Should I Change from Snomatte to Studiotech G4 Screen Material? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 32 Old 05-13-2020, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Should I Change from Snomatte to Studiotech G4 Screen Material?

Stewart Filmscreen StudioTek 130 G4 Projection Screen Review

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-review-page-2


Kris Deering does a great review of Stewart Filmscreen's new Studiotek G4 screen material.

When Covid-19 subsides enough AND my theater upgrade/renovation is done, not only do I plan to have Adam Pelz come out to calibrate and setup the audio, but also Kris to come out to recalibrate, etc the video!

My theatre as reconstructed will primarily be black & dark grey in color; 18.25' W x 23.08' L x 11.93' H; throw distance about 23'; 14' wide 2.40 aspect ratio Stewart Filmscreen Cinemascope Snomatte (1.0 gain); Lumagen Radiance Pro; Sony VPL-VW500 projector (video from late 2017). Also, bottom of screen is 52" up from the floor (11.93" height of theater). At its enclosure in the back wall above the cabinets, the bottom of the projector (on its supplied feet) will be 108" off the floor. And the projector is mounted at the center in the back wall.

Back when my setup was video calibrated Dec 2017, I had a measured 29 footlamberts at 90% laser power.

I am adding a Panamorph DCR anamorphic lens with my upgrade/renovation.

I like to watch a lot of 4k HDR stuff - I have also added a 40 TB Kaleidescape Terra Server and Strato C 4k player.

Kris' review makes me consider - should I change out the screen material to the new Studiotek G4 material replacing the Snomatte?

Opinions and analysis please. Thanks.

I know Ash Sharma is probably wondering the same thing, as we have identical video setups. HA!
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post #2 of 32 Old 05-13-2020, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
Stewart Filmscreen StudioTek 130 G4 Projection Screen Review

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-review-page-2

I know Ash Sharma is probably wondering the same thing, as we have identical video setups. HA!
Steve,
Hope all is well...
Looks like your theater is further delayed due to COVID.
I saw the release of the G4 Material - looks very promising.
No Plans for me to spend money these days especially for small incremental effects - the oil price is in the ****ter - will wait for better times.
Be safe.
Ash
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post #3 of 32 Old 05-13-2020, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
Stewart Filmscreen StudioTek 130 G4 Projection Screen Review

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-review-page-2


Kris Deering does a great review of Stewart Filmscreen's new Studiotek G4 screen material.

When Covid-19 subsides enough AND my theater upgrade/renovation is done, not only do I plan to have Adam Pelz come out to calibrate and setup the audio, but also Kris to come out to recalibrate, etc the video!

My theatre as reconstructed will primarily be black & dark grey in color; 18.25' W x 23.08' L x 11.93' H; throw distance about 23'; 14' wide 2.40 aspect ratio Stewart Filmscreen Cinemascope Snomatte (1.0 gain); Lumagen Radiance Pro; Sony VPL-VW500 projector (video from late 2017). Also, bottom of screen is 52" up from the floor (11.93" height of theater). At its enclosure in the back wall above the cabinets, the bottom of the projector (on its supplied feet) will be 108" off the floor. And the projector is mounted at the center in the back wall.

Back when my setup was video calibrated Dec 2017, I had a measured 29 footlamberts at 90% laser power.

I am adding a Panamorph DCR anamorphic lens with my upgrade/renovation.

I like to watch a lot of 4k HDR stuff - I have also added a 40 TB Kaleidescape Terra Server and Strato C 4k player.

Kris' review makes me consider - should I change out the screen material to the new Studiotek G4 material replacing the Snomatte?

Opinions and analysis please. Thanks.

I know Ash Sharma is probably wondering the same thing, as we have identical video setups. HA!
You would certainly have more headroom brightness wise with the G4 and the DCR lens. Get a sample if nothing else !
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post #4 of 32 Old 05-13-2020, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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One more thing. My screen is not transparent, as my Aerial Acoustics 7t front, center and right speakers are just under the screen, given my tall ceiling.

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post #5 of 32 Old 05-13-2020, 01:51 PM
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I wish there were more specs rather than just subjective evaluation but still appreciated. As has been said, a bit of a trade but only you can know if those trades are the ones you want. Sounds nice that the gap is narrowed however.

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post #6 of 32 Old 05-13-2020, 02:36 PM
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[quote=Steve Bruzonsky;59640112]One more thing. My screen is not transparent, as my Aerial Acoustics 7t front, center and right speakers are just under the screen, given my tall ceiling.[/quote @tigerhonaker should have his G4 installed soon. Different projector but he should be able to provide some insight.

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post #7 of 32 Old 05-13-2020, 03:59 PM
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I don't think Tiger will have much perspective that would pertain to Steve's situation as Tiger's screen is a postage stamp by comparison and honestly doesn't need any help for total light. Steve has a BIG screen. The 5000ES puts out some serious lumens though AND he is looking at a DCR lens. It certainly won't HURT to have the G4, but there is some increase in texture. I would say if you haven't ordered the ST100, I would seriously consider it. If you already have the ST100, I would stick with it and once your theater is done, give it some time and get a feel for how much you like the brightness. We can see where you are at when I come measure it, and then go from there. Just my 2 cents of course.

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post #8 of 32 Old 05-13-2020, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post
If you already have the ST100, I would stick with it and once your theater is done, give it some time and get a feel for how much you like the brightness. We can see where you are at when I come measure it, and then go from there. Just my 2 cents of course.
And Steve has a non AT screen unlike mine which is AT.
Steve and I otherwise have exactly same video setup and I am getting 105 Nits or so in Colorspace 2 P3.
Steve should get at least 10% more brightness so 115 Nits - and as per Jim Peterson 100 nits is plenty with DTM.
Although I love the screen to be as bright as possible.
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post #9 of 32 Old 05-13-2020, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post
I don't think Tiger will have much perspective that would pertain to Steve's situation as Tiger's screen is a postage stamp by comparison and honestly doesn't need any help for total light. Steve has a BIG screen. The 5000ES puts out some serious lumens though AND he is looking at a DCR lens. It certainly won't HURT to have the G4, but there is some increase in texture. I would say if you haven't ordered the ST100, I would seriously consider it. If you already have the ST100, I would stick with it and once your theater is done, give it some time and get a feel for how much you like the brightness. We can see where you are at when I come measure it, and then go from there. Just my 2 cents of course.
Kris, your 2 cents is worth a lot! Thanks.
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post #10 of 32 Old 05-13-2020, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Ash Sharma View Post
And Steve has a non AT screen unlike mine which is AT.
Steve and I otherwise have exactly same video setup and I am getting 105 Nits or so in Colorspace 2 P3.
Steve should get at least 10% more brightness so 115 Nits - and as per Jim Peterson 100 nits is plenty with DTM.
Although I love the screen to be as bright as possible.
Agree, if the screens are the same, Steve should be fine. He'd have a bit more headroom for as the projector dimmed (or not running it as maxed out), but still, should be fine for brightness now all things being equal.
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post #11 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Agree, if the screens are the same, Steve should be fine. He'd have a bit more headroom for as the projector dimmed (or not running it as maxed out), but still, should be fine for brightness now all things being equal.
Yes, I already realize I have excellent brightness as is with Snomatte. But as the new Studiotech G4 is much better than the previous Studiotech material, and I assume gives about a 30% brightness gain, might not that additional brightness gain outweigh any increase in texture? My front row will be about 14' from the screen. I'm sort of thinking of Art here always loving brighter so much that he ended up stacking 2 of my Sony projectors!

My tweak and tweak history is coming to its conclusion with this theater upgrade & renovation. I simply want to get it all DONE, no more tweaking. If I change the screen material I will do it based on objective performance (as noted by Kris, and/or others, comparing and contrasting G4 to Snomatte) and educated guesswork as to how I will like it. I don't want Kris to have to come out twice to calibrate the projector.

Of course my existing Snomatte will perform nicely and I'll be happy. But just as adding the DCR lens should add to my enjoyment, why not also the G4? IF the small increase in texture is hardly or not really noticeable to Kris, then I don't think it will be so to me at all.

However, one more concern also needs to be addressed. Snomatte provides for a uniform projection of light and image off the screen, so with 2 rows of seating, with the 2nd row being a foot higher on a riser, anyone sitting in any seat, or even standing in the theater, gets a uniform identical picture imagewise and brightnesswise. To what extent, if any, does this change with the new G4? If this can noticeably change seat to seat, or due to the top of my projector being about a foot below the 11.93' ceiling height (and my screen bottom starting 52" off the floor), then I should definitely stay with Snomatte.

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post #12 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
Yes, I already realize I have excellent brightness as is with Snomatte. But as the new Studiotech G4 is much better than the previous Studiotech material, and I assume gives about a 30% brightness gain, might not that additional brightness gain outweigh any increase in texture? My front row will be about 14' from the screen. I'm sort of thinking of Art here always loving brighter so much that he ended up stacking 2 of my Sony projectors!

My tweak and tweak history is coming to its conclusion with this theater upgrade & renovation. I simply want to get it all DONE, no more tweaking. If I change the screen material I will do it based on objective performance (as noted by Kris, and/or others, comparing and contrasting G4 to Snomatte) and educated guesswork as to how I will like it. I don't want Kris to have to come out twice to calibrate the projector.

Of course my existing Snomatte will perform nicely and I'll be happy. But just as adding the DCR lens should add to my enjoyment, why not also the G4? IF the small increase in texture is hardly or not really noticeable to Kris, then I don't think it will be so to me at all.

However, one more concern also needs to be addressed. Snomatte provides for a uniform projection of light and image off the screen, so with 2 rows of seating, with the 2nd row being a foot higher on a riser, anyone sitting in any seat, or even standing in the theater, gets a uniform identical picture imagewise and brightnesswise. To what extent, if any, does this change with the new G4? If this can noticeably change seat to seat, or due to the top of my projector being about a foot below the 11.93' ceiling height (and my screen bottom starting 52" off the floor), then I should definitely stay with Snomatte.
Again, more light is typically never a bad thing, unless there is no way to control it when you don't want it (not an issue here). Texture is more than the ST100, but much better than G3 ST130. Not an issue on my 140" diagonal screen, but everyone's sensitivity to things is different. Brightness uniformity likely won't be an issue that you need to worry about. I absolutely LOVE the ST100. It is still by far the best screen out there. But if you need the bump in light, the G4 is a great option.
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post #13 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post
I don't think Tiger will have much perspective that would pertain to Steve's situation as Tiger's screen is a postage stamp by comparison and honestly doesn't need any help for total light. Steve has a BIG screen. The 5000ES puts out some serious lumens though AND he is looking at a DCR lens. It certainly won't HURT to have the G4, but there is some increase in texture. I would say if you haven't ordered the ST100, I would seriously consider it. If you already have the ST100, I would stick with it and once your theater is done, give it some time and get a feel for how much you like the brightness. We can see where you are at when I come measure it, and then go from there. Just my 2 cents of course.
Does he have a 5000ES or a VPL-VW500?

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post #14 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post
I don't think Tiger will have much perspective that would pertain to Steve's situation as Tiger's screen is a postage stamp by comparison and honestly doesn't need any help for total light. Steve has a BIG screen. The 5000ES puts out some serious lumens though AND he is looking at a DCR lens. It certainly won't HURT to have the G4, but there is some increase in texture. I would say if you haven't ordered the ST100, I would seriously consider it. If you already have the ST100, I would stick with it and once your theater is done, give it some time and get a feel for how much you like the brightness. We can see where you are at when I come measure it, and then go from there. Just my 2 cents of course.
Does he have a 5000ES or a VPL-VW500?
Steve has a 5000ES. Tiger has a RS4500.

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post #15 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 11:59 AM
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Steve,

If memory serves and its still the case, once you get to a certain size, StudioTech becomes SnoMatte, period.I can't recall what size screen you are going with, but it may be a mute point between size and lack of gain. You can't go wrong with Snomatte, its the material used by the studios.
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post #16 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Again, more light is typically never a bad thing, unless there is no way to control it when you don't want it (not an issue here). Texture is more than the ST100, but much better than G3 ST130. Not an issue on my 140" diagonal screen, but everyone's sensitivity to things is different. Brightness uniformity likely won't be an issue that you need to worry about. I absolutely LOVE the ST100. It is still by far the best screen out there. But if you need the bump in light, the G4 is a great option.
I had my previous Sim2 C3X1080 projector with "only" a 128.5" wide 2.35 Studiotech 1.3 gain screen from 2008 until 2017. and I had that screen when I initially got my Sony VPL-VW5000 projector, initially on a table used with my old screen for a few months, until I got it ceiling mounted with my then new 14' wide Snomatte 2.40 screen. And I was very happy with that picture, even happier once I got the ceiling mount and new 14' wide screen. Yes with the Snomatte screen I could see not just the size difference but also the texture difference/improvement! And of course my prior Studiotech wasn't the G3 but was the 2008 version whatever that was. I wouldn't say I'm sensitive to texture as I loved my old Studiotech screen, but of course loved the Snomatte even better.

As brightness uniformity is not an issue, that's really important and helpful to know!

I am definitely going to think about this and talk to my dealer about this coastwise. Although I do not "need" the bump in light, that bump certainly won't hurt and will help, particularly as my hours increase on my projector (currently a bit short of 3,000 hours).

Thanks Kris.
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post #17 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 12:01 PM
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Steve,

If memory serves and its still the case, once you get to a certain size, StudioTech becomes SnoMatte, period.I can't recall what size screen you are going with, but it may be a mute point between size and lack of gain. You can't go wrong with Snomatte, its the material used by the studios.
Correct, it is just the thickness of the material that changes. The base coating does not, so image quality should be identical.

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post #18 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post
Steve has a 5000ES. Tiger has a RS4500.
And Tiger is going from an older Firehawk to a G4 ( and a now much darker room than he had in the past ) - that will be a big change and improvement. I did something similar a few years ago.
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post #19 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 01:20 PM
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Steve,

If memory serves and its still the case, once you get to a certain size, StudioTech becomes SnoMatte, period.
Must be larger than 16'3" wide

Art
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post #20 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Must be larger than 16'3" wide

Art
Art, if I recall your posts from a few years ago correctly, although your screen is G3 Studiotech, you mentioned that you can reverse the screen and it will be Snomatte, as only one side is coated. Is my memory any good? And which side of the screen are you using and why?

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post #21 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 01:54 PM
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Art, if I recall your posts from a few years ago correctly, although your screen is G3 Studiotech, you mentioned that you can reverse the screen and it will be Snomatte, as only one side is coated. Is my memory any good? And which side of the screen are you using and why?
Ha ha not only do you have an excellent memory you also caught me back peddling. Yes, the back is snowmatte and yes I never flipped it over as I said I would do after the stack. I've been accused of forever chasing light and I can't deny it.
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post #22 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 04:48 PM
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Art, if I recall your posts from a few years ago correctly, although your screen is G3 Studiotech, you mentioned that you can reverse the screen and it will be Snomatte, as only one side is coated. Is my memory any good? And which side of the screen are you using and why?
I actually asked the head tech at Stewart if that was the case and it isn't. Snomatte still has a coating on it, it isn't literally a zero finish piece of their material. So the back of ST130 is NOT ST100, it is just the material without any gain coating. There is a coating on ST100. If you are REALLY REALLY picky, you can see the texture from it with bright white content. I did some comparisons of the ST100 with the unity material from SI and both had some sheen, but the ST100's is lower. But both are so low that you have to REALLY go out of your way to see it. The G3 ST130 is visible without going to look for it, it makes itself known with brighter content, especially in pans. The G4 is right in between. It doesn't call attention to itself unless you are looking for it. Most apparent with vertical pans vs horizontal. Still a sheen/texture for sure, but one that is easy to ignore.

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post #23 of 32 Old 05-14-2020, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post
I did some comparisons of the ST100 with the unity material from SI and both had some sheen, but the ST100's is lower. But both are so low that you have to REALLY go out of your way to see it. The G3 ST130 is visible without going to look for it, it makes itself known with brighter content, especially in pans. The G4 is right in between. It doesn't call attention to itself unless you are looking for it. Most apparent with vertical pans vs horizontal. Still a sheen/texture for sure, but one that is easy to ignore.
If for you the G4's sheen texture is easy to ignore it will be for me for sure! Besides the fact that given I'm not that bright I can always use some more brightness!

Seriously I will look into changing out to the G4, as one can always use added brightness for HDR (which I will certainly get as I ad the DCR lens and if I also change to G4); and as I continue to log hours onto my projector, as the laser slowly dims I certainly won't notice as much. I do like to watch regular tv shows as well as KScape and 4k disc movies so I log about 1500 hours annually on my projector (but none since last August as my theater is down for renovation & upgrade).

Kris, when my upgrade & renovation is done, and Covid-19 clears sufficiently that you feel same to fly and come out to then calibrate my video (certainly some months away), it will be great to meet you!
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post #24 of 32 Old 05-15-2020, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
If for you the G4's sheen texture is easy to ignore it will be for me for sure! Besides the fact that given I'm not that bright I can always use some more brightness!
Kris, when my upgrade & renovation is done, and Covid-19 clears sufficiently that you feel same to fly and come out to then calibrate my video (certainly some months away), it will be great to meet you!
Steve,
Coming from my post Corona Austerity mindset and my older and more patient years.... Stewart Screen material is so easy to change - in my case on Vistacope there are a bunch of bungee chords to pull out and replace the new screen.
I would stay with he ST 100 and see how bright a picture you get - I am fully satisfied but with 100 laser - and mine is AT - so yours will be much brighter than mine.
You can always order the G4 material and change - you can do it with with your grandson it is that easy and light.
Ash
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post #25 of 32 Old 05-15-2020, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Kris Deering View Post
I actually asked the head tech at Stewart if that was the case and it isn't. Snomatte still has a coating on it, it isn't literally a zero finish piece of their material. So the back of ST130 is NOT ST100, it is just the material without any gain coating. There is a coating on ST100. If you are REALLY REALLY picky, you can see the texture from it with bright white content. I did some comparisons of the ST100 with the unity material from SI and both had some sheen, but the ST100's is lower. But both are so low that you have to REALLY go out of your way to see it. The G3 ST130 is visible without going to look for it, it makes itself known with brighter content, especially in pans. The G4 is right in between. It doesn't call attention to itself unless you are looking for it. Most apparent with vertical pans vs horizontal. Still a sheen/texture for sure, but one that is easy to ignore.
Thanks I was hoping that the myth was true thus saving me a nice chunk down the road. Are the reflective specs the same for the G4 as the old 130 ?

Art
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post #26 of 32 Old 05-15-2020, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
If for you the G4's sheen texture is easy to ignore it will be for me for sure! Besides the fact that given I'm not that bright I can always use some more brightness!
Kris, when my upgrade & renovation is done, and Covid-19 clears sufficiently that you feel same to fly and come out to then calibrate my video (certainly some months away), it will be great to meet you!
Steve,
Coming from my post Corona Austerity mindset and my older and more patient years.... Stewart Screen material is so easy to change - in my case on Vistacope there are a bunch of bungee chords to pull out and replace the new screen.
I would stay with he ST 100 and see how bright a picture you get - I am fully satisfied but with 100 laser - and mine is AT - so yours will be much brighter than mine.
You can always order the G4 material and change - you can do it with with your grandson it is that easy and light.
Ash
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post #27 of 32 Old 05-15-2020, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Ash Sharma View Post
Steve,
Coming from my post Corona Austerity mindset and my older and more patient years.... Stewart Screen material is so easy to change - in my case on Vistacope there are a bunch of bungee chords to pull out and replace the new screen.
I would stay with he ST 100 and see how bright a picture you get - I am fully satisfied but with 100 laser - and mine is AT - so yours will be much brighter than mine.
You can always order the G4 material and change - you can do it with with your grandson it is that easy and light.
Ash
Like you, with this Corona, I'm out of the upgrade business for a long while....

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #28 of 32 Old 05-15-2020, 07:03 AM
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Like you, with this Corona, I'm out of the upgrade business for a long while....
Jeff,
Corona Austerity aside... I am very satisfied with my setup for now and glad we finished all the upgrades before the **it hit the fan. Can you imagine getting calibrators builders etc out for you if you were in the middle of the construction.
You and I were so wary about the Lumagen - Steve and Lon pushed me for it - getting the DTM on Lumagen and Kris out in December for Calibration and my craving for light has disappeared and yes I run by 5000 at full laser.
And now K Escape has really stepped up with movie delivery.... and immersive sound - so stops to Best Buy or buying discs on Amazon is out.
And last year Sony gave me a 15 hour B Stock VW 5000 (almost brand new) before Kris came out so he could check it and calibrate..
The control system Creston works reliably and Lumagen Auto AR is awesome (except the Crestron module on the Lumagen still needs to be fixed) - so the theater works intuitively than ever.
It is a good time to sit back and relax and watch movies - no need for upgrades as there is not much out there any way.
Be safe and regards to family.
Ash
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post #29 of 32 Old 05-15-2020, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ash Sharma View Post
Jeff,
Corona Austerity aside... I am very satisfied with my setup for now and glad we finished all the upgrades before the **it hit the fan. Can you imagine getting calibrators builders etc out for you if you were in the middle of the construction.
You and I were so wary about the Lumagen - Steve and Lon pushed me for it - getting the DTM on Lumagen and Kris out in December for Calibration and my craving for light has disappeared and yes I run by 5000 at full laser.
And now K Escape has really stepped up with movie delivery.... and immersive sound - so stops to Best Buy or buying discs on Amazon is out.
And last year Sony gave me a 15 hour B Stock VW 5000 (almost brand new) before Kris came out so he could check it and calibrate..
The control system Creston works reliably and Lumagen Auto AR is awesome (except the Crestron module on the Lumagen still needs to be fixed) - so the theater works intuitively than ever.
It is a good time to sit back and relax and watch movies - no need for upgrades as there is not much out there any way.
Be safe and regards to family.
Ash
Hey Ash

Me as well... I am not hte video guy that Art and others are here so ignorance is bliss. I like the look of my 'bim' ST 100 microperf. All good.

I have been using K so much I bought a unit to distribute to rest of house. Really nice.

Like you, I've spent enough - glad I can just enjoy...

Be well!

Goodbye to a great audio and video genius and writer... JOHN GANNON. I enjoyed your friendship, wit and a nice long run we took around Indianapolis at CEDIA years back... and for buying my Runco 980 Ultra years back... you saved my ass! Rest in peace.
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post #30 of 32 Old 05-15-2020, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Art Sonneborn View Post
Thanks I was hoping that the myth was true thus saving me a nice chunk down the road. Are the reflective specs the same for the G4 as the old 130 ?

Art
They are the same in terms of how much gain is spec'ed, if that is what you are referring to. I did a comparison in my review of the G3 and G4 and actually found the G4 gave me a bigger increase in light over the ST100 that was more in line with the 1.3 gain spec. Granted, I didn't have the G3 sample tensioned, which can effect the outcome, but when I went from a ST130G3 to the ST100 in my setup awhile back, I noted the same difference (the drop in measured brightness wasn't nearly 30%). So in this case I saw a jump in brightness that was closer to spec AND far less texture/sparkle distraction. But since I'm sure there is some variation in screens through manufacturing, YMMV of course.

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