Dark Energy Review (Pulsar 1.4)
before I even start, I'll admit I have been a LONG time lurker (low post count) and just now ventured into the world of projection. bringing the mystique of immersive theater into the home has always been an amazing concept to me. my affinity for picture quality over image size has since past stopped me dead in my tracks from getting into projection though as I have never had the luxury of a dedicated theater room, nor had the wherewithal to spend $5k+ on SI type ALR screens to do a decent projector justice. My benchmark is my fully calibrated Sony X900F and LG C8.
alas, a wild hair in my *ahem* (read: drunken impulse) this past summer had me pulling the trigger on an Epson projector and the rest as they say, is history. now began my long journey of trial and error to find the happy medium between cost and picture quality. my biggest issue being the dreaded white room environment. I learned quickly that light bounces off damn near everything and consequently destroys any hope of a truly vivid, high contrast picture. then came more research on how to mitigate this effect which led to many failed attempts at convincing the boss of the house to allow any kind of black out treatment in the designated space.
taking another look at ALR options netted exactly as I imagined.. extremely expensive value propositions. until I came across Stephen with Dark Energy screens.
The claim: the best ALR picture one could imagine at a bargain price.
The process: thorough and incredibly easy. I must have spoke w Stephen over 15 times (ad nauseum) over the course of 10 days until my every concern was addressed. He actually downselled (120 in to 110 in) me due to some limiting factors within my setup. Stephen has been an incredibly patient individual and really believes in his product, as you can tell from talking w him, and for very good reason. To top it all off, he offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee so the risk is literally ZERO if you don’t end up liking what you see. I’d like to think he offers that bc I find it very hard to imagine anyone actually returning this screen (w realistic expectations). Shipping was a breeze as well – took about 2 weeks to get to my house once the screen was built. Smooth operation, setup a delivery time convenient for me and a giant package arrived as scheduled. The box was a beaten up on the surface, but Stephen literally builds a solid wood frame around the screen (along with Styrofoam packing) so there was absolutely no damage to the screen itself.
The result: my goodness, my wife keeps telling me to wipe the sh*t eating grin off my face.
Although pictures can never really do anything justice, see below for some. These were taken with my Samsung S9, no messing around with settings or anything. Only edit I made was whiting out some family pictures we have on our media console. I have 6 canned lights on from up top, and a side window open that isn't pictured. Believe me when I say, it's mind boggling the image you get with the amount of ambient light beating this screen can take. I have the Solid Surface Pulsar 1.4.
Hotspotting: there is none so long as you properly follow the throw ratios Stephen provides on his website.
Sparkles: there are some in extremely bright scenes but you have to REALLY look for them. I have had probably 30+ people come over to watch sports and/or movies and not a single one has mentioned it, moreso they can’t get over the picture quality and how incredible it is. End of the day, on scale of 1-5 (5 being the worst), sparkles are at a 1. They do not interfere with the experience whatsoever, but I am just being completely upfront.
Viewing Angle: I have sat in every conceivable spot on our couch which spans the entire screen and have had zero issues with uniformity or drop off in brightness. Either there is none, or it is SO gradual that it is very hard to perceive with the human eye. Either way, non issue.
Color Fidelity: I have noticed a slight bias towards blue, but will have it calibrated out in the future. Nothing so egregious that the picture isn’t viewable, in fact its rather pleasing to the eye. To be honest, if it weren’t for my calibrated TVs, I don’t think I would have even noticed it.
All in all, I’d highly recommend this ALR screen if you are in the market. I have seen the BD 1.4/.8, Parallax and XY Screen in person and there is really no comparison when it comes to value.
Hit me w any questions if ya want. Also, get out of here with the “credibility” vs low post count rubbish. I could care less whether you post count Nazis get your panties in a bunch over a honest review, I’m just trying to do my part paying it forward by letting other newbs/enthusiasts out there know that there are more options than spending $5k+ on an great quality ALR screen.
Last edited by vnshah; 11-07-2019 at 08:29 AM.