Sharp XV-Z30000 - Projector Screens
Once again, we look at another medium-high priced projector with fairly typical brightness specs - over 500 lumens in "best" and over 1000" lumens at "brightest". That combination works best in a dedicated theater. Few will place this projector in a bright family room when there are projectors roughly twice as bright to choose from that are better suited for non-theater style environments.
8/21/2012 - Art Feierman
Sharp XV-Z30000 Projector Screen Recommendations
This recommendation for the XV-Z30000 screen selection is mostly based on our comments about a similar performing projector, both overall, and in terms of brightness, the Mitsubishi HC7800D.
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. Thus, your interest in 3D (since almost all new over $2K projectors offer 3D), is going to impact your screen choice.
One could very effectively use a dual screen setup with the XV-Z30000 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 Sharp XV-Z30000 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 XV-Z30000, 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" LCDTV's 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 XV-Z30000, on my 1.3 gain screen, at 100" diagonal, watching Tron, or Monster House, or Dispicable 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 Sharp is 2D only. That will get you the most impressive solution for you 2D viewing. With over 500 lumens calibrated, you should be comfortable with 100 to 120" screens assuming 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 Stewart's Firehawk G3, are best found in rooms with some ambient light issues, as they are so good at rejecting side ambient light.
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, mentioned above, 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), which is darker than their 1.4 gain, but lowers blacks along with some great ambient light rejection.