Originally Posted by thezaks
I always like your suggestions Mr. Hatcher - great stuff! A couple of comments/questions:
1) Yes, the Darkstar is retro-reflective. However, the Darkstar allows for installation of the projector to be lined up with the top of the screen. In fact, it allows for the projector to be installed up to 5% of the screen height above or below the screen. This is how I tested with the sample, checking out how it would look at the bottom of the screen. The blacks on the Darkstar are really close to the blacks of the DNP 08-85, and the whites are brighter than the whites on the BD 1.4. Overall, great contrast! And, like the DNP's, the screen is fairly scratch resistant, unlike the BD's or especially the Seymour ambient light screens which are really bad with scratches.
2) I agree about the BD viewing angles - it's so easy to see with the sample. You can't even sit on the other side of the screen, without having the other side darkened. The Darkstar is so much better than the BD - more in line with the DNP's. It's a smooth drop off, after the 70 degree viewing cone.
3) Regarding your option with the Stewart ST100 for night viewing, would that screen be OK for a room that is not optimized for home theater? (white ceiling, beige walls, etc) Or, is an ambient light screen still recommended?
4) I completely agree with your final comment - get the best screen possible + a decent placeholder projector, and then get a really nice 4K projector in a few years.
No problem at all Dave. My suggestions are purely subjective, and are solely based on what "I" can afford without selling organs on the black market, LOL!
1) Now you're making me want to order some screen samples, LOL! I did some additional research and you're absolutely correct, the projector can be placed +/-5% above/below the top/bottom edges of the screen, respectively. So as long as your angle of incidence is lined up so the light from the lens reflects off the screen and straight to the sweet spot where you will be seating, you will see "up to" 1.4 gain.
How is sparkling/graininess? That's the biggest turnoff of any screen for me. Every ALR screen I have tested thus far (besides DNP) was atrocious in regards to sparkling! DNP was the only screen that minimally exhibited sparkling enough for me to even considering purchasing.
2) Thumbs up!
3) I believe you would be better off with just using an ALR screen in this regard. Yes, the ST100 is the absolute best screen I have tested as far as not exhibiting any distracting artifacts whatsoever. But it will reflect light in all directions since it's a Lambertian diffuser. So even with the lights off in your room, the ALR screen will still have better contrast because it will still be absorbing light that's reflecting around the room.
4) +1, we're just in that unfortunate transitional period where it can be easy to get sucked into making poor purchasing decisions by fancy marketing #'s and terminology. This is fine if you have the money to help beta test in production (the wealthy fuel continued R&D and help work out the early bugs, firmware updates/minor hardware revisions). But I tend to let new tech get on the market for 4-5 years so all the bugs and revisions have been fixed and implemented and the prices come down before I jump on the bandwagon.
Check out these links:
- I wish the Darkstar materials were compatible with this frame. I much prefer the zero edge look and LED surround lighting.
EPV Darkstar 9 (isf Certified)
- This is a .9 gain version of the Darkstar material that has received isf Certification. Color me intrigued. I definitely need to order some Darkstar samples now.
Vutec SilverStar 2.2 (isf Certified)
I've been waiting for this screen to come out, but information has been scarce lately. I figured it would've been released by now since it has received isf Certification. A first for a high gain screen.
Revosoft Couch Screen
- This screen looks super nice, but it's curved and doesn't have very good viewing angles. I've had extensive conversations with customer service and they have been very pleasing to speak with. So that speaks highly of them. They have lots of videos comparing their screen to DNP and others, pretty impressive stuff.