Whoa...once more into the breach we go.......
Originally Posted by thezaks
I'm new to this thread, so I apologize if my questions below have been asked before. I've been looking at and considering a BD screen for the last 5 years. I finally got to see one in action (in person), as question #5 indicates below. If anyone can help, I'd appreciate it. I'm intrigued by the idea of doing a DIY screen, instead of the megabucks for the BD.
Ok...your request comes along with / for all the right reasons. Let's address the questions.
1) The BD can be seen in video to reduce the amount of light reflected off of the screen into the room, thus allowing it to be used in rooms that do not have ideal paint colors. Does the DIY screen do the same thing?
Yes....but mostly we corral that feature so as to keep the more detrimental aspects of such retro-reflective screens under control. Your own comments below allude to you already acknowledging that such adverse aspects exist. Varying degrees of such Retro-Reflectivity can be designed in easily enough...but if done so, one has to accept whatever level of compromises come along with it.
Here is an example of normal Ambient light performance, and the same application treated to a high gain solution.
2) I live in the Phoenix, AZ area. What is currently the best material to use for the DIY screen? I have textured walls, so I would prefer not to paint the wall, I'd rather mount something so that it is floating - kind of like the BD zero edge.
You mean like this?
In answer to the "material" question.....Sintra / Komatex Expanded PVC Sheeting is among the best overall substrate to paint upon, as it is specifically made for Sign Painting, it's ultra smooth and almost unbreakable, and it comes in sizes up to 10' x 5' (6mm thickness is the preferred choice)
3) Screen Innovations claims that their screens increase the contrast by 900%. Do the DIY screens do the same?
That is a crazy claim that has not been substantiated by a single reputable independent published test...or any published test for that matter.
It's all subjective stuff. Silver Fire v2.5
in it's darker versions (4.0-5.0
-on up ) easily matches the BD 1.4 in that it's ambient performance levels do as much or more than it's Mfg counterpart.
You be the judge, and no CGI Eye Candy here....in some very obtuse ambient light. :
4) The claims for the BD screen are that, even with the 1.4 material, the screen is dark enough that masking is not necessary. Seems like the DIY screen, from the few pictures I've seen, is a lighter grey - meaning that it would probably be more noticable. Any thoughts on this?
First off, of all the 'reviews" about the BD 1.4 that I have read....most of them primarily coming from end users on this Forum, the "No masking needed" claim is overstated. Certainly there is some reduction, but it's a well known fact among Silver Fire users that even the lighter shades of Silver Fire do more proportionate "masking" (...and have better ambient light performance...) than BD screens do being 2x or more darker in shade.
No matter what else, the unused portion of screen will never show any darker than it's actual color, unless a projected "Mask" is in use. So yes...a darker shade of Gray Screen will always look darker than a lighter shade. But there is a little "SF" magic to be had depending upon the PJs own Light spillage tendencies. Silver Fire will, in a darkened environment, show a blacker field when the PJ does not have true masking ability. And if the PJ does...then it's essentially going to be a even playing field.
5) I helped a friend of mine install his Sony HW30es projector and 106" BD 1.4 screen last year. It looked good, but something seemed to bother me. It wasn't the hotspotting. Seems like I was seeing the pixels or some other structure there - it wasn't as smooth as I was expecting the picture to be. Is that the grain that you are talking about?
You get off easy on this one, because the answer is easy. Yes. And graininess is one of the chief concerns we have as far as avoiding such .
6) What are the cons of using a DIY screen, instead of a BD?
- You usually have to make it yourself
- It will turn out only as good as you can make it.
- You will have a considerable amount of cash left over to get yourself into trouble with.
7) Any other pros/cons of either solution?
- If you want to / MUST buy something in a Mfg Screen that works better in ambient light than a common High Contrast Gray Screen....it's there for you.
- It costs a lot of money, so much that it's performance and image quality gains do not equal the expenditure.
- Performance on most all fronts is compromised by other detrimental aspects that are directly tied to such performance.
- If the surface is ever damaged or soiled...your SOL & UACWAP
Silver Fire Pros:
- It is a very high performance DIY Screen that is almost infinitely adjustable to any viewing condition or an PJs attributes.
- Size and Format limitations are virtually non-existent, and Silver Fire can be applied on almost any smooth surface.
- It is not really a difficult "Do", and a DIY'er has all the support he needs on this Forum to be assured of success.
- Easily repairable via a re-coating (spot or full surface) or changed - upgraded via the same process.
- Cost-wise, at it's topmost estimates, when everything including a Spray Rig is needed, it seldom exceeds $300.00 total. 10x less than a BD
Silver Fire Cons:
- It needs to be done right the first time to avoid re-dos, because re-dos cost extra.
- You have to exercise at least some degree of DIY effort to getter dun.
- You have to develop thick skin as far as trying to ward off Friends and Neighbors who will insist on making themselves "invited" every chance they can.
8) Kevin 3000 - I thought you had a BD screen? If so, do you still like it a lot? I noticed you mentioned that the DNP would be your screen of choice - can you explain why?
I'll venture this as far as an answer to 8)
We do not bother to even judge Silver Fire against the BD line-up. Our goals have been met and exceeded on that score. DNP Screens are a more loftier goal, and in many respects, we are approaching their best offerings, and have already surpassed their .08 material.
But then again, if one bothers to take cost as it relates to value & performance into consideration, really...there is no contest between a DNP and Silver Fire if a DIY'er is willing and ready to go for it.