Black Diamond from Screen Innovations? - Page 126 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #3751 of 3764 Old 02-03-2015, 09:59 AM
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Sorry Dave, forgot to mention - I've read good things about DNP but the fact that they reject light from above and below only and not from the left and right does limit their use in real world situations.
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post #3752 of 3764 Old 02-03-2015, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam Ash View Post
Dave, does that mean you have not reached a decision yet for your own needs ?
Hi Sam Ash,

That is a great question! Actually, my favorite screen material is the Darkstar 1.4. However, my room is not a dedicated space. It's a "great" room that has a family room, dining area and kitchen, all in one open space. There's windows,etc. I'm not sure if I want to have projector+screen as a full time TV. No matter how good the screen, it's not going to be as good, in the daytime, as a regular TV. Not sure if I can live with that compromise. I'm waiting on a larger sample of the Darkstar, so that I can make that decision.

If I don't want to use projector+screen as a full time TV, then I'll either want a larger screen TV, or, option B would be to have a TV for daytime and an ambient light screen+projector for evening/night time viewing. Option B would be more expensive. And, the Darkstar is not yet available in a motorized version.

The dilemma for me continues....


Thanks,
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post #3753 of 3764 Old 02-03-2015, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam Ash View Post
Thank you for your kind input Dave, much appreciated. Any news or reviews of the current version of Black Diamond 1.4 ? From what I've learnt, SI has improved the product.

I was hoping to hear back from Ricky as he deals with a plethora of screens.
I don't like the off angle viewing of the SI 1.4. I have a sample, and just moving over 3'-5' to one side of it shows too much of a compromise. I helped a friend install his 1.4 (current generation), and overall, I was not impressed.

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post #3754 of 3764 Old 02-03-2015, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam Ash View Post
Sorry Dave, forgot to mention - I've read good things about DNP but the fact that they reject light from above and below only and not from the left and right does limit their use in real world situations.
Rejecting light from the side, like a window, is difficult for any ambient light screen. Some may do it a little better than others, but it's still a compromise nonetheless. That's why I don't think I can live with any screen+projector for daytime use.

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post #3755 of 3764 Old 02-04-2015, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by thezaks View Post
I don't like the off angle viewing of the SI 1.4. I have a sample, and just moving over 3'-5' to one side of it shows too much of a compromise. I helped a friend install his 1.4 (current generation), and overall, I was not impressed.

Dave
Hi Dave, can you kindly explain why you were not happy with the current generation of the Black Diamond 1.4 screen ?

What have SI fixed in the current version ? Any sign of sparklies / shimmer ?

Any improvement to ambient light rejection and viewing cone ?

Is the image quality better on the current version ?
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post #3756 of 3764 Old 02-04-2015, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Ash View Post
Hi Dave, can you kindly explain why you were not happy with the current generation of the Black Diamond 1.4 screen ?

What have SI fixed in the current version ? Any sign of sparklies / shimmer ?

Any improvement to ambient light rejection and viewing cone ?

Is the image quality better on the current version ?
Hi Sam Ash,

Sure. So far, I have not been looking for sparklies/shimmer, so I don't have a comment there. I've been looking for contrast, clarity, ambient light capabilities, and angles - so I'll comment on those. This is based upon my friend's BD 1.4, which I installed for him 2.5 years ago. It was a BD III, which SI claims to be the same as their current gen material. It's also based upon a brand new BD 1.4, which is setup at a store here in Phoenix (Scottsdale actually) with a Sony HW55ES.

Contrast - actually, no complaints here, the contrast is great. The only ambient light screen I've seen with better contrast is the Elite Prime Vision Darkstar.

Clarity - I noticed a bit of grain on my friend's BD 1.4, but the one at the store seemed to be better. Did they make some improvements? Not sure. Still, the Darkstar produces a clearer picture than the new BD 1.4.

Ambient Light capabilities - both BD 1.4 screens that I've seen do very well with ceiling mounted recessed lights. However, daylight coming in from a side window has a big impact on the picture. Yes, it is better than a white screen, but still not great in my opinion. In the store, you see the TV's getting more daylight than anything else, and they look much better than the BD with much less daylight hitting it.

Angles - at the store, there's a glass wall to the left side, and if I sit in line with the left side of the screen, it's not too bad - still compromised compared to no daylight, but OK. This is a 106" 16:9 screen, and I tried different distances from the screen - basically from 8' to 14' from the screen. Moving to the middle seat, it's gotten worse. By the time I get to the right side of the screen, it's awful (in my opinion). Contrast is gone. In a dark room it's not as compromised at an angle, but it's still noticeable.

The new one looks great overall, and without a comparison to the Darkstar, it should make for a nice ambient light screen - as long as we're talking room lighting. I still think that daylight brings to much compromise (for me) to a BD 1.4 + projector.

Dave
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post #3757 of 3764 Old 02-04-2015, 10:53 PM
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Hi Dave, thank you for your informative and detailed input. Is the Darkstar better at rejecting ambient light coming from the sides ? Do you think it is clearly the best optical screen that you've experienced so far in terms of contrast, clarity and image fidelity when placed in typical room ambience environments ?

Any excellent online reviews and comparisons apart from the common youtube videos ?
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post #3758 of 3764 Old 02-05-2015, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Ash View Post
Hi Dave, thank you for your informative and detailed input. Is the Darkstar better at rejecting ambient light coming from the sides ? Do you think it is clearly the best optical screen that you've experienced so far in terms of contrast, clarity and image fidelity when placed in typical room ambience environments ?

Any excellent online reviews and comparisons apart from the common youtube videos ?
Hi Sam Ash,

Based upon screen samples, I think that the Darkstar is much better with angles than the BD 1.4. However, since I have not seen a full size screen of the Darkstar (I hope to see one in the coming months), I hesitate to comment on its capability for ambient light from the side. However, in terms of contrast and clarity (and resistance to scratches), I prefer the Darkstar.

If you look on youtube, you can find Andrew Robinson's 8 minute review of the Darkstar.

Thanks,
Dave

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post #3759 of 3764 Old 02-05-2015, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Sam Ash View Post
Hi Mike, you might be able to provide some credible guidance. I've come to find out that the SI BD 1.4 screen has been through 2 improvements in the last 2 years and SI keep on improving them. A lot of people in dated (old) forums have said that the BD1.4 suffers from problems like sparklies and hot-spotting which I believe may be true but probably only associated with the first generation BD screens. Could you kindly clarify that for me.

There is a lot of positive talk about the Draper ReAct 2.1 screen which apparently is very popular in Sweden and Europe and some people say it comes very close to the results provided by SI BD1.4. What is your honest and unbiased opinion of that ?

Also, have issues like viewing cone been addressed by SI in the current version of the BD1.4 ? Is light rejection better. Are there any colour or contrast shifts when the screen is viewed from the corners ?

I've been searching for clear-cut answers but there are so many varied opinions on the net. You seem to represent many screen manufacturers and brands, so I'm hoping you will be able to clarify things for me for once and for all.
SI has improved the screen, but these improvements, like everything in HT are small subtle improvements. You are not going to get the pristine image from a BD or any other light rejecting screen with gain, that you would get in a good room with a white 1.0 gain screen. There is always some trade off to the image to be able to get the screen to work better with ambient light. So you either make the room an environment perfect for front projection or you get a screen that works in your room, with the realization that the image will not be perfect. That is not to say, that the image will not be good. It will be very good and much better than what you would get if you used a white screen in the room with ambient light.

I am not trying to dance around the question, but it is hard to answer. Some people look at these speciality screens and see a fantastic image, ignoring or not noticing the trade offs and others look for and see the trade offs to get this type of image in ambient light. So as said above, either fix the room or except the trade off of the speciality screen. In most cases, the better option is the speciality screen, since most people do not have dedicated rooms.
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I am new to the world of projection and I am getting ready to move into a house with a dedicated media room with no windows.. I have had an installer recommend the 100 inch black diamond at $3900 and the SI slate at $2900. It is hard to find pricing on these online are these prices reasonable?

Also being in a light controlled environment are these higher end screens overkill?

Thanks,
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Originally Posted by adam320 View Post
I am new to the world of projection and I am getting ready to move into a house with a dedicated media room with no windows.. I have had an installer recommend the 100 inch black diamond at $3900 and the SI slate at $2900. It is hard to find pricing on these online are these prices reasonable?

Also being in a light controlled environment are these higher end screens overkill?

Thanks,
Assuming you can make the dedicated theater's walls/ceiling darker colored with either paint or fabric, those screens aren't overkill because of their prices, they are inappropriate for a dedicated room..high-end or low-end.

A dedicated room with darker surfaces won't get any benefits from a light-rejecting screen like those, so a matte-white screen will work just as well while also giving a crisper image with better color, better uniformity, less artifacts like grain and shimmer, and a wider viewing-cone.
The matte-white will also be available in more size options that may better fit your seating-distance; 100" is on the small side if you'll be sitting farther than 9'-10' back.
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Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
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Originally Posted by adam320 View Post
...a house with a dedicated media room with no windows.. I have had an installer recommend the 100 inch black diamond at $3900 and the SI slate at $2900.
Wow, this is why I fear installers. No reason for an installer to recommend a black diamond for a dedicated media room. Has there been no discussion of alternatives, trade-offs, and room design?
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Originally Posted by Ftoast View Post
Assuming you can make the dedicated theater's walls/ceiling darker colored with either paint or fabric, those screens aren't overkill because of their prices, they are inappropriate for a dedicated room..high-end or low-end.

A dedicated room with darker surfaces won't get any benefits from a light-rejecting screen like those, so a matte-white screen will work just as well while also giving a crisper image with better color, better uniformity, less artifacts like grain and shimmer, and a wider viewing-cone.
The matte-white will also be available in more size options that may better fit your seating-distance; 100" is on the small side if you'll be sitting farther than 9'-10' back.
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Wow, this is why I fear installers. No reason for an installer to recommend a black diamond for a dedicated media room. Has there been no discussion of alternatives, trade-offs, and room design?
Thank you for your comments guys... I asked him if the black diamond was necessary for a light controlled room. His response was that I will not always be wanting to watch TV in a dark room.. He has a point there. I will be using this room for most all of my TV watching not only movies.. If I have some guys over to watch the game then I doubt we'll have the lights out and door closed. It still won't be a bright room but it won't be pitch black either.. Does that change what I need to be looking at screen wise? I guess my thoughts are sports bars use projectors and they look fine and I doubt they have these expensive light rejecting screens.

I'm looking at the Epson 6030 if that makes a difference.
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I've got a video somewhere of my matte-white screen in the dedicated room when lights are on.
It's bright enough to read a book in there but because the lights face away from the screen, it still looks great.
In a dark-colored room, your lights stay where you want them instead of bouncing all around the room from the walls and ceiling reflections..because dark surfaces absorb light instead of reflecting it everywhere.

A few dollars worth of dark paint or fabric and spotlight-style bulbs or a few directional lamps can make a huge improvement to your lights-on viewing. More than any screen in most cases.

In my room's case, the lights aren't even spot nor particularly directional..you've got plenty of opportunity to best what's shown in the video.

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
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