The Firehawk and the S2 are a perfect choice. I went small 82" Diag. seated 13' away and it's perfect for me. Super punchy and crisp. But, I've heard other guys are very happy with 110". I'm not sure I would go 120". Also, If you have a dedicated, light controlled theater, that would make a difference too.
Luidog welcome to the club...you will not be dissapointed. I run a 96x54 FireHawk which works out 110in diagonal.....
The screen is now one day old.....and it looks....well you know! But don't second guess yourself. Try and see a few screen types if you can...if you can't then I can't see you going wrong with the FH. Whats your room like as this could be a determining factor. If you research on the forum and read the posts I'm sure the answer is here.
I am planning on buying a 110" dia. Firehawk, which, as Rosano said, is 96x54, and the S2. I thought about going to 120" dia., but many here, including Dan Miller of Marantz, advised that I would probably be happier with the 110". As to the Firehawk itself, I emailed Don Stewart and he was so high on the screen he said that if you don't like it, they will substitute another screen.
I think the Marantz with the Firehawk is the reference DLP setup today (and yes, I have seen all the ones discussed here (except the new Yamaha)).
I have just ceiling mounted my Cheif mount for my new S2. The pj will be about 14' from the screen. I will be sizing up an image on the wall prior to ordering my Firehawk, but I'm aiming for somewhere between 8.5' and 9' wide as I know the pj can handle this.
I hope you know that the Firehawk works more effectively (higher gain) for ceiling mount configurations. I know most folks ceiling mount but in case you're thinking of a table mount you should know this.
I think you need to look at your sitting position first before talking about screen size. I have a 110" screen with the prime position 16' from the screen. I wouldn't go bigger than this in my setup. If I did, I'd be craning my neck and moving my eyes from side to side to see all the action...here come the headaches...lol
I believe the rule of thumb, correct me if I'm wrong guys, is that your viewing distance should be 3 times the width of the screen. Mine is 96" wide so I'm closer than recommended. Like I said, I wouldn't go bigger in my case.
As far as the screen material goes...do you have total light control ability in your room? If so, consider the Grayhawk. You will love the blacks produced by this screen. And you won't be missing any lumens if you can control your ambient light.
I think 3 times the screen width is a little to far away IMO. I believe the many discussions I've read on the forum suggest anywhere from 1.5 to 2.0 times the width of your screen. IMO there is no set formula on this, just some rules of thumb, it really comes down to personal preference.
My Firehawk is 9.6 feet wide and my first row of seats are at 16.5 feet (approx 1.7 x screen width) , my second row is around 24 feet (approx. 2.5 x screen width). Some prefer the front row, some prefer the back row.
I agree with "tlight" about taking into consideration your room variables. I spent a lot of time determining screen height, seating placement, rear seating riser heights, etc. You don't want to be moving your head from side to side or constantly looking up to see the screen, and you don't want the front row to block the back rows view when the seats are in a reclined position (assuming you have a back row, many don't).
There are many threads on screen size and placement, as well as seating placement on this forum, do some searches and you will get what you need to make an informed decision.
Thanks everybody for all the feedback, its been really helpul.
My room setup is as follows:
Seating Distance - 16'-7'
Projector Distance - 15' 8"- 16'-4"
Ceiling - 11'
What are the drawbacks of table mount to ceiling mounted, how does the gain decrease?
I'm tempted to go with a 133" diagonal firehawk but does brightness and PQ suffer significantly? I like big but I want to get the best PQ for HDTV and DVD viewing form the Marantz S2. Is smaller better?
My room conditions should meet 110" to 133" diagonal screen properly, which should I go for?
I too saw the S2 on Tom Marshalls Screen. Four of us did. We were unanimous that the S2 needed to be in it's brightest mode, but that in that mode it was bright enought for a 133" diagonal firehawk. We compared it to my SP7200, which is a heck of alot brighter, and found that the S2's picture did not suffer for being less bright, even in direct comparison. And that was with the PJs table mounted. The firehawk is designed to be used with a ceiling mount PJ and gives a brighter picture in that configuration. The Marantz and firehawk produced a stunning, state of the art picture, with bright, accurate colors and very dark "blacks". The blacks were almost as dark as the velux frame.
We started off with the S2 in its lowest light setting. After a while we came across scenes were we all thought it was a little too dim. Once we put it in its brightest mode, it handled all my dark and low contrast test scenes with no problem.
In my opinion, it would be a serious mistake to try that with the greyhawk. the lower gain on the greyhawk would make the picture too dark. Plus, I think that the firehawk produces more accurate colors, and it is superior in ambient light rejection.
If you hunt around alot, you can find it pretty reasonably priced.
Got the S2 up on the Cheif mount today and the lens maxes out at 9'3" wide. The first row of seats is about 13' from the screen and my wife said the size was not necessarily overpowering. So I am going to see if Stewart will make a 9'3" screen. The reason I want to go big is because of all the 2.35:1 movies on dvd that I own. I want them to be as big as I can get them without image degradation from the first row. When I am on my own I'll most likely be watching from the middle or back row however.
I like big too, I have the S2 and a 123" diagonal screen that I sit eyeballs about 10.5 feet away from. I like the fact that I have to look around to see all the action, makes it more lifelike. I have a completely light controlled room and have no trouble with bright scenes being bright. I run mine in the non high bright mode as well. I've been thinkning about trying the high bright and seeing how the difference is.
Another consideration with the Firehawk is viewing angle. The Firehawk has a smaller viewing "cone" than the Grayhawk. If some folks will be sitting closer to the screen, check and be sure they are within this cone or the brightness for them will suffer.
On both the Firehawk and Grayhawk, the gain is referencing the prime straight-on viewing position. As you move to the side the gain decreases.
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