Screens

Screen Innovations Black Diamond II HD Front Projection Screen

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In Use

Frankly, the image quality on this screen just took my breath away. I watched a lot of Blu-ray movies that were passing through the lab on their way to our writers for review. Because of the very fine granularity of the screen material, the picture was razor sharp with excellent contrast.

I sure would like to know how they came up with this technology. But to explain the effect, light coming from the sides is much less reflected than light from the front, which is where the projector's axis is. So, ambient light, usually coming from the sides of the room, is not reflected back from the screen nearly as much as the projector's light. Results? Maintained color saturation and mucho movie enjoyment regardless of light coming into the room from other sources.

Also, the image has more contrast when there is a lot of ambient light. In fact, the SI screen had 47% more contrast than my reference Grayhawk screen (gain 0.95) when the room lights were on compated to when the room lights were off. (I projected a large white rectangle onto the screen with an Accupel digital video signal generator connected to my Panasonic projector, and used a Spectra Professional Light Meter to measure the reflected light from the screen, with the meter at a 450 angle to the screen and the tip of the meter touching the screen near the bottom of the white rectangle.) This allowed me to turn the brightness of my projector down by going into the economy mode, because the contrast was still suitable for viewing. The advantage of having a small amount of ambient light (make sure it is off to the side) is that you will be able to see where your popcorn and drinks are, and won't trip over anything should you need to get up and go to the bathroom while the movie continues for the other people in the room. Hey, I guess that makes the SI screen environmentally green, as you will use less electricity and your projection bulb will last longer. When the room was completely dark, the SI screen had superb contrast, because my home theater room has light colored walls and ceiling, and some light from the screen reflects into the room. The majority of that light that gets to the side walls and is reflected back to the screen is rejected by the screen, preserving color saturation and contrast.

Because of the rejection of light from the sides, it works both ways. You can't sit very far off to the side and see the same bright image from the projector that you will see when sitting directly on-axis. That's the tradeoff, but this screen is designed for a specific purpose, namely, for use in a room that doesn't have good ambient light control. If you have a home theater that can be made completely dark, then one of the other types of screens that Screen Innovations offers should be considered, since they will have less falloff when viewing from off-axis.