- Really does make projectors watchable in ambient light
- The frameless design is brilliant
- Suffers far less with viewing angle issues than its predecessor
- Minor ‘hotspot’ with very bright projectors
- Can’t be ‘rolled away’ when not in use
- It’s heavy
Review Price £2,967.00
Manufacturer: Screen Innovations
Design and purpose
Back in July of 2010 we spent a few days living with and pretty much loving the Black Diamond II projection screen from US brand Screen Innovations. The rather nifty trick of this unique screen was that it used a proprietary, top secret manufacturing ‘formula’ to reflect light from projectors back with so much focus and potency that you could watch your projector in lit rooms.
The thinking behind this, of course, is that it potentially overcomes one of the biggest objections people have to installing a projector in their home, as it means you don’t need to have a projector installed in a specially darkened room and so could more easily accommodate one in your normal living room.
The new Zero Edge projector screens take this initial Black Diamond ‘lifestyle’ application a step further. For as well as featuring a new generation of the Black Diamond screen technology, the Zero Edge model applies the material to an ultra-rigid, aluminium backing structure that’s presented with practically no visible frame around it at all.
If you get up close to the 100in diagonal model we tested, it becomes clear that there is around 1cm of frame around the image. But this is so small in the context of the screen acreage on show that you just don’t notice it from any sort of normal viewing distance. Especially once you’re transfixed by the ultra-bright, punchy images the screen component delivers.
The ultra-rigid Zero Edge screen is only around 1cm deep as well, making it slimmer than any current large-screen TV. And herein lies the key point of the Black Diamond Zero Edge: it wants to offer you a larger, less visually dominant and most important of all much cheaper way of getting a truly massive ‘TV’ screen in your house. After all, while Panasonic’s 85in plasma screen will set you back around £42,000, the 115in 16:9 Black Diamond Zero Edge can be yours for just £3953. Including VAT.
Obviously you also have to add a decent projector to that price before your big-screen dreams are complete, but even with a very well specified model your total spend will be miles under what you’d have to spend for a similarly huge plasma or LCD screen.
The Black Diamond Zero Edge is even available with a variety of mounting options, including recessed (at which point the frame can be fully removed), flush to the wall, projected off the wall, and even ‘flying’ from cables for the ultimate flash-harry look.
You only have to check out the couple of lifestyle images included with this article to see just how differently the Black Diamond Zero Edge allows you to think about the whole process of incorporating a projector into your home.
The Black Diamond Zero Edge is available with three different screen materials, serving up gain values of 0.8 (for relatively dark conditions), 1.4 and a 2.7 version for very bright rooms. This latter high-gain material is also considered by UK distributor Anthem AV Solutions to be the best if you expect to be watching a lot of 3D movies.
You can also get the Black Diamond Zero Edge in 21:9 as well as the more regular 16:9 ratios.