Firehawk vs. StudioTek 130 and room reflections? - Page 5 - AVS Forum
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post #121 of 169 Old 12-25-2006, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Rob. I can't be encouraged. I have said nothing different here but if you think I have, fine. I am no longer a politial speech writer. There is no prize for being balanced. The only prize is for being right. One wins so few prizes.

But Mark, it was so fun while it lasted (even if for one post).
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post #122 of 169 Old 12-25-2006, 10:58 AM
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Let's just call it my Christmas gift to you. Enjoy, be healthy, and prosper.

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post #123 of 169 Old 12-25-2006, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Regardless of the vote, ST130 is SIGNIFICANTLY better than FH when you have total light control and dark non reflective walls, ceiling, and floor. Given less than this, opinions can vary with rational justification (rather than that's what I have and you should have it too) on which is preferable depending on what is most important to you.

I think WM might agree woth me on this one.

Yes, indeed!

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post #124 of 169 Old 12-26-2006, 12:09 PM
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How come the ST130 is the popular refrence material and not the ultramatte 150?

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post #125 of 169 Old 12-26-2006, 03:28 PM
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One big reason is hot spotting. Screens tend to hot spot when the gain gets much over 1.3 and to me the 150 tends to look a little silvery.

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post #126 of 169 Old 12-26-2006, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

One big reason is hot spotting. Screens tend to hot spot when the gain gets much over 1.3 and to me the 150 tends to look a little silvery.

I've heard it posted by various persons that a retro-reflective screen (like the Dalite HiPower) doesn't hotspot when has the pj close to the screen, e.g., < 1.6 throw (at all, or as much as) angular-reflective screens (like the Firehawk). In your opinion/experience, do you also find this to be the case?
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post #127 of 169 Old 12-30-2006, 12:58 AM
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There are a lot of good points for screens here, and I think screens are becoming more important as projectors improve. A poor performing projector didn't look all that much worse on a poor screen. With the introduction of more 1080p projectors, with more light output than a CRT, I am leaning towards the "matt white" screens, something like the Stewart Snomatte 100. A smooth "white" surface will yield the ultimate focusing surface and no coating texture/grain that can interfere with resolution, more so on smaller screens.

I would like to see the Meridian-Faroudja MF1 in a good room on a Snomatte..........

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post #128 of 169 Old 12-30-2006, 01:39 PM
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I have not read this whole thread, so I apologize if I am repeating info already posted, but I have measured the ST 130 and the original Firehawk, which I own. I can offer more than an impression.

My PJ is mounted 2 times the screens actual width away from the screen. The PJ is mounted .16 times the screens actual height above the top of the screen. The Firehawk is 9' wide by 5' tall. The PJ lens is 18' from the screen, and is about 9.5 inches above the top of the screen. The PJ location influences the measurements, and mounting the PJ in a different location relative to the screen will result in different measurements. I have read that the Firehawk was designed to be used with a ceiling mounted PJ. In my setup, it imparts almost no color shift (less than .002 in x or y) compared with measuring the light directly from the lens of the PJ, and was actually slightly better than the ST130 in this regard.

If the ST 130 sample that I measured is 1.3 gain (as rated), then the Firehawk screen that I own is 1.0 gain measured at the center of the screen. The Firehawk that I own imparts almost no color shift at the center of the screen. HOwever, as with all high gain screens it does hot-spot (as does the High Power mentioned in one of the posts directly above). It also imparts a color shift to the image as one measures away from the center of the screen. This seems to happen with every high gain screen and the higher the gain, the more severe it is. The ST130 also hot spots and imparts a small color shift as one measures near the perimeter of the screen, but to a much smaller degree.

The rest of this post is my opinion of what all this means when it comes to selecting a screen material and determining screen size:

1. The most important thing in selecting a screen is to end up with the proper screen brightness with a new bulb in the PJ. Somewhere in the 12-18 fL range allows for bulb aging. In a light controlled theater, most folks in my experience find that a PJ is bright enough down to about 7 fL. Unless you want to replace your bulbs prematurely, account for bulbs dimming with use. Achieving proper screen brightness is more important than the other considerations listed below combined. It is a mistake to use a screen that is too large or too low gain. Don't compromise on this.

2. The Firehawk is visibly better at quenching cross-light reflections than an ST130. It does not take a trained eye to see this. It is readily visible in actual video. If your HT has white walls, the Firehawk will yield an image with greater ansi type of contrast. The greater the amount of cross-light reflections, the bigger the Firehawk's advantage in this regard. If your HT has dark and/or non-reflective surfaces, this advantage becomes insignificant. It might still be measurable, but it isn't visible, IMO.

3. No screen can increase a PJ/image's on/off CR. This is a misconception that one sometimes reads on the forum and in screen manufacturer's literature. The only affect that a screen can have on contrast is what has been covered in point #2 above. Compared to an ST130, a Firehawk will yield darker Blacks and darker Whites, and both to the same degree.

4. A grey screen does not make an image grayer. It does not make colors dingy. It only makes the image less bright compared to a higher gain screen. In the video world, grey is the same color as white, it is just less bright. An ISF calibrator sets a PJ's "greyscale" so that from Black through all levels of grey all the way to White the PJ puts out D65 White (or as close to it as the display is able). I use a spectroradiometer to measure light reflected directly from the screen as part of every FP calibration. Calibration sets a PJ so that the colors coming off the screen are identical, regardless of the screen type (grey vs white).

5. How much should one be concerned with hot-spotting when selecting a screen material? The reason I listed this consideration last is because it is the least important consideration. Don't compromise on the considerations above to address it. Not one individual has ever seen the hotspotting from my Firehawk, except me. I only see it occasionally in actual video and I only started seeing it after I learned that it is there. I have not had a customer with a Firehawk ever complain about hotspotting. The only exception has been if they watch the calibration, because it is readily visible in a full field grey test pattern. THe same is true for the color shift imparted across the width and height of the screen. It is not visible in actual video. These defects are caused by the high gain coatings used on high gain screens. So the benefits of high gain has some trade offs, but they are worthwhile if you need the gain.

To summarize. If you need a high gain screen to achieve proper screen brightness at your desired screen size, then either use a high gain screen material or choose a smaller screen size. If you have white walls in your HT (or ambient light issues) the Firehawk will yield visibly better image contrast, but should only be used at a size that gives proper screen brightness. Otherwise, use a higher gain material and forego the Firehawks advantage. If your HT has light control and dark and/or non-reflective surfaces, use the screen material that results in proper screen brightness. The Firehawk has little advantage here, and there is thus no reason to suffer its hot-spotting and color uniformity (at different viewing angles)performance, even though those issues are difficult to detect in actual video.

The recommendations above are prioritized by how visible the different types of problems are to the typical viewer. The biggest mistake I see in HTs is using too large a screen for the lumen's output of the PJ. Often this is done at the insistence of the customer against the recommendation of the custom installer. This is correctable by using a higher gain material or a smaller screen. Both of which are preferable to the image being too dim.

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post #129 of 169 Old 12-30-2006, 01:57 PM
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Fantastic information, Glenn. I'm sure this will help many who are/have been agonizing over what type of screen to get.

Ye who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing.
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post #130 of 169 Old 12-30-2006, 02:15 PM
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Excellent post Glenn, thanks!
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post #131 of 169 Old 12-30-2006, 02:19 PM
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glenned,
what about the obvious huge chunks of sparklies on the firehawk.. is this something that doesn´t bother you during normal viewing(i find it terribly obvious)?

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post #132 of 169 Old 12-30-2006, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyser View Post

glenned,
what about the obvious huge chunks of sparklies on the firehawk.. is this something that doesn´t bother you during normal viewing(i find it terribly obvious)?

I've heard others report of sparklies from the FH material. However I cannot see any such thing on my FH, from any angle.
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post #133 of 169 Old 12-30-2006, 02:57 PM
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Glenn, good post.
Quote:
Originally Posted by keyser View Post

glenned,
what about the obvious huge chunks of sparklies on the firehawk.. is this something that doesn´t bother you during normal viewing(i find it terribly obvious)?

There are newer screens being produced to deal with the grain of the screen coatings and 1080p projectors (Firehawk SST, G3 and Grayhawk RS, but they are gray). The sparkles in the coating are starting to interfere with the image resolution and the brighter projectors. As the screen gets bigger and is in need of more gain, it becomes less of an issue as the pixels get bigger and you sit further away from the screen.

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post #134 of 169 Old 12-30-2006, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyser View Post

glenned,
what about the obvious huge chunks of sparklies on the firehawk.. is this something that doesn´t bother you during normal viewing(i find it terribly obvious)?

From where I sit, there is one sparklie that shows up upon rare occasions. It is dependant on viewing angle, and a very small shift in viewing angle makes it disappear. As I walk around the room looking at the FH, I see virtually no other sparklies. Perhaps this is something that varies from one sample to another. I have seen several other FH screens, and have not had a problem with them either.

I recall reading a post years ago about using a soft lead pencil to color the sparklie and make it go away. Supposedly the recommendation came from Stewart. I would call them and ask what to do if I were you. This may be very fixable.

I would find sparklies to be highly distracting if I had them, just as you do.

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post #135 of 169 Old 12-30-2006, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenned View Post

From where I sit, there is one sparklie that shows up upon rare occasions. It is dependant on viewing angle, and a very small shift in viewing angle makes it disappear. As I walk around the room looking at the FH, I see virtually no other sparklies. Perhaps this is something that varies from one sample to another. I have seen several other FH screens, and have not had a problem with them either.

I recall reading a post years ago about using a soft lead pencil to color the sparklie and make it go away. Supposedly the recommendation came from Stewart. I would call them and ask what to do if I were you. This may be very fixable.

I would find sparklies to be highly distracting if I had them, just as you do.

Glenn

Are there any potential issues with sparklies on the new version of the ST 130?
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post #136 of 169 Old 12-31-2006, 04:01 AM
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glenned,
I don´t have a firehawk, just got samples. From the sample I noticed an obivous sparklie effect from my sitting position of 14 feet.
I don´t mean 1 or 2 sparklies, just the whole surface texture.. it´s so coarse.

The sparklies were much finer and less noticable on the ST130, but I could still detect a "surface", if they have improved it(like they have improved the firehawk today), I don´t think I would notice it. Have they indeed improved the ST130 ?

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post #137 of 169 Old 01-01-2007, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingdvd View Post

Are there any potential issues with sparklies on the new version of the ST 130?

The term sparklie was used in the past to describe a feature of the Firehawk where a speck of the screen coating would sparkle brightly. Move your head a few inches and it would disappear. It wasn't all that common, but it was a recognized problem with the Firehawk that was usually solved by coloring the sparklie dot with a soft lead pencil.

The ST130 has never had that issue that I am aware of.

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post #138 of 169 Old 01-01-2007, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyser View Post

glenned,
I don´t have a firehawk, just got samples. From the sample I noticed an obivous sparklie effect from my sitting position of 14 feet.
I don´t mean 1 or 2 sparklies, just the whole surface texture.. it´s so coarse.

The sparklies were much finer and less noticable on the ST130, but I could still detect a "surface", if they have improved it(like they have improved the firehawk today), I don´t think I would notice it. Have they indeed improved the ST130 ?

It is hard for me to answer this question because we are seeing things very differently. I don't detect a "surface" on either the Firehawk or the
ST130. I can tell you that a DLP that can create a sharp Screen door pattern (like the Marantz) creates a very sharply defined black line on both of these screens. IMO the surface texture on both of these screens is so fine that is will resolve the detail in any PJ made and then some.

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post #139 of 169 Old 01-02-2007, 01:15 PM
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Strange.. maybe because I have an IF5700 on a 106" diagonal screen I´m getting a pretty bright picture, I can notice this better.
But I put the samples on my current screen, and I and all my friends noticed the same thing. All the screens that had gain, had random shiny sparkly bits in the coating that were very noticable from the sitting position. I don´t mean 1 or 2 sparklies, just the whole general coating. The only screen I could even think of using was the ST130. But I´d like to see how much better the G3 is than the original firehawk.

I´m surprised(well i guess i ain´t surprised if this doesn´t bother many people) more companies don´t use some sort of smooth consistant shiny printed type of coating. The silverhawk has a pretty smooth coating, the highpower has such tiny particles that they aren´t noticable, and I haven´t seen the DNP screens, but I doubt they have sparklies(but i know they hotspot awfully), because isn´t it a printed layer... not the sprayed on look of the others?

Off topic here, when one buys white paint, you can chose the brightness/mattness of it. How does that relate to gain? If normal white paint is around 1.0... how would a shinier white behave?

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post #140 of 169 Old 01-02-2007, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought I asked this here, but apparently I posted it in some other thread...

Anyway regarding the ST130 - I know compared to the FH the ST130 casts light much wider on the horizontal axis (farther to the left and right side of the screen. But how about on the vertical axis? Does the ST130 also cast more light on the ceiling and floor than the FH, or is the wider spread of light primarily to the left/right?
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post #141 of 169 Old 01-02-2007, 04:17 PM
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Yes. It does. Yes the new ST130 is much smoother than the older ST130. Supposedly you can sit closer without seeing any SCREEN grain. I have samples of the new ST130 and frankly pasting them on my older ST130 screen, I can't see any difference. None. But the fabric is smoother. Re FH. The older FH had colored speckles on it. You didn't see them when watching something projected on it, but if you got real close and examined the screen under light, you could see little colored spots. Customers used to bitch to Stewart that their screen was defective because the surface had these spots and was not uniform. FH was reformulated as FHG3 in part to get rid of the spots.

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post #142 of 169 Old 01-02-2007, 04:22 PM
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Quote:


You didn't see them when watching something projected on it, but if you got real close and examined the screen under light, you could see little colored spots

I and all my friends noticed it from normal viewing distance. Ones first reaction was "it doesn´t really look much different from your screen(which is 1.0 white) except for those brighter sparks on it".

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post #143 of 169 Old 01-02-2007, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Yes. It does.

What does "Yes. It does." refer to? Is that in answer to my question about whether the ST 130 throws considerably more light onto the ceiling and floor (as opposed to just the left and right) compared to the Firehawk?
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post #144 of 169 Old 01-02-2007, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingdvd View Post

What does "Yes. It does." refer to? Is that in answer to my question about whether the ST 130 throws considerably more light onto the ceiling and floor (as opposed to just the left and right) compared to the Firehawk?

Yes. It is.

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post #145 of 169 Old 01-03-2007, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

Customers used to bitch to Stewart that their screen was defective because the surface had these spots and was not uniform. FH was reformulated as FHG3 in part to get rid of the spots.

Are you saying customers who didn't like these spots on their screen were acting like female dogs? Were they complaining maliciously? Maybe they were acting a little pompous and spoiled?
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post #146 of 169 Old 01-04-2007, 11:26 AM
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Has the new smoother finish also been applied to the ultramatte 150?

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post #147 of 169 Old 01-04-2007, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovven View Post

If you don't want a "colored picture" you need to have a ST130 and BLACK walls, ceiling, floor, clothes etc. For example red walls will make your picture go a bit reddish. Everything is a compromize... Firehawk is better in white rooms, ST 130 (or similar) is the way to go if you have a batcave. And offcourse you need to recalibrate your PJ for the different screens. Compared to ST130 the Firehwak goes blueish, if I remember correct HighPower goes red and so on...

Shovven

I have a dedicated HT (light controlled, very dark, only window located in swinging door) with dark blue walls except for the wall that my Studiotek 130 is on, which is black. My ceiling is black, all outlet plates match their respective walls. I've got a Samsung H710 with a 12.5 ft throw. Question: If I put 6 red theater seats in the HT how much of a reflection issue would I create?
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post #148 of 169 Old 01-04-2007, 06:21 PM
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Any objections going from a Firehawk 1G to the Snowmatte stewart screen? I hate seeing pixels so when I upgrade to the JVC that takes care of that however, I'm sensitive to gain screens and this still ruins the 3-d effect for me because I can see I'm projecting on a surface. My room is light controlled and I have dark colors on the ceiling, carpeting and walls. I would think the snowmatte material to be less expensive as well because it has no optical coating.
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post #149 of 169 Old 01-04-2007, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avojoe View Post

I have a dedicated HT (light controlled, very dark, only window located in swinging door) with dark blue walls except for the wall that my Studiotek 130 is on, which is black. My ceiling is black, all outlet plates match their respective walls. I've got a Samsung H710 with a 12.5 ft throw. Question: If I put 6 red theater seats in the HT how much of a reflection issue would I create?

Depends, if you have 6 people wearing white there will be more reflections, if they wear black, probably a non-issue. The chairs alone, depends on the shade of red, bright red would have more of a chance at reflection, but doubtful you will see it.

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post #150 of 169 Old 01-04-2007, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenC View Post

Depends, if you have 6 people wearing white there will be more reflections, if they wear black, probably a non-issue. The chairs alone, depends on the shade of red, bright red would have more of a chance at reflection, but doubtful you will see it.

Probably also depends on the material of the chairs. I imagine smooth leather would reflect quite a bit more than woven fabrics.
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