The big selling point of this high-tech screen is the handling of ambient light, so we of course now have the perfect environment to test this. During the day there is a lot of light for the projector to compete with from the sliding doors, and after dark, there are a lot of LED lights in the ceiling directly above and in front of the screen.
I currently have the XGIMI Aura 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector as part of this new setup. As you can see in our review of this projector, this is not the brightest UST on the market but we did suggest that with an ambient light rejecting screen it was capable enough so this should be a good test! Note also 123" is a very big screen, stretching the capability of the projector even further.
It did take some maneuvering of the projector and resizing of the image to make it fill the screen, which also creates a few quirks you may see in the image (these are on me for not setting up the projector properly). But we're not reviewing the projector here, and if anything it creates a fair challenge for the EPV Darkstar UST 2.
Arguably the most important test: can the Darkstar deliver a viewable image during the day with light flooding in from both the side and the front of the screen? We're big basketball fans - and it's March so there is a lot to watch! - but these games tend to be played during daylight hours here on the West Coast.
I took these pictures in the afternoon: note the shadow to the left of the screen casted from the windows shows how bright the room is. The image is obviously less distinct than watching in the dark, but even with all of the light, it is definitely watchable.
I also tested it with some TV and movie content. A classic like Ben Hur, on the HBO Max App, was bright and colorful for the most part and showed extremely well in a lot of ambient light. Even the darker scenes were clearly distinguishable.
Elite provided a sample of CineWhite screen material for me to compare with the Darkstar UST 2. It's not a sophisticated solution to show the two together in the photos below, but as you can see the results are quite startling. When viewing Star Trek Discovery, the dark parts of the image are barely visible on the white screen due to the ambient light, but the Darkstar does a great job.
The screen handles direct light from above equally well. The shots below show how brightly the overhead lights reflect on the grey wall but do not impact the image on the screen. There is also no reflection from the lights above and in front of the screen.
Long and short, the EPV Darkstar UST 2 eFinity does an incredible job handling ambient light and enabling the watching of any content during daylight and under overhead lights, particularly when compared to a regular white screen. Would I like it a bit brighter? Sure - but I think a brighter projector might solve that. I am very impressed and happy with this setup in this room.
The EPV Darkstar UST 2 eFinity screen can be purchased from authorized EPV Screens dealers who also offer installation. If you have a table-top ultra-short-throw projector and you are looking for a high-quality ceiling light rejecting screen, check out the EPV Darkstar UST 2 eFinity from EPV Screens.