AVS Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I got given a Da-lite 110" Parallax 0.8 motorized screen so I thought I'd share a few thoughts, pics and videos as there doesn't seem to be much in the way of reviews or candid user info out there....



For context, this is one of Da-lite's premium price ALR screens and this roll-down version retails for over $5,000 in some places. I'm going to focus mostly on it's ALR performance as that is how it's marketed (and priced).

The key question is, does it perform well with the lights on? Does it really "reject 96% of ambient light as it advertises?

My experience is that it does not. The image looked washed out with the lights on no matter what I tried and dark scenes were unwatchable. I used a Barco F35 (bright pro grade projector) to give it a fair try. I dug out my old JVC RS35 and could hardly see any image at all with the lights on so I skipped any HT projector videos.

I should add that I tried it with my medium throw, my long throw and short throw lenses and in both single and dual lamp mode with a throws ranging from 10' to 30'.


In the video above I turned off all the lights near the screen leaving just the overhead lights in the other half of the room. It's in a basement with blacked out windows so it's just room lights.

I then tried it with just a light directly above the screen (which is meant to be it's advertised ALR sweet spot).


It wasn't noticeably different. Bright colors look OK but they look OK on the wall with this projector. Personally, I wouldn't be OK with this as a living room TV replacement screen and definitely not for $5000. I'd say the advertised 96% ALR looks closer to 5-10% to my eye. That is if I compare it's ALR performance to regular cheap gray screen materials I've seen. I hate it when they use white screens for comparison...

Like some of the other premium ALR screens, this one uses a horizontal lenticular lens with black printed on the top of the lenticules to block light from above. I think this is a flawed concept. The idea that you can block ambient light from select directions on a 2d plane to prevent a washed out image makes no sense.

The lenticules on a lenticular lens like this are microscopic (think of a crinkle cut chip with 30-80 crinkles per inch). They aren't deep enough to block much light and certainly not anything close to 96%...

Anyone serious about home theater knows that ambient light comes from all directions. In an untreated room (where this screen would be used), light bounces off every surface and it only takes the tiniest amount to wash out the image. That's why serious enthusiasts cover their walls, ceilings and floors in black velvet.

Projectors can't produce blacks on their own. With the lights on, the color of the screen is the darkest black achievable. This why the image looks washed out on white and gray screens. This is the key issue with the Parallax as an ALR screen. It's ultimately just a gray screen and not a particularly dark gray:



The plus side is that it doesn't suffer from the narrow viewing cone found on the Black Diamond 0.8 screens. You can watch the Parallax from almost anywhere in the room... but only if the lights are off... I think they would have been better off using a far darker tint and using the lenticular lens to offset the resultant loss in viewing cone (like on old rear projection TVs) but... what's done is done.



People who want a motorized roll-down screen have slim pickings if ALR is needed. Da-lite is one of the few to offer a roll-down ALR option. My one has issues though. I can't say this is a widespread problem but I could not get my Parallax screen to stay flat. I'd be surprised if mine was an isolated issue looking at the design.



Mine has these indentations down both sides. They flatten out when I stretch the screen vertically with my hands, so I know it's not shipping damage in the material. It's an issue with how it hangs on Da-Lite's tension design and issues like this are super noticeable on this type of screen. I can see it in the image when watching tv. It would drive me mad if I'd paid $5000+ for this as my main everyday screen.

As I didn't pay for my one, it's going in my 4-year old's playroom so I can stop worrying about him breaking my Oled. If I were to use it for myself, I'd cut it off the roller and staple it to a wooden frame. It's not a well made roll-down mechanism imo. It feels very cheap and flimsy considering the price.



Performance with the lights off is very good. It appears to be mostly color neutral with maybe a slightly cooler image but nothing that couldn't be easily adjusted. Whites look bright and it has a moderately contrast-enhancing effect compared to a $100 gray screen. I.e. a small reduction in black levels without an equal drop in white levels.

If this was a $500 fabric to compete with Elite's Cinegrey 3d and 5d, I'd consider the Parallax 0.8 to be a decent option for people using brighter pro grade projectors on very large screens in a dark room. At $4000 - $5000 for a 110" screen with sketchy ALR performance, It seems overpriced, under-quality and 10 years too late imo. There are better and cheaper options for the living room these days.

Here's one last video showing the $5000 Parallax .8 next to a $200 Sony Dynaclear portable 80" ALR screen from back in the day. It's striking how similar they are in ALR performance, build quality and look.


Anyway, that's my $0.02. I'd be interested to here if anyone else here actually bought one of these screens and if anyone else had a different experience?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,931 Posts
@Greyimporter not sure what 96% refers to. It claims Horizontal Half Angle: 85º | Vertical Half Angle: 17º:
https://www.legrandav.com/products/da-lite/screen_surfaces/front_projection/ambient_light_rejection/parallax_08

The angle the lights are is too large, to far from the screen. Ideally they should be just above the screen to be effective. Lenticular ALR screens do work in resisting ceiling light sources, just look at UST ALR/CLR screens.

The lights also seem quite bright, I don't know if these screens can reject that amount of light.

In these types of setups a bright projector would be beneficial. What is the actual lumens of those two projectors?


But with any of these ALR screens if the projected image has dark parts those will be compromised depending on the ambient light source, intensity, projector lumens, scene.


This screen should be the same fabric as DNP Supernova 08-85.

A review here:
https://www.projectorcentral.com/ambient-light-rejection-screens-2.htm?remove_compare_list=10296&article_id=1493#DaLite Parallax
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
Here is my experience with the Parallax 0.8 and two other ALR screens.

My viewing room has light coming from a side window with blinds that can cause the picture to wash out. It also has a white ceiling.

In 2009 I installed a Screen Innovations Black Diamond 1.4. It didn't turn out to be the miracle screen that I had hoped for. It wasn't a whole lot better than the non-ALR screen that it replaced. It didn't handle ambient light anything like that shown in the SI promotional pictures and videos. I should have known that they were set up – direction of ambient light, position of projectors and cameras, etc. to show the screen at its absolute best. I managed to better control the light from the side window so all was not lost.

My main problem with this screen was the artifacts, sparkles, texture appearance and especially the hot spot. I found the hot spot to be extremely distracting.

SI learned of my unhappiness from my postings on this forum and they gave me, at no cost, not even shipping, replacement .8 gain screen material. This improved things and made my viewing experience, while far from perfect, much better.

By 2013 I had improved my ambient light control so I decided to replace my SI screen with a Stewart FireHawk G4, a screen with slightly less ambient light control, but also fewer artifacts. Again, while far from perfect, I found it to be much better, especially the hot spotting.

In 2017 I bought a 4K projector and decided to buy a screen with no artifacts at all – a screen that I wouldn't see when watching 4K, so after reading the Projector Central ALR screen review I bought a Da-lite Parallax. I had already improved my ambient light problem back in the SI Days, so I didn't think the lessened ALR properties would be a problem. It wasn't.

The picture quality improvement with the Parallax absolutely amazed me – a far bigger improvement than any of my projector upgrades. I hadn't fully realized how much my previous ALR screens were affecting picture quality. For instance, Blu-rays that I thought had a grainy quality were not grainy at all, the graininess was caused by my previous screens.

I have found my perfect ALR screen. Of course, that doesn't mean it would be everybody's perfect screen. Everybody has different needs and sensitivities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My Parallax certainly performs well in the dark. The two things that let it down were it's performance with the lights on and the roll-down mechanism quality.

As a fixed screen in a dark or dim room, my only complaint would be the price. I don't find it noticeably better than a lot of cheap screens I've seen. I'd say the same about the Black Diamond and Firehawk in a dark room. If performance with the lights on wasn't a priority I'd choose a cheaper screen. If it was, there are better options.

If you have time, would mind posting a few pics or videos of it running with your set-up. I'm interested to see the amount of light and how it's mounted in relation to the projector. Also, what projector do you use with it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
@Greyimporter not sure what 96% refers to. It claims Horizontal Half Angle: 85º | Vertical Half Angle: 17º:
https://www.legrandav.com/products/da-lite/screen_surfaces/front_projection/ambient_light_rejection/parallax_08

The angle the lights are is too large, to far from the screen. Ideally they should be just above the screen to be effective. Lenticular ALR screens do work in resisting ceiling light sources, just look at UST ALR/CLR screens.

The lights also seem quite bright, I don't know if these screens can reject that amount of light.

In these types of setups a bright projector would be beneficial. What is the actual lumens of those two projectors?


But with any of these ALR screens if the projected image has dark parts those will be compromised depending on the ambient light source, intensity, projector lumens, scene.


This screen should be the same fabric as DNP Supernova 08-85.

A review here:
https://www.projectorcentral.com/ambient-light-rejection-screens-2.htm?remove_compare_list=10296&article_id=1493#DaLite Parallax
96% ambient light rejection is Da-lite's claim in their marketing blurb. As in "this screen rejects 96% of ambient light".

https://www.legrandav.com/products/da-lite/screen_surfaces/front_projection/ambient_light_rejection/parallax_08

A number of ALR screen makers have started including a stated percentage for the amount of ambient light they claim to reject. For the most part they're somewhere between misleading and pure fantasy. This number has nothing to do with the viewing cone.

The Parallax has a wide horizontal cone and a narrow vertical cone by design. The lenticular lens makes it look dark when viewed from above or below to block direct ceiling light. As such, the higher you mount the projector in relation to the center of the screen, the dimmer the image gets.

I use a 4 tier shelf unit for my projectors which allows me to test projector mounting positions from floor to ceiling. The Parallax .8 looks best with the projector opposite the screen center. From a practical point, I usually mount the projector a little above my head height for ALR screens.

I tried my Parallax with a Barco F35 AS3d with viz Sim wheel, a Barco F32 1080 with high brightness wheel, a JVC RS35 and a quick try with an RS60. With these I was able to test the screen from 500 lumens up to around 7000 lumens. I also tried it with throws ranging from 1.5 to a little over 3. I found 1.9+ was optimal.

More brightness is beneficial for brighter scenes and colors when the lights are on but this applies to any screen. I happen to have gray walls behind the screen. With my brightest projectors, bright colorful scenes look just fine with the lights on (with no screen). It's dark TV shows like Arrow and DC Legends that become unwatchable on light colored screens (with the lights on).

For genuinely decent performance with the lights on, you want the darkest possible screen color with a suitably bright projector. The screen should look black in whatever lighting conditions it will be used. The lighter the screen color, the darker the room needs to be to avoid washed out blacks.

This video was taken in the same room with the same lighting with the same projector. The only difference is that it's with my old black living room screen.


That screen is a lot darker in color than my Parallax .8 but with a similar gain so dark scenes are watchable with the lights on.

So, as I said, I probably wouldn't want to use a Parallax for it's stated purpose (I.e. as a TV replacement screen for use with the lights on). But, it has value over a regular white screen in a dark room in that it lowers real-world black levels without a noticeable drop in color brightness.



This can be seen here when I hold up some white screen material over the Parallax with the lights off.

BTW the Parallax .8 is similar to the Supernova Blade .8 but not the same. The Supernova looks slightly darker in color but with comparable brightness. The Supernova also feels slightly smoother. There's not a lot in it but overall, I think the Supernova blade is slightly better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
Here is my experience with the Parallax 0.8 and two other ALR screens.

My viewing room has light coming from a side window with blinds that can cause the picture to wash out. It also has a white ceiling.

In 2009 I installed a Screen Innovations Black Diamond 1.4. It didn't turn out to be the miracle screen that I had hoped for. It wasn't a whole lot better than the non-ALR screen that it replaced. It didn't handle ambient light anything like that shown in the SI promotional pictures and videos. I should have known that they were set up – direction of ambient light, position of projectors and cameras, etc. to show the screen at its absolute best. I managed to better control the light from the side window so all was not lost.

My main problem with this screen was the artifacts, sparkles, texture appearance and especially the hot spot. I found the hot spot to be extremely distracting.

SI learned of my unhappiness from my postings on this forum and they gave me, at no cost, not even shipping, replacement .8 gain screen material. This improved things and made my viewing experience, while far from perfect, much better.

By 2013 I had improved my ambient light control so I decided to replace my SI screen with a Stewart FireHawk G4, a screen with slightly less ambient light control, but also fewer artifacts. Again, while far from perfect, I found it to be much better, especially the hot spotting.

In 2017 I bought a 4K projector and decided to buy a screen with no artifacts at all – a screen that I wouldn't see when watching 4K, so after reading the Projector Central ALR screen review I bought a Da-lite Parallax. I had already improved my ambient light problem back in the SI Days, so I didn't think the lessened ALR properties would be a problem. It wasn't.

The picture quality improvement with the Parallax absolutely amazed me – a far bigger improvement than any of my projector upgrades. I hadn't fully realized how much my previous ALR screens were affecting picture quality. For instance, Blu-rays that I thought had a grainy quality were not grainy at all, the graininess was caused by my previous screens.

I have found my perfect ALR screen. Of course, that doesn't mean it would be everybody's perfect screen. Everybody has different needs and sensitivities.
Interesting post. Thank you for sharing. I am about two weeks away from getting my new Black Diamond screen. Hopefully it performs better than your experience. I do know that there have been like 20 revisions to it since it was released, and it's 11 years after 2009 when you got yours - so I'm hoping mine works okay!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Interesting post. Thank you for sharing. I am about two weeks away from getting my new Black Diamond screen. Hopefully it performs better than your experience. I do know that there have been like 20 revisions to it since it was released, and it's 11 years after 2009 when you got yours - so I'm hoping mine works okay!
I had a friend with the Black diamond 1.4 purchased around 2 years ago just as karlsch pointed out immediately noticed the artifacts, sparkles and texture I could not live with that screen. I was also in the market for a ALR but decided to hold off for now as my projector really is not bright enough for the Parallax .8 gain screen and that seems the best ones are in that range otherwise you get those side effects. All the ones I looked at worked best with a low to moderate amount of controlled light and no direct light on the screen itself.
I am sure people will have different views of whats acceptable to them.
Position of the projector is also critical for the parallax material.

These materials could also work well with the lights out with rooms that have light colored walls and flooring etc but when the lights turn up you will need a very bright projector.
Its also important to be aware there are two main types of ALR screens retro-reflective and angular-reflective and the use of these will depend on the light source you want to fight.
angular-reflective - Best for Fighting light from above
retro-reflective - Fighting light from the sides and some above

Some of the screens I looked where
DaLites Parallax 0.8 gain - angular-reflective
DaLites Parallax 1.0 gain - angular-reflective
ALR from Severtson identical to DaLites Parallax 0.8 from what I can tell. - angular-reflective
Matinee Wide .8 gain - retro-reflective
Matinee Black 1.4 gain - retro-reflective - noticeable artifacts, sparkles and texture

No light should be coming from the direction of the projector for any ALR screen this includes windows behind the projector they are not designed for that. Light from all directions will often not give the best result with ALR screens either.


Corrected terms angular-reflective and retro-reflective where back to front thanks for noob00224 for pointing that out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
My Parallax certainly performs well in the dark. The two things that let it down were it's performance with the lights on and the roll-down mechanism quality.
There is a lot of light reflection off the floor with the lights on I wonder what would happen if you covered the floor for the first few meters from the screen with some dark material/black rug as its not designed to block light coming from below the screen might be worth a try.


I also notice that they seem to have two different materials for Parallax my sample is .8 gain but has a plastic film type material and is not very flexible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,931 Posts
I had a friend with the Black diamond 1.4 purchased around 2 years ago just as karlsch pointed out immediately noticed the artifacts, sparkles and texture I could not live with that screen. I was also in the market for a ALR but decided to hold off for now as my projector really is not bright enough for the Parallax .8 gain screen and that seems the best ones are in that range otherwise you get those side effects. All the ones I looked at worked best with a low to moderate amount of controlled light and no direct light on the screen itself.
I am sure people will have different views of whats acceptable to them.
Position of the projector is also critical for the parallax material.

These materials could also work well with the lights out with rooms that have light colored walls and flooring etc but when the lights turn up you will need a very bright projector.
Its also important to be aware there are two main types of ALR screens retro-reflective and angular-reflective and the use of these will depend on the light source you want to fight.
retro-reflective - Best for Fighting light from above
angular-reflective - Fighting light from the sides and some above

Some of the screens I looked where
DaLites Parallax 0.8 gain - retro-reflective
DaLites Parallax 1.0 gain - retro-reflective
ALR from Severtson identical to DaLites Parallax 0.8 from what I can tell. - retro-reflective
Matinee Wide .8 gain - angular-reflective
Matinee Black 1.4 gain - angular-reflective - noticeable artifacts, sparkles and texture

No light should be coming from the direction of the projector for any ALR screen this includes windows behind the projector they are not designed for that. Light from all directions will often not give the best result with ALR screens either.
So much wrong information on this thread.

Parallax is not retro reflective. By this logic UST ALR screens are also retro reflective, which they are not.
https://www.projectorcentral.com/How-UST-Screens-Let-You-See-the-Light.htm

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/how-do-light-rejecting-screens-work

For screens like the Parallax the lights must be right above the screen in order to be effective.

Also, regardless of screen it's not recommended that light hit the screen directly, for reasons that have been explained above.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
718 Posts
Screen brightness with ALR screens – stated gain doesn't tell the whole story – you also have to consider half-gain angle.


The brightness in a screen with a small half-gain angle might look bright at dead-center, but it quickly becomes much dimmer as you move away to the side.


For instance, when I was thinking of replacing my 1.1 gain Stewart Firehawk G4, a screen with a small half-gain angle, I had Da-Lite send me a sample of 0.8 gain Parallax material which has a large half-gain angle. When I taped the sample to the center of the Firehawk it appeared slightly dimmer. When I taped it a little bit off-center, it appeared to be about the same brightness. When taped near the edge, it a appeared much, much brighter. I was amazed at how much brighter it was.


I didn't measure with a meter, but I would guess that over the entire screen, the 0.8 gain Parallax is brighter than the 1.1 gain Firehawk.


As I mentioned before, I bought the Parallax and couldn't be happier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
So much wrong information on this thread.

Parallax is not retro reflective. By this logic UST ALR screens are also retro reflective, which they are not.
https://www.projectorcentral.com/How-UST-Screens-Let-You-See-the-Light.htm

https://www.soundandvision.com/content/how-do-light-rejecting-screens-work

For screens like the Parallax the lights must be right above the screen in order to be effective.

Also, regardless of screen it's not recommended that light hit the screen directly, for reasons that have been explained above.

Oh I see I got the terms back to front will amend the post to be correct did not mean to create confusion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,931 Posts
Screen brightness with ALR screens – stated gain doesn't tell the whole story – you also have to consider half-gain angle.


The brightness in a screen with a small half-gain angle might look bright at dead-center, but it quickly becomes much dimmer as you move away to the side.


For instance, when I was thinking of replacing my 1.1 gain Stewart Firehawk G4, a screen with a small half-gain angle, I had Da-Lite send me a sample of 0.8 gain Parallax material which has a large half-gain angle. When I taped the sample to the center of the Firehawk it appeared slightly dimmer. When I taped it a little bit off-center, it appeared to be about the same brightness. When taped near the edge, it a appeared much, much brighter. I was amazed at how much brighter it was.


I didn't measure with a meter, but I would guess that over the entire screen, the 0.8 gain Parallax is brighter than the 1.1 gain Firehawk.


As I mentioned before, I bought the Parallax and couldn't be happier.
If the half gain is small, then in that axis the screen fights ambient light well. So it depends on the room.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,805 Posts
Thanks for the write up on these. The actual imprints in the material and the less than perfect retractable and tensioning mechanism is the biggest concern, thats an expensive screen to have any issues.

The performance of the screen sounds about right though. I know marketing is terrible on ALR screens but the screens ability to offset a less than treated room with lights off is still effective, as is the contrast shift. The almost complete lack of sparkle/sheen for an ALR screen is impressive. The wide viewing angle. And that it will completely reject(thats what the 96% is for) light from directly above or below.

The price has always put me off though and the flaws in the retractable model adds concern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,805 Posts
Im more interested in your black screen though. I never did get a close up picture of pixel structure ;]

Is it possible for it to be retractable?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,805 Posts
How is it that the Parallax 0.8 can be the shade of grey that it is with no sparkle/speckle, very limited sheen/more matte, and can use shorter throws? Are there any other artifact free materials that are a similar shade of grey but without the lenticular/lavour aspect limiting vertical viewing angle?
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top