I was wondering how long it would take before you chimed in on this thread. As for the size, I did not measure the size that we were projecting last night, but it was definitely close to 118". At the very least, it was 105" - 110". That is based on the fact that it was right next to my 51" Hitachi 51F500, and it was at least twice the width.
As far as the HCG vs. CCW - the HCG gives it much more of a "theater" feel. A little darker, for sure, but much smoother image and much better blacks. The CCW gives it a little bit crisper colors (better for bright films and for skin tones), but the blacks are weak (HCG makes black look like black, CCW makes black look like medium gray). The Brilliant White material is nice for outdoor bright scenes, but it makes the black look like a light gray. The other issue is that with the HCG we were able to put the lamp in "High" mode for a bright film (American Pie) and in low mode for a darker film (Matrix Reloaded). The scenes that were easiest to test it out on is Chapter 2 of both films. At the start of Chapter 2 in Matrix Reloaded you see the exterior of the ship going through tunnels, which look washed out and bland on the two white screens, on the grey screen it feels like you are in the cinema. Near the begining of chapter 2 in American pie you see sh!tbrick sitting on a bench, his face looks dull on the gray screen and more accurate on the 1.0 gain white screen. When you increase the lamp to high mode it makes the gray screen look much more like the white screen on low lamp mode.
For what it is worth, I'm still waiting on samples from Vutec (Silverstar), Stewart (Grayhawk and Firehawk), and Da-Lite (can't remember which ones they are sending). I'm very curious how the Silverstar will look, since from what I have read the silver gives blacks deeper tones, will bringing out color scenes even more. The Stewart and Da-Lite screens are for comparison sake. David, if you could only make a silver screen everything would be perfect! Please, please, please annouce that you will be making a silver Carada screen. My kingdom for a SILVER CARADA SCREEN!
Oh, lastly, for those who haven't dealt with David from Carada, Inc - I have nothing but good things to say about him. Without a doubt, I will be buying a Carada screen. There is nothing that Stewart, Vutec, Draper, Da-Lite, or anyone else can do at this point that could hold a candle to the excellent customer service I have received from David. Carada had my business before I even received the samples. Two thumbs up, David. :)
Lastly, and I know I'm getting long winded here, is there any way to encourage or convince you to move forward with a silver screen, David? I think if you posted a poll on the screens forum you'd get a lot of feedback similar to mine. Just look at the number of people spending close to the cost of a Carada screen to make a SuperDeluxe/MississippiMud screen. I'd gladly volunteer to be a beta tester / preorder candidate!
Update: $3k for a screen and NO customer service. I will not be getting a Vutec sample - they showed no interest whatsoever in my business. Lousy customer service. Grrrr.
Oh, and I did play around with DIY screens today. Got some plexi and painted it w/ Rustoleum Metallic Aluminum on one side (2 coats), Rustoleum Blossom White Satin (1 coat) on the other side. When that dried I painted the aluminum side with a light coat of the Blossom White Satin - the end result, it looks almost exactly like the Classic Cinema White. Only problem is getting the darned spray paint even. Not really worth it to me, but it was a fun way to kill an afternoon. :)