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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm looking for 120in diagonal screen to pair with my sony 40es projector. I plan to watch sports with friends part of the time and movies at other times. I'm going to have blackout curtains or shade for movies but there will be reasonable light coming in when I watch sports. I was going to pick the Black Diamond until I saw some pics of reduced image quality from side angle viewing. Anyone have an opinion on the black diamond vs stewart firehawk g4 for moderate ambient lighting situations?

perhaps mod can move this to manufactured screen section? Thanks.
 

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I'm looking for 120in diagonal screen to pair with my sony 40es projector. I plan to watch sports with friends part of the time and movies at other times. I'm going to have blackout curtains or shade for movies but there will be reasonable light coming in when I watch sports. I was going to pick the Black Diamond until I saw some pics of reduced image quality from side angle viewing. Anyone have an opinion on the black diamond vs stewart firehawk g4 for moderate ambient lighting situations?
Hello! Welcome to HTS! :wave:

With the Sony 40es PJ and a 120" diagonal screen you shouldn't need either a Black Diamond or a FireHawk screen, you simply don't need the added gain. You have over 700 lumens of image brightness available even in Reference mode and using Low Lamp which gives you a bit over 16 fL for a 120" screen. Mech is our main go-to guy on commercial screens here so I'm hoping he (or another commercial screen user) will pop in with a solid recommendation for you. The problem with the Black Diamond and FireaHawk screens is that their added gain produces a noticeable viewing cone that dims off-axis viewing as you mention. In the case of the Black Diamond screens it has also been the cause of color-shifting in the image as the viewer moves from watching the screen head-on to more of an "end of the couch" position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for the input. I was just concerned about the washed out image you get from ambient lighting. When I'm watching a football game with friends I don't want to close all the blinds. You think a white screen would still work? Is the fire hawk perhaps better choice than black diamond? I read the off angle image is better.
 

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I would find a nice gray material and go with that. You can call up the screen manufacturers and ask for sample if you wish. Otherwise I'd just go with an Elite screen and the Cinegrey material. And then you can spend all the money you've saved on something else in the theater! :T

I have an Elite EzFrame Cinegrey screen and have used it several times for watching hockey games with friends over and a fair amount of ambient light.
 

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Thanks so much for the input. I was just concerned about the washed out image you get from ambient lighting. When I'm watching a football game with friends I don't want to close all the blinds. You think a white screen would still work? Is the fire hawk perhaps better choice than black diamond? I read the off angle image is better.
Any white screen is bad when it comes to ambient light performance, they are made for dark light controlled rooms. The more ambient light you have to fight while viewing the darker gray a screen you need to ABSORB that light (VERY few commercial screens actually reject ambient light and no DIY screens do). You have a PJ that can produce a VERY bright image with decent contrast and colors (for gaming or sports), but can also produce a fantastic picture out-of-the-box with brightnesses more in tune with traditional home theater situations (less ambient light).

The best commercial screen that we know of is the DNP Supernova, but it is pricey.

If you are really only thinking of the Black Diamond and FireHawk screens then I would go with the FireHawk, but that screen will still have a viewing cone, just not one as bad as the Black Diamond.

I know you have not mentioned even the possibility of making your own screen, but when it comes to getting the best shade of gray for your screen DIY has tremendous advantages over commercial screens. You can literally go as light or as dark a gray as you need and you can even adjust the gloss level if needed.

Just one final tip, don't buy into the nonsense that you NEED a screen with a gain of 1.0 or greater to get a good image. With your PJ and screen size you don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
thanks for the advice. I'm definitely not a DIY person. I am not set on the two screens but they were the two i read were good for ambient light rooms. I can control the overhead lights but the blinds will be open during daytime tv watching
I did get to see the firehawk today. I did find the black bars in movies appeared gray with lights on but I'm going to have blackout shades for movies. Satellite tv shows will fill the screen so I don't have to worry about the bars. Overall the picture quality was good and quality from side angle was good. Unfortunately they there was no black diamond for comparison. I didn't even know of the supernova but if it's more expensive I probably won't be able to buy it. The cinegrey from elite screens seems tempting for the price; is the texture of the screen visible at 12-14 feet in bright images, or noticeable sparkles?
I actually did view samples of the stewart in Magnolia center at bestbuy. It was interesting to see that the white sample increased brightness but with the sony projector it actually was too bright and image actually looked worse. the g4 maintained a good image. I could take the samples home but i don't have the projector up yet. they couldn't get me the black diamond sample though.
 

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thanks for the advice. I'm definitely not a DIY person. I am not set on the two screens but they were the two i read were good for ambient light rooms. I can control the overhead lights but the blinds will be open during daytime tv watching
No sweat about not being into DIY, a lot of people aren't. I just wish I was more knowledgeable about the actual shades of gray commercial screens are made in. For some reason most commercial grays don't mention that when it really is a better way to judge how a screen will handle ambient light than a gain figure.

I did get to see the firehawk today. I did find the black bars in movies appeared gray with lights on but I'm going to have blackout shades for movies. Satellite tv shows will fill the screen so I don't have to worry about the bars. Overall the picture quality was good and quality from side angle was good.
Another screen to think about (and view in action if you can) is the Da-Lite HD Progressive 0.6. This screen has a very wide viewing angle and has no negative visual attributes (most of those in front projection screens are caused by the ways screen makers increase gain).
http://www.da-lite.com/screen-surfaces/front-projection/high-resolution/hd-progressive-06

Unfortunately they there was no black diamond for comparison. I didn't even know of the supernova but if it's more expensive I probably won't be able to buy it.
There are people that love their Black Diamonds, but there seem to be more that wish that had gotten a different screen after they have used the screen for a while and come to find the limited viewing angle and color-shifting disturbing. The Supernova is one of the few screens to actually reject ambient light, but that engineering is one of the reasons they cost so much.

The cinegrey from elite screens seems tempting for the price; is the texture of the screen visible at 12-14 feet in bright images, or noticeable sparkles?
No, there are no sparkles in the Cinegrey screen and very little texture either, but I don't know if it falls into the 4K res. spec. or not.

I actually did view samples of the stewart in Magnolia center at bestbuy. It was interesting to see that the white sample increased brightness but with the sony projector it actually was too bright and image actually looked worse. the g4 maintained a good image. I could take the samples home but i don't have the projector up yet. they couldn't get me the black diamond sample thought.
S.I. doesn't give out test samples of BD screens. They want people to only be able to see the screen in use under fairly specific viewing conditions. That is another reason I personally don't care for the BD's.

It is very important that the PJ be calibrated to the screen under use since it can make a HUGE difference in image quality to have the colors, contrast and brightness all set right.
 

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I don't think a Supernova would cost more than a Black Diamond. :ponder: The beauty of the Supernova is that the company has been doing screens for years and they're a great company. Stewart and SI were both uncooperative when I dealt with them, SI more so than Stewart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for the advice Don and Steve. I'll look into the suggestions. I agree about Screen Innovations not being cooperative, but Stewart actually provided 3 or 4 samples. I'll contact the company that makes Supernova for a quote.
 

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One correction I need to make is that when I think of a Elite Cinegrey screen I think of the kind Mech has, but now they have also sell a Cinegrey 5D model that DOES have sparkles in it. I would not get that model as I have read that some people do see sparkles from regular viewing distance.
 

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thanks for the advice Don and Steve. I'll look into the suggestions. I agree about Screen Innovations not being cooperative, but Stewart actually provided 3 or 4 samples. I'll contact the company that makes Supernova for a quote.
If you can't find any info on them let me know. I have their US rep's (Manfred Freiberger) phone number somewhere.
 

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Steve, I noticed you had a Jamestown screen and have switched. Were you unhappy with it or just upgraded to get a better pic. Looking for something around 140" or so and you appear to be thegoto guy for screens.

Regards Jeff
 

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I've never owned a Jamestown screen. My screen progression has been this:

Parkland Poly diy

Fashion Gray laminate diy

Black Widow™ diy

Elite EzFrame Cinegrey

I have tested a ton of different materials but I have never tested Jamestown. I asked them for samples and never heard back from them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm still without a screen. I saw the black diamond and firehawk and didn't like the shimmer on bright background scenes - worse on the black diamond. due to that and my research about the poor viewing angle of the black diamond, I eliminated that. The firehawk looked good with ambient lighting but I was expecting to be blown away. I contacted dnp retailer in southern California regarding the supernova and never heard back, nor from DNP themselves. I'm feeling frustrated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'll get you Manfred Freiberger's number when I get home. Did you call them or email them?
that would be greatly appreciated mechman. I emailed DNP and also called/left message with the Southern California retailer according to their website.
 

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I got this off the dnp website:

US Operations Headquarters
Manfred Freiberger, Sr. Account Executive
17935 Sky Park Circle, Suite AB
Irvine, CA 92614, USA
Tel +1 (714) 545-2711
Fax: +1 (714) 464-2353
[email protected]

When I get home I'll look up the number that I have for him and see if it's different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
One correction I need to make is that when I think of a Elite Cinegrey screen I think of the kind Mech has, but now they have also sell a Cinegrey 5D model that DOES have sparkles in it. I would not get that model as I have read that some people do see sparkles from regular viewing distance.
Do you know why the 5d is different from the cinegrey? Fortunately the cinegrey is still available for a VERY reasonable price in the ez frame. I may go with that. Other than sparkles i read some people noticed vertical lines. They were able to get a replacement but I'm paying for an installer and would hate to pay twice. Are the lines a well known issue?
 

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First post, just wanted chime in and say that I am in the exact same situation - got the 40ES on the way and now looking for screen suggestions. Interested to see what kind of advice is given

And Mech: We are neighbors! I am in Apple Valley.
 
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