HOME > Review: Ambient Light Rejections Screens
Ambient Light Rejection Screens
March 3, 2016,
The DNP Supernova 08-85 is the only screen in this group of eleven that matches the Da-Lite Parallax in image clarity and extremely wide viewing angle. Unlike most other ALR screens, the Supernova shows absolutely no visible texture or shimmer. As far as image clarity is concerned, it is tied with the Da-Lite Parallax and surpasses all others.
Similarly, the viewing angle of 170 degrees is extremely wide. The Da-lite Parallax and EPB DarkStar 9 also have equally super-wide viewing angles, but these three screens beat all the others in this regard. The Supernova is an excellent choice for any application in which you need to have the image highly visible across a wide viewing space.
At 0.8 gain, the Supernova is among the least bright of the eleven, but only when viewed from the center position. If you need a bright picture when viewed from the center you may need to use a brighter projector with the Supernova than you'd need with the higher gain competition. However, when viewed from wide angle positions the Supernova will be brighter and more uniform than most of its competitors due to its extreme half gain angle. If you want the best of both worlds, an image that is both bright at the center as well as from all viewing angles, use the Supernova with a high lumen projector.
The most notable limitation of the Supernova is that it is low in contrast and color saturation compared to the other screens in this review -- it measured 16:1 contrast in the side illumination test, which was the lowest reading among the eleven, and just below the Da-Lite Parallax at 17:1. In any given ambient light situation with any given projector, black levels will not be as deep and color saturation is not as rich on either of these screens as they are on other ALR screens in this review. These two screens show almost identical properties in ambient light rejection, both from the side and from the top.
Like the Parallax, the DNP Supernova offers a trade-off that some buyers will find attractive and others will not -- it gives you the benefits of a clean picture with zero texture artifacts and an extremely wide viewing angle, in exchange for lower contrast and saturation. The good news is that in relatively low ambient light environments, you may be able to offset the contrast and saturation limitations on these screens by using a high contrast projector, thereby ending up with the best overall solution for your particular needs.
For this review, DNP submitted their Supernova One frame and ISF Certified 08-85 screen material. The Supernova One is a completely rigid product (the only one in this review). The screen material is permanently laminated to an aluminum backing plate and given a hard-surface coating to prevent damage. Since you don't need to assemble it, installation consists of simply unpacking it, putting up the wall plates and hanging the screen.
Since it comes fully assembled, it may be difficult to install if you need to get it up flights of stairs or maneuver through tight corridors and doorways. The aluminum backing plate adds significant weight (a 100" diagonal Supernova One weighs in at 40 pounds, about double the weigh of an assembled Parallax), but it also eliminates the chance that the screen will ever distort or ripple.
If this pre-assembled rigid structure sounds like it's not for you, DNP provides other mounting options in the Supernova series including a traditional fixed-frame (Supernova Core) that you assemble at home, a motorized retractable version (Supernova Flex), as well as a modular rigid-panel system (Supernova Infinity) that gives you the performance of a completely rigid screen in a form factor that's easier to maneuver through your home.
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