New alr screen options to rival the Screen Innovations Black Diamond - Page 5 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #121 of 156 Old 05-07-2018, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post
I have the elunevision aurora material in hand right now and it's not stacking up well against some others so far. The ALR characteristics is great, but the perforations are too visible, and there is some color shift that I don't see in any of the other materials.
Can you share how you managed to get samples of the Aurora material, beastaudio? It's got intriguing specs for my shortish (1.4x) throw ratio setup, and the price is pretty good.
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post #122 of 156 Old 05-08-2018, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jdtsmith View Post
Can you share how you managed to get samples of the Aurora material, beastaudio? It's got intriguing specs for my shortish (1.4x) throw ratio setup, and the price is pretty good.
I'm not sure where the hangup is. I simply called and spoke to Selma and purchased the sample. It was $30, of which you get that price off if you later purchase the screen, which at that time I had really high hopes for the material, only to be let down a little by their very odd perforation pattern. If you are planning a solid screen without the microperf, and are in serious need of ALR, it should be a good option.

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post #123 of 156 Old 05-08-2018, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post
I'm not sure where the hangup is. I simply called and spoke to Selma and purchased the sample. It was $30, of which you get that price off if you later purchase the screen, which at that time I had really high hopes for the material, only to be let down a little by their very odd perforation pattern. If you are planning a solid screen without the microperf, and are in serious need of ALR, it should be a good option.
Thanks. I just called to speak with Salma again and they have recently established a policy of not sending samples. It seems from what she said that they may have been a victim of some corporate espionage of some sort — people ordering samples on false pretenses. This would also explain some of the hesitancy I got speaking with them, perhaps thinking I had too many technical questions to be a legitimate customer. That’s an unfortunate part of the business I guess. She’s going to try asking again when Gary returns from travel next week. If that doesn’t pan out, maybe you’d sell me yours? I don’t need AT, but could ignore the holes and evaluate the ALR performance. Right now the SI materials I’m evaluating have exceptional (almost beyond belief) performance at screen center, but the narrow anglular spread out mean they degrade badly at screen edge, even from the main viewing position. Granted I’m pushing them past their limit with my 1.4x throw ratio.
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post #124 of 156 Old 05-08-2018, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by karlsch View Post
I owned a BD 1.4 and I now own a DaLite Parallax 0.8. You might want to read my post #111 in this thread where I explain my experience with four different ALR screens, all of which I owned and lived with – I didn't just view them in demo rooms.

The quality of the Parallax and the BD seem to be about the same.

The picture quality of the Parallax is far superior. IMO it isn't even close.

My room is similar to yours - windows with blinds and shades on the side. I don't have ceiling lights but I can have lights on in the room which reflect off my white ceiling and the picture is still great.

The Parallax has a wide viewing angle and the BD has a narrow. Among other things, this means the Parallax has much better light uniformity across the screen.
Very useful summary. When I spoke with DaLite they steered me away from the Parallax because most of my ambient lighting is from a S-facing window bank on the side of the room (including a higher half circle window). How does your Parallax do with those windows admitting some light?
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post #125 of 156 Old 05-08-2018, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jdtsmith View Post
Right now the SI materials I’m evaluating have exceptional (almost beyond belief) performance at screen center, but the narrow anglular spread out mean they degrade badly at screen edge, even from the main viewing position. Granted I’m pushing them past their limit with my 1.4x throw ratio.
In truth, the SI offerings and the way they seem to "Spotlight" the middle of a screen seems to show they are almost more akin to being Retro Reflective than Angular...primarily because if you did place the PJ within the Screen's area the "vignetting-like" effect would be even more pronounced.

The suggested Throw / Height Placement of the PJ is more a accommodation to the issues inherent in the screen material itself.

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post #126 of 156 Old 05-08-2018, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jdtsmith View Post
Thanks. I just called to speak with Salma again and they have recently established a policy of not sending samples. It seems from what she said that they may have been a victim of some corporate espionage of some sort — people ordering samples on false pretenses. This would also explain some of the hesitancy I got speaking with them, perhaps thinking I had too many technical questions to be a legitimate customer. That’s an unfortunate part of the business I guess. She’s going to try asking again when Gary returns from travel next week. If that doesn’t pan out, maybe you’d sell me yours? I don’t need AT, but could ignore the holes and evaluate the ALR performance. Right now the SI materials I’m evaluating have exceptional (almost beyond belief) performance at screen center, but the narrow anglular spread out mean they degrade badly at screen edge, even from the main viewing position. Granted I’m pushing them past their limit with my 1.4x throw ratio.
I'd like to hang on to it but I would certainly mail it to you so you could test it out. No problems there.

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post #127 of 156 Old 05-08-2018, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jdtsmith View Post
Very useful summary. When I spoke with DaLite they steered me away from the Parallax because most of my ambient lighting is from a S-facing window bank on the side of the room (including a higher half circle window). How does your Parallax do with those windows admitting some light?
I will take some pictures of my Parallax with lighting coming from a side window and post them here.

In my opinion, all ambient light rejection screens require some light control to get a satisfactory picture.

To show what I mean, here is a post of mine from 2010 that compares the SI Black Diamond I was using back then to a ordinary gray screen, a Da-Lite High Contrast Cinemavision with light coming from my side window. The Black Diamond is better, but not by a whole lot. (Photobucket with their new policy has blocked only one of the pictures for me, it's one with the blinds open. If they are all blocked for you let me know and will repost them.):
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-scr...omparison.html

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post #128 of 156 Old 05-09-2018, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by jdtsmith View Post
Very useful summary. When I spoke with DaLite they steered me away from the Parallax because most of my ambient lighting is from a S-facing window bank on the side of the room (including a higher half circle window). How does your Parallax do with those windows admitting some light?
Here are some pictures of my 110” Da-Lite Parallax with light coming from a large side window. As you can see, with no light control at all, the picture is washed out. It's not much different from my previous S.I. Black Diamond (both screen materials) and Stewart Firehawk screens.

The room has a white ceiling and light colored walls. With the light control I have I am very happy with the screen.

Here is the window. You can see the blinds but you can't see the light blocking shade that I can pull down. The top is 10 feet from the floor. The left side is 40 inches from the wall the screen in mounted on. The camera makes it look like the room is dark, but it is actually quite bright.



It's a bright sunny day.


In each group of three pictures the first picture is with full light. The blinds are open and the shade is up. The second is with the blinds closed. The third is with the blinds closed and the shade pulled down.

When the blinds only are closed there is enough light to read something like a TV schedule but probably not enough to comfortably read a book.

This is a bright scene.





A dark scene.





This is a sporting event with the blinds about 2/3 closed. Enough light in the room to easily read a book.

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post #129 of 156 Old 05-09-2018, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by karlsch View Post
Here are some pictures of my 110” Da-Lite Parallax with light coming from a large side window. As you can see, with no light control at all, the picture is washed out. It's not much different from my previous S.I. Black Diamond (both screen materials) and Stewart Firehawk screens.

The room has a white ceiling and light colored walls. With the light control I have I am very happy with the screen.

Here is the window. You can see the blinds but you can't see the light blocking shade that I can pull down. The top is 10 feet from the floor. The left side is 40 inches from the wall the screen in mounted on. The camera makes it look like the room is dark, but it is actually quite bright.
These pictures are fantastic (and if I had your view, I'm not sure I'd spend any time looking at a screen!). They nicely illustrate the performance. If you had a moment at some point, the only additional type of shot I'd suggest would be to repeat a dark scene at various lighting levels, attaching a piece of paper to the edge of your screen. That method, I've found, gives a very nice relative ALR comparison as lighting levels drop (either from the sun going down, or blinds/etc.).

Thanks very much for sharing.
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post #130 of 156 Old 05-10-2018, 07:51 AM
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............ If you had a moment at some point, the only additional type of shot I'd suggest would be to repeat a dark scene at various lighting levels, attaching a piece of paper to the edge of your screen. That method, I've found, gives a very nice relative ALR comparison as lighting levels drop (either from the sun going down, or blinds/etc.).

Thanks very much for sharing.
I will try to do that later today.

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post #131 of 156 Old 05-10-2018, 03:49 PM
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............. If you had a moment at some point, the only additional type of shot I'd suggest would be to repeat a dark scene at various lighting levels, attaching a piece of paper to the edge of your screen. ...............
Here are pictures of a dark scene with white paper taped to the screen. Starting with full light, then blinds only closed and then blinds closed with shade pulled down.

For each group a picture of the entire screen and a closeup of the middle piece of paper.





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post #132 of 156 Old 05-10-2018, 08:06 PM
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Here are pictures of a dark scene with white paper taped to the screen. Starting with full light, then blinds only closed and then blinds closed with shade pulled down.

For each group a picture of the entire screen and a closeup of the middle piece of paper.
These are great, thanks. The middle is particularly impressive. I've received the HDPro 0.6 and 1.1 from DaLite, and they have excellent uniformity, but rather weak ALR performance (as advertised). The 1.1 does look a bit brighter and higher contrast than a reference white sample, especially in the center of the image. I think I need something a bit more forgiving laterally and vertically than e.g. SI's Slate, but more ALR performant than the HDPro (quoted at 20% ALR). I'm concerned about the tight vertical angle tolerances of the Parallax (which is what gives you good overhead ambient rejection!), but worth trying a sample given your side-lit results. Trying out Draper MS1000X (and 700) tomorrow, will report.

Thanks again.
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post #133 of 156 Old 05-12-2018, 09:05 AM
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Here are pictures of a dark scene with white paper taped to the screen. Starting with full light, then blinds only closed and then blinds closed with shade pulled down.
Can I ask what your throw ratio is? And what height your projector is mounted relative to the center of the screen (as a fraction of screen height)? When you stand up, does the picture get substantially darker at bottom?

Thanks
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post #134 of 156 Old 05-12-2018, 06:40 PM
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Can I ask what your throw ratio is? And what height your projector is mounted relative to the center of the screen (as a fraction of screen height)? When you stand up, does the picture get substantially darker at bottom?

Thanks
My screen is 54x96 inches (110” diagonal)

The projector lens is 174” from the screen, so the throw ratio is ~1.8:1.

When I sit in my home theater recliner my head is 12' from the screen.

The projector lens center is 90” from the floor, 6” above the top of the screen.

The projector is on a rear shelf that is height adjustable. I adjusted the height by taping three sheets of paper to the screen, one at the bottom, one in the center and one at the top. I moved the projector up and down until all of the sheets of paper were equally bright when I projected a white test screen.

When viewing an all white test screen, if I stand up, the bottom of the screen appears to be darker, but not by much. When viewing ordinary programming I can't see the difference.

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post #135 of 156 Old 05-24-2018, 10:53 AM
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Wow those pictures of the Parallax are super helpful! Thank you karlsch!

Would you say that the Firehawk G4 gave you similar performance under those conditions albeit with artifacts?

I am honestly considering going with this Da-Lite Parallax instead of a Stewarts screen... My 3 windows are behind my couch, does that make the ALR performance better or worse since the light will be hitting the screen directly?
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post #136 of 156 Old 05-24-2018, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post
I'd like to hang on to it but I would certainly mail it to you so you could test it out. No problems there.
I'd like to take you up on this, beastaudio. I'll PM. I have tried hard to get Elunevision to change their no-sample policy but so far not budging. You might wonder why I'm spending so much energy trying to track down samples from a company that doesn't seem too eager to sell their units to buyers like me. Here's why. So far I've reviewed:
  • DaLite HD Pro (0.9, 1.1, 1.3, 1.1 contrast): Low ALR materials with exceptional surface smoothness, and wide open viewing cones. The 1.1 and 1.3 look particularly nice at night. But only a bit better than a reference white surface (or paper) with combating ambient light. Really beautiful material though with a solid black backing. I'd go with this if I had a darker room.
  • DaLite Parallax 0.8: Interesting performer, but too dark, and not as much ALR performance as others, with my side-illuminating windows situation. Vertical viewing cone not as bad as expected (about like Slates, better than Black Diamond), but still would require me to mount the projector lower than I'm willing to.
  • Draper XH900X, MSX1000: good viewing cone, pretty good ALR performance, but both very grainy materials. And notably dark compared to SI's offerings.
  • SI Slate 0.9, 1.2: Amazing performers on axis, especially 1.2: bright, incredible contrast, smooth surface. Nothing even close. If you could just have this performance over the full viewing area... But the narrow viewing cone, especially horizontally, means at the side of the viewing area they go dark and lose contrast, even from the main viewing position. Add in our wide couch and they're non-starters. Even with lots of ambient light, the HD Pro beats out Slate at the image's edge. At night it's not even close. Definitely also the most prone to hot-spotting, which I define as "ability to discern the position of the projector by moving your head around". To be very fair, I'm really pushing these materials at a low throw ratio of 1.4, below the recommended 1.5. Throw ratio and viewing cone angle are physical inverses. I bet at 1.8 or 2.0 (and with narrow seating), they'd hold up much better at the edge.
  • SI BD 1.4: Not available in retractable so a no-go for me, but thought I'd mention for completeness. Very close performance wise, but I actually prefer the Slates (at the center of the screen). BD holds up a bit better horizontally, but a bit worse vertically than Slate.

So in terms of ALR performance and viewing cone (horizontal & vertical if I understand correctly) the Aurora material, at least on paper, fills a real apparent gap between the low-ALR, wide cone, smooth materials like HDPro, and the exceptional ALR but problematic Slates, etc. I.e. a good possible compromise: pretty good ALR but also pretty forgiving angularly. If anyone knows of any other materials with this happy medium, I'd love to hear about them.

Anyway, the proof is in the pudding (or rather the checkerboard pattern I created for testing 10-12 samples at once). I'm also trying to get a sample of the Slate 1.4XL which has a modestly wider viewing cone spec than 1.2. I note that the published Slate 1.2 half light angle of 70° full doesn't match the PC review finding of 46°. So we'll see.

At least for now my wife sewed me a nice piece of white nylon that I hung on a curtain rod, and we were actually able to watch a movie for the first time last weekend.

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post #137 of 156 Old 05-24-2018, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Domcorleone View Post
Wow those pictures of the Parallax are super helpful! Thank you karlsch!

Would you say that the Firehawk G4 gave you similar performance under those conditions albeit with artifacts?

I am honestly considering going with this Da-Lite Parallax instead of a Stewarts screen... My 3 windows are behind my couch, does that make the ALR performance better or worse since the light will be hitting the screen directly?
Windows behind your seats/projector can't be fought effectively by a light-fighting screen without the screen also fighting/dimming the projected image.
These screens fight light better and better when it's coming from directions farther and farther from the projector's ideal direction/location...lights/windows washing out the image from a position near the projector can't really be helped significantly by a screen.

If you're able to curtain/block those windows so you'll mostly be dealing with the light that leaks in/around the curtains and bounces off the walls, then a light-fighting screen can improve things noticeably.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
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Windows behind your seats/projector can't be fought effectively by a light-fighting screen without the screen also fighting/dimming the projected image.
These screens fight light better and better when it's coming from directions farther and farther from the projector's ideal direction/location...lights/windows washing out the image from a position near the projector can't really be helped significantly by a screen.

If you're able to curtain/block those windows so you'll mostly be dealing with the light that leaks in/around the curtains and bounces off the walls, then a light-fighting screen can improve things noticeably.
Below is what my space looks like. I would like to be able to have the shades partially up occasionally or be able to turn on the ceiling light up to 50% (its on a dimmer) and still be able to get a decent picture.







What a movie looks like in the dark using a JVC 570R:





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post #139 of 156 Old 05-24-2018, 01:58 PM
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Below is what my space looks like. I would like to be able to have the shades partially up occasionally or be able to turn on the ceiling light up to 50% (its on a dimmer) and still be able to get a decent picture.
The higher the fraction of light that is hitting your screen with an angle away from your eyes less than the material's "half light viewing cone", the less ambient rejection you get. The ideal screen would redirect all light falling on it from the projector back to your eyes directly (i.e. ultra high "gain", enabling ultra low power projectors to deliver very, very bright images!). Think about a whole bunch of tiny mirrors all angled perfectly to let you see the projector lens and only the projector lens. Only light originating from the projector would enter your eye. Light originating from anywhere else in the room would bounce harmlessly elsewhere. But if you shifted a foot over on your couch, then you'd see no image (also, your friends and family see nothing). So in the real world, screens either wastefully diffuse light in all directions, only a tiny portion of which hits your eyes, or redirect it over a narrower "viewing cone". Anything outside that cone (ambient light OR projector light) simply doesn't make it to your eye.

That's the basic trade-off of ALRs. You reject some ambient light (yay!), and at certain angles you get more projector light coming to your eyes (aka "gain"... yay!), but you also reject a lot of projector light if any part of the screen is outside the "viewing cone" (boo!), and you get more reflected ambient light from inside the viewing cone than you would have (boo!). So in your case (with lots of ambient light coming from behind the projector) a high-gain ALR screen would look worse than a simple white screen. With blinds, light will bounce around at all angles and this isn't as true anymore.

Half light viewing angles range from very small (15° or so) for the most highly light-rejecting materials, to 180° (perfect lambertian reflectors, like a white piece of paper) for non-ALR materials. My guess is that most materials do a mix of both of these: some components of the ALR surface act like tiny pieces of white paper (that do nothing for ambient light) and some act like tiny reflecting mirrors (at a variety of angles). Tiny mirrors and tiny pieces of paper. That's how I think of it.

But you might say: paper and mirrors can't be right: some screens have low gain and small half light angles. How do they do that? Simple: make your "tiny pieces of paper" in the screen surface a dark color, to absorb both ambient and projector light. So all the light gets much fainter, but then the tiny mirrors send a bunch more light to your eyes (if they're angled correctly) than paper would to make up for that (this by the way this is how a dark-looking screen like Black Diamond can have a gain of 1.4!).

And this model lets you think about "poor man's ALR". If you have a very bright projector, you can just make your entire screen out of tiny pieces of dark paper, no mirrors (aka "gray screen" or "black screen"). Then both ambient and projector light arriving from any angle get highly absorbed, and then diffused equally in all directions. Very wasteful of the light. How could that help? Since the projector hopefully outshines the ambient light in the room by a very large margin, you get a nice high contrast image that isn't too bright (just be careful no-one wearing a white shirt walks in front of the screen, you might go blind). Metric of note: direct sunlight on a white screen produces 10,000 foot lamberts. So to illuminate a 120" 16:9 screen with the same flux as uniform direct sunlight, you'd need a projector with a half million lumens (and a screen with a gain of 5 thousandths). Direct sunlight is insanely bright, no projector can ever compete. During the day with blinds closed, my screen vicinity measures about 3 ftL. Much lower at night obviously.

PS: Okay you can tell I'm a scientist here, but I worked out the maximum theoretical gain of a screen composed only of "tiny mirrors" all ideally aligned towards your eye: 8 x (distance to screen/diameter of pupil)^2. I.e. for a 12' distance with a dilated 8mm pupil, gain of ~670,000. If you'd like light in both of your eyes (wasteful you), then you have to accept of gain of "only" about 30,000.
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post #140 of 156 Old 05-24-2018, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Domcorleone View Post
Below is what my space looks like. I would like to be able to have the shades partially up occasionally or be able to turn on the ceiling light up to 50% (its on a dimmer) and still be able to get a decent picture.
That ceiling-light's position (and its design which doesn't make shielding between the bulbs and screen friendly) and light directly from those windows is going to give you a hard time.
A light-fighting screen should still help against your white ceiling and help to slightly darken the screen's edges against the ceiling-light, but anything beyond that is going to be minimal.

There's a few images posted from another member using a very aggressive DarkEnergy Abyss0.9 screen in a room with some windows near the room's seats, and with those windows allowing light in, that washes the screen REALLY hard...and I think your window locations are even worse that theirs.





Your windows and lights look more centered and level with the projector, so your situation could easily be even tougher.
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Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #141 of 156 Old 05-24-2018, 02:05 PM
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Wow those pictures of the Parallax are super helpful! Thank you karlsch!

Would you say that the Firehawk G4 gave you similar performance under those conditions albeit with artifacts?

I am honestly considering going with this Da-Lite Parallax instead of a Stewarts screen... My 3 windows are behind my couch, does that make the ALR performance better or worse since the light will be hitting the screen directly?

The G4 and the Parallax seem to perform similarly in my room. The Parallax might be a little better at dealing with the light bouncing off the ceiling. It appears that my ceiling (~11ft.) is much higher than yours.

In the following I'll be repeating some of the things Ftoast already said.

There is no screen, ALR or otherwise, that performs well when window or lamp light is coming from the same direction as the light from the projector.

If you could but something that diffuses the light from the windows so it bounces off the ceiling, such as some sort of blind, then the Parallax would probably do a good job. You would also have to do something with the ceiling light fixture so the light is more directional.

The best way, as you already know, would be to get a screen sample and try it out.

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post #142 of 156 Old 05-24-2018, 02:29 PM
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PS: Okay you can tell I'm a scientist here, but I worked out the maximum theoretical gain of a screen composed only of "tiny mirrors" all ideally aligned towards your eye: 8 x (distance to screen/diameter of pupil)^2. I.e. for a 12' distance with a dilated 8mm pupil, gain of ~670,000. If you'd like light in both of your eyes (wasteful you), then you have to accept of gain of "only" about 30,000.
I loved this entire post. Great explanations and fun ending.

Easy $25 DIY black (or any color) ALR paint +$40-$50sprayer screen mix smooth/clean and very easy to learn spraying with little/no mess.
Simple $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
Quick <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room "A store that sells blinds can help your picture more than a store that sells projectors many times." -bud16415
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post #143 of 156 Old 05-28-2018, 10:53 AM
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This is what I'm dealing with in my living room (pic attached). I'm having blinds installed on the top 3 windows soon, my question would be what ALR screen would work best with around a $1k budget? Painting the wall is out of the question due to WAF. I was looking at the Elite screens Aeon ALR screen but have noticed bad reviews in here about issues with the frame materials not being good.
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post #144 of 156 Old 05-28-2018, 04:11 PM
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This is what I'm dealing with in my living room (pic attached). I'm having blinds installed on the top 3 windows soon, my question would be what ALR screen would work best with around a $1k budget? Painting the wall is out of the question due to WAF. I was looking at the Elite screens Aeon ALR screen but have noticed bad reviews in here about issues with the frame materials not being good.
I could be wrong, but I think those complaints about frame materials are older and that the quality has improved. I'm hoping anyways, and may try one off Amazon. At least with Amazon it's easy to return.
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post #145 of 156 Old 05-30-2018, 08:04 PM
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I'd like to hang on to it but I would certainly mail it to you so you could test it out. No problems there.
Just a ping on your kind offer. Thanks.
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post #146 of 156 Old 06-25-2018, 12:05 PM
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  • DaLite HD Pro (0.9, 1.1, 1.3, 1.1 contrast): Low ALR materials with exceptional surface smoothness, and wide open viewing cones. The 1.1 and 1.3 look particularly nice at night. But only a bit better than a reference white surface (or paper) with combating ambient light. Really beautiful material though with a solid black backing. I'd go with this if I had a darker room.
  • DaLite Parallax 0.8: Interesting performer, but too dark, and not as much ALR performance as others, with my side-illuminating windows situation. Vertical viewing cone not as bad as expected (about like Slates, better than Black Diamond), but still would require me to mount the projector lower than I'm willing to.
  • Draper XH900X, MSX1000: good viewing cone, pretty good ALR performance, but both very grainy materials. And notably dark compared to SI's offerings.
  • SI Slate 0.9, 1.2: Amazing performers on axis, especially 1.2: bright, incredible contrast, smooth surface. Nothing even close. If you could just have this performance over the full viewing area... But the narrow viewing cone, especially horizontally, means at the side of the viewing area they go dark and lose contrast, even from the main viewing position. Add in our wide couch and they're non-starters. Even with lots of ambient light, the HD Pro beats out Slate at the image's edge. At night it's not even close. Definitely also the most prone to hot-spotting, which I define as "ability to discern the position of the projector by moving your head around". To be very fair, I'm really pushing these materials at a low throw ratio of 1.4, below the recommended 1.5. Throw ratio and viewing cone angle are physical inverses. I bet at 1.8 or 2.0 (and with narrow seating), they'd hold up much better at the edge.
  • SI BD 1.4: Not available in retractable so a no-go for me, but thought I'd mention for completeness. Very close performance wise, but I actually prefer the Slates (at the center of the screen). BD holds up a bit better horizontally, but a bit worse vertically than Slate.
An update to this list. Thanks to beastaudio, who was kind enough to mail me samples of his Elunevision Aurora 4K and also a DES Abyss 0.9. My impressions of those are as follows:

  • Elunevision Aurora: The 1.25 gain marked on this sample is questionable. On a black/white checkerboard pattern, it most closely resembled the brightess at screen center of Da-Lite's HDPro 0.9. In fact I taped it over a larger HDP0.9 sample and had trouble when ambient light levels were modest to see it against the flat 0.9. At higher ambient levels, it did perform a decent job rejecting side lighting from windows, and clearly bested the Slate material at screen's edge, though even from the main seating position, the light fall-off was still appreciable compared to more flat materials like the Da-Lite's. There is also no black backing of any kind, so this also makes it less ideal for a window-covering retractable. Although I wouldn't need them, the perforations on beastaudio's AT sample are indeed large and rather visible.
  • Da-lite Parallax: I wanted to add to my impressions above that this screen material is simply phenomenal with over head lights. When I turn on the ceiling light zone on the screen side of the room, all the samples suffered, but the Parallax had very little loss in contrast. It also has a remarkably wide viewing cone. If my only lighting sources were from above (or from a low white ceiling), it would be a clear contender. With almost entirely side lighting from windows, though, it wasn't better than flat moderate gain materials.
  • DES Abyss 0.9 Not available in a retractable unit, so already disqualified, but I thought I'd give it a look. If you are into inky blacks like the bottom of a deep dark well, this is the material for you. Notably deeper and darker than Black Diamond 1.4. But, and it's a big one, the whites produced are also by far the least bright of any of the samples I've tested.

I've all but decided my setup just won't allow an ALR material to work well enough. My short throw ratio is exacerbated by a wide couch, with kids sprawled across the whole room. Next step is Seymour. I've had some news that they are soon to expand their retractable material selection.

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post #147 of 156 Old 06-26-2018, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jdtsmith View Post
An update to this list. Thanks to beastaudio, who was kind enough to mail me samples of his Elunevision Aurora 4K and also a DES Abyss 0.9. My impressions of those are as follows:

  • Elunevision Aurora: The 1.25 gain marked on this sample is questionable. On a black/white checkerboard pattern, it most closely resembled the brightess at screen center of Da-Lite's HDPro 0.9. In fact I taped it over a larger HDP0.9 sample and had trouble when ambient light levels were modest to see it against the flat 0.9. At higher ambient levels, it did perform a decent job rejecting side lighting from windows, and clearly bested the Slate material at screen's edge, though even from the main seating position, the light fall-off was still appreciable compared to more flat materials like the Da-Lite's. There is also no black backing of any kind, so this also makes it less ideal for a window-covering retractable. Although I wouldn't need them, the perforations on beastaudio's AT sample are indeed large and rather visible.
  • Da-lite Parallax: I wanted to add to my impressions above that this screen material is simply phenomenal with over head lights. When I turn on the ceiling light zone on the screen side of the room, all the samples suffered, but the Parallax had very little loss in contrast. It also has a remarkably wide viewing cone. If my only lighting sources were from above (or from a low white ceiling), it would be a clear contender. With almost entirely side lighting from windows, though, it wasn't better than flat moderate gain materials.
  • DES Abyss 0.9 Not available in a retractable unit, so already disqualified, but I thought I'd give it a look. If you are into inky blacks like the bottom of a deep dark well, this is the material for you. Notably deeper and darker than Black Diamond 1.4. But, and it's a big one, the whites produced are also by far the least bright of any of the samples I've tested.

I've all but decided my setup just won't allow an ALR material to work well enough. My short throw ratio is exacerbated by a wide couch, with kids sprawled across the whole room. Next step is Seymour. I've had some news that they are soon to expand their retractable material selection.
For the Elunevision Aurora material how realistic is their 61 degree half gain angle (https://elunevision.com/materials/au...ght-rejection/) in your sample set up? I have a 2:0 throw ratio based on my "weak" room with light ceiling/walls mixed-use living room layout. I am getting quotes from two different dealers between the EluneVision Aurora and an Elite Screen CineGrey 5D but I have not purchased the projector yet becuase I am trying to get a discount on a package deal.. so I can't check myself yet. The price difference on the two quotes is reasonably close but the half gain angle difference seems significant (60 vs 40) and would push me to the EluneVision over the Elite Screen for my living room despite there being relatively few other reviews out there.
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post #148 of 156 Old 06-26-2018, 12:46 PM
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For the Elunevision Aurora material how realistic is their 61 degree half gain angle (https://elunevision.com/materials/au...ght-rejection/) in your sample set up? I have a 2:0 throw ratio based on my "weak" room with light ceiling/walls mixed-use living room layout. I am getting quotes from two different dealers between the EluneVision Aurora and an Elite Screen CineGrey 5D but I have not purchased the projector yet becuase I am trying to get a discount on a package deal.. so I can't check myself yet. The price difference on the two quotes is reasonably close but the half gain angle difference seems significant (60 vs 40) and would push me to the EluneVision over the Elite Screen for my living room despite there being relatively few other reviews out there.
I take all half-gain angles with a grain of salt. Slate advertises 35°, but the PC review measured it at 23°. At the 24° off axis position to the edge of my viewing area, Slate was just too far gone to be acceptable. Aurora had darkened but still looked acceptable. If I slid to the left by 4' on our wide couch, no longer.

It's important to note that screen edges are a worst case for ALR materials. In addition to the off-axis angle of view, the light arrives from the projector at an angle. And those angles must be added. E.g. for my case the main position is 24° from screen edge, but the light hits the screen at 23° away from perpendicular. So 46° total. At 4' over on my couch, the effective angle to the opposite screen edge is 60°! Ouch.

BTW, I believe the main reason to increase your projector throw ratio is to get that 23° number down. It would drop to 14° for me at a throw ratio of 2.0. And I could get it as low as 11° by pushing my projector to the back wall. But we have a custom mid-room shelving unit for the projector so no dice. Another effective approach is to limit your seating area to a very narrow range of angles.

I went the route of buying the projector, mounting it, and hanging a temporary cloth screen. Slows the build down but really recommended to find preferred angles, screen size, seating configurations, etc.
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post #149 of 156 Old 06-26-2018, 02:52 PM
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I take all half-gain angles with a grain of salt. Slate advertises 35°, but the PC review measured it at 23°. At the 24° off axis position to the edge of my viewing area, Slate was just too far gone to be acceptable. Aurora had darkened but still looked acceptable. If I slid to the left by 4' on our wide couch, no longer.

It's important to note that screen edges are a worst case for ALR materials. In addition to the off-axis angle of view, the light arrives from the projector at an angle. And those angles must be added. E.g. for my case the main position is 24° from screen edge, but the light hits the screen at 23° away from perpendicular. So 46° total. At 4' over on my couch, the effective angle to the opposite screen edge is 60°! Ouch.

BTW, I believe the main reason to increase your projector throw ratio is to get that 23° number down. It would drop to 14° for me at a throw ratio of 2.0. And I could get it as low as 11° by pushing my projector to the back wall. But we have a custom mid-room shelving unit for the projector so no dice. Another effective approach is to limit your seating area to a very narrow range of angles.

I went the route of buying the projector, mounting it, and hanging a temporary cloth screen. Slows the build down but really recommended to find preferred angles, screen size, seating configurations, etc.
How does your ambient light/room color compare to either of the attached pictures of my room with https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...2&d=1528752470/without https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attach...4&d=1528752470 the blackout shades drawn during midday light. I had originally looked at the Monoprice 120-inch 16:9 HD White Fabric Ceiling-Recessed Tab-Tensioned Motorized (https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_...seq=1&format=2) just to get something in, but I wanted 24 inches of drop instead of the max 14 inch to try and center screen horizontally and vertically between the windows in front of the fireplace. The custom screen from Elite Screens that matched the other specs started at 3x that cost which made me start to look at the incremental cost of ALR to combat room reflections off of the walls and ceiling. My regular viewing would be at night after dark with occasional daytime/late afternoon with the blackout shades to stop the majority of the western exposure on the left side of the room perspective but if your experience with a couch sprawl has you continuing on for other options would you say your config is good enough for now?

I'm not an audio/video-file but I have tinkered enough with my MythTV system that I notice artifacts (that my wife does not). So would your advice be that I just used the blackout I have already have and take the Monoprice for now till I can convince my wife to make this mixed-use room more friendly to light control and make a more expensive screen worth the investment instead of going the ALR route?
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post #150 of 156 Old 06-26-2018, 06:37 PM
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How does your ambient light/room color compare to either of the attached pictures of my room with https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attac...2&d=1528752470/without https://www.avsforum.com/forum/attac...4&d=1528752470 the blackout shades drawn during midday light. I had originally looked at the Monoprice 120-inch 16:9 HD White Fabric Ceiling-Recessed Tab-Tensioned Motorized (https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_...seq=1&format=2) just to get something in, but I wanted 24 inches of drop instead of the max 14 inch to try and center screen horizontally and vertically between the windows in front of the fireplace. The custom screen from Elite Screens that matched the other specs started at 3x that cost which made me start to look at the incremental cost of ALR to combat room reflections off of the walls and ceiling. My regular viewing would be at night after dark with occasional daytime/late afternoon with the blackout shades to stop the majority of the western exposure on the left side of the room perspective but if your experience with a couch sprawl has you continuing on for other options would you say your config is good enough for now?

I'm not an audio/video-file but I have tinkered enough with my MythTV system that I notice artifacts (that my wife does not). So would your advice be that I just used the blackout I have already have and take the Monoprice for now till I can convince my wife to make this mixed-use room more friendly to light control and make a more expensive screen worth the investment instead of going the ALR route?
Hard to say from pictures alone. With all my blinds closed during the day, the flux intensity of light at my screen position ranges from 0.3 to 6 foot-candels (which would result in 0.3-6 ftL on reflection by a unit gain Lambertian white screen). You can get cheap light meters that let you measure lux (= about 0.1 ftC) in your room. It's a guess, but your blinds closed room looks to be about 3ftC. At this level of light, you can read, but wouldn't want to. My blinds open ambient can go all the way up to pure sunlight, but that's a rare time of day. I get quite a good picture at 0.5 ftC, but that's hard to achieve with blinds alone. I need to get blinds for my semi-circular high window. From what I can tell given all my sample evals, if you can control light to say 0.5 ftC or less, a normal or moderate gain white screen will give the best, most uniform, most artifact free picture. I do have 12' cathedral ceiling with dark paint, which cuts down the rebound light.

But independent of how well you could control the light, kids' games and social events don't mix well with complete darkness. Something like 5 ftC would be a fairly low party feel. Since my projector delivers a maximum of about 30ftC at the screen, without some kind of ambient rejection, my best contrast would be only 6:1. Kind of makes the 1,000,000:1 contrast Epson quotes for my projector seem like a joke. You'd need a room dipped in Vanta black to ever achieve that.

I read someone on here solved this problem by getting two retractable screens: one white, one ALR. Use the nice white 2.35:1 screen when you're willing to close all blinds and at night for movies, use a 16:9 smaller ALR screen for games and social events with lights up. It seemed like a crazy idea when I first saw it, but is seeming less so now after confronting the realities vs. hype of ALR materials.
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