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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you were resigned to paying a lot to getting the perfect high gain screen to use for the next decades hopefully, what is the best high gain screen you can buy today bar none?

For a batcave environment. A lot of people seem to think Da-lite High Power 2.8 was the only one that was made that didn't have a lot of issues making the high gain not worth the downsides, and that one is not made anymore. I am wondering if this is the truth of the matter, or if there are new models available today that can perform at least very close to the HP 2.8, if not better? Anything between 1.3 and 3 gain that actually works comparatively well to the HP 2.8 sounds like it would work.
 

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Even though it's not made anymore, this review was very revealing. The problem with very high gain screens is that if you have a seating area that can hold four people for example, the people sitting on the left will see an extremely dark right portion of the screen. And the folks sitting on the right part of the sofa are going to see a very dark area of the left portion of the screen.

It's about all about the off angle viewing. So there's a lot of trade-offs with high Gain screens. There's no free lunch.

You should ask yourself why you would want a 2.8 or 3.0 gain screen to begin with. But please read that review.


-T

Edit:
The edges of the screen being less bright than the center is something I should not have mentioned because that doesn't pertain to this type of screen. The people on the ends will see a diminished brightness for this technology, as stated in the review, and it is still a considerable drop off in brightness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Even though it's not made anymore, this review was very revealing. The problem with very high gain screens is that if you have a seating area that can hold four people for example, the people sitting on the left will see an extremely dark right portion of the screen. And the folks sitting on the right part of the sofa are going to see a very dark area of the left portion of the screen.

It's about all about the off angle viewing. So there's a lot of trade-offs with high Gain screens. There's no free lunch.

You should ask yourself why you would want a 2.8 or 3.0 gain screen to begin with. But please read that review.


-T
I believe you before even reading the review. But if people off to the left or right are still seeing a 2 gain screen, not a 2.8, that's still higher than 1. But are you saying they dont just get less gain, they actually see a distorted screen, like the left part of the screen will be 2 gain and the center will be 2.8 gain? I am more concernd about that than I am people off center not getting the full 2.8. As long as they're getting more than 1, it's still brighter for them than 1 gain.

Is this a problem with any gain screen? Some think I will be borderline alright with 1 gain, so 1.3 or 1.5 should definitely work well.

You should ask yourself why you would want a 2.8 or 3.0 gain screen to begin with.
I got a lot of bad advice about anamorphic constant image height screens retaining the same brightness as 16:9 same height, as in, a 140 inch 2.4:1 screen with an A lens will give you the same brightness as a 110 inch 16:9 screen, because of the 1.33x zoom and stuff like that.

Good news: I found out that is not true before spending a lot of money on screens.

Bad news: I found out that is not true after already spending a lot of money on projectors :ROFLMAO: 😄:D

But hey, my misfortune is your happiness, so at least it works out well for some one :D You're welcome!!!

Just kidding... sort of. I mean, it wouldn't surprise me at all if you were happy reading that, but I won't pretend to know your thoughts or anything.

However, I like the projectors I bought so even knowing the correct info now, I'm not sure I would do anything different. Probably not. I was going to buy a polarized screen with high gain anyway, and some of those are "5D" type of screens that work for 2D as well. Not ideal but I will have that as an option for my second 3D screen. Then I was going to get a 1.0 gain screen, now maybe I need 1.3 instead. One dealer and owner of the screen says he thinks the 1.3 gain Stewart for example is better than the 1.0 gain stewart anyway, that it pops more, and that the 1.3 gain one is "the best" and all the projector companies use it at CEDIA and so on. So I may even be happy I got a 1.3, but reading the review about the gain only sometimes showing up in vertical pans seems like something risky that might bother me. I dont want the image changing depending on the camera angle.

And apparently even the 1.3 is brighter in the middle, and below 1 gain on the sides of the screen, even if you sit center. Only the 1.0 is "Lambertian" I was told.

So I really dont know. Dont have enough experience with different types of screens. But even if there is no gain as perfect as a 1.0 gain Lambertian screen, there are still very good ones that many people use and are happy with, in some cases with projectors less high end than I got, so I think it's going to work out no matter what. I just want to make the best decision, and I am still deciding whether the risk of 1.0 gain not being bright enough is the risk to take, or the risk of 1.3 gain (or maybe a 1.5, or a 2.2 "spectral white" which someone else was recommending to me), being too grainy and ****** and hotspotty for my likeness, is the smart risk to take.

I will test samples when I am able and try to make the smartest decision I can with the information I can.
 

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This is an excerpt from the review:

"The bad news is that once you move off center viewing axis, the gain drops in a hurry. At a viewing angle of 20 degrees from center, the effective screen gain drops to 1.0. In practical terms, the screen and the white test card appear to be equally white at that point. It doesn't take much to get to 20 degrees viewing angle. If you are standing 10 feet from the screen at the center position, and then step sideways 3.6 feet either to the right or left, you are at a 20 degree viewing angle.

At 30 degrees off center, the white test card looks bright white, and the screen looks gray. This is not unusual. In fact, this is exactly what the screen is designed to do-take the light energy from the projector and throw as much of it as possible back along the center viewing axis. Since the screen cannot create light, all it can do is reflect what hits it. And since most of the light is focused directly back in the direction of the projector, the screen looks rather dim from a wider viewing angle."

30° remark is pretty telling. Folks sitting on the ends are going to see a darkness on the image on the opposite side of the screen like I had mentioned in my first post. It will be visible compared to the middle of the screen.

my speakers are about 22 and a half degrees from the main seating area. So in my game room, if I was sitting in the prime location, even when I'm not sitting on the ends of my seating, I would still see a difference in brightness on the edges compared to the middle.

I personally went with the 1.0 gain screen. It's bright white. it reflects light everywhere. Because I knew I did not want people on the ends of my seating area, even though I only have four seats, to have a degraded viewing experience.

-T
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is an excerpt from the review:

"The bad news is that once you move off center viewing axis, the gain drops in a hurry. At a viewing angle of 20 degrees from center, the effective screen gain drops to 1.0. In practical terms, the screen and the white test card appear to be equally white at that point. It doesn't take much to get to 20 degrees viewing angle. If you are standing 10 feet from the screen at the center position, and then step sideways 3.6 feet either to the right or left, you are at a 20 degree viewing angle.

At 30 degrees off center, the white test card looks bright white, and the screen looks gray. This is not unusual. In fact, this is exactly what the screen is designed to do-take the light energy from the projector and throw as much of it as possible back along the center viewing axis. Since the screen cannot create light, all it can do is reflect what hits it. And since most of the light is focused directly back in the direction of the projector, the screen looks rather dim from a wider viewing angle."

30° remark is pretty telling. Folks sitting on the ends are going to see a darkness on the image on the opposite side of the screen like I had mentioned in my first post. It will be visible compared to the middle of the screen.

my speakers are about 22 and a half degrees from the main seating area. So in my game room, if I was sitting in the prime location, even when I'm not sitting on the ends of my seating, I would still see a difference in brightness on the edges compared to the middle.

I personally went with the 1.0 gain screen. It's bright white. it reflects light everywhere. Because I knew I did not want people on the ends of my seating area, even though I only have four seats, to have a degraded viewing experience.

-T
You made the right decision. For my 2D screen, I will be getting either 1.0 gain, or something close. What's your opinion on the top 1.3 gain screens available like the Studiotek G4 130 from Stewart? Still no good?
 

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1.3 gain, the drop off in brightness won't be as pronounced as a 2.8 gain screen. Try to look up some reviews and based on your seating distance and screen size, try to calculate the angles. And you'll get a rough idea how much it'll drop off.

I think it really is based on the angles based on your seating positions.

I personally would not buy anything other than a 1.0 gain. Because of the disadvantages inherent in high Gain screens and along with the fact that I would definitely see drop off in my environment.

-T
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
1.3 gain, the drop off in brightness won't be as pronounced as a 2.8 gain screen. Try to look up some reviews and based on your seating distance and screen size, try to calculate the angles. And you'll get a rough idea how much it'll drop off.

I think it really is based on the angles based on your seating positions.

I personally would not buy anything other than a 1.0 gain. Because of the disadvantages inherent in high Gain screens and along with the fact that I would definitely see drop off in my environment.

-T
How many fl would you want minimum, but with a little headroom for "pop" and so on, for dynamic tonemapping? One person told me 15fl minimum. One told me 30fl minimum. It's going to be hard for me to get to 15fl, but I may be around 15fl with a DLP-LED projector that some say has a 30% boost in perceived brightness compared to 3 chip DLP, lcos, etc, projectors with the same number of lumens.

So if the minimum is 15fl, and Im sitting at 15fl actual, and 21fl perceived, that would probably be good. More might be better, but 20fl perceived would be 25% over the minimum recommended, and I have somewhat sensitive eyes, so it might be just about right, or best I can hope for at this stage.

If either the "perceived" bump should be thrown out of calculations completely, or if the minimum is 30fl like the other person said, then I wont even be close even with a 1.3 gain screen.

And yes I clarified with him that he meant for dynamic HDR not static HDR, 30fl is still the minimum for dynamic.

I'm also curious why so many people love the 2.8, or the poster who said 30fl minimum said the 2.2 gain Severtson "spectral white" is great, if it has this issue? Maybe it is not noticeable during content like the numbers suggest?

What about the high gain screens that come with some sort of nanofinish called "Wide Angle"?


It says 4k capable, but not active 3d capable. I wonder why that is. Active 3d should be the same as 2D. But they claim their 3D screens work for 2D also, and then they have the wide angle versions also so Im curious about those, and if it messes up the picture in some new way because of the wide angle coating?
 

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SMPTE recommends 16 ft Lamberts for a dark room for 2D just like in a movie theater. I went as as low as 13 ft Lamberts with a previous PJ and 110" 16x9 and bulb that lost 1/2 it's brightness. Was still ok to view. Epson 3010.

Ideally, shoot for 32 ft Lamberts so you'll get 16 when bulb ages (most say that is at around 1000 hours).

That's all for 2D SDR. 3D ft Lamberts? Dunno... Never researched it in detail.

Dunno what perceived brightness is that you mentioned.

For HDR I set my iris fully open. Adds several hundred lumens... close to an extra 6 ft Lamberts on my 135" 16x9. Setting my bulb on high adds another ~6 ft Lamberts

How many lumens does your projector put out with a new bulb? Please do not say you do not know. You need to know lumens so you can calculate ft Lamberts. Then you can determine if you need a high gain screen.

-T
 

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Even though it's not made anymore, this review was very revealing. The problem with very high gain screens is that if you have a seating area that can hold four people for example, the people sitting on the left will see an extremely dark right portion of the screen. And the folks sitting on the right part of the sofa are going to see a very dark area of the left portion of the screen.

It's about all about the off angle viewing. So there's a lot of trade-offs with high Gain screens. There's no free lunch.

You should ask yourself why you would want a 2.8 or 3.0 gain screen to begin with. But please read that review.

Couple of things:

The issues you describe are only true for a conventional AR (angular reflective) screen.

One of the wonderful characteristics of retroreflective screens like the HP is uniformity; when you move off axis the entire screen dims equally.

I find the review to be rather incomplete.

Besides not mentioning the above, there was this:

"But most surprising was the fact that the Affinity looked smoother and sharper. Despite the fact that the High Power fabric has a very smooth surface, its picture had a graininess and noise level that was entirely absent on the Affinity."

This fails to recognize that graininess and noise are both made more visible by higher brightness and may have been entirely due to the source material.
 

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Couple of things:

The issues you describe are only true for a conventional AR (angular reflective) screen.

One of the wonderful characteristics of retroreflective screens like the HP is uniformity; when you move off axis the entire screen dims equally.

I find the review to be rather incomplete.

Besides not mentioning the above, there was this:

"But most surprising was the fact that the Affinity looked smoother and sharper. Despite the fact that the High Power fabric has a very smooth surface, its picture had a graininess and noise level that was entirely absent on the Affinity."

This fails to recognize that graininess and noise are both made more visible by higher brightness and may have been entirely due to the source material.
Good point about the angular reflective. Thanks for clarifying.

-T

Edit:
The examples I gave were specifically for the angular. But for the reviewer, for this particular screen, the drop off is considerable for off angle viewing.
 

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My High Power 2.8 had perfect uniformity and the only reason it's not being replaced with a bigger scope version is because you can't buy the damn things anymore. Uber bright, uniform image from all seating positions. My next screen will either be a Studiotek 100, 130G4 or Dreamscreen v7, but it'd be a High Power if they were still in production.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
SMPTE recommends 16 ft Lamberts for a dark room for 2D just like in a movie theater. I went as as low as 13 ft Lamberts with a previous PJ and 110" 16x9 and bulb that lost 1/2 it's brightness. Was still ok to view. Epson 3010.

Ideally, shoot for 32 ft Lamberts so you'll get 16 when bulb ages (most say that is at around 1000 hours).

That's all for 2D SDR. 3D ft Lamberts? Dunno... Never researched it in detail.

Dunno what perceived brightness is that you mentioned.

For HDR I set my iris fully open. Adds several hundred lumens... close to an extra 6 ft Lamberts on my 135" 16x9. Setting my bulb on high adds another ~6 ft Lamberts

How many lumens does your projector put out with a new bulb? Please do not say you do not know. You need to know lumens so you can calculate ft Lamberts. Then you can determine if you need a high gain screen.

-T
The projector is not a bulb projector, it has an LED lightsource. It puts out, if I'm lucky, 600 lumens calibrated with new LEDs, which both mine have more or less.

The perceived brightness thing is because of LED lightsource instead of bulb. It "takes into account the Helmholtz-Kohlrausch effect where brightness rises with color saturation. LED projectors produce richer and more saturated colors, thus appearing brighter than a lamp-based display with similar measured lumen specifications.. "

I don't want to fall for marketing that says 30% bump, but let's say my 600 lumen projector, compared to bulb equivalents, is 775 lumens, calibrated, projector. I think that's probably undershooting it a bit, but that way we are planning safe.

And users who have had the same projector and compared it to bulb projectors say that it is indeed the case. They said 45 nits on this projector looked as bright as 70 nits on a 3 chip, for example. Two separate people said stuff like that. One said they noticed no difference. So idk. But the preponderance of feedback I've read is that the bump is real and the 30% number is pretty accurate too.
 

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I read about the perceived brightness. If you want to go 775 lumens as an estimate, that's fine. that's 48 ft of screen area if you want to shoot for the 16 ft limits from the SMPTE.

It's up to you to decide what size screen and the aspect ratio and you can worry about A lens or no A lens with making the image brighter or not.

I noticed you post a lot about what people say. They're all opinions. Some of the opinions are more valuable than others. I find it always best to stick with the standards and then use your opinions coupled to those standards. for instance, if someone said 30-ft lamberts is what you should shoot for, that's probably because that's what they like. If movie theaters are shooting still 16 ft Lambert's and that's the standard, and you have a bat cave like you're trying to build, I would go with the 16.

But here's the thing; use the standards to get in the ballpark of what you going to want/buy. Once you get the equipment, it's time to flip it on and see what you really like. you might find 16 ft Lambert it's just not bright enough for you. How you going to know that before you buy a screen? Get a white sheet since you do not have a wall for a screen, turn on your projector, vary the size to see what brightness you like based on that white sheet. Smallervscreen area amounts to greater foot Lambert's.

I know a guy with projector where he went with a smaller screen to get the brighter image. Because he did not want 16 ft Lambert's from the movie theater standard. He wanted a big screen but bright like a TV. This was back when 60 in flat panels where the standard. So he was tickled pink that he had something like a flat panel but at 90 in.

-T
 
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You made the right decision. For my 2D screen, I will be getting either 1.0 gain, or something close. What's your opinion on the top 1.3 gain screens available like the Studiotek G4 130 from Stewart? Still no good?
The ST130 G4 is absolutely incredible. It's the best screen I've ever owned or seen. Not only does it resolve all the detail at 4K, show a tight pixel grid, but it also has gain with almost zero speckles. I went back and forth with samples of the ST100 and ST130 G4 and finally settled on the ST130. Glad I did.
 

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Then why link to a a misleading review of a retroreflective screen?
The discussion starter stated da-lite high power 2.8. the review was on a da-lite high power 2.8.

-T
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The ST130 G4 is absolutely incredible. It's the best screen I've ever owned or seen. Not only does it resolve all the detail at 4K, show a tight pixel grid, but it also has gain with almost zero speckles. I went back and forth with samples of the ST100 and ST130 G4 and finally settled on the ST130. Glad I did.
What aobut the "vertical pan" issue mentioned in the Home Theater Review? I don't want the screen to shift appearance depending on the angle of the camera or people moving. Sounds like something that 75% I wouldnt notice it ever, but if it was just bad enough to notice from my viewing distance, could be a pretty big distraction and irritant. With a screen this expensive, I'd prefer to avoid even 25% risk. But that was just one review. Still, I usually notice things that reviewers didnt even put in their review, so if he put in the review....

I'm getting samples also so I will compare for sure, but curious your opinion on the vertical pan thing.
 

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What aobut the "vertical pan" issue mentioned in the Home Theater Review? I don't want the screen to shift appearance depending on the angle of the camera or people moving. Sounds like something that 75% I wouldnt notice it ever, but if it was just bad enough to notice from my viewing distance, could be a pretty big distraction and irritant. With a screen this expensive, I'd prefer to avoid even 25% risk. But that was just one review. Still, I usually notice things that reviewers didnt even put in their review, so if he put in the review....

I'm getting samples also so I will compare for sure, but curious your opinion on the vertical pan thing.
It's completely unnoticeable on the 130 G4 and I sit really close (which makes it worse).
 
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