I READ YOUR REVIEW RE hOTSPOT. MY DESCRIPTION OF SILVERSTAR IS THAT THE SCREEN IS ONE BIG HOT SPOT COMPARED TO ANYTHING OF LESSER BRIGHTNESS. I DO DISAGREE WITH YOUR DESCRIPTION OF HOT SPOT WHEN THE ENTIRE SCREEN IS A HOT SPOT. YOU WOULD HAVE TO HAVE COLOR SHIFT TO OBSERVE A "HOT SPOT" AND A MAJOR FALL OFF OF BRIGHTNESS FROM SIDE TO SIDE.
I have tried samples of the Vutec Silverstar 6.0, Vutec Pearlbrite 3.1, Stewart Silver 3D, Stewart Videomatte 200, Da-Lite High Power, and Da-Lite Video Spectra 1.5. For my 1000 lumen Dell DLP projector, I preferred the Da-Lite High Power to all of these. It's stated 2.8 gain is deceiving, because within the seating area it is brighter than the Vutec Silverstar 6.0 (so the maximum gain must be more like 9.0), which itself was the second brightest of all the screen samples I tried. The Da-Lite High Power also rejects more ambient light than all other screen materials I tried, and appears to even go below 1.0 gain once you get very far out of the normal seating area (i.e., the matte white wall was brighter). The main drawback of the Da-Lite HP is that you can't mount the projector to the ceiling, because it needs to be as close to the viewing plane as possible to make use of the gain. I'm just mounting my projector on a camera tripod and moving it to and fro, depending on if I project 4:3, 1.85, 2.35, etc. My net cost for BOTH the projector, AND a 48 X 100 inch screen (sans frame) will be around $1580...I guess you don't have to be a millionaire to have a real home theater these days. I challenge anyone to do better for the money, and feel free to visit my home theater anytime. I'm very glad I didn't settle on a measly 42 inch plasma tv for twice the price...you could fit what, SIX of them inside my screen??
I have enjoyed perusing the many posts concerning the VuTec SilverStar; it appears that many projection owners have realized a fundamental truth: No One ever watches the projector itself...we ALL watch the screen. The significance of this simultaneously high-gain yet wide-dispersion screen seems to be lost on a few of us; that could be brand loyalty but more likely a state of denial concerning one's existing screen. Dispersion and gain have always been a zero-sum game; more brightness has always been focused on a rapidly narrowing "seating area", with color purity suffering and video performance decreasing off axis. While there have long been many fine lo-gain screens, any ambient light has been a pariah to the viewer, so to register acceptable brightness requires sitting in the dark cranking the projector to the limit...what do we pay for bulb life expectantcy in that compromise? Clearly, the SilverStar allows for huge gains in lifespan as well as an obviously superior picture that is free of hot spots as perceived in older high-gain designs...a "both...and" proposition that means the addition of a new screen is the equivalent of a Serious projector upgrade, for thousands less than such a purchase would entail. Any one want to talk about trade ins?
Jumping in very late here but I agree with Carl E that the big screen experience using a front projector is so much better and cheaper than a home theater using a plasma. I tested the HP front projector screen that he mentioned and it was way to bright for me and I had no good viewing angle. To have a very professional image at a very low cost check out the diy projecion screen material at http://www.diytheatre.com . It is like a screen paint but formulated so you can actually control the gain.