I don't remember any evaluations of the the combination of materials I was considering posted, so thought I could contribute something others might find useful.
From all my reading on avsforum (thanks for the copious amounts of useful posts)
, I concluded that ALR screens have a place even for night time watching if one has light colored walls/floors (essentially ambient levels caused by reflections of screen emissions)
or if one wanted to watch with some lights on. My use case fits this scenario perfectly. While not ALR, I was curious about the Neve material and some of the grey screens. This comparison however mostly focuses on the Firehawk: I wanted to see if the sample would show any sparkles, my biggest worry with the Firehawk. The Epson 5030UB is projecting from 18ft away, ceiling mounted (right side up) onto a 120" 16:9 size with a viewing distance of 10-11ft.
The one maybe-conclusion regarding the Firehawk sparkles from the various threads was that the sparkles were still noticeable when the projector was either too bright and/or when the camera panned to bright scenes. While the G4 is supposed to be much better in this regard, folks notice sparklies with the latest gen as well (atleast purchased as of May 15). The other maybe-conclusion is that while not everyone sees them, they do happen and one just learns to ignore it appreciating the other fine qualities it brings to the table. I am cautiously happy to say that even with the brightest mode on the Epson 5030, I do not see any sparkles on the sample and some casual viewing of Avatar and Speedracer did not show any up either. Whether a full sized screen shows any up or not still remains to be seen but so far so good.
The Accucal report had me curious about the Cinegrey 5D material so I ordered a sample from Amazon. Some posters claim that it is very similar to the Firehawk G4 but did not include any images, so I wanted to see it side by side and see how close Elite was to Stewart. Since I know at least one person replacing his Firehawk with the Greyhawk (to get rid of the sparklies in a night-only scenario) and other posters who decided that a Tiburon was a better choice since it did not display the sparklies that the Firehawk had, those two samples entered the equation as well.
I finally ended up with samples for Neve, Cinegrey 5D, Firehawk G4, Greyhawk RS G4, Tiburon. Stewart samples were sent by Craig Peer from AVS. My goals were to see what the ALR stuff can really do and if the ALR samples show sparklies and whether they could be controlled by the brightness setting of the projector (if I was even sensitive to them in the first place). I know that a full-screen adds a whole bunch of extra light pollution affecting the outcomes (primarily the extent of ALR). However, I am hoping that the samples are representative and scale to the full screen where sparklies are concerned.
In projecting onto a wall that also held my Samsung PN64F8500 plasma, I also inadvertently added an ultra dark screen with a reflective glass surface:-) to the mix.
is that for side-light conditions, both Cinegrey5D and Firehawk G4 do a superb ALR job. The Cinegrey 5D is brighter because of it's higher gain but also seems to have a worse falloff compared to the Firehawk. However, at the size of the samples, they seem remarkably similar as far as ALR goes and very close in other aspects.
The recent projector central ALR review
provides what looks to be a very lukewarm view of the Firehawk. If I had read that first, I might not have considered the Firehawk as plan A. However, the review also states that the noticeable grain on the BD and Firehawk are similar which seems to go against a lot of anecdotes on avsforum (and my experience): I am treating that as a somewhat weak data-point. The review does not provide any pictures to put the words and numbers into context making it problematic. Not having seen the other materials they are comparing except the BD at a dealer (which looked pretty bad I thought), I do not have a good overall picture yet. The Firewhawk and Cinegrey5D work pretty well for my lighting. Once the full screen is setup, I need to see to what extent the Firehawk's alleged poor overhead rejection affects the picture. Since I have a white ceiling, that does seem to be a consideration (especially considering the folk that see great improvements by darkening the ceiling for a few feet in front of the screen).
I think Firehawk G4 vs Cinegrey 5D comes down to factors other than the ALR performance at which they seem very similar (at least at the scale of A4 sized samples). Things like initial quality, longevity, support skew this equation toward Stewart unless budget is prioritized over time and hassles. The images I am posting were not intended for posting but I am doing it anyways since I think they'll be of some help to others in my position.
Album with larger pictures
. These are subject to some image degradation because of picasa but are more useful IMO (especially when seen as a slideshow with the black background) compared to the smaller sizes embedded below.