I just wanted to say thank you for posting the Silver Fire formula. IMHO, it beats Screen Goo.
I learned of it after I had purchased Screen Goo. Inspired by the AVS forums, I decided to have a test: Screen Goo vs. Silver Fire. The third contender was Home Depot's own screen formula (1 qt. UPW, 1 qt. Deep Base, 1 qt. Metallic Silver, 1 qt. Metallic Pearl).
The Goo was most expensive, at ~$390 a gallon (I bought half that amount). "Cheaper than a Stewart screen," I thought at the time. The Silver Fire cost ~$92/gallon (the stated formula costs $63 and makes .69 gallons), while Home Depot recipe cost $63/gallon.
The Home Depot was easiest to apply, covering in three coats. Silver Fire took 5 coats. Goo, 2 undercoats; 3 topcoats. (The Goo comes in two jars.) All three were rolled onto a primed piece of Sintra board.
So how did they compare?
1. Silver Fire works best. It works best in total darkness, and in various ambient light conditions. It increases the contrast, makes colors pop, makes dark scenes deeper, and is great on flesh tones. It does everything well.
- I thought I might know too much and have put too much time in to be objective, so I brought in my family and got their reactions. All agreed. My wife pointed out that the unpainted Sintra was almost as good and a lot less work. She saw the truer blacks and the more vibrant colors, but she questioned whether these justified all the effort. Ah well. I will admit that the difference is subtle, but I think the increased contrast and punch are worth it.
2. Untreated Sintra has decent color (not as rich as Silver Fire's) but the blacks are slightly warm and washed out - like a faint reddish film is over them. They don't get all the way to black. Had I not painted the Sintra, I'd still have a pretty good image, especially in total darkness (which is easy in this basement room).
3. Screen Goo, which I thought would win, was very close to Silver Fire. But Silver Fire was both darker in dark areas, AND more vibrant in colorful areas. The Silver Fire looked like the Screen Goo, with a 10% gray film removed. I was surprised. The cost of Goo is high, and the results are not as good as Silver Fire.
4. Don't even consider the Home Depot formula. It is worse than no coating at all. It's just dark, muddy AND washed out at the same time. If you can't afford a Stuart, don't want to mix Silver Fire, and don't want to pay for the Goo... just use untreated Sintra, or your wall, for that matter.
The only issue for me with Silver Fire was a combination of its reflectivity and my own (lack of) painting skill. As with the others, I applied it with a roller; unlike the others, I could see annoying roller texture in the images. Silver Fire is reflective and shows your mistakes. Goo hides these flaws better, but, by the same low-reflectivity token, is darker and less vibrant.
My hope is that spraying (and not rolling) the Silver Fire will do the trick.
For the record, here's my setup that the Silver Fire is part of:
Screen: Sintra 100x63 (Laird Plastics, Chicago, cut it for me), Projector: Optoma HD72, Speakers: Aperion Intimus 533T fronts, 634VAC center, S-12 sub, 532 surrounds; receiver: Onkyo TX-SR605; DVD player - Oppo 981HD
Cost, including cables, is $4773. Certainly less than the $50-100K home theater rooms at Abt that got me started. Any home theater is a luxury, but I think this setup is a good value. My wife's surprisingly warm reception of the setup makes it all worthwhile. The sound and picture are amazing, and Silver Fire is the icing on the cake. It gives the picture great color and contrast clearly better than the expensive, commercial goo.
Anyhow, one more vote for Silver Fire. I highly recommend it. Thanks again for the formula.