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-   -   The High-Gain/Exotic Screen Review (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-screens/228371-high-gain-exotic-screen-review.html)

Tryg 01-06-2003 03:41 PM

After critically looking at these screens for over 5 days and taking over 200 pictures I must say this was one hard review. There are so many variables, they cannot all be covered here. In the end, it is important to try to achieve the greatest benefit for the environment or viewing you want to achieve. This review will focus on 5 high power screens surfaces and will include 3 lower power for reference only. The Lumenstar, which I was originally told was 5.8 gain was to be included in the high gain review, but did not turn out to be so. I would estimate it to be .58 gain, eliminating it from much comment. Also, I am not a professional reviewer. This review is for fun and therefore full of my observations and opinions. I did not use a Photometer to measure the gain, and I will try to present all information in understandable terms. My Camera is also not perfect or calibrated for color accuracy, however, all pictures are untouched and were taken from the same setting (not auto). Therefore you can use all pictures as references against themselves. I used 5 different lighting levels and pictures from 0 to 50 degrees off center. Three different ambient lighting sources were used(daylight, fluorescent and incandescent), and five different lighting levels. Virtually all pictures were taken in very tough(high) ambient lighting conditions to really put these products through the paces. I will try to be described when able. Now for the screens in order of brightness

High Power Screens

Vutec Silverstar - 9.5 Gain
Vutec Silverstar - 6.0 Gain
Da-Lite High Power - 2.8 Gain
Stewart Ultramatte - 2.75 Gain
Da-Lite Glass Beaded - 2.5 Gain

Lower Power Screens

Stewart Retro Grey - 1.6 Gain
Da-Lite Cinema Vision - 1.3 Gain see update
Stewart Firehawk - 1.3 Gain

Why Review High Power Screens? Well, of course I'm trying to solve a problem. I do not like watching TV and sporting events in dark conditions that are necessary for front projection. Movies in darker conditions are ok, but there is nothing lamer than inviting some friends over to watch the Superbowl in the dark.

So how can I solve this problem? Find some magical screen with so much gain that it sheds all ambient light yet at the same time directs all projected light directly to all viewing areas. Hahahahahah. See, this review has already made me gone mad! Yes, I have come to the realization yet again you cannot cheat the physics!

The problem: I have an unusually large seating arrangement with viewing angles from some seating positions exceeding 50 degrees from the light source on one side of the screen and less than 15 degrees on the other side. If you have started thinking about this now you probably have figured out you need to consider the projection angles and type of screen.

How will the light reflect? This will determine what you should be seeing, and if certain viewing cones will allow for a consistent image. Before you jump to any conclusions you also have to consider "Net effect" based on the screen's viewing cone, projection angles and where you are sitting.


Types of Screens There are basically two types of screens.

Retro-reflective This is like a stop sign and other traffic related reflecting devices. The light is reflected back toward the source. The following screens in this review I found to have these properties were:

Da-Lite Hi Power, Da- Lite Glass Bead, and the Stewart Retro Grey (experimental)

Angular reflective This is like a ping pong table. The light is reflected along the trajectory of the reflection much like the ping pong ball. The following screens in this review I found to have these properties were:

Vutec Silverstar 9.5, Vutec Silverstar 6.0, Stewart Ultramatte (somewhat)

And I'm going to add a third property which is exhibited in standard uncoated white vinyl/pvc tensionable screen material which is illumination. Although it is still angular in nature, it diffuses the light so well that no clear direction or change in gain is noticeable from any angle. More later

My Home Theater and what screen might be best? Because I'm trying to achieve high gain WITH a wide viewing stage and I'm thinking ANGULAR might be best. The projector being used is a JVC G1000 (D-ila), producing approximately 700 true lumens right now. It is "ceiling mounted" and aligned with the top of the screen. Center couch seating is 18' from screen, projector is 26' from screen. Screen is 10' wide 16:9 aspect ratio.

Background screen is the Da-Lite Cinema Vision 1.3 (white stretchable vinyl/pvc) see update



Here's an example of my set up and the projection angles in degrees. They are only estimates! The numbers are slightly high because my projector is actually farther back than the seating distances measured. This is of course exacerbated as the estimated angles get higher.

It should become obvious that at some viewing angles the projection angle will exceed the limitations of what even some Angular Reflective screens can do. I haven't really considered retro-reflective screens yet, because only the center couch would benefit from the higher gains since the light comes back toward the source.

Can you still get consistency across the screen from these viewing angles with an angular or retro-reflective screen? Well, I haven't cut my samples up yet to determine this by placing them throughout the screen and testing. I wish I just had full screen versions for more accurate evaluation. Because of this, I will also not be able to comment on hot spotting.

I think you can probably tell from the middle couch the reflection angle really never exceeds ~15 degrees from the light source(except on the far side if on one side of the couch). From the side couches though, angles from the projected light source can exceed 50 degrees! Retro-reflective is definitely not an option if I want the gain from all seating positions.

What's Gain? Gain is the amount of light that is reflected back from the screen surface. A standard of 1 gain is measured with a photometer as light is reflected off a piece of magnesium carbonate. As the gain goes up more light is reflected. As you reflect light you are not creating light, just reflecting it. So, as the gain goes up all you are really doing is reflecting more of the light directionally, like back toward the viewer. Since you cannot cheat the physics the more light you send back toward the viewer, the less gets reflected off to the side, thus a smaller viewing cone.

The only thing you can really change in this equation is how efficiently you can reflect it back. The Vutec Silverstar has managed to take this to the most efficient levels from what I can see. Without hot spotting? I can't tell with just this small sample.

What's hot spotting? The inability of the screen surface to diffuse the light consistently across the screen. For instance a regular mirror would be very efficient for reflection, but horrible for hot spotting. In fact, you would just see exactly where the light was coming from.


Finally, The Review.

Below are the samples I tested. This picture was taken with one third daylight conditions(estimate). The daylight coloration is very noticeable and none of the light was direct to the screen. The day was overcast. The ANSI checkerboard allows you to see and evaluate the whites, blacks, and real world contrast as they are both present at the same time.



My impressions and observations.

Vutec Silverstar 9.5 Wow, over the top bright. Probably too much for home theater, plus I don't think they are currently manufacturing it. They told me they are only manufacturing the 6.0. Although it looks more like ~5.0 gain as it is really hard to tell without use of an instrument, and at these levels who knows!? I can assure you it is the brightest screen you will likely ever see!

Construction is on solid thick foam board. Screen surface is silver in color and somewhat smooth .


Vutec Silverstar 6.0 Wow, very bright, could work for HT. At this brightness you WILL SEE compression artifacts in source material. Sorry, but when you get this bright, and you have a high end display device, you are going to see the flaws. Lower power screens do a good job of hiding these flaws. Until you see them you never even knew they were there! The Silverstars somehow have better viewing cones than the other high powers! I'd estimate this screen is more like 4 gain.

Construction is on solid thick foam board. Screen surface is silver in color and somewhat smooth.


Da-Lite High Power 2.8 Nice screen, My favorite of the high powers(even though the Silverstar is very intriguing). Appeared brighter and more consistent than the Ultramatte. I would estimate if the Ultramatte is a true 2.75 the High Power should be 2.9 or maybe even 3 gain.

Construction is retro-reflective emulsion on a heavy vinyl backing. Screen surface is white in color and medium texture.


Stewart Ultramatte 2.75 Good screen, The pearlescent emulsion is ok and has unique properties, but I think there is better emulsion available. The Ultramatte appeared to have much more angular reflective properties and the brightness consistency looked kind of spotty to me. This may be just an illusion or may not even be an issue with a full screen. I definitely waffled back an forth on whether liked it or not. In the end, it was pretty good for watching actual material.

Construction is angular reflective emulsion on a lighter vinyl backing. Screen surface is white/pearlescent in color and low texture. Material is stretchable.


Da-Lite Glass Beaded 2.5 Lowest viewing cone. Better technology exists today in my opinion. Overall, it did what it was supposed to do but the others just did it better. Cleaning this screen would be difficult at best.

Construction is retro-reflective emulsion on a heavy vinyl backing. Screen surface is white/crushed glass in color and high texture. The glass emulsion likes to fall off when the screen is manipulated.


Stewart Retro Grey 1.6 (super secret experimental pink screen) Yes, it's pink. I really liked this material. It's really a toss up between this and the Firehawk. I liked the colors on this material much better than the Firehawk plus it was brighter. Whites looked whiter, yet it managed to give the same blacks as the Firehawk.

Construction is mildly retro-reflective emulsion on a heavy vinyl backing. Screen surface is pink in color and medium texture. Build quality, durable.


Da-Lite Cinema Vision 1.3 My screen. By far, the best viewing angle. 180 degrees. All others have an emulsion so they suffer at certain viewing angles and have a viewing cone with drop off. My screen is stretched white vinyl/pvc with no coating. This allows light to be transmitted through the material. The white vinyl actually diffuses the light in such a way that all viewing angles look the same. I also liked the coloration of this screen the best.

Construction is light extra white vinyl. Screen surface is white in color and stretchable. UPDATE. I have received a new sample Da-Lite Cinema Vision and it now differs from my screen purchased in 2000. My screen... is a very white vinyl/pvc with a very small/no visable coating on it. Just a sheen(could just be surface properties), and some small almost non visable sparklies. Essentially extra white stretchable vinyl/pvc. Virtually identical to Draper 1300 and the Vutec Brite-White products that are also 1.3. For camparison, my screens white is definately brighter than say the Da-Lite's Da Mat vinyl/pvc at 1.0 gain. This material is a similar strechable vinyl just not as white. This New Cinema Vision does have a gain curve. I'm not sure why they would go with this opticle coating as IMHO it may not help the product.


Stewart Firehawk 1.3 Very similar to Cinema Vision for brightness but slightly better blacks. Much smaller viewing cone. Starts to drop very gradually after 20 degrees in brightness. I could not get used to the grey look beside the white screens. Colors to me just looked better on the white screens. This likely would not be an issue if others where not present.

Construction is mild reflective emulsion on a light, grey in color, vinyl backing. Screen surface is grey in color and light texture. Material is stretchable.


Lumenstar I originally was told this was a 5.8 gain screen. However, I think something was lost in the translation from Japan where it's manufactured. It appears to be a .58 gain screen. So I'm really not going to say much about it except that it is designed to shed ambient light. The lumens necessary to even bring it up to the 1.3 gain screen would be significant. To reach the foot lamberts of luminance of the higher gain screen levels well. I'm not sure this product will work for HT unless you have a 5000 lumen projector or more! The product itself is approximately 8-10 times what the others cost, and if you couple that with the cost of a very high lumen projector it is likely out of the range for price for anybody but the extremely wealthy. This product is likely not for Home Theater.

Construction is on solid backing board. Screen surface is black/dark grey with small grooves similar to an LP record. Appears to be a laminate with an outer grooved (fresnel type) surface, with a reflective backing, and a supporting backing board. Looks washable and only comes in panels that are 40 x 60? inches at the largest. Panels are pieced together to make larger displays.


What do the samples look like? Here is another picture in medium indirect florescent lighting levels. These lighting levels would allow you to read a newspaper with out problem, but are much lower than the higher lighting levels displayed later.



As you can see from the ANSI checkerboard pattern that the different gains are dramatic. Coloration from my camera is a little weird but not that far off really.

Although this isn't really very scientific (because not all angles are the same for each sample) I will show you a color sample at 0 through 50 degrees. Pictures are taken at 10-degree intervals. This is a really fun shot because you can see each material and how the look changes the intensity of the colors as it gets wider and wider angle. Just for fun.




Lets talk about viewing cones Now the viewing cones are for these products are dramatically different. The higher the gain, the more noticeable the drop off is. To do this experiment we will focus on the HIGH GAIN SCREENS which I will align in the middle of my screen as shown. This is so the degree measurements of the pictures at 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 are accurately represented. The Stewart Retro Grey and Firehawk will be included off to the right as shown. Of course, my screen the Da-Lite Cinema Vision is in the background.



This photo will give you an idea of where these samples are as we move on to the main experiment.


Viewing Angles, Different Lighting Levels, and Sources

The following pictures are screen shots taken on the above mentioned 10 degree increments. Four different lighting levels were used. Keep in mind my walls are painted sand/tan in color and the reflected lighting effects the pictures.

High Light Direct Incandescent This lighting is very bright. No where near Daylight conditions, but direct to the screen. Light is provided by 9 sixty watt incandescent flood lamps. Very bright, warm in color.





High Light Indirect Florescent This lighting is very bright. No where near Daylight conditions, but very bright even though not direct to screen. Light is provided by 9, four foot 40 watt fluorescent lamps. Very bright, cooler in color.





Medium Light Indirect Florescent This lighting is much dimmer. No where near higher lighting conditions, but bright enough to read and walk around the room comfortably. Mood lighting, dim yet navigable. Not direct to screen, light is bounced off ceiling from soffits. Light is provided by 4, four foot 40 watt fluorescent lamps. Mildly dim, cooler in color.





Low Light indirect Incandescent This lighting is very dim. Not direct to screen, only relected off walls. You could not read in this lighting. Excellent for watching movies in low lighting conditions as you can still see the walls. Light is provided by one 25 watt incandescent lamp in back of room. Very dim, warm in color.





Viewing Cones What did I see? Even though the pictures may not represent it, I did individually evaluate each sample and this is what I found for viewing cones and drop off. Of course different colors act differently. My observations for viewing cone were done using only a white and grey projected image.


Silverstar 9.5 Starts to noticeably drop off at 14-15 degrees then consistently declines until it is neutral (1 gain) at 30 degrees. Continues to decline consistently at the same rate out to the wider angles.

Silverstar 6.0 Starts to noticeably drop off at 14-15 degrees then consistently declines until it is neutral (1 gain) at 30 degrees. Continues to decline consistently at the same rate out to the wider angles.

High Power Starts to noticeably drop off at 10 degrees then consistently declines until it is neutral (1 gain) at 20 degrees, where it stays at the same rate (1 gain) out to the wider angles.

Ultramatte Starts to noticeably drop off at 10 degrees then consistently declines until it is neutral (1 gain) at 20 degrees, where it stays at the same rate (1 gain) out to the wider angles.

Glass Bead Starts to noticeably drop off at 7 degrees then consistently declines until it is neutral (1 gain) at 12 degrees, where it stays at the same rate (1 gain) out to the wider angles.

Retro Grey Slowly drops off and at 10 degrees is then neutral (1 gain), then continues to decline consistently at same rate out to the wider angles.

Firehawk Slowly drops off and at 10 degrees is then neutral (1 gain), then continues to decline consistently at same rate out to the wider angles.

Cinema Vision No noticeable decline in gain at any angle. 1.3 gain.see update


CONCLUSIONS

Well, I haven't found the magical screen that I have been looking for (for my circumstances. Unlimited viewing angles and higher gain). I guess I will have to stick with my Cinema Vision for the wide angles and balance a brighter projector with ambient lighting. I may have to resort to Designing a rear projection set up.
Some of the screen materials were very interesting. Both the Vutec 6.0 and the Da-Lite High Power really got my curiosity up. I may try these surfaces in the future for fun to really see how the full screen looks. The colors at these higher levels are so vibrant. If the High Power had 10 degree wider viewing angle I would buy it today. Unfortunately you can't cheat the physics and no screen is perfect. What I really need is a screen that doesn't just reflect, but illuminates as it defuses the light. Is it possible? Only time will tell.


Thank you Don Stewart for personally sending me the samples, and to JimmyR for overnighting me the Vutec 6.0 sample.

I wish the Draper 2500 sample would have come but it was a no-show. I would have liked to do a longer review but time and other issues intervened. I'll monitor for questions.

joe12south 01-06-2003 06:35 PM

Very interesting! Thanks for the review, especially the snaps.
Just curious, why didn't you try the High Contrast Cinema Vision? It has the benefits of your Cinema Vision, but the grey screen helps black levels in ambient light.

Mark Hunter 01-06-2003 06:41 PM

Tryg-

You have posted the definitive screen thread that will be linked to countless times in the future. The effort you put into this review is obvious.

Thank you particularly for the increasingly off-axis shots of the screen materials to demonstrate what happens to off-axis viewers. I've never seen anything quite like that before and it is excellent.

Great post!

MrWigggles 01-06-2003 08:01 PM

Tryg,

You are officially off my ignore list!!!

Great job. I too wish you had an instrument to measure the differences but you photography and descriptions are very good.

-Mr. Wigggles

Tryg 01-06-2003 08:33 PM

Thanks.

I actually do have an instrument but it would add too much complexity to the review and really only is valuable in perfect conditions. I wanted this to be a laymans report.

Also, I wanted to show these products under VERY difficult viewing conditions. That's more what real life is about.

Maybe I can have a second review in the future and include other products like the Draper 2500, other Stewart or Da-Lite products, A white piece of lamininate, and maybe the awesome parkland plastics DIY screen. I'd even consider some Goo.

Phat Phreddy 01-07-2003 01:16 AM

Well in my current config I have a long narrow room... The SilverStar 6.0 with some backlighting would be impressively bright...

Anyone know a good contact to obtain a sample of that ???

Tryg 01-07-2003 08:37 AM

Call Vutec. I would love to see a full screen. Its about $68 a sq Ft.

Iceman 01-07-2003 08:44 AM

Tryg,

Thanks very much for your review, it must have been exhausting work.

As you are in possession of Vutec samples and also seem to have access to measurement equipment, it would be a shame not to post gain curves for these aggressively marketed materials. This way we would know for sure how much hot air Vutec's marketing department is serving us. Please, please, please post gain curves in 5 degree increments.

Dan2112 01-07-2003 03:26 PM

Tryg,

Did you put the light source in the same location as the projector?

Some of these materials are retroreflective and reflect directly back at the source, which would affect the perceived gain at the seating location.

Tryg 01-07-2003 04:54 PM

Quote:


Originally posted by Dan2112

Some of these materials are retroreflective and reflect directly back at the source, which would affect the perceived gain at the seating location.

Exactly!

No, the ambiant light came from other directions. That's part of the reason why Stewart has created these "hybrid" screens. The retro-reflectivity sheds the ambient light but the angular reflectivity gives wider viewing. The Firehawk is a perfect example of this. Retroreflective emulsion on grey vinyl. This product tries to kill 3 birds with one stone Dark blacks of a grey screen, shedding of ambient light, and higher gain for more punch.

I have found that every screen material has properties of both types. It's just what it exibits the most of. The perlescent emulsion on the Ultramatte had me scratching my head a little.

Iceman,

I really don't want to get into the details of using an instrument. You can get probably a better understanding of the viewing cone just by looking at the pictures. I also do not want to dispute any manufacturer publicly about what they claim about a product especially the technical details. Plus I'd rather not know. What you see is what you get.

I might take a few more photos if necessary at smaller increments.

Rob4x20 01-07-2003 07:37 PM

sorry if I missed it but, what pj did you use? what are it's specs? it was ceiling mounted as in the picture right? what is the distance from pj to screen?

also, again I'm sure I missed it, what was the background screen? Was it the HCCV?

thanks for the effort, it is an awesome aid.

the high power looks great in the pics, are the blacks much lighter? Hard to tell on my monitor...was it mainly the viewing cone that you disliked on this material or the light blacks?

Sorry for all the questions when you gave so much already!

~rob

Tryg 01-07-2003 10:47 PM

Sorry, Will update the above review

I'm not a black freak. Most blacks look fine to me with a decent projector(500:1 or greater contrast). I do think having any viewing cone is a major drawback for my set up. I'd rather just buy a brighter projector. Look at the background screen at all angles and you'll see why. In other words, I woudn't switch with any of the products I reviewed. I may buy a full size high power to play around with.

Mr.Poindexter 01-09-2003 08:46 AM

Tryg,

Thank you for your work on this. Even those of use with lowly DLP and LCD projectors will appreciate your efforts. Now, maybe I can get one of those 9.5 gain screens for my $15 ebay instructions for making a 10' projected image from a 15" computer monitor...

Tryg 01-09-2003 10:39 AM

There's been a few people PM and emailing me about the Stewart Retro Grey screen. BTW I really liked the product! but...

I dont know if, or when, they will be producing it for sale.
I don't know what it might cost.

Since the sample was sent to me with "experimental" written on the back I'm only joking when I say it's "super secret". Also, I am including a color sample of appoximately what it looks like. I don't want to turn people off by saying "pink". Although it is pink in color up close, it's actually pretty hard to tell that it's pink from a distance. It looks kinda grey...

REW 01-10-2003 06:04 PM

Tryg,
Thanks for this big effort on your part.The Hi power is the 800 lb gorilla nightmare for most competitors.Most people dont want to talk about it.It ruins sales for other types.I have a full 8ft wide-you better try it.
As you said "I buy it now if it had 20degrees instead of 10!"
Just get it in a room where you view 5-6ft further back(game over!)
I will say this,most everyone has compared next to nothing in screens.They had to buy blindfolded.They will be surprised if they ever do!
Exclude Iceman,Bjoern Roy.Tryg and others who have.

steve5097 01-11-2003 11:00 AM

Tryg,
Great work! One of the most interesting posts I've seen all year. - Actually, one of the best in many months. I especially liked the angle shots.
Thanks,

lovingdvd 01-14-2003 02:32 PM

Wow - what a post Tryg. I think the powers to be at AVS should issue a yearly award for Best Post that we can all vote for.

Anyway, in comparing the Firehawk to the "Pinkhawk" - in looking at the screen shots it appears that blacks on the Pinkhawk have a tad of a purple tint to them, compared to the blacks on the Firehawk. I realize your camera could be changing colors, but given I was making this judgement from the same photo I was wondering if you noticed this at all in your testing. Thanks.

TzungILin 01-15-2003 01:54 AM

Quote:


Originally posted by Tryg
There's been a few people PM and emailing me about the Stewart Retro Grey screen. BTW I really liked the product! but...

I dont know if, or when, they will be producing it for sale.
I don't know what it might cost.

Since the sample was sent to me with "experimental" written on the back I'm only joking when I say it's "super secret". Also, I am including a color sample of appoximately what it looks like. I don't want to turn people off by saying "pink". Although it is pink in color up close, it's actually pretty hard to tell that it's pink from a distance. It looks kinda grey...

Well, one can actually buy a similar screen, from Japan!

Kikuchi is already selling a Theater Grey Advance screen with 1.6 gain, it looks pink-ish grey. It is very good.

There seems to be some cooperation between Stewart and Kikuchi, as Firehawk screen ads in Japanese HiVi Magazine, the promoter seems to be Kikuchi.

We used it in a trade show at Taipei, matching to Optoma H56 DLP projector reversed mounted on ceiling, the resulting image is very saturated color yet with a lot of punch. If one puts the projector on the floor, one loses the punch and less saturated color. So the trick is to reverse mount your projector when you use this screen.

lovingdvd 01-15-2003 06:47 AM

Quote:


Originally posted by TzungILin
Well, one can actually buy a similar screen, from Japan!

Kikuchi is already selling a Theater Grey Advance screen with 1.6 gain, it looks pink-ish grey. It is very good.

There seems to be some cooperation between Stewart and Kikuchi, as Firehawk screen ads in Japanese HiVi Magazine, the promoter seems to be Kikuchi.

We used it in a trade show at Taipei, matching to Optoma H56 DLP projector reversed mounted on ceiling, the resulting image is very saturated color yet with a lot of punch. If one puts the projector on the floor, one loses the punch and less saturated color. So the trick is to reverse mount your projector when you use this screen.

TzungILin - Can you provide a link to where a screen like this may be bought from overseas?

Also what do you mean exactly by "reverse mount"? Is that saying the same thing as ceiling mounting the pj, where you turn the unit upside down? How about in an installation where the pj is mounted on a shelf near the ceiling height but not turned upside down? Thanks.

JimmyR 01-15-2003 01:43 PM

Just got back on-line and what a great thread and infomative review Tryg !

I do hope you do get a full size HiPower to "play with". If you do I think you'll see a very usable image that may surprise you and make you wonder about the 10 deg roll off in the specs and what you see with a small sample.

I disagree about the "smooth" surface of the SilverStar 6.0 I sent you, I't OK to take off the gloves when surface testing If that surface is "smooth" I have a full head of hair.

TzungILin 01-15-2003 05:19 PM

O.K., I dig out their link from AVAC as follows:

http://www.kikuchi-screen.co.jp/

It's all Japanese web site, their English catalog is old, and does not have the Theater Grey Advance.

However, I found out the catalog and price of TGA screen as follows

http://www.kikuchi-screen.co.jp/Gamen-sw/ag-panf.pdf

Looks like the 90", 16x9 hand pull type is 160K yen

Enjoy reading, I don't know whether you can order direct or not. If you succeed, let us know.

indygreg 01-16-2003 08:23 PM

first, this is a great post and like others i want to thank you for taking the time to share all this work.

after looking at your post i got interested again in the silverstar. i have a sample from them that i got a while back. i just went and looked at it again. i opened a small picture up and started dragging it around the screen so that parts of it were on the silverstar sample. it is like a looking glass and as i move the picture around i can see details in the picture that i cannot see on my screen. this is not a subtle thing i have to look for - i have to say this thing is stunning. and as you said, it does not fall off as much as other screens yet it is dramatically brighter. maybe it is just the contrast that it gives but the blacks definitely look blacker to me.

i am sure it is not for everyone but if you like that razer sharp, high contrast, crt tube (not projection) type of image, you have to see this thing. it is expensive and might reveal flaws in the video source but for me it is like buying a 6000 lumen projector.

greg

Tryg 01-21-2003 12:57 PM

Quote:


Originally posted by JimmyR

I disagree about the "smooth" surface of the SilverStar 6.0 I sent you, I't OK to take off the gloves when surface testing If that surface is "smooth" I have a full head of hair.

Ok I updated the review. It's not smooth like glass. More smooth like laminant or very fine sandpaper. I guess its all relative... Compared to the others it's pretty smooth.

MD_HT1 01-21-2003 04:49 PM

Rew,

Could you give me some more details of how you are using your
high-power screen and what your impressions of it's
plusses and minuses are? I am wondering how you like it
in a dark vs lighted area. I want to have both options.

Also any hot-spot problems or screen wear problems that
affect the performance. I was planning on getting a
roll-up version for my home theater.

Thanks!

SaulP 01-21-2003 06:01 PM

Tryg:
Thank you for a terrific review.

I'm in the process of picking a 100" electric drop-down screen for a DLP ceiling mount set-up (DWIN TV3 or InFocus probably). My installer insists that the quality of the Stewart products is much better than Da-Lite. He mentioned that Stewart has a proprietary application process for their screens that makes them better. Until I heard that, I had been strongly leaning toward the Da-Lite HCCV (great reviews + good price). Any insights on the quality issue would be very much appreciated.

Thanks.

lovingdvd 01-21-2003 07:55 PM

I've seen the 7200 on the Firehawk twice now and it is IMHO the best screen for it. The FH will give you a bit more gain than the HCCV as well as likely keeping the colors more true, as many gray screens have a tendency to shift the colors towards blue. The best thing to do is to get your pj and some samples, and test prior to purchasing your screen.

REW 01-22-2003 08:09 PM

MDHT1,
Marquee 8501LC on HP in black room is excellent.Works to a degree with some lights on.
long TD-throw distance helps to thwart any faint hotspot or colorshift.I dont have either.
Search Iceman posts in screens.He uses it,that would be enough to clinch the deal,even if I hadnt compared to lots of others.

jacksonian 01-23-2003 07:28 AM

Tryg,
Thanks a million, very very helpful. Just wondered if you happened to put up a DVD picture of some fairly uniform image just to see how the screen materials compared? I know it's not really fair, but still interesting.

REW,
Do you feel like your blacks are gray? Or once you're used to the black level you have, it doesn't matter? What kind of projector are you using? Did you go with high power so you could have more ambient light?

I'm torn all the way between the Cinema Vision to the High Contrast Cinema Vision to the High Power. All very different and I'm sure I'd be happy with any one of them, so I'm trying not to obsess, but it's hard. We have one BIG window on one side of the room and we're ordering the blackout matinee shades today. But I sure would like to be able to have some ambient light while still watching football on Saturdays. Would the High Power be the best for that? (I am NOT a videophile and will be using a Pansonic PT-L300u LCD projector). Thanks for any help you can offer.

Tryg 01-23-2003 10:13 AM

Jacksonian,

All the screens in my review, except the Cinema Vision, are directional. If your viewing room allows you to sit directly in front of the screen(like my center coach) then they all should work.
Then you must choose gain. As gain goes up the viewing cone goes down. Again, likely they all will work for you....

For me however, I have a sort of a "Theater in the Round" concept with very wide viewing angles from many of the seating positions. Then when I have parties, I can have viewing angle that go beyond 75 degrees! These other surfaces just wont work for me.



this photo has been manipulated...

jacksonian 01-23-2003 12:18 PM

Tryg,
That picture looks great, even with the ambient light! I'm very impressed. I think the Cinema Vision is what I need.


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