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64" Beamax M-Silver (1.5 gain) to replace 72" Stewart Grayhawk.

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Jules, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. Jules

    Jules
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    Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I've have been forced to downsize my screen.
    My trusty old Stewart Grayhawk (manual pull down) has been taken down.. :thumbsdow No way can I afford a Stewart again (£1300!.. for a manual one) so I've been forced to go cheaper.

    Now as luck would have it, DiscountTV (nice people) had a 64" Beamax m-Silver in stock. It's electric, and looks really flat...... but, the material has a 1.5 gain.

    My projector is a Sony HS50 by the way.

    I thought what the heck, bought it and have spent the evening evaluating it.

    Actually, it ain't bad at all. The blacks are no where near as good as the Grayhawk, but the HS50 is quite a dim projector and the 1.5 gain makes outdoor scenes look more vibrant.

    My circumstances may change again soon, so the Stewart screen might be handy in future.

    However, all this got me thinking of the future. Which screen would be of most use for the next generation of digital projectors?
    I mean, will future projectors more likely do a genuine black with low lumens (suiting the 1.5 gain of the Beamax) or get more and more powerful (suiting the Grayhawk)?
    l
     
  2. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Hi Jules,

    Thanks for the info on those two screens, and you ask some interesting questions!

    I think grey screens will always be useful for those who watch with ambient light, and despite some people forseeing the end of grey screens a couple of years ago, they seem to be selling quite well if avsforum buyers are anything to go buy. For people with full light control and projectors with good black level (which seems to be improving all the time), then a grey screen isn't really necessary. If you up the light output then things could change as the black level increases with it so a grey screen could again be useful. If it has unity gain then there's no reason why it can't be used instead of a white screen, though the optical coating may reduce the viewing angle somewhat. Grey is, after all, just a version of white, so a grey screen with a new lamp may be identical to an old lamp with a white screen - provided the optical qualities don't effect colourimetry.

    Some projectors like the high end Sharp and Yamamaha have iris's which greatly reduce the light output and achieve excellent black level and contrast. For a decent size screen, this may be too dim, so a higher gain screen might be more useful at the expense of black level, but the contrast will be unaffected. Provided the gain doesn't cause any odd image artefacts such as sparklies, this is the way that I might like to see things go. CRTs are generaly dim compared to digitals, but are capable of much greater contrast. They are often paired with higher gain screens such as 2:1 so why not do this with a digital?

    Some people prefer higher lumen projectors so that they can achieve tv/plasma levels of brightness so they might want a grey screen (with gain?) to give them both improved black level along with high brightness. You seem to be in the cinema levels of brightness with good black level camp, so if you wanted to reduce the lumens a tad you could try some 0.1 gels that will reduce the output of the pj by around 16 to 20% - not sure if they may reduce the contrast due to the nature of the gel though (lens flare effect). An ND2 is the same as a 0.3 and that reduces light by around 50% (probably too much) but they tend to have less negative effects, especialy if they're coated like the Hoya HMC range.

    The newer DC3 DLP projectors seem to be able to produce high lumens along with good black level and contrast, so if that's anything to go by it's possible that we could have our cake and eat it, or even go with bigger screens without going below cinema levels of reflectance. It;ll be interesting to see how things progress in the next few years because the last four have been pretty good so far, and prices are coming down all the time. :)

    Gary.
     
  3. Jules

    Jules
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    Well, the Beamax is an excellent screen, and I've got a remote for it which is nice. But, I was watching the Incredibles last night and couldn't help being distracted by the grey bars above and below the 2.35:1 picture.

    There's no less shadow detail but it I've obviously just become accustomed to the dark image on the grayhawk screen.

    I'm gonna get killed later.... I've put the Stewart Grayhawk screen back up! :rolleyes:
    I was blown away with the blacks on it before, so if I can get away with it and the improvement is as I remember, then it will stay and I'll sell the Beamax after just 3 weeks!
     
  4. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Sounds like you might want a Firehawk instead - good black level with some gain to keep the brightness up.

    Gary.
     
  5. Jules

    Jules
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    All change again! The Grayhawk has to go... and this time its final.
    Clearly the better screen, but I was stupid to think I'd get away with it.

    Looks like the Grayhawk is going in the classifieds. :thumbsdow

    I will say though, if anyone is looking for an affordable electric screen, the Beamax m-silver is a cracking good screen. The fact that I'm prepared to live with it after the grayhawkl is a testament to its quality.... flat, no creases & smart.

    Of course if anyone wants a tab tensioned manual Stewart Grayhawk, then it might be an idea to check out the classifieds.
     

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