Ambient Light Rejection Screens

Bill Livolsi, August 5, 2015


EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been expanded and updated to include eleven current models of ALR screens. Please click here for the new review.) 3/03/16

Summary and Conclusion

While all three screens in today's shootout are billed as ambient light rejecting, they are different enough that each has its own distinct advantages and applications.

The Elite EPV eFinity PolarStar 1.3 is the only screen to retain polarization, which is a huge bonus for 3D buffs. The screen retains contrast well, especially in severe ambient light. And since it is sold through EPV's network of custom installers and pro AV businesses, your purchase of the screen includes a local point of contact to help you with any issues you might encounter. On the downside, the PolarStar was the only screen to show sparkle. It is relatively difficult to assemble and likewise difficult to obtain. Assembly can be a bit tricky, but between the network of Pro A/V dealers who can install it for you and the support of EPV's customer service division, it's nothing you can't handle. The PolarStar has an MSRP of $2448 for a 100" model and roughly $2100 for the 84" size we used in this review.

The Microlite F2.0 is a DIY dream, offering excellent bang for the buck. It has the best ambient light rejection technology (especially when that light comes from above), is the only optical screen in the shootout, has the widest viewing area, and is sold directly via the company's website, making it easy to get. It's also the most fragile screen material, has a slight "oil slick" appearance at times, and only comes as a fixed frame screen, though other options are coming soon. You can pick up an 88" diagonal F2.0 for $1350 or a 100" model for $1500 direct from Microlite.

The Screen Innovations Zero Edge FLEX Slate 1.2 will be the screen of choice for home theater buffs who need mild ambient light rejection. It has the most natural image of any screen in the shootout with the fewest visible artifacts and the smoothest possible picture. You can order the screen pre-assembled at no additional cost. It is price-competitive with the PolarStar (the Slate 1.2 starts at $2100 for an 80" diagonal screen), but is similarly sold only through custom installers and authorized dealers.

Review Contents: Overview Elite Prime Vision PolarStar Microlite F2 Screen Innovations Slate
  Shootout Summary

Reader Comments(6 comments)

Posted Oct 7, 2015 3:40 PM

By Dave

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I see you're adding more models, but what about some other low-cost alternatives like Silver Ticket readily available on Amazon where many reviews of users are pretty solid. I personally own their white screen and love it, but would be interested in seeing measured performance of Silver Ticket ALR screens against the similarly value-priced Elite ALR screens.

Also are you unable to reveal pricing information because of manufacturer agreements? Would be good to factor in performance against value.

Thanks, great work!

Posted Oct 7, 2015 5:47 AM

By Hector

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I would love to see how well the DNP and Stewart measure up. I need an ALR now, but it's hard to find a good unbiased analysis like this one. So far, I am leaning towards the Microlite but I prefer the edge free designs. The big frame is a dated design IMHO and doesn't go well with multi-purpose rooms.

Posted Sep 19, 2015 6:05 AM

By Nabil

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many suppliers claim amazing performances but at the end only experience prooves if that`s true or not. what do you think about Prodisplay`s sunscreen front projection?

Posted Sep 17, 2015 6:03 PM

By Nigel Talley

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It is the world's best

Posted Sep 17, 2015 4:32 PM

By Peter

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I use a screen innovations black diamond 1.4 in my darkened home theatre room. It is far better than any white screen I have ever used. Blacks are far better, contrast is far better and the biggest thing, no light bleed onto the walls of the room, so it is a real dark room and feels like a cinema! To say all ALRs are not for a darkened room I feel is incorrect. Slate wasn't around at the time I purchased my Black Diamond, but I have seen it in the same situation...still better than a white screen. Maybe not all ALRs are suited to a darkened room but them some are...

Posted Aug 15, 2015 11:18 AM

By Brandon

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Do the Microlite F 2.0 have to be shelf mounted, near eye level, for max gain, like the HP screens? Or can it be ceiling mounted to get close to its max gain of 1.8?

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