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-   -   Dalite CinemaVision vrs Dailite High Contrast vrs Grayhawk (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-screens/19853-dalite-cinemavision-vrs-dailite-high-contrast-vrs-grayhawk.html)

oscar6263 04-20-2001 05:32 PM

Currently have a 106" 16X9 Dalite CinemaVision (1.3). Will be used with Sanyo PLV-60, Sony VH10, or other LCD or DLP projector with viewing at 12 - 15 feet. Room lighting is fully controllable, but will usually be used dark. I can exchange the CinemaVision for the Dalite High Contrast (.8) for about $400. Don't really have an option on the Grayhawk as I already have about $2,000 into Dalite. But I'd like to know if the Dalite High Contrast is comparable to the grayhawk.

ogomez 04-20-2001 05:58 PM

look at:

Someone did an A/B comparison of Grayhawk and Da-Lite HC near the end of the thread.


bluhorizan 04-21-2001 05:15 AM

Is there anyone else who has done a direct comparison (Stewart Grayhawk vs. Dalite High Contrast Screens)?

Here is one person who felt the Dalite was better:

This morning after work I had a chance to watch several chapters of Toy Story while comparing the GrayHawk and High Contrast Da-Mat samples. Now, let me first admit I do not claim to be any sort of expert when it comes to audio or video reproduction. I just enjoy excellent sound and an excellent image to go along with it. I strive for both...while at the same time trying to keep my wife happy with the bank statements.
Anyway. The comparison left me back at my first inclination. The Da-Lite High Contrast Da-Mat image. In fairness, I would think that the comparison should be made against a neutral white background..but the closet thing I have is a semi-white sheet. With that said, I was surprised that the GrayHawk did not emphasize the black more. Side by side the Da-Lite blacks looked black. The dark night scenes in Toy Story looked like night on the Da-Lite...the GrayHawk still looked gray...not much darker than the bedsheet! In the bright scenes (Woody and Buzz in the "alien" bin with the claw) the details were quite dramatic with the Da-Lite...and a bit washed with the GrayHawk. Consequently, upon close up of the "aliens" eyes the Da-Lite did not show true white but rather a "gray-white"...the GrayHawk proved to be more true to the white reproduction. However, I just love the noticeable details with the Da-Lite: EX: wood grain on Andy's bed, plastic contours on the soldiers, textures in the furniture fabric and carpet was amazing! In my opinion the small loss of white was nothing in comparision to the added rich tones of color and image detail in the Da-Lite sample.
I would compare the image with the Da-Lite more true to the warmth I can get from my Hitachi 60" RPTV. True rich colors and great contrasting. Another note: I did this comparison at 7:30 AM, my rear windows face East and I had the all shades closed. The room was illuminated only by indirect ambient light...not "theater" dark by any means, but still easily watchable without any distraction. I will continue my comparison tonight, hopefully with "Space Cowboys".
My only real dislike about the Da-Lite comparison is that the Stewart material seems more durable in thickness. Other than that I am still liking the Da-Lite High Contrast more and more. Hope I am not boring most of you with these threads, but rather hope that this is informative to ther lay person like myself that is shopping for a VLP-VW10HT mate.
Darren Mortensen

Bulldogger 04-21-2001 05:24 AM

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You will be very happy with the performance of the da-light high contrast. I actually prefer it's picture over the Stewart grayhawk. I purchased a Cosmopolitan Tensioned Electrol. The fabric is thinner than the Stewart. Stewart also has a better build quality. As I will only be using the screen for it's intended purpose, I think that the quality of the Da-lite is more than sufficient. Since you already own a Da-lite screen, the fabric swap is ideal. It will work will with either of the projectors you mentioned.

Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.

Martin P 04-23-2001 01:51 PM

Bulldogger, great to hear you are have good lick with the High Contrast. What build did you end up with? I have read that they started with a gain of .6 and changed this to a gain of .8 or .85 for the final release. This might be just rumour but I sure like the thought of the higher gain. I now have a Da-lite 1.3 gain on a DaSnap frame and would like to try the new material but am a bit afraid because of the lack of reviews and the love affair that is going on with the GrayHawk. I saw the pictures in the latest widescreen review of the greyHawk compared to Stewart 1.3 gain and in the mag it looked as if the white were not just equal on the GrayHawk they looked brighter. Would this be true with the HC? What are you using for a projector and what were you using as a screen. Now what changes,both good and bad has the HC produced on your setup? Any other information that might be relevant would be great. I will now lower the bright white light and stop this interrogation. thanks

Bulldogger 04-28-2001 06:34 AM

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My observations were with the Sony Vw 10. With the lower gain screen you do lose the bright whites of a higher gain screen. I think the screen would work better with a projector with a higher light out put than the Sony. I have the screen with the .80 gain. All current screens use this gain. Blake Brubaker of Da-lite e-mailed me that no one should have a screen made of the lower gain material. He says that when Da-lite was experimenting with different gains, some of the experimental samples were accidentally sent to customer requesting samples. The old material is a darker gray like the color of number 2 pencil lead on paper. The current screen is a ligher grey about the color of an elephant's skin. You do getter much better blacks and better colors but the trade off is brightness. With the Sony, i got 24 foot lamberts on a 80inch by 45 inch 16:9 screen which was bright enough for me. I did not buy the Sony because I am waitiing for the new model that I hope has a digital connection. I am happy with the black level of this combination but hey if Sanyo or Sony can make it even better, I won't refuse the improvement.

Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.

KBK 04-28-2001 02:34 PM

Perhaps one should try comparing them with real movies, instead of the inherently skewed contrast of a cartoon. That may show the Stewart screen in a better light. As for actual comparisons between the two, I have no direct experience. I tend to dismiss any testing done with cartoons, For all the right reasons.


Ken Hotte

wvrich 04-28-2001 05:39 PM

I just finished a test of several Da-Lite samples against my Sherwin Williams Luminous white wall. I Have a Sanyo 21N. I watched scenes from U-571, The English Patient and Galaxy Quest.

First of all the Price performance winner is the Painted wall!
I can say that it is most like the unsupported Da-Mat material in all aspects. So that is a good baseline.

The HC material was very intriguing. I really do not know what to think of it. It performed very well on scences where there was black backround, almost as if someone stripped away a whitish membrane to get to the blacks! During the surface/daylight scenes in U571, the blue sky took on a grey. My wife made the comment that it appeared like it was going to rain any minute. There were scenes when the crew was at attention wearing their Navy whites but the guys that were standing where the Da-Mat HC screen was were wearing darker whites. I did not change the projector settings to determine if the white level could be pushed up to compensate.

One interesting observation of the HC screen was its performance with ambient light. This material does not wash out as quickly as any of the white screens when ambient light level were raised.

The Plain ole Matte white material did well except it looked a little blue to me...

Thats my report!!!

Bulldogger 04-29-2001 06:09 AM

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YOu should try adjusting the color and see what happens. Blue whites and gray ones aren't good. You've come this far so why not adjust the projector and report back?

Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.

KBK 05-15-2001 08:32 AM

All projectors that have problems with back level, will inherently have a screen grey that will work best with them under specific conditons. Take all reccomendations of different grey screens with different projectors with LARGE GRAINS OF SALT.

Look closely at the lumen and contrast rating of the PJ in question. If it is not very, very similar to your machine, if not the exact one... and with the same screen size in use, and with the same ambient lighting and set up, results will vary enough to make one not nessessarily better than the other. Actual testing of a grey screen in your set-up works best -as to acertaining wheter or not it is right for you. If you choose the wrong grey, you are limiting the ability of your projector to realize an actual contrast range. The grey screen gives a better black level, as the same time it increases the PERCEPTION of an increased and controlled contrast range. The wrong grey choice can shorten this 'contrast range' that your PJ has to work with.

Remember... the Contrast range of your Digital PJ is FIXED. The right screen choice will maximize it's effectivness. The wrong choice may look good (and quite probably noticably better than a white screen), but, it can actually SHORTEN the contrast range that YOU WOULD HAVE ACHIEVED of you made EXACTLY the right choice.

LARGE variation in requirements is LITERALLY the NORM in grey screens.

This is something the FEW are aware of, and no-one is telling you.


Ken Hotte

[This message has been edited by KBK (edited 05-17-2001).]

KBK 05-17-2001 07:52 AM

I'm going to throw a bit more into this particular thread, as this is right at the heart of the largest part of the emerging home screen market.

For instance, I have CRT based Front PJ. A Highly modified Electrohome Marquee 8000. The CRT may not be able to be as 'bright' as some would wish, but for others, it is perfectly fine, and does all they want. It has other attributes within the range of quality imaging that, to me.. push all other concerns into the wastebasket. One thing that CRT PJ's have is a large contrast range,and.. taht range is directly variable in some ways, that is far beyond that of a Digital, or panel PJ. The pwer supply systems in a CRT unit have some extra room in their behaivor, and in execution and usage, that allow one to 'vary' the overall contrast range and brightness. Far more subtulty within the presentation of an image is available.

The digital PJ, on the other hand, is limited in what it can present within the context of a contrast range, and this 'tops out' at the availible level of light source,and that's about it. The acutal contrast range scaling is achieved via the panel type and execution, but the constant light source 'locks' the contrast RANGE permanently, and this shortens up, as the bulb ages. There is defintely parts of the bulb aging process where the contrast range and subtulty of image works best, with the least amount of noticable errors.

Some PJs have come on to the market with very high output bulbs, and they have stated that they have very high contast ranges... but.. the subtulty of image is still governed by the realizable color depth of the panel design and execution. The bulb strenght and output is not really a concern, except for driving huge screens, and this has NOTHING AT ALL to do with QUALITY of presentation.. which for FILM BUFFS.. which is what we have here... is the ALL IMPORTANT FACTOR... the willing suspension of disbelief.

A white screen, will bring your black level too high.. and in that.. cust your usable, realizable contrast range,and skew your image into the area of 'appearing' FLAT,and un-lifelike. Black level has to be correct in relation to the rest of the image scaling of contrast range to get the shadow detail right, which is what makes the eye 'lock on' to the image and makes the picture 'pop' out at you. This brings about believability and vertigo effects if it is pulled off. Sure, anyone can decipher a flat washed out image.. but is it really easy to forget the fact that you are watching just a big picture, and loose yourself in the film? This is the whole point. The right selection of grey WILL achieve this, as much is possible with your particular PJ design, room, and screen size.

DON'T be satisfied with just a BIG PICTURE, go the extra little bit in the first place... and get right into the film. Suck your brain dry. Blow your own mind. Get the right screen for your PJ.

With the CRT PJ, one can mess around with the character of the room, and the black level, and the maximum contrast range and get a very, very believable image.

The digital PJ can do such as well, but it needs EXACTLY the right grey to pull this feat off. Every application for every digital PJ will LITERALLY be DIFFERENT. It's the limited 'fixed' contrast range that you have to fight with. You need the right grey, so you can 'float' as much as possible of your 'workable' contrast range above that 'falsified black level/human perception point', so you can work with as much of your PJ's contrast range within the image presentation quality.. and scaling accuracy.. without sacrificing ANY of that range by loosing it in fighting with a BAD BLACK LEVEL PERCEPTION.Remember, you only have so much to work with. CRT PJ's have slightly more.. and Digital PJ's have slightly less. To top it off, the Digital PJ has a digital contrast range, so the scaling of it is even MORE critial by a LONG SHOT. SO, black level perception, actualization, and 'screen design/falsifiction' is BRUTALLY CRITICAL. Each one (PJ type, model and screen size, and source requirement)is different.

Get it?


Ken Hotte

JHouse 07-28-2001 10:42 PM



Boxlight 38t
Panasonic RP91
Da-Lite 100" 4:3 1.3gain
Studio Experience SE616's
and some other stuff.

REW 07-29-2001 08:54 PM

"The Last frontier."
It looks like(DIY)if you want to push the envelope.

"Your priorities will be different-its the weighting that counts!"

DanHouck 07-30-2001 07:45 AM


In reading your report, it sounds like the HC is a bit too dark. Was that your conclusion?

I'll be using the same projector, but with a Panamorph. I'm trying to decide whether to go with Grayhawk or HC. There's a huge difference in price so I don't want to screw this up. Projector Central specifically recommended Grayhawk with this projector but I don't know if any real comparison was made.

Oliver, the link to the thread at Big Picture doesn't work. I looked at all the threads on the screen forum there and couldn't find a comparison. Got another way to retrieve this?


LoFi 07-31-2001 01:49 AM


Try the VPL-VW10HT Forum of TBPDVD. The thread is called "Da-Lite Screen Da-Mat or High Contrast Surfaces?".

Good Luck.

KFung 07-31-2001 01:02 PM


The best way to find out it to get samples from both companies... The Da-Lite does eat a lot of light, what kind of projector and what size screen are you looking at?


Kam Fung

DanHouck 08-04-2001 02:13 PM


Boxlight 38T/Sanyo XP21N. It looks like a real good fit. After you calibrate projector, about 1800 lumens. Screen will be 110" 16:9. I come up with about 50 lumens per square foot.


KFung 08-06-2001 08:41 AM


Yes, that does sound like a good fit, you've got plenty of brightness there. The higher gain of the Greyhawk is kind of wasted with a projector like that! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif The Greyhawk should give you incrementally better performance in ambient light, but whether that outweighs the slightly lighter blacks from the higher gain is a matter of debate (I would think that a bright LCD would benefit more from the better absolute black of a lower gain screen).


Kam Fung

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