Pics of my new Zebra black projector screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 62 Old 06-06-2014, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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My new Zebra black projector screen arrived this morning. I haven't had a chance to finish installing my home theater equipment yet but I thought I'd quickly mount the new screen and share some pics. 

 

I looked at a number of the ambient light rejecting screens but they were mostly out of my price range. I hadn't heard of Zebra screens before but they looked good on Youtube so I decided to take a chance. I use my Epson 3010 in my living room and I wanted something that would work with a little ambient light. We use the projector as our TV and my girlfriend doesn't like it when I keep the room dark all of the time. 

 

My first impressions out of the box was that it looked as advertised. It came rolled up and the screen looks black.

AppleMark

 

It was fairly easy to mount on the wall. My girlfriend helped me. It came with gloves to stop you getting finger prints on it or scratching it. Once on the wall, it looks as I expected it to.

AppleMark

 

Before I made the decision to buy it, I was sent some pics from other customers. One guy had mounted his on a sheet of wood (or maybe plexiglass?) and installed an LED kit at the back. It looked just like the Black Diamond Zero edge in his pics. I might have a go at that too.

 

There is a fair amount of light in my living room. My first impressions when I turned on my projector, was that the image quality was impressive, considering the amount of light. I had set my expectations low and was prepared to be disappointed. Normally when you buy the least expensive option, you find out why it was so cheap as soon as you start using it.

 

I tested it with moderate daylight first and It worked better than I had hoped for. It was very flat-screen-like.

AppleMark

The screen was set to around 100" as I haven't mounted my projector yet,so that was the biggest I could get from my coffee table. The image with my Epson 3010 was close to how it looked at night with the lights off and at least as good if not better than the clips of some other black screens that I saw on Youtube. The one I was most skeptical of was the claim that it was possible to get good blacks in a bright room with this screen. Again I was pleasantly surprised.

The first pic here is taken with just moderate daylight. 

 

AppleMark

My thought was that I was going too easy on the screen after this (because of my low expectations). I then turned on the floor lamp too. 

AppleMark

 

 I am no expert on this stuff but I know what I see. The floor lamp is bright and less than 1 foot from the screen, yet the space scene still looks black. The pics actually don't do it justice. It looks better when you see it live. Just to be sure, I moved the image up so some of it was on the white wall.

AppleMark

 

I turned off the lamp for this pic because with it on, it was not possible to see an image on the white wall at all. It isn't surprising that a black screen looks better than white paint. When everything it set up, I will do the same pic compared to my old gray screen. For now though, I am feeling a little smug with my purchase. 

 

The black bars was the test I was waiting for. My projector is meant to have good blacks for one in it's price range but the black bars on widescreen movies were barely visible on my gray screen, even at night. 

AppleMark

I read that no screen can improve the contrast, just the perceived contrast. I don't really know what that means but in my uneducated opinion, this screen gives me a big improvement over my old screen. 

 

AppleMark

With a little sunlight in the room, the colors have a nice amount of pop. The detail on the trees in this pic is really sharp. 

 

Obviously I have just got my Zebra screen and these are just my first impressions. I will upload some better pics once I have finished my living room. I am new to the forum too and I have only a basic knowledge of home theater products, so these aren't exactly the views of an expert. I upgraded to this screen from an ebay gray screen. That should give you an idea of my level of experience. Still, I know what a black should look like and I can appreciate how more contrast makes the image look nicer!

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post #2 of 62 Old 06-08-2014, 09:26 AM
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Looks good. How did you mount the screen to the wall?.

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post #3 of 62 Old 06-08-2014, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I used the mounting strips it came with. 

 

The screen material is hard and not the stretchy type. I was told that because it is made with multiple different layers, black screens can't be stretched which is why they are all thick and firm materials. They need to be firm enough to stay flat on their own. The back layer looks like some kind of plastic and I assume that is what keeps it flat on the wall. All I had to do was stick the mounting strips on the wall and then the screen to the mounting strips. I plan on doing it properly when the rest of my room is done (they can be repositioned). 

 

I think the only downside is that you have to be extra careful when mounting it so you don't crease the material. I was sent instructions that said to be careful not to drop it and it came with 2 pairs of latex gloves so I wouldn't scratch it or put finger print marks on it. Once it is on the wall, you don't really need to worry about that. 

 

When I was deciding if to buy it, I was sent some pics from other customers and one guy had mounted it on a sheet or wood or plexiglass, to make it look like a zero edge or a supernova blade. He also installed an led kit. Here are some of the pics he sent.

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark

 

AppleMark

 

I was thinking that I might try and mount mine like this and maybe even use wires to hang it from the ceiling. I looked at sheets of aluminum and they aren't very expensive. I like how it makes it look like a flatscreen tv. 

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post #4 of 62 Old 06-08-2014, 09:54 PM
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Very interesting screen. If it came in larger sizes, I'd definitely look into getting one.
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post #5 of 62 Old 06-09-2014, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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121" is the largest they come in at the moment. I guess it is aimed at people who want to use it in their family room. Mine is close to 10 feet wide so I couldn't fit a much larger one in my room anyway (as I would run out of wall). 

 

From what I saw when I was looking at different screens, it seemed like going too large meant reducing the image quality when the lights were on. With all of the Black Diamond demos that you see on Youtube, they always seem to use one of the smaller sizes (like 92"). I found a few clips of the Supernova screens in larger sizes, but they were in public displays which I would think would use much brighter projectors than we have at home. 

 

If I ever moved to a larger place with a dedicated home theater room and I wanted an even larger screen for when I watched in the dark, maybe I would get a cheap electric screen off ebay to roll down when needed. I have seen motorized gray screens for $250, so buying both is no big deal.

 

I am not sure that my current projector is capable of displaying a much larger image well, even if the room is dark. When I tried using it on the white wall, the image didn't look very good once I made it larger than 130". It may be because I was using the wall and didn't have proper light control but I can't do much better in that room. 

 

How big is your current screen?

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post #6 of 62 Old 06-09-2014, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicagodavid View Post

121" is the largest they come in at the moment. I guess it is aimed at people who want to use it in their family room. Mine is close to 10 feet wide so I couldn't fit a much larger one in my room anyway (as I would run out of wall). 

From what I saw when I was looking at different screens, it seemed like going too large meant reducing the image quality when the lights were on. With all of the Black Diamond demos that you see on Youtube, they always seem to use one of the smaller sizes (like 92"). I found a few clips of the Supernova screens in larger sizes, but they were in public displays which I would think would use much brighter projectors than we have at home. 

If I ever moved to a larger place with a dedicated home theater room and I wanted an even larger screen for when I watched in the dark, maybe I would get a cheap electric screen off ebay to roll down when needed. I have seen motorized gray screens for $250, so buying both is no big deal.

I am not sure that my current projector is capable of displaying a much larger image well, even if the room is dark. When I tried using it on the white wall, the image didn't look very good once I made it larger than 130". It may be because I was using the wall and didn't have proper light control but I can't do much better in that room. 

How big is your current screen?
My Current screen is 120 inches at 16:9. The 16:9 Zebra screen is 100 inches, Which is too small now that I'm used to 120. A 2.35 screen at 138 inches or better would interest me for sure.
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post #7 of 62 Old 06-09-2014, 07:13 PM
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This screen seems to have appeared out of nowhere, and I can't find any record of any known AV company associated with it.  I also can't find any data about the screen other than what a Robert Hart, the individual who's been promoting it on YouTube, Facebook and his website, has posted.    The price may seem to be a bargain compared with the proven black screens, but $1,000 is still not a sum that a lot of people casually throw around on a screen with no track record.  I'd sure like to see an independent professional AV reviewer do a thorough technical review.

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post #8 of 62 Old 06-09-2014, 08:36 PM
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Interesting, I've never heard of black projector screens, seems counter intuitive.
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post #9 of 62 Old 06-10-2014, 04:24 AM
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Looks really good. Do you know if it's 3d compatible?

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post #10 of 62 Old 06-10-2014, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by branden0502 View Post

Looks really good. Do you know if it's 3d compatible?
There's no indication from the website that the screen has any polarizing qualities, (doubtful since it's extremely black) so no soap for passive 3D. It should work fine for active 3D. (Which is what is used on most home theater projectors with 3D capabilities.)
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post #11 of 62 Old 06-10-2014, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branden0502 View Post

Looks really good. Do you know if it's 3d compatible?
There's no indication from the website that the screen has any polarizing qualities, (doubtful since it's extremely black) so no soap for passive 3D. It should work fine for active 3D. (Which is what is used on most home theater projectors with 3D capabilities.)

Thanks for the info. I didn't know you needed the polarization for only passive 3d. So the active 3d will work on any screen?
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post #12 of 62 Old 06-10-2014, 07:20 PM
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Thanks for the info. I didn't know you needed the polarization for only passive 3d. So the active 3d will work on any screen?
Yes. When I was helping my friend hang up a new screen, just for fun, we tried watching 3d content on the bare wall before we hung up the new screen. Sure enough, the active 3d worked fine.
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post #13 of 62 Old 06-10-2014, 07:27 PM
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Awesome. Thanks again. I was pretty set on the elite cinegrey 5d. But now I might try one of these zebras.
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post #14 of 62 Old 06-11-2014, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post

This screen seems to have appeared out of nowhere, and I can't find any record of any known AV company associated with it.  I also can't find any data about the screen other than what a Robert Hart, the individual who's been promoting it on YouTube, Facebook and his website, has posted.    The price may seem to be a bargain compared with the proven black screens, but $1,000 is still not a sum that a lot of people casually throw around on a screen with no track record.  I'd sure like to see an independent professional AV reviewer do a thorough technical review.
Agreed. As intrigued as I am about this material, there are enough red flags to give me pause. On the other hand, many great companies had humble beginnings. We'll just have to wait and see.
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post #15 of 62 Old 06-11-2014, 05:13 AM
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Anyone creating such a screen in their basement would certainly be an AV enthusiast and have visited this site... Not here, flag #1. There are numerous AV reviewers on the net that will take products and review them ... simple.. they send product, reviewer reviews, posts and sends it back.. red flag #2. One guy that buys one has 3 posts when he tells us about his new screen...red flag #3 (no offence if you are ligit) Three strikes is a real good reason to NOT EVEN think about buying this until we see review from multiple known sources.. this is the internet people.. you need to verify any data from multiple sources or you may be the very disappointed and out a nice chunk of change.
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post #16 of 62 Old 06-11-2014, 06:57 AM
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Branden0502. If you really want the Zebra screen instead of the Cinegrey 5d, please consider a few things before you buy.
1.A 100 inch Cinegrey 5D is less expensive than a 100 inch Zebra.
2.The Cinegrey 5D comes with an aluminum frame for easy swapping or replacing of screen material. The Zebra has no frame.
3.Elite is a well established company that you can be sure will be around for the life of the two year warranty and probably long after that.
4.There's no proof whatsoever that the Zebra is demonstrably better than the Cinegrey 5d or any other specialty screen.

As intrigued as I am by the look of the black screen, the Zebra, in it's present state, looks more like a work in progress project.
For 1000 dollars, all you're getting is a roll of screen material. A good amount of time, extra hardware, and physical work will be involved in getting the Zebra to look like a Black Diamond. By the time you're finished, you'll probably spend almost as much as the cost of a real Black Diamond for a product with no return policy and no idea if this 'Company' will even exist into the next week.

I'm sorry if you feel I'm raining on your parade Brandon. I just want you to think before you buy.
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post #17 of 62 Old 06-11-2014, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben38 View Post

Branden0502. If you really want the Zebra screen instead of the Cinegrey 5d, please consider a few things before you buy.
1.A 100 inch Cinegrey 5D is less expensive than a 100 inch Zebra.
2.The Cinegrey 5D comes with an aluminum frame for easy swapping or replacing of screen material. The Zebra has no frame.
3.Elite is a well established company that you can be sure will be around for the life of the two year warranty and probably long after that.
4.There's no proof whatsoever that the Zebra is demonstrably better than the Cinegrey 5d or any other specialty screen.

As intrigued as I am by the look of the black screen, the Zebra, in it's present state, looks more like a work in progress project.
For 1000 dollars, all you're getting is a roll of screen material. A good amount of time, extra hardware, and physical work will be involved in getting the Zebra to look like a Black Diamond. By the time you're finished, you'll probably spend almost as much as the cost of a real Black Diamond for a product with no return policy and no idea if this 'Company' will even exist into the next week.

I'm sorry if you feel I'm raining on your parade Brandon. I just want you to think before you buy.


Its all good. I am grateful for the info. My wife wanted a black screen so I was looking into it. I'm probably going to end up with the Elite screen. A lot of people seem to really like there screens, and the price is really nice. now I just have to lock down a projector.

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post #18 of 62 Old 06-14-2014, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
This screen seems to have appeared out of nowhere, and I can't find any record of any known AV company associated with it.  I also can't find any data about the screen other than what a Robert Hart, the individual who's been promoting it on YouTube, Facebook and his website, has posted.    The price may seem to be a bargain compared with the proven black screens, but $1,000 is still not a sum that a lot of people casually throw around on a screen with no track record.  I'd sure like to see an independent professional AV reviewer do a thorough technical review.
I never heard of this either.

Branden, can you estimate the gain, and how does the brightness hold up as you move off to the side?

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post #19 of 62 Old 06-14-2014, 06:06 PM
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I never heard of this either.

Branden, can you estimate the gain, and how does the brightness hold up as you move off to the side?
ChicagoDavid should answer that question, Noah. He seems to be the only Zebra owner we know of. The website doesn't specify an exact gain number.
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post #20 of 62 Old 06-14-2014, 10:26 PM
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Oops, I meant ChicagoDavid

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post #21 of 62 Old 06-16-2014, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben38 View Post
Branden0502. If you really want the Zebra screen instead of the Cinegrey 5d, please consider a few things before you buy.<br>
1.A 100 inch Cinegrey 5D is less expensive than a 100 inch Zebra.<br>
2.The Cinegrey 5D comes with an aluminum frame for easy swapping or replacing of screen material. The Zebra has no frame.<br>
3.Elite is a well established company that you can be sure will be around for the life of the two year warranty and probably long after that.<br>
4.There's no proof whatsoever that the Zebra is demonstrably better than the Cinegrey 5d or any other specialty screen.<br><br>
As intrigued as I am by the look of the black screen, the Zebra, in it's present state, looks more like a work in progress project.<br>
For 1000 dollars, all you're getting is a roll of screen material. A good amount of time, extra hardware, and physical work will be involved in getting the Zebra to look like a Black Diamond. By the time you're finished, you'll probably spend almost as much as the cost of a real Black Diamond for a product with no return policy and no idea if this 'Company' will even exist into the next week.<br><br>
I'm sorry if you feel I'm raining on your parade Brandon. I just want you to think before you buy.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion but the screen is not a work in progress. It is a finished screen that comes with everything you need to hang it on the wall. I use mine and I didn't have to make or buy anything else.

I got some samples before I purchased one. It makes not difference to me if anyone else buys one or not. Just saying....

I wanted a black screen but couldn't afford one of the others.
I was a little worried about buying an unknown brand but that is what samples are for. I would have been more worried about buying a projector if I had never heard of the brand. There seems to be lots of no name brands of screens though.
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post #22 of 62 Old 06-16-2014, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
I never heard of this either.

Branden, can you estimate the gain, and how does the brightness hold up as you move off to the side?
I don't really know on the gain. I don't really know how it is measured but the brightness seems similar to a white screen.

The angles you can watch it from depends on how much light there is in the room. The information on the website seems about right though (without measuring). If I turn the lights off, I can watch it from the sides (I don't have any seats there but I could). If I turn the lights on, it is better to be in front of the screen (within the 90 degrees). I have an L shaped sofa and it doesn't matter where I sit etc. If I go outside the maximum viewing angle then it goes dark. It isn't really noticeable at night with just the living room lights. If I watch during the daytime when the room gets really bright, then it seems to be more important to be inside the viewing area.

I mainly use mine at night with the lights on and I have no problems.
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post #23 of 62 Old 06-16-2014, 02:55 PM
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Does the projector need any special settings? I've noticed some projectors have preset "white screen or black screen modes", but older models would not have it..

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post #24 of 62 Old 06-16-2014, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Does the projector need any special settings? I've noticed some projectors have preset "white screen or black screen modes", but older models would not have it..
No special settings needed. I think you might be referring to the wall color settings that multimedia projectors have. Our office projector has options for different colored walls for when we go on sales presentations. I don't need to use anything like that for my black screen at home. I am not sure if most home theater projectors have settings for different colored walls.

The only thing I adjust is that I use the living room or dynamic setting if the room is bright and the movie setting if the room is darker. If I am watching at night with the lights on, I sometimes just leave it on the movie setting and it looks good.
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post #25 of 62 Old 06-20-2014, 03:19 PM
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Robert Hart is aka New Design from the DIY screen forum right here at AVS. He was quite willing to experiment, but stopped posting once he went commercial (which, I respect). He shared quite a bit of information with me via PM and email (not to mention in the forum itself).

Anyway, for anyone thinking "Who the heck is this guy?" I, at least, have no concerns at all. In fact, I would buy right now a 1.85:1 (or 16:9) screen if it was available in 110" to 120". Maybe if enough of us let him know that we want such a screen size for either of those aspect ratios, he will make it happen.
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post #26 of 62 Old 06-20-2014, 07:09 PM
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Robert Hart is aka New Design from the DIY screen forum right here at AVS. He was quite willing to experiment, but stopped posting once he went commercial (which, I respect). He shared quite a bit of information with me via PM and email (not to mention in the forum itself).

Anyway, for anyone thinking "Who the heck is this guy?" I, at least, have no concerns at all. In fact, I would buy right now a 1.85:1 (or 16:9) screen if it was available in 110" to 120". Maybe if enough of us let him know that we want such a screen size for either of those aspect ratios, he will make it happen.
I'd be willing to take the plunge If this screen was available in a 120 inch 16:9 version and included a rigid frame to hang it with. The Black material is very attractive, but just unrolling it and sticking it on the wall gives the screen a very uneven, amateurish look that my wife would never let me live down. Especially at 1000 dollars plus.

This is a request to Robert Hart:
Sir, With the utmost respect for your work, If you're serious about making a business out the Zebra screen, please give it the fit and finish it deserves, by providing a frame for it, and offering the screen in larger sizes. I know a frame and larger size screens will raise the cost, but it will still be much cheaper than competing black screens. You can always retain the material only option. And if you can provide a screen to a couple of projector screen reviewers, it would go a long way towards giving potential customers the confidence to buy from you. Again, I have great respect for the work you've done and I hope I can one day become one of your customers.
Ruben"Ben" Rodriguez

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post #27 of 62 Old 06-20-2014, 07:57 PM
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I didn't realize that Robert Hart is the guy who used to post as New Design in the DIY screen section on developing a DIY black screen. I remember reading his posts, and he came across as a DIYer sharing good information with other DIYers. Then he reportedly discovered that he couldn't come up with a simple DIY formula that could be produced without expensive manufacturing equipment, so he withdrew from the DIY forum and started his own business to produce a black screen at lower costs than the major screen makers. So it appears that the Zebra black screen is the result of what started as a DIY project right here on AVS. Good for him. I hope the screen is as good as it's advertised to be, and that he does well.
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post #28 of 62 Old 06-20-2014, 08:09 PM
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well.they always seem to use one of the smaller sizes (like 92"). I found a few clips of the Supernova screens in larger sizes, but they were in public displays which I would think would use much brighter projectors than we have at home.[IMG]http://*******/9jszky[/IMG]
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post #29 of 62 Old 06-20-2014, 11:38 PM
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Interesting indeed.

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post #30 of 62 Old 07-08-2014, 03:13 AM
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Hi,
are there allready more persons who own one of these new blackscreen's? Unfortunately there is really less material in the web about it. Especially as high quality video :-/
Does someone knows if it's possible to ship the screen to europe? I was writing to the youtube channel + facebook fan page, but I did not received an answer to this question. Maybe you can help here.

regards
Scharla
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