Help me choose a screen?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg Robinson, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. Greg Robinson

    Greg Robinson Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm starting to look at screens for my upcoming front-projection setup in my basement. I will most likely be purchasing the PLUS Piano 3200 when it is released next month. You can read its specs here:
    http://www.plushometheater.com/en/pr_may02_30.htm
    Due its relatively low light output and the size of my basement theater, I'm going to go with a 72" WIDE screen, preferably 16:9. I've gotten a quote from Stewart on their "Horizontal ScreenWall ElectriMask" model and it was $3600 - whch is more than my projector! :) I realize good screens cost money, and their NON-auto masking screen is a more down-to-earth $1300. What else is out there? I can't go greyhawk based on what I read on ProjectorCentral. The PIANO doesn't put out enough light to overcome the grey screen at that size.
    I'd love to have some sort of masking system, even if only to cover the changes between 1.78 and 2.35. Is there a less-expense alternative out there for me? Is Stewart typicallly more expense than Da-Lite? Other makes? Thanks for any suggestions you can provide!
     
  2. TimG

    TimG Second Unit

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    Yes, Stewart is the most expensive out there. They are also the best quality, you get what you pay for. Da-Lite and Draper are the other two that usually get mentioned. Check out http://www.avscience.com and go to their screen section in the forum or do a search for "screen masking", you will find a ton of topics to look through. I personally use a Draper, but I also have a CRT projector so I can't help you with what gain of screen to get. When we get our dedicated theatre room built, I will probably spend the money on a Stewart. Hope this helps some.
    TimG
     
  3. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    check out the Stewart Firehawk review in the current issue of The Perfect Vision, it may be a good fit for you. it's a higher gain implementation of a grey screen like the Greyhawk.
     
  4. TimG

    TimG Second Unit

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    Good call Craig, I had forgotten all about the FireHawk. If I remember correctly though the price of the screen alone will probably prevent him from getting one with a masking system. Have they come down any in price?

    TimG
     
  5. Greg Robinson

    Greg Robinson Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks for the responses. i did some poking around today and spoke to a Da-Lite rep online. He told me that 18-20 foot lamberts is ideal in a dark theater, and applying the equation of (light output/square footage of screen) X gain bought us to the conclusion that DaLite's "DaMat" material would be the best (DaLite) fit for my needs. Not sure what the Stewart equivalent of DaMat is - it's a white material not grey - and it seems grey would not help me considering the Piano's light output. I'm toying with the idea of purchasing just the material and constructing my own frame. There was lots of info on this over at AVSforum.

    Can someone tell me about the angle of projection? I'm wondering where does the lens need to point? The top of the screen, middle, bottom? The PLUS web site shows it as a "tabletop unit" but I'd like to hang it from the ceiling (even if just on a hanging shelf) up out of the way. If I do this, and I have 7.5' ceilings - are there any gotchas to watch out for? THANKS!
     
  6. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Greg,
    I'd suggest asking Dalite for a sample of DaMat. I tried it and did not like it. Even with 700:1 on/off contrast, the contrast may still looks lacking on a white screen. Try before you buy. [​IMG]
    Stewart's Firehawk is still a gray screen, so you'll get the contrast benefits, yet has a 1.35 gain, which means you'll get a brighter picture than the DaMat.
     
  7. Greg Robinson

    Greg Robinson Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks Gabriel - yeah, i may in fact try to get a sample once i get the projector. I would also think that the best people to ask would the be the folks at PLUS. I would hope they know what makes their product look best.
     
  8. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Greg,

    Much of it is personal preference and your own room setup though, and only YOUR eyes will be able to tell you what's most pleasing to you.

    My current projector has a 800:1 On/Off contrast ratio and it still looks better on the Grayhawk material.

    I have heard that the Plus looks awesome with ScreenGoo though.
     

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