Seeing that we are getting more reports from owners I wanted to pop into the thread to give my point of view. The theater room in my new home is finally completely installed after waiting almost two months for the screen to get here. Before I talk about my impressions, here are the details on my setup:
- My screen is a 14' wide custom aspect ratio screen designed to optimize the size of both 16x9 and 2.35:1 content for my room. For wide films the image is 14' wide (168" diagonal) and for 16x9 films it is 12' wide (165" diagonal). I didn't want to go with CIH in my room because it would have meant that 16x9 content would have been limited to 10' wide. The screen basically fills the entire front wall of my theater floor to ceiling, only leaving 6" at the top for my center speaker, or I would have gone bigger (I was thinking about doing a 16' screen for a while).
- For the fabric I went with the Da-Lite High Contrast High Power. This is a fabric that has intrigued me over the years. I remember long ago when Darinp talked about the perfect screen which would be a high gain screen with a dark base. Seeing that it is now available I wanted to go for it.
- The primary seating is located ~11' back, which is .8 screen widths for wide content and .9 screen widths for 16x9 content. It is close, I know, but that is how I like it. I have a second row around 16' away for those that prefer being further back.
- The projector is mounted inside the screen, about 2' from the top (so not the position with the most gain, but still getting quite a bit).
- In my previous theater had an 8' wide 16x9 High Power Model B, so that is what I can primarily compare it against.
- The new screen just went up a few days ago, so I don't have a lot of viewing experience with it yet or tried out a lot of the modes.
- Almost all of my viewing (2D and 3D) has been done in Movie 1 (iris 1 in High Contrast mode and iris 2 in auto mode) but with the economy mode turned on (the dimmer bulb). This is the darkest possible mode for the projector. For a portion of one 3D movie I turned the first iris into High Brightness mode, but turned it back off after a while.
I think my perspective might be interesting since the configuration of my theater goes against the grain in many ways. The screen size is bigger and the seating is closer than what is normally recommended. Plus I run the projector in the dimmest mode even on such a big screen. To each his own, of course, but I wanted to speak up in case there are others like me out there with similar viewing preferences.
As I have said before, I absolutely love this projector. My model has almost perfect focus uniformity from corner to corner and is tack sharp. With that said, I wanted to touch on points that I've seen people asking about.
- Regarding RBE, normally I am sensitive to it but it is a non-issue on this PJ. The only time I have seen it is in 3D films, but very, very rarely. I would say that if you are worried about this, don't be for this particular model.
- For me the brightness level on this screen is great. I should say that I haven't tried 3D films in wide mode yet, but for all of my other viewings I've been enamored with the picture. In 2D or 3D mode I think this has enough brightness to spare, if you have a high-gain screen. Of course, this is with the caveat that I am not into a super bright image, your mileage may vary.
- As others have said, the 3D effect is spectacular. For me the film with the best implementation I've seen yet has been Madagascar 3. Watching this in 3D at .9 screen widths was completely immersive. By the end of the movie my cheeks were sore from smiling the whole way through (true story).
- On this size screen I think the on/off contrast is good enough. The black level is much lower than in the cinema, and the auto-iris is completely undetectable (except for some compression in the whites for dark scenes). For my 2D viewing it is good enough that I'm not thinking about it when watching films. For fade to black scenes the screen looks pitch black for a few seconds before my eyes adjust. To me this is enough given all the other great points for the projector.
So far I'm also really liking the High Contrast High Power fabric. Compared to my old theater, this screen throws a lot less light back onto the walls and ceilings, but still retains a huge amount of gain. I'm thinking this means the ANSI contrast is better but I have no way of measuring it. I'm also not seeing any artifacts in the screen (vertical lines) that were reported for models made late last year or earlier this year. Altogether I'm loving my new theater room as it blows away my previous setup. And the Sharp 30K is the star of the show.