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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the advice from these boards I went for the Da-lite high gain screen for my LT150. Even though its ceiling mounted and the retroreflective nature means less gain, everyone still says it was the best.


Ordered it from my local HT place, what was delivered was actually a different brand. One called Screen Technics. Its a 2.2 gain retroflective on a vinyl screen. Looked fine when the projector was on the coffee table, but once installed properly in the ceiling now looks nothing short of terrible. I seriously believe that projecting on the cream wall looked better. The trouble is that the vinyl is not smooth, it is full of indentations for lack of a better word, or grooves. Every single one of these shows up when watching a movie and gives the film a grainy look. My 5th element superbit went from being WOW, to ah crap.


Now the da-lite doesnt do this does it? I just read a post on this page about another chap with ceiling mounted lt150 that loved his. I am talking with the guy where I bought it from, and they are getting me in touch with the screen technics guys to see what we can do.


The chap I bought it from says he was told this screen is exactly the same as the da-lite. Is this anything like what you guys with the da-lite get? Just want to see where I stand between what I ordered and what I got. Also if there are any solutions to my problem.


This is posted on the screens and projector forums for the hope of a good response. Forgive the multiple posts.


Thanks.
 

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Technics is not Dalite, sorry but your 'chap' lied to you. Hipower of Dalite is made from microbeaded glass with optical coating. It is still retroreflective so gain is less with ceiling mount (1.3-1.5 gain instead of the full 2.8 gain). The gain alone should tell you that your screen is not the same as Dalite since yours is only 2.2 gain. Glass beads if too large can show up on video that's why the cheaper glass-beaded screen (2.5 gain, same price as matte-white) are not good for video unless you sit way back. Hipower is twice the price of a regular glass-beaded screen.


A reasonable compromise and more cost effective solution for ceiling mount is the Video Spectra which I have with my LT150 (table mount): 1.5 gain, 1" black side borders, black backing, slightly more than matte-white, designed for ceiling or table mount as it's reflective (not retroreflective) where the angle of reflection is the same as the angle of entry. I bought a 96"X72" Video Spectra Model B Dalite from www.francisav.com for $150 USD shipped to Ohio (not sure if they'll ship internationally but you may want to check). I'm very happy with my screen except for a few top waves that's common with manual pull-down screens (only noticeable on slow pans and only 6" from top roll-cage).
 

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Draper's M2500 screen fabric has a 2.1 gain and is not retroreflective so projector placement is not an issue.

Lenny Eckian
 

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While it does not qualify as high gain - I am pretty pleased with my FireHawk 1.3 gain screen that I am using with my ceiling mounted LT-150. I started with a HiPower but decided to go with a 16:9 instead of the 4:3 I bought the Dalite in.


Once I set up the ceiling mount, I found I could see a definte shift in brightness when I stood up, using the HiPower. (it was much brighter when standing with my head near the projector.)


I was concerned that the 1.35 gain of the Stewart would not be enough but it looks plenty bright in my light controlled room. I can also see more shadow details and colors seem very saturated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks huey, thats exactly the type of response I was looking for. I knew from all the rave reviews of the hipower that it didnt have this flaw and figured it to be this. Hopefully the guys at screen technics will be able to help me out. Looks like I wont be able to get the high power, but will go for the reflective like you suggest.

Lets hope I dont have any problems with the exchange.
 

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I have a LT150z ceiling mounted with the Da-lite screen and I see very little difference in brightness when i stand up. I do see the difference when I move to the side though but for the $269 I payed for the screen I'd do it again.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the reply.

Yeah I have no choice in the mounting, Im renting a villa atm and there is no where else to put it except the open plan living room so it needs to be out of the way.


The technician from screen technics rang me the otherday to find out what was what in my order. He said they actually do carry the high power screen material but they never sell any of it. His opinion was that the da-lite highpower was an absolute crap screen and that brightness did not equal quality. His opinion was that all gained screens were worthless with projectors today and their high ansi lumens due to the difference in intensities across the screen. His recommendation was a unity gain screen.


He didnt seem to think much of the idea of getting advice from a forum either and said that the company he gets his screens from in Denmark spend $30 million a year in R and D and there isnt a screen better than a unity gain matte white.


He was pritty adamant on his opinion so I didnt bother arguing with him. I just want a decent screen I can watch my movies from.


How many of you guys with DLP's have tried the unity gain and then gone to the higher gain screen? Is it definately worth persisting in getting something like a 1.5 gain reflective screen? There is nowhere around Perth that Ive found at least to compare the two so I have to go by the experience of people here.


Hopefully I wont have a lot of hassle from the store with the exchange. I spoke to the dealer the otherday and he told me that the replacement screen was going to be $400. He was fishing for me to see that I'd pay for it. I told him flat out that it wasnt my concern and Im legally entitled to a full refund if I want one since I wasnt given the product I ordered. Ive got to give him a call Friday and see whats organised.


Anyway, thats the update on my current screen woes. So what does everyone think about screen choice? Play it safe and go the unity gain or insist on the reflective 1.5? Is there any chance for hotspotting on a 1.5 gain?
 

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Noodle - the technician you talked to is an idiot :). I doubt you'll find any place on the net more knowledgable about projectors and screens than here.


That said the high-power in my opinion is not a good idea for a ceiling mount. I have one myself for a floor mount - and if I try standing up the brightness is reduced severly - losing the punch that the high power normally provides (and which is why it's normally recommended here). You might want to try the draper Lenny recommended - or the Firehawk. Retro-reflective screens do not work in a ceiling mount situation.


As for hotspotting - don't worry about it. It shouldn't be a problem with the gain we're discussing here.
 

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I moved from Bretford matte white (gain of 1.0) and DIY blackout cloth painted with satin ultra-white Sherman William paint (estimated gain of 1.1) to my new Video Spectra (reflective, gain of 1.5). The improvement in brightness, whites, colors are noticeable. Blacks tend to be ever so slightly less black (it's a trade off for higher gain screens). Masking of the letterbox bars, ceiling, and on both sides of image helps improve apparent contrast a lot. As would painting the clear segment, Hoya HMC FL-D optical filter, and bias back lighting of screen (should be on dimmer so you can adjust brightness to your liking). I went with 1.5 gain instead of 2.8 purely because I did not want to compromise my blacks further.


Frode is right. You Technics dude is arrogant and is less informed than most people here. Why do you think all these screen companies have so many different type screen? Why would people pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for Firehawk, Grayhawk, Dalite High Contrast Cinemavision, Dalite High Contrast, Graydove, etc. if there is nothing better than matte white? If you do go with matte white, it's pretty cheap and won't hurt your image with DIY screen being most cost effective (see screen forum for ideas). It won't improve it either. It's really up to your preference: better blacks (gray, lower gain screen) or better colors (higher gain, white screen). With Firehawk you can have the best of both worlds (1.3 gain and gray to boot) but you'll pay plenty in Australia (thousands of US dollars there, over $1K USD here in USA). I guess you get what you pay for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I will go for the 1.5 gain screen. I really liked the high gain from the retroflective when I had the projector at table level. Thought you guys would be interested in his comments.

He also said grey screens etc were a total lot of bull and the effect is only in the imagination of the person viewing. As I said before I wasnt going to get in an argument with him over the phone, especially since I dont have my screen replaced yet :)

Anyone who immediately discounts the value of such a wide base of experience and knowledge for their own industry training doesnt get given high regards for proffesionalism in my books.

I will post and let you know how I get on tomorrow with ordering the replacement screen.
 

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My Da-lite Model B Video Spectra arrived today. I also have a ceiling mounted LT150. My kids damaged my Da-lite high power screen, so after consulting the experts here at the forum I made the switch.


After a bit of viewing I can say that I'm quite pleased -- especially for about half the cost of the high power screen. The image is just as bright, and very even. I was worried about wrinkles/waves but it has very little, and they aren't really noticeable.


It's a good match with a ceiling mounted LT150.
 

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G'day Noodle,


I purchased my 100" Da-Lite HiPower Model B (tensioned) from Carlton Audio Visual hi-fi shop here in Melbourne last July. A search with google will reveal their web site. It only took a few days to get in for me (the distributors are in Sydney), but unfortunately we aussies pay a premium for most of the imported goodies :(


I was most impressed with the improvement over the homemade screen I fabricated using blockout curtain material, and can concur with all the other users of the HiPower that its an excellent marriage with the LT150.


If you haven't organised a replacement yet its worth a phone call to that shop for an estimate.


As you are intending to ceiling mount your LT150 you might consider rigging up something to invert the screen also. ie the screen pulls up rather than down. This may improve things a little from normal viewing height.


Cheers!


Russ
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by benny


As you are intending to ceiling mount your LT150 you might consider rigging up something to invert the screen also. ie the screen pulls up rather than down. This may improve things a little from normal viewing height.
An interesting idea - but it won't work. Retro-reflective works due to the material - not the orientation of the screen. If you flip a mirror upside down is the image upside down too? Of course not.
 

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G'day Frode,


my suggestion on inverting the screen for ceiling mounts was based upon my understanding that the HiPower screens (although retroreflective) were still manufactured to have a slight reflection bias in one direction. If this is not the case then I stand corrected ..... or sit ... which is what I generally do :D


In my case I have the centre of the screen mounted quite low at 110cm from floor level, with normal viewing eye level at about 95cm. I prefer to watch the screen looking straight ahead as much as possible rather than looking up. This means the projector is mounted quite low and is offset from eye level more that folks who mount their HiPowers higher. All things being equal these higher mounted screens will appear brighter due to the lesser offset between the projector and eye level. But this works against you if you then ceiling mount the projector while maintaining the same high screen position; the offset between eye level and projector is increased.


So it would appear that to get the best use of these retroflective screens you need to mount the screens high if the projector is table top positioned, and low if the projector is ceiling mounted. It all comes down to minimising the offset between projector and eye level.


A brief explanation of retroflective principles can be found here ...

Explanation of retroflectivity


Cheers!


Russ
 

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Frode is correct. Flipping the HP screen won't help you as the microscopic glass beads are round and reflect light back to the source. That's why floor mounted PJ gives brightest image when you're laying on the floor next to PJ, and ceiling mounted PJ gives highest gain image when your head is next to PJ at ceiling level. Thus, flipping the screen will do nothing as the beads are round like tiny marbles which will sparkle the same right side up or upside down.


HiPower will still give some gain when PJ is ceiling mounted and you're sitting on the couch. But the gain is only 1.3-1.5 or so compared to the full 2.8 gain at PJ level. For 1.5 gain, you can buy Video Spectra for nearly 1/2 the price. This screen is reflective so perfect for ceiling mounted PJ. Video Spectra is more durable too as the optical coating (to seal in the glass beads to allow gentle wiping/cleaning of screen--normal glass beads fall off when wiped and are not cleanable) of HP screen tends to get sticky in warm weather and can degrade over time.
 

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Fine. Video Spectra works well for both table and ceiling mount due to its reflective nature and wide viewing angle.
 
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