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Comparison of 6 rear-projection films
Posted: 17 February 2009 12:03 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I tried to get my hands on as many of the projection films commonly used by members of the forum to do a side-by-side comparison for my own research.  I still haven’t received my HoloLite and HoloGrey samples ($906 USD per sq. meter), but I’m tired of waiting so here are my results with the following films:

Polymex 50 micron double matte drafting film ($2 USD sq. m)
Rosco Grey ($12 USD sq. m)
mind.unity@gmail.com’s film ($90 USD sq. m)
IFOHA Digiline White (169 EURO sq. m)
IFOHA Digiline Contrast (230 EURO sq. m)
3M Vikuiti ($566 USD sq. m)

You may notice how dark the Vikuiti looks in comparison to the other films--this is not an error.  The black level and color contrast are much better than the cheaper films, but without a sufficiently bright projector the image is dull (my projector is 1200 lumens).  If you had a 3000 lumen projector it would look stunning.  The Vikuiti is also the only film that has a restricted viewing angle.  I would estimate it to be roughly 90 degrees (compared to 160-170 for average LCD monitor), which could severely limit its suitability for tables.  You can see this in the images where the Vikuiti is slightly curled away from the window at its top edge.

Here are my personal opinions of the films:

*Drafting film:  Nice and bright but looks washed out and has the lowest contrast ratio.  Best price to performance ratio by far;

*Rosco Grey:  Kind of the worst of both worlds.  It’s too thick to have a bright picture, the contrast ratio isn’t all that great, and the image tends to look blurry.  Inexpensive but my least favorite;

*mind.unity’s film:  Brighter than the Rosco but still doesn’t quite get nice pure whites like the more expensive films or the drafting film.  This is probably the sweet spot for budget projects that want to keep the costs below a few hundred dollars.

*IFOHA Digiline White:  Matches the brightness of the drafting film but less washed out and with deeper blacks.  This film has a very harsh projector hotspot if you are standing directly in front of it, however.

*IFOHA Digiline Contrast:  Great balance between brightness and contrast, and no projector hotspots.  This is my favorite of the bunch but a little pricey for hobby tables.  $145 for a 45” 16:9 sheet (125 Euros, 114 cm).

*3M Vikuiti:  Paired with a bright projector, the Vikuiti can match the contrast ratio and color reproduction of an expensive LCD, but with the narrow viewing angle and exorbitant price, I can’t really think of a reason to recommend it to anyone.

In summary, I would recommend no budget projects consider drafting film, medium budget projects consider mind.unity’s film, and high budget projects consider the Digiline Contrast.  Note to LLP and DI users--mind.unity’s film, Rosco Grey, and Vikuiti all transmit slightly less IR than the drafting film, but still works if your blobs are nice and bright.

Polymex drafting film: http://tinyurl.com/ccjhks item no. F050DDD
can sell you his film via paypal.
Digiline Contrast : http://tinyurl.com/ankxz5

I did my best to get the photographs in focus and the exposure accurate, and the images below are a good representation of how the films look in person.

[EDIT] Either I screwed up my initial calculation of the price of Vikuiti or it has dropped by about 60% since I first wrote this.  I’ve updated the price to $566/sq meter.  Also, I changed the price of the IFOHA materials to euros since the dollar cost fluctuates (damn recession!). [/EDIT]

Parker

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color_test.jpgwaterfall.jpgeyeball.jpgangle.jpg
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Posted: 17 February 2009 01:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hmm....
It is interesting how the IFOHA stuff looks like it lets a lot of light through.  Almost like it may be blinding if looked directly down into, as in a table setup....
Mystery stuff from mind.unity....interesting

Nice work by the way

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Posted: 17 February 2009 02:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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PeauProductions - 17 February 2009 01:08 AM

Hmm....
It is interesting how the IFOHA stuff looks like it lets a lot of light through.  Almost like it may be blinding if looked directly down into, as in a table setup....
Mystery stuff from mind.unity....interesting

Nice work by the way

The Digiline White has a severe glare when looking directly into the projection, which is a fatal flaw as far as I’m concerned.  The Digiline Contrast, however, is very uniform and is quite easy on the eyes with my 1,200 lumen projector.  My coworkers unanimously preferred it over the other films.

Parker

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Posted: 17 February 2009 03:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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There’s now an entry in Wiki about comparison of rear projection films:

http://wiki.nuigroup.com/Comparison_of_rear_projection_films

There are also links from other wiki pages as well..

If you have experience with other rear projection films, please add your comments on this wiki page (as well as here, of course).

Thanks!

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Posted: 17 February 2009 03:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hmm, well I have a 2500 lumen projector (http://www.projectorcentral.com/Optoma-EP7155.htm),
Im still thinking that the Rosco Grey will work better for such a bright projector.

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Posted: 17 February 2009 03:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hey parker im glad my Drafting Film was of some use as ive said before, for the price it is really very good.

Also Peau you say you using a 2500 lumen projector!  Im not suprised its a little bit to bright!  However it is possible to ‘Stop’ down the projector using an Neutral Density Filter or ND filter i use an ND2 on my 1100 lumen sanyo and i have to say it helps prevent my eyes from watering!

Here the WIKI for more info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_density_filter and also the Hoya page http://www.hoya-online.co.uk/lst138.htm scroll down to get a look at the filters.

Cheers

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Posted: 17 February 2009 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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nice worksmile

I prefer Digiline Contrast,but it too expensive~!

by the way, what material is used in projection of microsoft surface?

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Posted: 17 February 2009 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Wow Nice work can we know witch one blocks IR less?

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Posted: 17 February 2009 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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WOW great work parker!!

this is the mind.unity film parker is talking about http://nuigroup.com/forums/viewthread/3890/

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Posted: 20 February 2009 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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hi parker,

i’m curious how you’re affixing the screens to your surface.

specifically, i’m looking at the digiline contrast, which is self-adhesive.. if you’re using FTIR with rear projection, would you affix the film to the underside of the TIR surface, or does it need to be on the upward facing side? if it needs to be facing up, do you need to sheets of acrylic to sandwich it?

thanks for your research and help

-kevin

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Posted: 20 February 2009 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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soundcyst - 20 February 2009 02:30 AM

hi parker,

i’m curious how you’re affixing the screens to your surface.

specifically, i’m looking at the digiline contrast, which is self-adhesive.. if you’re using FTIR with rear projection, would you affix the film to the underside of the TIR surface, or does it need to be on the upward facing side? if it needs to be facing up, do you need to sheets of acrylic to sandwich it?

thanks for your research and help

-kevin

Hey Kevin,
The digiline samples I got were not self-adhesive, but the Vikuiti was.  I just taped them to a window for the test, but I believe you would have the best results placing the materials on the user-most side of the screen and using Tinkerman’s roll on method for FTIR, as the blobs don’t have to pass through the projection material that way.  There are a few folks that have successfully used this technique in our local users group.  You can use clear window insulating film over the projection material to protect it from dirt and smudges.

Parker

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Posted: 20 February 2009 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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ok. i’ve got some reading to do before i have more questions, but this tinkerman method was not entirely easy to find through google, so i’m posting a link here, if only for my own future reference.

http://nuigroup.com/forums/viewthread/2383/

thanks!

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Posted: 20 February 2009 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Sorry, I should have posted the link myself.  I haven’t used Tinkerman’s method myself but I’m under the impression that it is the most effective technique for FTIR, unless anyone wants to correct me.

Parker

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Posted: 25 February 2009 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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soundcyst - 20 February 2009 01:27 PM

ok. i’ve got some reading to do before i have more questions, but this tinkerman method was not entirely easy to find through google, so i’m posting a link here, if only for my own future reference.

http://nuigroup.com/forums/viewthread/2383/

thanks!

I visit this site. Very beneficial information i get from their and that video rocks. Thanks for your this sharing.

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Posted: 08 March 2009 04:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Hi Parker,

IFOHA’s website doesn’t indicate shipping costs to the US. Did you have to contact them for a special order to get the digiline contrast sipped to seattle?

thanks,

kevin

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Posted: 08 March 2009 04:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I used the contact form to ask for a free sample, the shipping was free.  I haven’t made a purchase from them yet.

Parker

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