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What Are Your Favorite Screen Materials?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

AVS Forum is planning a series of buying guides for the holiday shopping season, and we need your help. Each guide will include the top picks of AVS members based on reviews, threads, and—most importantly—your response to queries such as this one.

 

So, what are your favorite front projection-screen materials? Since this is for an upcoming buying guide, we're only looking for currently available materials. We're not concerned with whether it's a fixed or retractable screen, aspect ratio, masking, frames, etc. We want to know what you think is the best solid and acoustically transparent material as well as the best ambient light-rejecting material.

 

Simply post a comment with the make(s) and model(s) and any elaboration you care to add; we might even use your comments in the final buying guide. Perhaps you love what you own or screens you've seen at friends' places. Either way, feel free to include more than one, but please limit your response to the best you've seen among currently available materials. You can also consider price and value in your choices—a particular material might not be the absolute best performer, but if it's very good and its price is relatively low, that makes it an outstanding value and worthy of inclusion.

 

Thanks for helping us help others find the best AV products available today!

 

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post #2 of 51
Stewart Studiotek 130 (for non AT screens)

Excellent image quality. 1.3 gain with no hot spotting. Great uniformity.


Seymour Centerstage XD (for AT sceens)

Has little or no affect on audio. Equal in performance to other higher quality non AT unity gain screens in side by side comparison tests. Not at the level of a Stewart ST130 (non AT) but a great AT screen for the money or even twice the price. Especially if audio and video performance are equally important.
Edited by adidino - 11/27/13 at 7:21pm
post #3 of 51
Da Lite 2.4 HP
also
Evo Ultra 4k
post #4 of 51
Seymour AV Centerstage XD. Great picture and no detectable difference in sound.

The only issue is that the weave of the screen can be visible on bright scenes if you sit closer than 9 feet. Even then, you have to be looking for it.
post #5 of 51
Another vote for Seymour AV Centerstage XD here.
post #6 of 51
Acoustically Transparent - Matte White Milliskin Spandex: near unity gain, no perceptible weave as close as 1 foot, less audio degradation than Seymour AV Centerstage XD. Oh, and it costs less than $9 per yard.

Mike
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidino View Post

Stewart Studiotek 130 (for non AT screens)

Excellent image quality. 1.3 gain with no hot spotting. Great uniformity.


!00% agree. Stewart Studiotek 130.
post #8 of 51
Stewart Studiotek 130 G3 is a remarkable screen...very bright and great color accuracy for calibration.

Edit: I'll be going to Falcon Screens acoustically transparent screen in early 2014 due to a new build that demands an AT design.
Edited by BrolicBeast - 11/28/13 at 7:06pm
post #9 of 51
Screen Innovations Solar 4K white screen 1.3 ( actual 1.37) measured gain . 120" diagonal 2.35:1 CIH , the 16:9 is therefor 96" diagonal .

It is a fantastic all around screen, has no texture even with the new Sony VPL-VW500ES. Even with lights on a little, this screen does not wash out any more than the BD products I tested.
The BD ( Black Diamond) products really only work better when the light is from the top down. When the light is from the wall sconce or from the center of the room the Solar 4K is just
as good......bonus. One more thing to note and I believe this important. In my bat cave theater I hardly notice the unmasked " black bars" on the side when running 16:9 CIH. You would think
a white screen would really be noticeable but isn't that bad for the non purist......I suppose. I may still add masking , just to pretend to be said purist ..... wink.gif

With my previous HW50ES there was not quite enough light for 3D to be "great", the new 500ES I have not tested yet.. Will likely go with a high gain secondary screen for 3D only, probably
a 1.8-2.3 gain if not more. Angular reflective would be my first choice......we'll see what the 500ES + anamorphic lens+ Lumagen Mini-3D will add first .
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Stewart Studiotek 130 G3 is a remarkable screen...very bright and great color accuracy for calibration.
Stewart Studiotek 130 G3

Looks even more amazing when you do a 9x9x9 729 point 3D lut calibration smile.gif
post #11 of 51
I may not be as experienced as some others with screen selection, but I'm really enjoying my most recent screen purchase.

I went from a very economical 130" 2.35:1 screen from HTDepot (AVS Review Here) to an Acoustically Transparent (AT) screen from Falcon Screens. I would say that I enjoy the audio side of the hobby more so than the video aspect, but color accuracy, flesh tones, etc... all seemed to be just as good as my previous screen. Some people wonder if going with an AT screen will lead to excessive light loss. While I don't have any professional calibration or measurement gear with the ability to capture/calculate light lumen loss... I honestly could not tell a difference at all. The screen looked just as bright and vibrant as my previous non-AT screen. Maybe it can be attributed to the tight weave of the Falcon Screen, which isn't noticeable from anything more than 5-6ft away from the screen.

Speaking of weave, and being very interested in audio transparency, I took some before and after measurements to see how the screen effected the frequency response of my LCR.

The below graph is a measurement comparison with and without the screen in place:
NoScreenvsScreen_zps7041a5f8.jpg

This measurement is after a slight EQ adjustment to account for the high frequency roll off as captured in the graph above:
NoScreenvsScreenafterEQ_zps7c6e79cd.jpg

As you can see, if anyone is worried that an AT screen may detract from your audio quality, it can easily be overcome with a few small tweaks in your AVR. I'd recommend my screen to anyone interested in going the AT route.
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by roxiedog13 View Post

Screen Innovations Solar 4K white screen 1.3 ( actual 1.37) measured gain . 120" diagonal 2.35:1 CIH , the 16:9 is therefor 96" diagonal .

It is a fantastic all around screen, has no texture even with the new Sony VPL-VW500ES. Even with lights on a little, this screen does not wash out any more than the BD products I tested.
The BD ( Black Diamond) products really only work better when the light is from the top down. When the light is from the wall sconce or from the center of the room the Solar 4K is just
as good......bonus. One more thing to note and I believe this important. In my bat cave theater I hardly notice the unmasked " black bars" on the side when running 16:9 CIH. You would think
a white screen would really be noticeable but isn't that bad for the non purist......I suppose. I may still add masking , just to pretend to be said purist ..... wink.gif

With my previous HW50ES there was not quite enough light for 3D to be "great", the new 500ES I have not tested yet.. Will likely go with a high gain secondary screen for 3D only, probably
a 1.8-2.3 gain if not more. Angular reflective would be my first choice......we'll see what the 500ES + anamorphic lens+ Lumagen Mini-3D will add first .


Do you only get that with SI Reference screens? researching this as an option to use with an Epson 6030 in a mixed use media room with fairly good light control and a 16 foot throw distance.
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydsouza View Post

Do you only get that with SI Reference screens? researching this as an option to use with an Epson 6030 in a mixed use media room with fairly good light control and a 16 foot throw distance.

You know, to be honest I cannot remember for sure. I believe the only difference with a so called "reference" screen was the frame width and I did not go with the narrow frame, I went with the wider 3.5" frame which
was NOT reference. Just checked the site myself and what I have is the performance frame, the only difference that I can see to be honest is that the reference frame is tapered. Check it out here :

http://www.screeninnovations.com/projector-screens/fixed/performance/#SliderNav1

The 6030 is very bright, you will be pleased as long as the projector is close enough and the screen not too big. Also if the light in the room is too much this will not work and the light should NOT be pointing down from the ceiling towards the screen at
all, that would wash out everything except for a BD or other appropriate screen.

Ideally, the projector would be closest ( say 9-10 feet) the screen no more than around the 35sq ft size and room dark. If no 3D at all , only 2D you could probably go with a little larger screen as well .
Edited by roxiedog13 - 11/28/13 at 10:23am
post #14 of 51
Da-lite 2.8 High Power
post #15 of 51
Studio Tek 100
post #16 of 51
This question can not be answered without knowing the projector, screen size, available throw distance range, projector height in relationship to viewer eye height, room reflectivity and ambient lighting conditions. So without knowing any of these things, and in suspect for the real motivation behind for this screen buying guide, I would say a painted white wall or a bed sheet until these conditions are specified.
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

This question can not be answered without knowing the projector, screen size, available throw distance range, projector height in relationship to viewer eye height, room reflectivity and ambient lighting conditions. So without knowing any of these things, and in suspect for the real motivation behind for this screen buying guide, I would say a painted white wall or a bed sheet until these conditions are specified.

what question??
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

This question can not be answered without knowing the projector, screen size, available throw distance range, projector height in relationship to viewer eye height, room reflectivity and ambient lighting conditions. So without knowing any of these things, and in suspect for the real motivation behind for this screen buying guide, I would say a painted white wall or a bed sheet until these conditions are specified.

He didn't ask what was best, he asked "what are your favorite front projection-screen materials?". That most certainly can be answered without the above criteria.
post #19 of 51
I have favorites for different conditions. I have recommended and sold literally thousand of screens over my life. Provided I can specify all the above parameters for a specific screen material, that is making everything else fit, my favorite would be the industry standard for editing and post production, Studeotec 100 (Snomat 100 in the consumer world). That material vanishes during playback giving the illusion of looking through an open window. Studeotec 130 is a very distant second.
post #20 of 51
Just built a 115" AT screen with materials and DIY plans from Seymour AV. The Center Stage 1.2 gain material looks fantastic and has had no discernible effect on the sound from the speakers behind it.

The material is great, the price is right, and the personal assistance from the folks at Seymour goes well above and beyond. This was my first screen build. I'm lucky enough to live just around the corner from Chris, and he even offered to come by and give me a hand if I needed it. I was able to get the job done by myself and couldn't be happier with the screen.
post #21 of 51
Another vote for the Stewart Studiotek 130. Looks great with my new RS46
post #22 of 51
Centerstage xd. I have no complaints
post #23 of 51
Light controlled 11.5 x 26 dedicated home theater with 92" motorized StudioTek 130 G3 in 2.35:1 mated to a Runco Q-750d. Calibration performed by Kevin Miller - Awesome image.
post #24 of 51
For a semi controlled lighting in a family room used in the evening time slot ( most of us work during the day ) , I like my 100" diag. Stewart Firehawk G3. Very bright, even when in eco lamp mode with a Sony HW50ES , not criticaly perfect, but overall good image.
post #25 of 51
JKP .9 100inch screen, I love the material!!!!!!
post #26 of 51
Da Lite matt white. Needs a dark room but provides best colour correctness. Cheap and doesn't show wrinkles easily.

For that matter, any matt white should be the same.
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewConnection View Post

For a semi controlled lighting in a family room used in the evening time slot ( most of us work during the day ) , I like my 100" diag. Stewart Firehawk G3. Very bright, even when in eco lamp mode with a Sony HW50ES , not criticaly perfect, but overall good image.

Not made any more.
Edited by mark haflich - 11/30/13 at 9:04pm
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by lespurgeon View Post

Da Lite matt white. Needs a dark room but provides best colour correctness. Cheap and doesn't show wrinkles easily.

For that matter, any matt white should be the same.

Not true. Any gain of 1.0 screen should obviously have a gain of 1.0 or very close to that but it stops there. Any gain of 1.0 screen will have a large one half gain angle which will require a room with walls, ceiling, and floor that are non reflective or to avoid washout.

Back to the they are all the same comment. You neglect screen texture for one thing and gain uniformity for another. Then there is the issue of how the gain of one is achieved. The substrate material may have a gain of one but often will be slightly lower and will require an optical coating to raise the gain to one. Substrate materials vary greatly.

There is more but I am afraid the AV Science forum is moving away from science and going into such things as popularity polls and buying guides which are suspect are designed to attract advertisers. It is totally invalid to choose a screen material based on populaity.
Edited by mark haflich - 11/30/13 at 4:51am
post #29 of 51
My favorite screen was the one I first built with white and black sheets from Wal-Mart and scrap wood from Home Depot. It lasted 10 years - no wrinkles, good reflectivity. My current screen has more gain but also wrinkles and has sparkles due to the coating on the screen material.
post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

There is more but I am afraid the AV Science forum is moving away from science and going into such things as popularity polls and buying guides which are suspect are designed to attract advertisers.

Absolutely not true, though I doubt anything I say will convince you of that. The buying guides are not designed to attract advertisers, but rather to help shoppers easily find what I and others (pro reviewers, AVS members) generally consider to be the best products available at a variety of price points. Toward that end, I am asking AVS members to share their best experiences with various products, including screen materials. Advertising plays no part whatsoever in my decision making, and no one from the management of AVS has ever asked me to include products from a particular manufacturer.

 

I completely agree with some of your earlier comments that choosing the right screen depends on many factors, and I intend to include screens that are best suited for dark environments, rooms with some ambient light, and so on. In fact, I'd love it if you would share with us what your go-to screens are for various scenarios—reflective vs non-reflective walls, completely dark vs ambient light, etc. We would all benefit from your experience, and it would help make the buying guide the best it can be for consumers, which is the population I am dedicated to serving.

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