doesn't say newbie under my name for nothing
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post #51 of 55 Old 08-28-2014, 01:16 PM
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I received the Zebra screen yesterday but I didn't mount it yet (it comes with aluminum frame). Next week I will post some pictures and review here.
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post #52 of 55 Old 09-06-2014, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helderlima View Post
I received the Zebra screen yesterday but I didn't mount it yet (it comes with aluminum frame). Next week I will post some pictures and review here.
Did you get it up yet?
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post #53 of 55 Old 09-07-2014, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by eydsamoht View Post
Did you get it up yet?
It's mounted, and below I'll explain my felling about it.

First of all, I think that the Zebra screen is the best screen that you can get if you want the blackest screen possible. It's really like a flat lcd panel in the wall. I barely can see a difference between the image quality during the day and the night. I have Black Diamond samples in 0.8, 1.4 and 2.7, and the Zebra screen is MUCH, MUCH darker than those ones.

However, it also has its drawbacks. Nothing is perfect and the Zebra screen isn't different. Let me explain them:

1- The screen is very difficult to mount. I've bought the aluminum frame version. Actually, the frame is very easy to mount, but the problem is that the frame is just cosmetic, it doesn't stretch the screen. So, the screen gets wavy easily. It's very important to make the screen flat because of the nature of it (high gain). The shadows in the image can the noted easily if there is a very small wave in the screen. The official method for getting the screen flat is to use the adhesive that is the inner part of the frame to fix the screen, but the screen material is too thick to get flat just with the adhesive in the borders. I think that the solution of the Black Diamond screen, using elastics to stretch the screen, is much more effective. The solution that I found for the Zebra screen was to use double-sided tape behind ALL the screen. I need to call attention to the fact that the Zebra frame has an advantage: it's only 1.25 inch, while the BD one is about 3 inch, so much larger (the larger frame, uglier).

2- The view cone is much narrower that I thought and wanted. It's the main drawback in my opinion. I have an Epson 3010, with 2200 lumens, throwing a 98 inch screen, so I would expect a bright image. Indeed, the screen is very bright when I sit in the center of the room/screen. I would say that it is high gain there (although I can't measure, I would say that it's about 1.3, comparing with the Black Diamond samples that I have). The problem is viewing at the sides. The definition of "viewable" is subjetive, but I consider the image viewable up to about 30 degrees left and 30 degrees right (total 60 degrees horizontal view cone) DURING THE DAY, and about 35 degrees left and 35 degrees right (total 70 degrees horizontal view cone) DURING THE NIGHT. The site of the manufacturer says that it has a cone of about 45 degrees during the day and 70 degrees during the night. I don't agree, but, again, I need to remember that the definition of "viewable" is subjetive. I'm thinking about buying an even brighter projector, but I think that the image at the center of the room may get too bright. I would have preferred if the Zebra screen had a lower gain in the center and a wider view cone.

3- Mainly when sit in the center of the screen, and in the bright parts of the image, the picture isn't uniform, it has some sparkles. I think it's due to the diffuser layer. Black Diamond screen also has this problem, so I'm not sure if it can be avoided in the manufacturing process of a black projection screen. Anyone who has ever used a bad quality matt film in a smartphone or tablet knows what I mean here.

Finally, a last observation (but I don't consider it a disadvantage, it's just a peculiarity of the Zebra screen) is that the projector needs to be placed as near as possible to the heads of the viewers. I mean, you can't place the projector high, near the ceiling, unless you sit there.

Taking all this in consideration, I would buy the screen again for sure, because it's very good to have excellent black in the projector screen even in a bright room, but I'm not sure if the screen is suitable for people with seats on the sides, with critical angles.

I'll make an effort to post some pictures of the screen this week. If you have any other doubt, feel free to ask me. And sorry for the spelling mistakes that this post may have - English isn't my native language (I'm Brazilian).
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post #54 of 55 Old 09-07-2014, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helderlima View Post
It's mounted, and below I'll explain my felling about it.

First of all, I think that the Zebra screen is the best screen that you can get if you want the blackest screen possible. It's really like a flat lcd panel in the wall. I barely can see a difference between the image quality during the day and the night. I have Black Diamond samples in 0.8, 1.4 and 2.7, and the Zebra screen is MUCH, MUCH darker than those ones.

However, it also has its drawbacks. Nothing is perfect and the Zebra screen isn't different. Let me explain them:

1- The screen is very difficult to mount. I've bought the aluminum frame version. Actually, the frame is very easy to mount, but the problem is that the frame is just cosmetic, it doesn't stretch the screen. So, the screen gets wavy easily. It's very important to make the screen flat because of the nature of it (high gain). The shadows in the image can the noted easily if there is a very small wave in the screen. The official method for getting the screen flat is to use the adhesive that is the inner part of the frame to fix the screen, but the screen material is too thick to get flat just with the adhesive in the borders. I think that the solution of the Black Diamond screen, using elastics to stretch the screen, is much more effective. The solution that I found for the Zebra screen was to use double-sided tape behind ALL the screen. I need to call attention to the fact that the Zebra frame has an advantage: it's only 1.25 inch, while the BD one is about 3 inch, so much larger (the larger frame, uglier).

2- The view cone is much narrower that I thought and wanted. It's the main drawback in my opinion. I have an Epson 3010, with 2200 lumens, throwing a 98 inch screen, so I would expect a bright image. Indeed, the screen is very bright when I sit in the center of the room/screen. I would say that it is high gain there (although I can't measure, I would say that it's about 1.3, comparing with the Black Diamond samples that I have). The problem is viewing at the sides. The definition of "viewable" is subjetive, but I consider the image viewable up to about 30 degrees left and 30 degrees right (total 60 degrees horizontal view cone) DURING THE DAY, and about 35 degrees left and 35 degrees right (total 70 degrees horizontal view cone) DURING THE NIGHT.
The site of the manufacturer says that it has a cone of about 45 degrees during the day and 70 degrees during the night. I don't agree, but, again, I need to remember that the definition of "viewable" is subjective. I'm thinking about buying an even brighter projector, but I think that the image at the center of the room may get too bright. I would have preferred if the Zebra screen had a lower gain in the center and a wider view cone.

3- Mainly when sit in the center of the screen, and in the bright parts of the image, the picture isn't uniform, it has some sparkles.
I think it's due to the diffuser layer. Black Diamond screen also has this problem, so I'm not sure if it can be avoided in the manufacturing process of a black projection screen. Anyone who has ever used a bad quality matt film in a smartphone or tablet knows what I mean here.

Finally, a last observation (but I don't consider it a disadvantage, it's just a peculiarity of the Zebra screen) is that the projector needs to be placed as near as possible to the heads of the viewers. I mean, you can't place the projector high, near the ceiling, unless you sit there.

Taking all this in consideration, I would buy the screen again for sure, because it's very good to have excellent black in the projector screen even in a bright room, but I'm not sure if the screen is suitable for people with seats on the sides, with critical angles.

I'll make an effort to post some pictures of the screen this week. If you have any other doubt, feel free to ask me. And sorry for the spelling mistakes that this post may have - English isn't my native language (I'm Brazilian).
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post #55 of 55 Old 09-08-2014, 06:58 AM
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While much of what is ventured isn't desirable, everything listed is pretty much as would be expected.

In the striving to acquire a truly Black surface, one with gain, the combination of a highly reflective substrate, a darker overlay, and a diffuser has to balance all factors "exactly". The degree of applied gain required to offset the attenuation of a black surface makes achieving such a Balance extremely difficult, and expensive....and all too often compromises still must be accepted.

When the above involves a true Mfg process, many times the choices are limited as to how to do so, and with what specific materials. Add to that a new Start-up Developer's own restrictions, (...creating such a "Mfg" product that would remain affordable...) and unbiased reports by actual end users are critical.....and sometimes quite telling.

And, throughout Robert's efforts, it was / is exactly that drive toward an almost "Black" surface, one that likens unto a LED TV when off, that has been the chief hurdle to mount, and has caused the requirement of such excessive gain to offset that very darkness.

So here we have a review that pretty much replicates every deleterious and undesirable aspect of virtually all such Mfg screens that use surface gain to offset Blackness instead of the Projector's lumen output. And when one also combines relatively high Lumen output with Retro Reflective tendencies, every issue above is compounded.

Myself, and for many, many others, the idea of having substantial acreage on a wall look like a light-less void seems counterproductive to true esthetics. In a Family room environ (...where of course it is most needed...) the Significant Other usually laments the appearance. In a Theater, unless such a surface is almost solely intended to increase "off the Screen" contrast, or combat the close proximity of reflective surfaces...or both, it (...Blackness...) seems overly redundant.

But I also can both understand and relate to those whose primary desire is to have something that elicits wonder from one's Peers, and large Black surfaces that suddenly light up like a LED TV certainly fits that premise.

As such....many owners of such can and do accept most of the above caveats. Frankly speaking, seeing such a thorough and comprehensive review is the exception rather than the rule, because a great many folks don't want to post about "mistakes' in choices....and the more expensive the choice, the less likely the effort will be considered.

helderlima does a great many a distinct and valuable service by "telling it as it is", as well as describing as to why he finds that despite the drawbacks, he does not wholly regret his purchase. What that means is that people have both sides of the picture to make effective judgements by.

And perhaps best of all, at the point / level Robert is in this Venture, such reviews can prompt a rethinking of design and process that might result in noticeable improvements. Knowing Robert....that is exactly what I would expect. He's not the type to "settle" for less than optimal results.

Taking things congenially further, I am posting below two images of a Silver Fire screen of approx N8.5 shade and a Gain factor of approx. 1.3. It's simply a metallic infused translucent paint sprayed upon White primed Drywall. It's reflective particles are extremely fine grained, and are embedded at various degrees of angle within the multiple layered coat, which itself uses the underlying pure white surface to capture absorbed light and retain / return it into the initial darker reflective surface.

The first one was taken with two 80 watt Floods washing each corner of the screen. Note the "white" border around the Screen. That is the White Primed wall area that remained when the 2" Blue tape was removed. No Trim was as of yet applied.

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...1&d=1410183881


The Second image has the Front Floods turned off, but the Rear Floods ( @ 12' from the screen ) remain on.

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...1&d=1410183881

If a Black Screen surface is the primary goal, certainly what is shown above isn't what matches. Just the same, almost identical performance is achieved with surfaces painted with SF where the shade of Gray approaches N5.0 and gain is approx. 0.9
......and a N5.0 surface is pretty darn Dark Gray.


But...it's not Black, so there is that to consider.
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