Da-Lite Model C 2.35:1 screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-17-2012, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I couldn't find any hits on a search on this subject, so I figured I'd create a new thread. I'm definitely leaning heavily towards going with a 2.35:1 screen (probably 120-130"). I'll probably be pairing this with an Epson 8350 (I just got one that I'm testing out, but have also considered a Panasonic AR100U for some added brightness). In looking into 2.35:1 fixed frame screens I see that they're quite expensive. Over the last 10 years, I've been happily using my Panasonic PT-AE700U (720p) projector paired with a Da-Lite Model B 92" 16:9 screen w/High Power material.

I emailed Jamestown about their screens to see if they could do a 2.35:1 (they can), and that would probably set me back about $400, including shipping for 120-130". But I also chatted online with Da-Lite and confirmed that you can special order a Model C with a 2.35:1 (or any format you desire) screen. Basically, the cheapest way to do it is to start with a stock 16:9 screen size width and then have them cut the height to get you to the screen ratio you want. As I understand it, they charge you for that stock 16:9 screen, and you get the customization "for free."

2.35:1 pull-down screens seem impossible to find online, and I wonder if there may be folks here who would be interested in this option but just assumed it wasn't available. FWIW, the High Power material is heavier than most, and I believe I read in the past that it was less prone to wrinkling. I can tell you that my 92" 16:9 High Power is pretty flat and wrinkle free (there's a very slight wrinkle/curl in one bottom corner, but it's pretty minimal and not noticeable at all when watching a movie.

At one point I was considering going with a gray screen, especially if I ended up sticking with the Epson 3010 I was trying out, or if I decided to go with the Panasonic AR100U, but right now I'm strongly considering sticking with the Epson 8350 and I've found that with my 92" High Power, it doesn't seem too bright at night (in Cinema Eco mode), so I'm even contemplating sticking with the High Power material since I'd be moving up significantly in screen size (80" width now to over 110" width with the new screen). Their High Contrast Matte White material intrigues me, too.

On that note, I think that one of the appealing things about going with this Da-Lite pull-down approach, is that it allows you to pick from a variety of screen fabrics, and while Jamestown seems to offer a great product for the money (from what I've read), I do worry if the screen material they (and Monoprice and other low-cost options) are using rates up there with what Da-Lite offers. Da-Lite's been doing this for a while and it seems like they have more of an in-house R&D operation going designing new types of screen materials with various pros/cons, depending on your needs.

'Tis a shame, though, that I can get my pick of several screen materials from Da-Lite, pair it with a Model C pull-down, and keep it affordable, while their cheapest fixed-frame options are considerably more expensive. Doesn't make sense to me, other than that they (and everyone else) realize that the people who want to buy fixed frame screens have traditionally been people looking to use them in dedicated home theaters, and so they probably reason that those people have a lot more disposable income. That may have been true several years ago, but I suspect that there are a lot more people nowadays who are buying these ever-increasingly more affordable projectors and would like a dedicated large screen, but the screen producers aren't keeping pace with how these projectors have decreased significantly in price, so we're stuck with fixed frame screens still typically costing over $1000. Crazy.

Scott R
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I'd much rather watch a great movie in B&W at 240 lines of resolution than a lousy movie in 1080p with lossless audio.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-18-2012, 12:46 PM
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FYI, that's pretty much what I did. Epson 8350. Got Da Lite to custom cut a 120" wide 2.35 screen for a Model C with CSR. Matte white finish & floating brackets. You're spot on with the pricing. They didn't explain it to me that way but as I got quotes on different sizes I noticed that they correlated to the equivalent 16:9 screen size.

Very high quality build on the Model C. The screen is further weighted by a long metal bar across the bottom. screen does have an ever so slight wave, but you cannot notice it with the PJ on. I really value the CSR feature because I cannot reach the top. I just pull down and release all the way. CSR rolls it up for me perfectly smooth.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-21-2012, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. My only other concern is that my walls are currently white (I plan to fix that, but not sure when), and the projector seems to cast some extra brightness in the black bar region. I was originally thinking I'd have the screen made in a 2.4:1 ratio to maximize the width I have available on my front wall, but I'm now a bit worried that the light being transmitted in the black bar region will cast onto my front wall and sloped left wall/ceiling.

Another thought is to get Da-Lite to make me something that is effectively a 16:9 format, but with extra black masking so that the white portion of the screen is 2.4:1.

Scott R
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-27-2012, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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imserious, how are you handling switching from 2.35:1 to 16:9? Are you doing the manual zoom/shift dance or are you using some sort of scaler? I have an HTPC (Acer Revo) w/XBMC which I could also use to play my live TV/DVR Windows 7 Media Center content (though I'm currently doing that via an XBox 360 as an extender). From what I've read, there are ways to get XBMC to auto-scale the movies for you, but I don't think I can do that with Windows Media Center. The one way it sounds like I *could* do it is by creating a custom resolution on the computer (e.g., 1920x800), but I haven't had any success getting that to work (when testing it out, the screen goes black, then after 30 secs or whatever it switches back to the previous resolution and I'm able to see the Windows desktop again).

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-27-2012, 12:04 PM
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I'm pretty low tech. I do manual shift/zoom to switch between 16:9 and 2.35:1. Further, I am coffee table mount and put the PJ away when not in use. Home theater is secondary to living room, but still a great experience.

Regarding your previous comment, da lite is really flexible. It should be no problem to get extra black masking on top and bottom to cover the light spill over. You can also get custom black masking on the sides. I think standard is 2" and I got 3". I saw another person get 4". With a large screen, I would recommend a thicker than normal side border so it doesn't look so skinny in relation to the rest of the screen.
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