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post #1 of 9 Old 05-19-07, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Screen advice?

Hi everyone, I pulled the trigger on a Hitachi PJ0-TX100 lcd projector, the price was fantastic! My only question is, which screen will best suit this bad boy? My room will be 12 ft wide by 15 ft long with a 7 ft ceiling. The walls will be dark, black ceiling, black or dark carpeting with maybe some recessed lighting (directly over the seating area 13 ft back from a 100" diagonal screen), that will be on during normal tv watching of high def programming like Lost and sports. Now my candates are Carada Criterion Series Brilliant White, Stewart Fireawk G3 or Stewart Studiotek 130. What best serves my purpose, some ambient lighting during tv watching, but a cave for movie watching. Please, if anyone has any suggestions or advice, please let me know. Thanks.
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-19-07, 11:10 AM
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Re: Screen advice?

Welcome to HTS jedinite6.

What is your budget? That's a good place to start in order to determine a good set of options. From there you can decide which suits your needs and also fits your skill levels if you chose DIY, or budget if you go with a commercial screen.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-19-07, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Screen advice?

hello, budget wise I can swing pretty much what I need as far as a screen, Carada, Dalite, Stewart...whatever would be best..
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-19-07, 11:06 PM
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Re: Screen advice?

The Stewart would be always a better screen if price is no object. I would say the Stewart should be considered as the reference screen. If you are looking for a microperf screen then you can also look at the Screen Research. If there is ambient light present, I would go for Firehawk G3. If you will be watching the movie in complete dark (very well light controlled room), I would recommend Studiotek 130.

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-23-07, 10:09 AM
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Re: Screen advice?

I agree with RSH. If you have control of your lighting and ambient light, and money isn't a factor then a Studiotek 130 is an awesome screen.

Since this is also the DIY section, if you were looking for a DIY option that is on par with a ST 130 or a Classic Cinema White I can give you a few options that could save you thousands...

Simple Substrates are by far the easiest and there are a couple that have exceptional performance. Wilsonart Designer White is very close to the same specs as a ST130, and when compared to a sample of the Carada Classic Cinema White material, it was virtually impossible to tell where the Carada sample was at on the sheet of Designer White, it is that much of a match.

The color balance and tested gain (gain was measured as 1.24) is very close to a Studiotek.

The Wilsonart laminate runs around $1.66 a square foot. Some places add a handling fee that is around $20, but if you look around you can find places that don't add on extra fees. There are other threads here that have more extensive information on the Wilsonart screens as well as some screen shots.

If your screen size is 98" diagonal or smaller, and if you have Do-Able available in your area it costs less than $20 for a 4'x8' sheet. The gain is 1.13 and the color balance is 229 223 233. The only negatives are the screen size restrictions, and it is a regional only item.

Next are some painted options.
The best white I know of is Rosco's Off Broadway White White. This is a water based Vinyl Acrylic paint that comes in a matte finish. I prefer matte since it is the same type of finish that commercial screen companies use. Being vinyl instead of latex, this is a very interesting paint. It looks very similar to the very popular Behr Ultra Pure White with no image projected on it (UPW- more on that in a bit) but that is where the similarities end. Rosco Off Broadway White White has an exceptionally bright and vibrant image. In fact I spoke to the company and they provide a lot of services to the theater and movie industry. When we discussed this paint, Rosco informed me that it is commonly used as a screen paint and the company acknowledges it as screen paint as one of its uses. It costs around $28 for a gallon and you can order it on-line or go to the Rosco website and they have a store locator. Note: Some local stores may not have it in stock, but they can order it for anyone.

Next up is Behr Ultra Pure White, or commonly called UPW. Behr paints can be purchased at any Home Depot for around $13 a quart. For the average size screen, a quart of paint is more than enough. UPW is a very bright white latex paint in a flat finish. It does come in eggshell, satin, semi gloss, and gloss. Of course anything from satin up is going to have too much surface sheen and hot spot badly. Some testing and experimenting is being done with the eggshell finish, but the recommended finish is the flat finish. With nothing added, the gain is around 1.13 and it is a very nicely balanced color. (Some newer testing is being done on the color value, but it still looks extremely good). Being a flat paint, some people have added a poly urethane coating to boost the gain and depth of the screen image. With the addition of a poly coating, the gain goes from 1.13 to 1.3 with two coats of poly. It must be noted though that the poly can be tricky to apply and some people have had problems with streaking... so it's best to practice rolling it out before attempting it on a full size screen.

Cloth screens- I do not have much personal experience with cloth materials, but there are some very nice materials out there. SMX is an incredible Acoustically Transparent screen that performs on par with AT screens that cost thousands of dollars. I have to check, but right now SMX looks like it may not be available anymore, or at least for the time being.

Rosebrand is another company that deals with the stage and theater industry and they have several cloth screen materials, as well as canvas and other white cloth. The best thing I can say is to call them and one of their staff will be more than happy to answer any questions and recommend the best solution. They are very easy to talk to and deal with.

Like I mentioned, I have very little personal experience with cloth screens, so I can't say how they perform in comparison to a StudioTek or Carada screen, nor will I speculate on it. Hopefully someone that has more specs and experience with cloth can answer that.

That covers white screens for total light control, but I have to add that you also need control of the color of your room. I have had a Designer White screen, UPW, and Rosco screen up and they are beautiful screens, but they also can create their own ambient light. By that I mean if your room is painted white or a light color, these screens will reflect an enormous amount of light, and that light ends up reflecting off light colored walls. Some of this light ends up being reflected back at the screen and tends to slightly wash the image out slightly. To me what was more annoying was it lit up my room as if I had a room light on, and I like watching movies in a dark setting. This was light I could not control by just 'turning a light off'. I am in the process of painting my room a darker color like a nice burgandy, and people with total light control should thoroughly enjoy any of these options.

Again, if money is no object, the Firehawk is an outstanding screen, but it is also a very dark gray. Unless you have the lumen output for a gray this dark I would say look into a Grayhawk. There is also a cheaper screen called a GrayWolf, but I haven't heard too many positive things about that screen.

There are also some excellent DIY gray screens available, some are ringers for a Grayhawk, and there is one that is being tested that is looking very good for an alternative option to the Firehawk. If you or anyone are interested in gray screens, let me know and I can provide information on them and links to other threads that are covering gray screens.

jedinite6 make sure you keep us all informed of what screen you go with and give us a report! Oh... some screenies don't hurt either, people always love seeing screen shots and HT room setups
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-24-07, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Screen advice?

Hi everyone, thanks for the advice! I do not know yet if the color of the room is going to all black with black carpeting or a mix of honolulu blue and silver with black (Detroit Lions colors) for a more multipurpose room (meaning a mix of movies and regular tv watching). I think the Studiotek 130 or Carada Brilliant White for the totally dark room may work best and a Stewart Firehawk will work with a Lions room. Any more suggestions?
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-06-07, 07:47 PM
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Re: Screen advice?

I've posted some of my comparison pics of the Wilson Art DW laminate to three Carada screen samples. Even though I don't have my permanent projector yet, I think these images do a great job of showing how good the DW is. It is nearly indistinguishable from Carada's Classic White and I saw no hints of hot spotting. Also, I wanted to mention one of the major benefits that doesn't get played up enough about the laminate-it is super tough stuff that is easy to clean and very child resistant ( I have 3 children 6 and under)!
post #8 of 9 Old 06-06-07, 07:48 PM
rastan
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Re: Screen advice?

I've posted some of my comparison pics of the Wilson Art DW laminate and three Carada screen samples.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/foru...html#post38729

Even though I don't have my permanent projector yet, I think these images do a great job of showing how good the DW is. It is nearly indistinguishable from Carada's Classic White and I saw no hints of hot spotting. Also, I wanted to mention one of the major benefits that doesn't get played up enough about the laminate-it is super tough stuff that is easy to clean and very child resistant ( I have 3 children 6 and under)!
post #9 of 9 Old 06-06-07, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Screen advice?

Awesome pictures! So far myself, i have been leaning to Carada's Brilliant White or the Stewart fireawk G3 either in a 92" or 100" diagonal. Anyone else have any suggestions?
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