News

Screen Innovations Showing Five New Projection Screen Solutions Designed for the Commercial AV Market at Infocomm 2013

Austin, TX and Orlando, FL (Infocomm booth #4575) – June 12, 2013 – Screen Innovations (SI), a leading US-based manufacturer of projection screens and associated technologies, announces today that the Company will show five (5) innovative new projection screen solutions to Infocomm 2013 attendees this week in Orlando, Florida. Pure™ Zero Edge Touted by integrators as being “the coolest, most forward-thinking solution to hit the Residential and Commercial entertainment space since the flat panel TV,” Pure™ Zero Edge screens redefine what white and gray projection screens can do to enhance the visual entertainment experience. Two options are currently available; Pure™ White is a 1.3 gain screen, Pure™ Gray is a .8 gain screen, and both feature SI’s sleek and stylish Zero Edge bezel. Filling a void onscreen and in the marketplace, Pure White Zero Edge and Pure Gray Zero Edge projection screens feature SI’s new and proprietary Micro Texture that is nine (9) times finer and smoother than that of the best screen material available on the market today. Capable of reproducing perfect resolution from 1080P to 8K and beyond, Pure delivers image quality that is razor sharp with perfect color and uniformity that provides a sensory experience unlike any other. Quick and easy to install, Zero Edge screens do not require any additional assembly once unpacked. Mounting options include on-wall or flown from the ceiling by slender cables. New optional LED Lighting is built in to the frame and now incorporates six (6) custom preferences and 256,000 colors, including 6500 kelvin white. This unique feature set provides an incredibly sleek appearance and immersive entertainment experience that can’t be achieved with any other screen. Available in large-format projection screen sizes up to 120” in 16:9 and up to 150” in 2.35:1, the Zero Edge line now includes Pure White 1.3 gain, Pure Gray .85 gain, Black Diamond 2.7 gain, Black Diamond 1.4 gain or Black Diamond .8 gain screen materials. Prices start at $1599 MSRP and are based on configuration. FlexGlass™ An innovative new rear projection screen material, FlexGlass offers all of the benefits of the best rigid optical panels with the added benefit of custom and curve capabilities that can only be achieved with a flexible screen material. Delivering unmatched edge-blend capability, zero hotspot, almost infinite viewing angles and as the ability to be rolled on a 2-foot core to significantly reduce freight and job site handling issues, FlexGlass is an ideal choice for multiple-projector, edge blending and short throw projector applications; all of which serves to fulfill a very real need that isn’t currently being met by any other manufacturer in the marketplace. Black Diamond™ Motorized Utilizing one motor, four custom helixes, and a spool of slender aircraft cable, Black Diamond Motorized silently lowers a thin wing containing the rolled Black Diamond screen downward from a recessed ceiling-mounted cassette. The cable-hung wing then stops, and from it, a small tube quickly emerges and lowers itself down to an adjustable, pre-determined image height, leaving only the image space in sight. Because Black Diamond screens do not require masking or any black drop material whatsoever, there is no visible material above, below, or on either side of the screen surface, allowing the images projected on Black Diamond Motorized to appear as though they are suspended in air. Unlike flat panel TVs, Black Diamond Motorized delivers zero glare and reflection when used in a bright environment, and by virtue of its industry-leading Black Diamond ambient light rejection screen technology, light scatter is measurably reduced by over 75%. Delivering a next-level entertainment experience while literally disappearing into the room’s existing décor when not in use, Black Diamond Motorized appeals to the senses - and satisfies the needs of - a diverse audience in a variety of Commercial environments. Black Diamond Motorized is the ultimate blend of art + science. Those interested in learning more about the SI value proposition are encouraged to contact Katye (McGregor) Bennett to schedule time to view the Company’s new lineup during Infocomm by emailing Katye@kmbcomm.com or calling (425) 328-8640. For more information on the SI line, to find local area dealers, or to access screen calculators and more, visit www.screeninnovations.com or call (512) 832-6939. To download SI product images, videos, logos and associated marketing materials click on the following link: www.screeninnovations.com/downloads/.

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About SI Screen Innovations (SI) is a leading US-based manufacturer of projection screens and associated technologies for residential and commercial applications. Best known for Black Diamond™, the world’s first and only multi-directional ambient light rejection projection screen technology, SI has effectively revolutionized the two-piece projection category by pioneering and producing screens which deliver an unparalleled video image in either light or dark environments. Sold at affordable price points and designed to blend flawlessly with surrounding décor, SI projection screens deliver stunning images and a fully immersive entertainment experience, rivaling or surpassing traditional displays. Operating under the principle that “No matter the budget, Screen Innovations has the best available screen solution to suit your needs,” SI produces a comprehensive assortment of screens and accessories for nearly any budget or application. Interested parties are encouraged to visit www.screeninnovations.com or call (512) 832-6939 to learn more about the SI family of products and services available. Follow SI on Twitter @SIScreens and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/screeninnovations.

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John Sciacca: 11 Reasons Why Living-Room Theaters Don’t Suck, Pt. 2

Article written by John Sciacca for Theo’s Roundtable, May 29, 2013
Following up on yesterday’s post, here are six more reasons why you don’t need a dedicated room to have a great home theater: 1) “Sound quality will always be compromised.” Certainly it’s easier to craft a perfect sonic chamber in a dedicated room, with walls built to ideal dimensions and acoustic treatments in the perfect combination of absorptive and reflective surfaces, ensuring that audio sounds as close to the mixing room as possible. But with modern audio processing and powerful room-correction software available from companies like Audyssey and Trinnov, even the most difficult rooms can be tamed. 2) “There’s no good way to hide all of the speakers!” There is a phenomenal array of speaker technologies available capable of delivering terrific audio that is all but invisible. (There actually are invisible speakers—installed behind the sheetrock and using the wall as a transducer—but their sound is a bit too diffuse and non-localizable for home theater use.) One readily available option is in-wall speakers that can be painted to match your wall color and blend in. High-performance in-wall models can be found from companies like Meridian, Bowers and Wilkins, Wisdom Audio, Triad, and many others. Speakers can also be concealed in cabinetry or columns or woodwork. California Audio Technology (CAT) is renowned for custom building amazing-sounding speakers into practically any enclosure. Leon is another manufacturer renowned for building custom models. JBL Synthesis also has a variety of models that work well in cabinet installs. Screen-Research-LeWing Another great pairing with your projection screen might be Le Wing by Screen Research. This conceals high-performing front left/center/right speaker channels inside the screen housing to be dropped to the perfect listening location on demand. Other “out of the box” thinking can be found with Monitor Audio’s SoundFrame series. These speakers can also be cleverly concealed behind artwork to look like a painting on the wall. 3) “There’s no good way to keep noise from escaping a family room, and no good way to keep noise outside the room from creeping in.” I’ll be honest—this is a tough one to rebut. Soundproofing is difficult—and expensive—even in dedicated rooms, let alone an open space like a living room. The next best thing you could do would be to isolate the rooms you don’t want to disturb—say the bedrooms—using sound-isolating techniques on their walls. Even so, a movie played back at reference volume level will likely be heard throughout the home. There are some things you can do like using “Night” listening modes that compress the dynamics so loud sounds like explosions won’t be as loud. Audyssey also has a new technology called LFC that’s designed to contain the low-frequency sounds that most disturb the neighbors while still allowing for an impressive theater experience. Even so, with a 6½ year old of my own, this is a problem I struggle with so I’d be a liar if I told you this wasn’t difficult to overcome . . . 4) “Stadium seating is the only way to go.” Stadium seating is great when you need to cram a lot of viewers into a shallow space, but for the typical home theater is really unnecessary. If you’re going to be routinely hosting events where you need to seat more than 8 to12 people, then a typical-sized living room might be tough. But if we’re talking typical daily viewing where it will likely just be the 2 to 6 people in your family, a couch will be totally adequate and far more comfortable. A couch is far more social, where you can turn to the person next to you and share a comment . . . or ask them to pass the scotch. 5) “Dedicated theater makes watching movies more of an event.” When the lights are down and you’re watching the movie, the room becomes the last thing you or your guests are thinking about. And, yes, the process of getting up, gathering all of your drinks and snacks, and walking to another part of the home to watch a movie might be “an event.” It might also become “an inconvenience” over time. Equally part of “an event” is having everyone settle into the couch, saying, “OK, it’s time for the movie!” and then pressing the Watch Movie button on your control system and having all of the lights slowly dim, the window coverings drop, the screen lower, and the system turn on. 6) “I don’t care what you say—a living room theater will just never be good.” For my final point of rebuttal, I offer up my own living-room home theater as an example. I promise you, it has impressed everyone who has ever sat through a movie there. John Sciacca
JOHN SCIACCA is a full-time custom installer/designer and an a-lot-of-the-time writer whose groundbreaking columns and features for Sound & Vision helped bring awareness of custom installation into the mainstream. Along with his work at Custom Theater & Audio in Murrells Inlet, SC, John is a regular contributor to Residential Systems and has a popular blog, "John Sciacca Writes . . . ," where he covers everything from high-end electronics to high-end beers, with a lot of random musings in between. He can also be found on Twitter at @SciaccaTweets.

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John Sciacca: 11 Reasons Why Living-Room Theaters Don’t Suck, Pt. 1

Article written by John Sciacca for Theo's Roundtable, May 28, 2013
A month ago, I wrote a post called “The Death of the Dedicated Theater Room” that listed all the reasons why a theater in a multi-use space such as a living room or family room makes so much more sense than going with a dedicated room. Multi-use spaces are generally more welcoming and comfortable, don’t require an exodus from one location to the next to watch a movie, and—most importantly—every home has one. (For simplicity’s sake, going forward I’m just going to call any multi-use space a living room.) Before I begin debunking all of the reasons why you think you can’t put a great theater in your living room, I want to start by saying that if you have the means, budget, space, and desire for a dedicated media room in your home, go for it. This is definitely not a knock on building a dedicated room, and in many circumstances, a dedicated space can deliver an amazing experience. With that said, here’s why I think you’re wrong when you say you can’t put a good theater in a living room. 1) “A living room lets in far too much light to be a good theater.” Granted, one of the benefits of a dedicated room is that it often has a single door and no windows, which makes it easy to make the room completely dark. But there is a lot that can be done to make a living room acceptably dark for movie watching.

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Super Size Me – Why Front Projection Setups, Not Larger Flat Panel Displays, Are The Way to Go

SI-SCREENS-STORY
It’s no big surprise that flat panel displays are getting larger. Not only larger, but seemingly more affordable too. Because flat panel displays have gotten larger and more affordable, many within the front projection community -manufacturers and enthusiasts alike -have begun to question the need or relevance of front projectors in any environment outside of a dedicated home theater. After all, in most living room environments, or even multi-purpose media rooms, does one need a display larger than say 80 or 90 inches?  I say yes, but I also argue that when it comes to 80 plus inch flat panel displays -media room or not -a front projector is going to give you a better imageand potentially be more affordable. Right now the largest display size commonly available to consumers is 70 inches, though I am aware that both 80 and 90 inch HDTVs are also available. A 70 inch diagonal HDTV is big, I know because I have one in the wonderful (and affordable) 70-inch Vizio E-Series ($1,599.99 at Vizio.com). At just under $1,600 the Vizio E-Series’ value is nearly beyond reproach, however if you wanted to step things up to say 80 or even 90 inches diagonally the jump in price is steep -real steep. For example, Sharp’s 80 inch (or 80-inch Class) LED HDTV starts at $4,999.99 and caps out at $6,499.99 depending on what features you need it to have. Their 90 inch variant retails for $10,999.99. Five  years ago both displays would’ve cost you three if not four times that amount, so let’s not get too bent out of shape. But even at a little over ten grand, is the Sharp 90 inch LED HDTV the best way to go? Is the 80 inch at even a penny under five grand the way to go? What if you want to go larger? The problem facing a lot of these larger than life HDTVs is that in order to hit certain price points manufacturers are reusing or utilizing back or edge lighting systems designed for smaller displays -say displays ranging in size from 60 to maybe 70 inches. This means that light uniformity and brightness -yes I said brightness -suffer. Also, because many of these displays use either glass or special coated plastic in front of their screens, glare is also a big issue. So is power. All of these things add up to an experience that doesn’t quite live up to the promise put forth by those who would otherwise have you believe that the only way to enjoy big screen viewing outside of a dedicated theater is via a large HDTV. So, what does all this have to do with front projection? With the advent of both light rejecting screens and affordable projectors we now have another option for big screen viewing, even in ambient light situations -front projection’s once Achilles heel. It’s not that ambient light or light rejecting screens were discovered yesterday -they weren’t -however, years ago they, like larger HDTVs, had their drawbacks. Today these drawbacks like “shimmer” and light uniformity have (largely) been remedied. Moreover, pricing for such screens, like their HDTV counterparts, have also dropped over the years. And what of the front projection part? For starters they (front projectors) have gotten really good at practically every level -i.e. price. Not only have projectors gotten exponentially better, they’ve gotten brighter too. Like with HDTVs, the level of front projector you can buy today for around $2,000 would’ve cost you ten or more (thousand) just a few short years ago. All these factors add up to an answer that not only has the potential for greater performance over a larger than life HDTV, but also be a better value. Manufacturer image of Zero Edge screen. Image courtesy of SI Screens. Without question, if you’re looking to enjoy an image in excess of 100 inches in a living room style environment then a front projection setup is the BEST way to go over even the largest of HDTVs available today.  But let’s stay focused on diagonal sizes ranging from say 80 to 100 inches, which is plenty big. SI Screens is arguably the leader in the ambient light rejecting, front projection screen space and their latest variant, Black Diamond Zero Edge, is the crown jewel of the manufacturer’s line. According to one of SI Screen’s authorized retailers, Projector People, the Black Diamond Zero Edge screen starts at $2,799 for an 80-inch diagonal, 16:9 screen. $2,799 isn’t inexpensive for a screen, but remember we’re trying to put together a package that is equal to or less than a comparable 80-inch HDTV, which in this case is $5,000. So, having now spent $2,799 on our screen, we now have $2,201 to spend on a front projector and mount. Sticking with the online retailer Projector People, let’s add in an Epson 8350 HD front projector for $1,249. The 8350 is a phenomenal projector at its price (and even a few ticks above) and possesses a reported 50,000:1 contrast rating along with a brightness of 2,000 ANSI Lumens -plenty bright for an 80-inch ambient light rejecting screen such as the Black Diamond Zero Edge. The 8350 is not 3D, but should you need 3D functionality you could just as easily step up to Epson’s 3020 ($1,549) and still be well within budget. As for mounting and cables? A quick jaunt over to Monoprice will cure what ails you and all for less than $50 for both the mount and requisite HDMI cable. Final cost? $4,098 for a savings of $901 give or take over Sharp’s stripped down 80-inch LED HDTV. Compare it to their non-stripped 80 inch model and your total savings rockets to $2,401.99. But we’re not done yet. Let’s say we want to step things up to 90 inches and get even more performance (and enjoyment) out of our setup. Well, the 90 inch Sharp retails for nearly $11,000. Going back to Projector People, the 92-inch Black Diamond Zero Edge screen from SI retails for $3,099. We could stick with Epson but let’s throw another projector into the mix -JVC and their DLA-RS46U. While not as bright as the Epson (we’re still good), the JVC is a step up in terms of color and image accuracy when compared to the Epson. Maybe not night and day better, but better none the less. The JVC DLA-RS46U retails via Projector People for $3,495. Throw in the same mount and cables from Monoprice and you’re looking at grand total of $6,644. That’s a total savings of $4,356. I’ve been using SI Screen’s Black Diamond Zero Edge as an example because, well, it’s sexy and the screen most like today’s modern HDTVs in terms of its form factor. But what if you didn’t care for or need a screen as “flashy” as the Zero Edge? Be prepared to save even more! An 80-inch, non Zero Edge Black Diamond screen from SI will run you $2,199 with a 92 inch coming in at $2,499. That is an additional savings of $600 across the board, which is hardly chump change. But we can do even better. Elite Screens’ Airbright 5D Screen. Image courtesy of Elite Screens. Let’s face it, money is tight and while the Black Diamond Screen is amazing (it truly is) there are other ambient light rejecting screens out there. For example, Elite Screens sells an ambient light rejecting screen in their Airbright 5D, which is part of their EPV lineup of screens. The Airbright 5D screen currently isn’t available in sizes ranging from 80 to 90 inches diagonally, though the 100 inch model is available and retails for $1,912. That’s even larger than what we’ve been talking about thus far and for less money. Substituting the Airbright 5D in for the Zero Edge and adding in an Epson 8350 means you can enjoy a 100-inch, HDTV-like image in your living room for roughly $3,200 all in. Incredible. Today’s comparable 100 inch HDTV will run you close to six figures to start. And then there is UltraHD/4K. With a new format right around the bend many are holding off making a purchase until the proverbial dust settles. Those who maybe bought HDTVs last holiday season or slightly before may be kicking themselves or at least be wondering what to do next. While I’m NEVER an advocate for wasting money or looking at any AV investment as “disposable,” I have to say I’d rather be out the cost of an Epson projector in 18-24 months than $11,000 for a Sharp LED HDTV. Or even $5,500 plus for a new Sony UltraHD/4K display that (likely) won’t be compatible with tomorrow’s UltraHD format anyway. A projection screen will always be good, so it’s money well spent. Same is true for your mount -though admittedly those don’t need to cost much. So, if you buy smartly (which if you read this blog regularly you do) you can maximize your enjoyment today, while better protecting yourself for tomorrow. This is why I would “invest” in even a modest front projection setup today over almost any HDTV (or UltraHD/4K) display greater than 70 inches diagonally. As always I thank you all so much for reading. Until next time, take care everyone and stay tuned… Andrew NOTE: Article originally appeared here: http://www.andrew-robinson-online.com/super-size-me-why-front-projection-setups-not-larger-flat-panel-displays-are-the-way-to-go/  

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Projector tech explainer: All your front projection questions answered

Front projection is great, but before you jump into the ultimate big-screen experience, here are a few things you should know. By Geoffrey Morrison for CNET, May 13, 2013
(SI Pure Zero Edge projection screen. Credit: Screen Innovations)
For the biggest TV, movie, and gaming experience, you need a projector. On top of all the "normal" TV jargon, projectors have their own buzz words and marketing fluff that must be navigated. Then there's the additional complexity of wiring and screens. None of these things are difficult, especially if you're armed with a handy helpful guide. Hey, this is a helpful handy guide! Behold, all your projector tech questions answered.

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Sony Kicks Off 4K Marketing Campaign

By Greg Tarr On May 20 2013 - 9:41am San Diego — Sony said Monday it recently launched an integrated marketing campaign behind the release of its two 4K Ultra High-Definition XBR LED LCD TVs. The campaign features Garth Davis, who most recently co-directed Jane Campion’s critically acclaimed miniseries “Top of the Lake.” Sony said Davis became inspired to make a 4K feature after the picture quality of a Sony 4K Ultra HD TV at the Sundance Film Festival. Davis and Academy Award-winning cinematographer Claudio Miranda, produced a commercial spot encompassing Davis’ vision, shot on Sony F65 and F55 model professional 4K cameras. Native 4K footage from the shoot will be showcased at retail next month, Sony said. “The Sony 4K Ultra HD TV really is a new way of looking at things, a new visual language. There is so much detail, it's almost like you can walk into the picture,” said Davis. “One of the things unique to the TV is color. And the story we've been creating for this project is about celebrating color in lots of ways. With Sony 4K we are working at the highest end of technology and creativity.” “It is so nice to have a larger color gamut to work with in 4K,” added Miranda. “You can extract more information and show what you may not have seen before on a TV. Working with Sony 4K truly opens up the possibilities.” Sony will begin airing a national broadcast spot this week accompanied by digital, print and radio ads, mobile media and experiential events as well as retail point-of-purchase and interactive displays. Sony said it will also spread the word about the new 4K Ultra HD TVs through social networks, email, direct mail and freestanding inserts. “The campaign calls out the enhanced quality of anything one would watch on a Sony 4K TV with a picture that is four times clearer than full HD,” said Patrick Bewley, Sony brand experience and visual design VP. “It's the highest resolution, most immersive experience Sony has ever created, and in order to experience it, you must see it in person to believe it.” Sony is demonstrating its new 4K Ultra HD TVs at select retail partners across the country, including Sony Stores and Magnolia Home Theater departments at Best Buy. Sony said the focus on 4K is the first piece of a year-long campaign that showcases emerging and established collaborators who have been inspired by Sony technology to create unique and unforgettable stories and Sony brand experiences. All aspects of this campaign were developed with the support of Sony Electronics' advertising agency, 180 Los Angeles. Sony’s current 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV lineup includes the 84-inch XBR-84X900 that launched last November, the just-launched 55-inch XBR-55X900A  and the 65-inch XBR-65X900A. (read more)

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New Product: Reference Quality Pure™ Zero Edge Projection Screens

Austin, TX  – May 1, 2013 – Screen Innovations (SI), a leading US-based manufacturer of projection screens and associated technologies, today announces the addition of two (2) new reference quality screen material options to the Company’s acclaimed Zero Edge line of projection screens. Aptly named, Pure™ White is a 1.3 gain screen, Pure™ Gray is a .8 gain screen, and both feature SI’s sleek and stylish Zero Edge bezel. Touted by integrators as being “the coolest, most forward-thinking solution to hit the Residential and Commercial entertainment space since the flat panel TV,” Pure™ Zero Edge redefines what white and gray projection screens can do to enhance the visual entertainment experience. Filling a void onscreen and in the marketplace, Pure White and Pure Gray Zero Edge projection screens feature SI’s proprietary Micro Texture that is nine (9) times finer and smoother than that of the best screen material available on the market today. Capable of reproducing perfect resolution from 1080P to 8K and beyond, Pure delivers image quality that is razor sharp with perfect color and uniformity that provides a sensory experience unlike any other. “Resolving the most common complaints associated with white and gray projection screens, Pure™ reproduces projected images brilliantly without any measurable color shift or visible texture,” stated Ryan Gustafson, president and founder of Screen Innovations. “It redefines the middle market by providing the coolest, most impressive and cost effective solution for video purists, enthusiasts and everyday viewers alike.” Designed to be quickly and easily installed, Pure Zero Edge screens do not require any additional assembly once unpacked. Mounting options include on-wall or flown from the ceiling by slender cables. New optional LED Lighting is built in to the frame and now incorporates six (6) custom preferences and 256,000 colors, including 6500 kelvin white. This unique feature set provides an incredibly sleek appearance and immersive entertainment experience that can’t be achieved with any other screen. Available in large-format projection screen sizes up to 120” in 16:9 and up to 150” in 2.35:1, the Zero Edge line now includes Pure White 1.3 gain, Pure Gray .85 gain, Black Diamond 2.7 gain, Black Diamond 1.4 gain or Black Diamond .8 gain screen materials. Prices start at $1599 MSRP and are based on configuration. The most affordable, innovative and versatile screen technology available, Pure Zero Edge carries a lifetime replacement policy and sets a new aesthetic standard that is currently unmatched in the Residential or Commercial marketplaces. Those interested in learning more about Pure or the SI value proposition are encouraged to visit www.screeninnovations.com or call (512) 832-6939. To download SI product images, videos, logos and associated marketing materials click on the following link: www.screeninnovations.com/downloads/.

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Screen Innovations Media Contact:
Katye (McGregor) Bennett
KMB Communications
E. Katye@kmbcomm.com
O. (406) 446-1283
C. (425) 328-8640
T. @katyemcgregor
W. www.kmbcomm.com

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“Black Diamond saved us money” – a photo-enhanced end user review

This is an unsolicited end user review that was sent to us as a "thank you" for the  value they found in Black Diamond as well as the impressive and immersive experience. Enjoy the review and take a minute to look closely at the (unretouched) comparison photos. We sure did! Recently we replaced our standard white Screen Innovations (100”, 16:9, 1.0 gain) home theater screen with a Screen Innovations Black Diamond (BD3, 100”, 16:9,  0.8 gain).  The difference is amazing.  First I’ll explain a bit about our room layout and the light sources, and then provide photos of the BD in various situations.  FYI, this is not by any means meant to be a technical review - I’m not particularly into the geeky side of video specifications.  However, when we were shopping for the screen I found myself wishing there were more photos available from actual customer installations, so I’m posting mine in the hopes that they will be helpful to someone else. Our family room (it’s not a dedicated HT) is open to the kitchen and breakfast nook on one side (opening is approx 11’x8’) with a 6” column in the middle’), and 5 windows (dimensions: 48”x60”, 24”x60”, 48”x60”, 24”x60”, and 48”x60”) in a U-shape at the back of the room. There is a single 48”x24” arched window up high that is covered with blackout material with a fan shade on top, although there is a bit of leakage around the edges. The 5 rectangular windows have wood blinds with blackout drapes on top. 2 blackout roller shades have been installed (one is visible in the top left of the photo below) where the room opens up to the kitchen.  The kitchen/breakfast area that the room opens up into is completely lined in glass. Here is a shot of the room looking back from the screen location: image We took these photos around 2 pm on a bright sunny day and with the following equipment configuration:
  • The comparison screen is our old white 100” Screen Innovations 1.0 gain standard screen from 2005.  It is not directional - rotating it doesn’t visibly impact the image (you’ll notice it’s sitting up sideways in these photos).
  • The projector is a Panasonic AE2000U from 2004 with a newly replaced bulb.
  • The 0.8 gain Black Diamond is mounted normally on the wall, with the white screen propped in front of it on the right hand side.  The white screen isn’t perfectly flat, but I’m looking at image saturation and contrast here, not perfect focus
  • The projector is mounted at the maximum recommended distance of 12” above the top of the screen.Moving it down 6-10” didn’t appear to produce any noticeable difference in the image.
The BD appears much brighter than the old white screen (despite the slightly lower gain), and shows a bit of blue shift, so we have decreased the brightness on the projector and slightly adjusted the color temperature.  The brightness adjustment was also needed to get proper black levels on the BD.  These modifications didn’t result in much noticeable difference on the old white screen, so all photographs have been taken with the BD projector settings. One drawback to the BD is that during higher-ambient-light situations like watching football at 2 in the afternoon, there is some unevenness to the image as you move off-center. I wasn’t able to photograph this properly. It’s really only noticeable when you have an image (like a football field) that puts a single color on most of the screen; the effect was most notable in the bottom corners of the image in our setup. Even those bits look a ton better than the old white screen, however, so I don’t find this to be a problem. In a darkened room, I occasionally notice some sparkling on portions of the image that are particularly bright.  I find this to be a minor effect, and completely tolerable, but if you’re bothered by this sort of thing, then this screen is possibly not for you. In summary: If you have a light control problem, or you want better blacks in general, definitely consider the BD.  I’d recommend demoing it in person, though, so you can get a look at the evenness of the image and see if you are sensitive to the minor sparkle effect. Personally, I’m in love with this screen, and now that I’ve lived with it for a few weeks I can honestly say it has changed our home theater experience for the better.  We’re also using the theater room more, since we can now watch the projected image at any time of day. For the record, I don’t work for Screen Innovations.  I’m just a happy customer. There are 5 sets of photos (click here to see the full review and all pictures):
  1. BD vs white screen: overhead lighting
  2. BD vs white screen: ambient light/windows
  3. BD vs white screen: completely darkened room
  4. BD only, single image: varying light conditions
  5. BD only: darkened room

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“A gamer’s dream screen!”

Call of Duty on 113" Black Diamond 16:9 aspect ratio..clear as a plasma!:) A gamer's dream screen! R.Branson | End User

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“For the video purist, the image on the Solar 4K material was hard to beat”

Our Solar 4K and Black Diamond screens were recently selected for use by Chris Heinonen of Secrets of Home Theater and Hifi as part of his "Anamorphic Lenses and Projection Screens: Affordable?" review. Is an affordable projection screen, projector and anamorphic lens setup possible? Absolutely. Read on... Introduction to the Affordable Anamorphic Lens System When I finally took the plunge into a projection setup in my home theater, the hardest decision I had to make was what aspect ratio to get for my screen. Everything that came after that, from the screen material to the projector, was dependent on that decision. For most people it is simple and they go with a standard 1.78:1, or 16:9, ratio for their screen, as that is the HDTV standard. Years of going to CEDIA and seeing these setups with massive anamorphic screens where cinemascope films fill the whole screen had led me to go down that road. Most films that I watched seemed to be 2.35:1 or greater, and I didn't want the possibility of black bars to distract me. All of the anamorphic setups at CEDIA are often incredibly expensive. They use automated masking screens from Stewart that can cost up to $50,000 alone, lenses from Panamorph and ISCO that also approach $10,000, and expensive projectors to drive those screens. None of this was close to falling inside my budget. Recently JVC and others had started to demo their projectors with lens memory on a Screen Innovations Black Diamond screen, which allowed them to fill the full 2.40:1 area of the screen automatically, but also hide the sides of the screen when watching 16:9 content. These worked well, but lens memory from the projectors can often be hard to setup, misalign, and requires a specific throw distance. This year Panamorph announced their least expensive anamorphic lens, the CineVista. Now for $1,200 you can have an anamorphic lens for your system, and so the pieces for an affordable system had fallen into place. For this review I used a 122", 2.40 Black Diamond 1.4 screen, the Panamorph CineVista lens, and the Sony VPL-HW50ES projector that won our award for the Best Projector of 2012. Would I finally be able to assemble the anamorphic system I wanted, and keep both kidneys?

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