Originally posted by Rob4x20
Mike, I'd like to point out a few things about this paragraph. 1st, the firehawk is 16$ per sq.ft, while the high power is still 13$/sq.ft. Not much savings really. I guess 100-150$ might make the difference but not for many.
Next, the firehawk I thought was 1.3 gain...correct me if I'm wrong. If so then it might not have as severe a limit on its cone. I say 'might' b/c I haven't seen a High Power, but I have seen the firehawk and its cone wasn't very limited, imo. Not so much that it should be a major concern in a typical layout anyway. I'd like to hear if the 1.3 gain is incorrect for the FH, b/c higher would be better for me. However, it is gray, so that might factor in for aiding blacks...or not...I sure as hell don't know! So frustrating...
As Darin pointed out, highpower + frame is generally much much cheaper than firehawk + frame. Your point about cost per sq foot being close is very valid for the DIY frame guys, though.
As for the gain, the Firehawk does have a 1.3 *overall*, but the screen itself it composed of two different surfaces with two different gains. The base is a matte gray material that I've heard has around a 0.5-0.6 gain. The top optical coating (angular reflective) would have a gain of around 1.8-2.0 if it were placed on a matte white base 1.0 gain base (I've heard). The overall gain is going to be a function of these two gains (and must necessarily lie between the two gains), though I'm not sure you can just multiply them together to get the overall gain; it may be much more complicated than that. But basically the overall gain is 1.3.
The optical gain will give you an idea of the hotspotting, viewing cone, and ambient light rejection qualities of the screen.
The overall 1.3 gain is what determines your black level; it will have the same theortical maximum black level as a 1.3 gain white screen. HOWEVER, in a room that isn't fully light controlled blacks will be better on the firehawk.
I haven't seen the firehawk, but most people can't easily see a 30% increase in brightness.