Da-Lite offers two silver screen surfaces: SILVER MATTE and VIRTUAL GRAY. The MATTE is a canvas base, for use in tripod frames, and is quite bright with good angles. Their "Virtual Grey" is not actually a silver screen, but it does preserve polarization... unfortunately our tests showed it to be quite dark, possibly 2 or more stops darker than most silver screens. I have a hard time believing their 1.85 gain claim! We also found it to be somewhat grainy.
The STEWART SILVER 3D material is generally accepted as the Rolls Royce of 3D screens, with a price to match. Even if you were to fork over the huge money for the material, they will no longer sell material alone (to our knowledge). The frame they supply is their SNAPPER, which looks real nice, but does NOT FOLD or break down (four sides are solid). They also sell the Stewart 150 for rear projection.
Based in England, they now have a factory in the US (Virginia). This is currently our favorite screen material: good brightness, good extinction, and looks to be good portability (though our screen is quite new, so we've not given it the real road testing yet). They have a frame that looks quite like the Fast-Fold, called EASI-RECT... apparently it doesn't match Fast-Fold configuration, so screens are not interchangable. They will put snaps on to fit Fast-Fold if you provide the frame (note: fitting their fabric to a snap frame is not something they normally do, so they may be reluctant to do so.) Not cheap, but about half the price of Stewart. They claim to be the choice of DISNEY for 3D screens. They now have a rear screen material, but it is quite dark. They also offer a ROLLER screen with 3D material that would be produced on a custom basis.
We used Hurley screens for years. It is a seamed vinyl, called "SILVERGLO", but the seams are well hidden. The biggest problem is that the vinyl is very susceptible to "puckering" and permanent marks from improper rolling or storage. Once they are set in, they never want to stretch back out! Harkness and Steward vinyl is more stretchy, more forgiving. And the stiff Hurley vinyl if very sensitive to temperature- if it gets cold, the vinyl shrinks and it's that much tougher to get those snaps on. They have their own frame system, called the "H-Pad", which is built-up from small frame pieces that are fitted together (not as easy as Fast-Fold) with heavy plastic velcro instead of snaps. The problem is that there is a lot of play where the velcro attaches, so it takes a lot of extra time to get the screen nice and flat. Better to snap it to a Fast-Fold frame.
NEWS: Hurley has come out with a new silver material called "Digital Dimension". We've tested a small swatch and found extinction excellent, but compared to "SilverGlo", it's a bit darker and grainier.
This looks like a great screen material! The problem is, there is no US distributor for this German material. Importing something like this tends to get very ugly (and costly). As we have had some real nightmares importing screens, we have been reluctant to purchase a large sheet of the material for snapping to a Fast-Fold frame. The sample we have is a canvas based material which seems to be non-vinyl material available. It doesn't stretch, but it does tend to lay flat
Vinyl-based material from France. We did try a 7.5 x 10' screen from them, but it was very directional and the paint was somewhat uneven. Since then they claim to be using a robot arm for silver application. Their prices are reasonable, but again, no US distributor.
This was a fabric developed by Studio 3D- unfortunately the company that manufactured it won't make any more. They are used to making many, many yards of material for upholstery and clothing... and this material is not easy to make! It was a silver liquid goo coated onto a stretchy lycra material. The 3D characteristics were quite good, and it was SO easy to put up, due to the elasticity of the material! Tended to resist marks as well. Perhaps someone will again find a company that will do this fabric "coating" on a relatively short run. (The other downside was a maximum 5' height~)
An alternate possibility is to PAINT a silver surface. We've tried KRYLON silver paint on a small piece of masonite which worked well, but may be hard to do evenly on a larger surface. A professional sprayer and Silver 3D Screen Goo may be a good option, but we've not seen it yet. Not cheap at $250 a quart plus basecoat (plus hiring a sprayer!) Found another paint that's cheaper, 3D HD Silver ($189 quart) from Paint On Screen. Checked out a sample and it is REALLY bright! Great extinction, too.
PLEASE let us know if you have other sources for silver screens!