I want projection in my Family Room, been researching ALR screens from all the reputable manufacturers including Stewart, Screen Innovations, DNP, etc., because of their ambient light rejecting properties, increased contrast performance in modestly lit environments, etc.. However, in my research, I found these screens have as many pros (better contrast, more saturated colors under higher ambient light conditions, etc..) as cons (sparkles, potential hot spotting, limited field of view, cost, etc..). So, I took a portable Da-Lite 1.0 gain screen, a sample of the Black Diamond 1.4 gain from SI and borrowed an old 720P Panasonic projector to run a few comparison tests at home. After some day and night time testing under modest ambient light and in complete darkness, I found that while the ALR material did show improvement in color saturation and contrast, I also found it lost brightness; making the whites appear duller. Granted, the projector I used was old, but I came to the realization that for most of my viewing after 6 PM M-F and S-S with the drapes closed, an ALR screen may not be a complete necessity.
Thus....I am now considering a more conventional projection screen. That said, I don't watch movies, sports, games or entertain in complete darkness, it's still a functioning Family Room, so I may occasionally have a lamp on and there may be some modest amounts of light bleeding from the adjacent kitchen; in general about 2-4 FC at night with a lamp light on measured at the proposed screen location. All this said, what Stewart non-ALR fixed screen is most similar to the SI Zero Edge product in terms of appearance, which Stewart material and gain would best serve me in the conditions stated above?
I need to strike a balance between that perfect picture everyone wants and using my Family Room for its intended purpose while getting the immersive viewing experience of projection and larger screen. I am currently considering the Epson 6040UB or a JVC RS400-RS500. Another reason I am shying away from the ALR screens is the projector at 11'-6" throw is at the lower range for a 100" ALR screen and that may amplify all the aforementioned cons mentioned earlier; the wider viewing angle of a conventional screen is also nice.
Lastly, I do prefer a gray screen material, as the room is not exclusively dedicated for projection and it would be nice if the screen didn't stand out like a sore thumb (had more of a giant TV look) when not in use, but certainly, I would consider white if that would be the ideal material color in this case.
I'd appreciate your comments and suggestions here folks. I need them! lol