Which Fixed Frame Screen for a DLP Projector

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by loonatic, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. loonatic

    loonatic
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    I am currently looking around for a 6ft wide 16:9 fixed frame screen suitable for a DLP projector - specifically the Marantz SP12S3.

    Idealy I would like the frame to be velvet covered.

    I would really like a Stewart FireHawk screen...who wouldn't...does anyone know of a good place to source these ? is importing from the states a good idea ?

    As a cheaper alternative does anyone have any views on the fixed frame screens as sold here : http://www.walterstewart.com/

    Finally does anyone have any views on the Goo screens ? which can be painted onto a plastic substrate of some kind apparently as opposed to directly onto the wall.

    Open to any other recommendations as well.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  2. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    Hi Lee,

    The Firehawk is a fantastic product, but unless you watch in ambient light or want deeper blacks, it's not something that you really need. If you intend using the lowest light output, then you'll probably need a screen with gain (the FH is 1.35:1).

    You might be able to import a Stewart screen from the US, as they are very expensive here (you can import cheaper than the dealers get them for trade), but you'll be better off getting something localy. Anders and Kern are the distributors for Stewart Screens.

    Do a search for Retro - he does a range of Vutec screens which may be of interest to you.

    I like the look of the Walter Stewart screens too, especialy with the felt border. I was tempted myself. :) But you could also look at www.ellie.co.uk, www.drhscreens.co.uk and www.harknesshall.co.uk.

    www.hifibitz.co.uk also sell screens (Beamax), so could be woth a look, but their surounds are a dark glossy grey, which is their only drawback IMHO. Good screen though.

    Goo is a DIY paint-on product which is meant to be very good indeed. It's a two-part product that can be brushed, rolled or sprayed, and if done properly will give very good results. A few have used it on this forum, as well as over at www.avsforum.com.

    Gary.
     
  3. farmnut

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    I have been communicating with Beamex about their fixed frame screens and they tell me they will be launching a material frame version in the next few weeks. No details on pricing though but given their existing pricing levels I would imagine they will be very competitive.

    Having said all that I have not experienced one of these screens in use. Any owners out there like to comment?
     
  4. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    I've seen a Beamax fixed screen over at RTFMs place, and it gives a good picture. A friend has just bought one after seeing it too, so if they're going to be releasing a material framed version soon, I'd think it would be a good choice. I'd be interested in hearing what the material is like if you get one.

    Gary.
     
  5. loonatic

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    Hey Gary,

    Thank for the comprehensive reply :smashin:

    I will almost allways be watching in complete blackout conditions...does this mean that you would not think the FireHawk necessary ?

    I also plan to use the PJ on it's low lamp setting with the iris closed as I am told this is the best configuration.

    One of the main reasons the FireHawk was top of my list is that it's the same as the screen used to demo the S3 and the whole package was very impresive.

    I am still very tempted by the Walter Stewart screen though as it is a third of the price of the Stewart.

    The screen material is matt white with a gain of 1.2. Does that sound about right for what I am looking for ?

    Finally, as a completely different option what are your views on the Owl screens, specifically the tensioned Grand Cinema model available from AV-Sales on their PoweBuy for forum members ?

    Cheers, Lee
     
  6. SimonO

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    Lee, just buy the FireHawk!!! :thumbsup:
     
  7. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    I personaly don't think you need a grey screen if you're watching in complete blackout conditions, but, the Firehawk is a fantastic product, so SimonO's very concise advice is probably apt. :) There are a great many people with Firehawks in your situation (mostly in the US), and they bought it for the same reasons you're considering - it's what they saw, and they loved the image (I did too funnily enough)!

    My point is that a Firehawk is ideal for ambient light conditions, and/or if the pj has poor black level. You don't have either of those issues, so you may just as well get a white screen with gain - a 1.2 or 1.3.

    However, just to throw a spanner in the works, idealy we ned to know what screen size you'll be getting, and what the lumen output of the pj will be so that we can calculate how much light is going to be reflecting back - then we will know how much gain (if any) you will need. You want a 6ft screen, but what are the low lamp/closed iris lumens?

    As for the Owl screen, I've no experience of those, but I can only suggest you PM some of the owners who've bough them and see what they think. You could always put a new post up asking for an opinion as well. I think a fixed screen is better myself, but these are suited more for dedicated rooms, and don't look so good in a lounge. :)


    Gary.
     
  8. loonatic

    loonatic
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    Cheers Simon...you are probably right...it just seems such a lot of money for a few bits of vevlet covered lengths of aluminium and a piece of material :eek:

    Gary...the spec sheet for the S3 states 700 ANSI lumens which I guess would be high-lamp and iris open.

    The actual screen size I have decided will now by 80" x 45" so slightly larger than 6ft.

    It was Beamers S3 that I have seen with the FireHawk screen and Messiah has the S3 with an Owl screen...hence why I asked...and both are pleased with the image except Messiah's screen has a manufacturing fault which is off-putting if it's not been sorted.

    Ideally I do want a fixed screen as it will currently be set-up in a dedicated 'playroom' as Simon has seen for himself. I was only considering an electric screen as at the end of the day they are far more practicle.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  9. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    I think I found some figures for the Marantz lamp modes - 750, 380 and 280.

    For 280 lumens, and a screen width of 6ft (16:0) you will get a reflected light figure of 13.8ft lamberts. You generaly look for around 12 - 16ft lamberts, so you should be OK for a plain matt white screen, or something up to 1.2 gain. That's assuming the lamp doesn't decay though - lumens do drop off after a while as the lamp ages, but I'm not sure if Marantz has taken this into account though - they seem to have thought of everything else. :). The Firehawk will be a little brighter and help in the future should the lamp dim over time.

    How big was the screen in the demo you saw? Can you demo again with a white screen as a direct comparison? At least then you'll know if you'll be happy with a white screen or still prefer the Firehawk.

    Gary.
     
  10. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    OK - I think a unity gain screen is out of the question for an 80inch wide screen, as it will be a tad dark, though I find my 11ft lamberts to be OK on my set-up.

    Therefore, a 1.2 or 1.3 gain white, or 1.35gain Firehawk will probably be your best bet. How big was the demo screen?

    Now you have to decide if you want fixed or not. :)

    Gary.
     
  11. loonatic

    loonatic
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    Gary,

    Beamer's screen is also 80" x 45" but is a Model A tab-tensioned version.

    He was running is S3 in high lamp mode with the iris shut.

    His room was fairly large, 5m x 4m at least, an his decor was quiet light though but he did have backout blinds on all windows.

    My room is smaller and painted dark grey all over, including the ceiling, with all black woodwork and a very dark grey carpet. I have one window which will be opposite the screen which has a blind on it but 99% of the time I will be viewing at night.

    Viewing the two screens together would be best...but not really practicle I guess.

    Cheers, Lee
     

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