Elite Screens DarkStar Ambient Light-Rejecting Screen Material at CEDIA 2014
Elite Screens was demonstrating its new DarkStar ambient light-rejecting (ALR) screen material in a semi-enclosed portion of its booth with a couple of torchiere lamps to simulate normal room lighting. The 1.4-gain retro-reflective material has a viewing angle of 70° horizontally and 32°vertically, because the structure includes horizontally oriented microscopic louvers that reject more light from above and below than from the sides.
The demo screen measured 123" diagonally, and the projector was an Optoma EH415 rated at 2000 lumens. The image looked quite good, even with the torchieres on, and standing slightly off-center, I didn't see much drop-off in brightness from one side of the screen to the other.
Pricing starts at less than $3500 for a 110-inch-diagonal 16:9 screen with frame. Also available is a 123" 16:9 version and 140" and 157" 2.4:1 models, and all sizes are shipping now.
They're going to have to up their build quality substantially if they expect people to pay that kind of money for a 110 inch screen, retro-reflective or not.
Elite takes a hit in reputation because of their cheap pull down screens and relatively weak Sable fixed frames. The Darkstar screens, however, are part of Elite's primevision line of screens. They can only be bought from authorized dealers, and are not sold online. My brother in law in Las Vegas has one. The build quality of the standard frame is about as good as I've seen from anyone else. (Including Stewart)