Mitsubishi HC7800D - Projector Screens
2/2/2012 - Art Feierman
Mitsubishi HC7800D Projector Screen Recommendations
Having, and using, a projetor with 3D capabilities, tends to make screen selection a bit more challenging. Of course, due to 3D content typically being roughly only 1/4 as bright as 2D.
One could very effectively use a dual screen setup with the HC7800D projector: One projector screen for 2D and a much higher gain screen for 3D.
Alternately, one could go with just one very high gain screen if you want larger 3D images, or larger 2D for that matter. The usual tradeoff with the really high gain screens, however, is that they offer a limited viewing angle, and you are far more likely to notice differences in brightness as the eye moves from the center (or hot spot) of the screen out to the edges. With standard gain screens from about .8 to 1.5, these types of things are pretty minimal but not so when you go higher. I like the Mitsubishi HC7800 for 3D, quite a bit, as long as one keeps the screen size and the room setup such that you have adequate brightness to really enjoy it.
Perhaps the best one screen solution for the HC7800D, would be to just pick out the best screen for your room and 2D viewing. Have your projector mounted so you can zoom the lens smaller (really tricky if you have a high ceiling, of course). Then, when you want to watch 3D, zoom out and reduce the image size to, say 80" diagonal hand have a reasonably bright image.
My only problem with that, is, nothing cries out for a bigger image - not a smaller one - than 3D. 42" LCDTVs are so small, they almost make a mockery of 3D, compared to 100" diagonal!
Finally to clarify, when I'm watching natural content- the outdoors for example, I tend to feel more deprived of necessary brightness, than when watching any of the animated 3D content out there (which as we all know, is getting plentiful, with Disney re-releasing all kinds of classics in 3D). My point is, on the HC7800D, on my 1.3 gain screen, at 100" diagonal, watching Tron, or Monster House, or Despicable Me, seems reasonably bright. At 100" diagonal, though I felt a little starved watching the X-Games or National Parks: Grand Canyon in 3D on the same screen.
Bottom line: If you aren't really interested in 3D viewing - you will probably be best served, buying a screen as if this Mitsubishi were only a 2D projector. That will get you the most impressive solution for you 2D viewing. With well over 600 lumens, you could go up to 120" with a 1.3 gain screen and still have a very respectable image in terms of 2D brightness.
In a dedicated theater, with a 2D focus, if you've got good lighting control, Da-lite's Cinemavision or HC Cinemavision, or my own reasonably priced favorite, the Carada Brilliant White. For the rich and famous though, I'd stick with the screen I use, Stewart's Studiotek 130 (you'll find those in most of your non-3D theaters in the US, I'm told). I haven't seen Screen Innovations new 1.4 gain Black Diamond, but that, like the Studiotek are significantly more expensive screens than the others I mentioned.
If you are going smaller screen, and want to lower black levels a bit, alternatives might include Da-lite's HC-Da-Mat, Elite's HC Gray screen surface, and of course Stewart's Firehawk (my last screen, last house). Screen Innovations offers their Black Diamond .8 gain, which has a great rep (and a big price), offers some great ambient light rejection.