New alr screen options to rival the Screen Innovations Black Diamond - Page 6 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #151 of 156 Old 06-27-2018, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by karlsch View Post
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.

Karsch,

Which projector are you using?
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post #152 of 156 Old 06-27-2018, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JT37 View Post
Karsch,

Which projector are you using?
For movies and other critical viewing when the room is almost completely dark, an Epson 5040.

For sports when the room has more light and other viewing when brightness and "pop" is more important than black levels, an Epson 6450: http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epso...ro_G6450WU.htm

I use the 6450 much more than I originally thought I would. Most of the time, actually.

Karl S.
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post #153 of 156 Old 07-07-2018, 05:09 AM
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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.

Any thoughts on how Slate 1.2 performs compared to Firehawk G4 ALR performance, viewing cone, and color shift?

Last edited by JT37; 07-07-2018 at 06:23 AM.
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post #154 of 156 Old 07-08-2018, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JT37 View Post
Any thoughts on how Slate 1.2 performs compared to Firehawk G4 ALR performance, viewing cone, and color shift?
I haven't gotten a G4 sample (or HALR) due to large throw ratio requirements.

Today I evaluated a large number of samples from Seymour AV, and was very impressed. Their AT material Center Stage XD is pretty comparable with moderate gain white diffusers (with a little loss of light).

One standout was the "Matinee Silver". It is very comparable to, and to my eye, slightly superior to SI's Slate 1.2: brighter at screen center, similar excellent contrast (with blacks just a touch less dark), and a bit less light fall-off when placed at the screen edges, great ALR performance in moderate light, and not as hotspot prone as the Slate. Sadly still not really acceptable edge performance with my 1.4x throw ratio, not to mention they don't (yet?) make retractable ALR or even non-AT materials, but Seymour AV is a fantastic company to work with. If I had space for a fixed (or curved) screen and could arrange a large throw ratio (like 2x), MS is simply a fantastic material. Matinee Black is similar but shifts the great contrast to darker levels. At the same contrast, my eye is usually attracted to brighter screens, but it seems like a great challenger to Black Diamond.

Their prices are also excellent.

Seymour told me they are planning some new retractable materials to show at CEDIA this September.
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post #155 of 156 Old 07-11-2018, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jdtsmith View Post
I haven't gotten a G4 sample (or HALR) due to large throw ratio requirements.

Today I evaluated a large number of samples from Seymour AV, and was very impressed. Their AT material Center Stage XD is pretty comparable with moderate gain white diffusers (with a little loss of light).

One standout was the "Matinee Silver". It is very comparable to, and to my eye, slightly superior to SI's Slate 1.2: brighter at screen center, similar excellent contrast (with blacks just a touch less dark), and a bit less light fall-off when placed at the screen edges, great ALR performance in moderate light, and not as hotspot prone as the Slate. Sadly still not really acceptable edge performance with my 1.4x throw ratio, not to mention they don't (yet?) make retractable ALR or even non-AT materials, but Seymour AV is a fantastic company to work with. If I had space for a fixed (or curved) screen and could arrange a large throw ratio (like 2x), MS is simply a fantastic material. Matinee Black is similar but shifts the great contrast to darker levels. At the same contrast, my eye is usually attracted to brighter screens, but it seems like a great challenger to Black Diamond.

Their prices are also excellent.

Seymour told me they are planning some new retractable materials to show at CEDIA this September.
Thanks, the MS material sounds good, but my throw ratio is closer to 1.7
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post #156 of 156 Old 07-11-2018, 07:48 AM
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Thanks, the MS material sounds good, but my throw ratio is closer to 1.7
I think that's close to their minimum, so would probably work. But I find wild variations in these "recommendations". So testing is probably your best option. My recommendation is to order some samples from Seymour. Here's how I test:

  • Glue samples to a piece of cardboard, ideally including both an ALR and moderate gain Lambertian material (like Glacier White), one atop the other. Keep in mind most ALR materials are directional (they have a specific up-down direction).
  • Use 3M velcro picture hanging material to attach samples to your wall.
  • Place the sample pair on the upper left or upper right corner of your screen area to start.
  • Plug in laptop to HDMI and display one of the attached "chessboard" images in 4k, full screen (depending on whether you intend a 16:9 or 2.35:1 screen).
  • Compare the white vs. the ALR material in various typical ambient lighting conditions for your room. Evaluate brightness, contrast, how "washed-out" the blacks look, and any screen texture or sparkles visible. Do this both day and night.
  • Also evaluate samples again at screen center. You will be amazed how the ALR's perform there. But that's the easy case.
  • You will also find as the light level drops, the white material starts looking better and better compared to the ALR material. For me this is already true at the left/right screen edges with moderate ambient light of a few foot-candles.
  • Move around to all possible seating positions in your room. E.g. sitting far left with material placed on the right screen edge is the worst torture test.
  • Bonus/optional: get a cheap light meter that measures in Foot-Candels. With projector off, measure your screen area at different times of day with different light levels. I find about 0.4 FC and below leads to a great image on any screen (my 5040 in ECO mode is producing about 35FC). Unfortunately, that's quite hard to achieve in my room during the day (1FC is pretty easy though).
  • If you can move your projector further back, try it. Even the resulting few degrees of additional "turn" which is saved at the screen extremities will help a lot, in particular for materials that fall off hard past their half gain angles.
  • Decide if the ALR performance is worth the sacrifice. Try again at night and/or close all possible blinds, then reevaluate. Physics requires that there will be sacrifices. There is no free lunch.

PS: If you have a fixed screen, going curved will really help with the bounce-axis angle. Then you can have a much smaller throw ratio without much fall-off. Sadly there are no retractable curved screens...

PPS: I calculated that going from a 1.4x throw ratio to 2x would "save" me about 9-11° of additional off-bounce-axis angle at the extreme screen edge. This doesn't sound like much, but when the half gain angle of the material is only 30°-50°, this small gain in angle actually matters quite a lot.
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Last edited by jdtsmith; 07-11-2018 at 07:53 AM.
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