Budget electric screen - worth getting tab tensioned? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 04-18-2010, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm aiming to get a 16:9 100" electric/motorized screen for around $250. As far as I can tell, the best options in this price range are the Elite Spectrum and Focupix Flexio series. Is that correct, or is there something better available?

The low-end in the Focupix TensionFlat line (cheapest tab tensioned screens I've found so far) are still a long way over my budget, but I can probably stretch that far if it's definitely going to be worthwhile.

So, there are basically two questions here:

(1) Is it worth getting a tab tensioned screen, despite the extra cost?

(2) If it is worthwhile, is there anything cheaper than the TensionFlat range? Even if it's a manual pull-down screen, that would be acceptable. Unfortunately a fixed screen won't work for me because I need easy access to the wall behind it.
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post #2 of 32 Old 04-18-2010, 09:25 AM
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Pull down screen without tension = wave/wrinkles.

When I first got a non-tensioned pull down screen, it had slight signs of waves.
After pulling/retracting the screen for several months, those waves got worse and once you notice them, you will see them on the screen when the picture is displayed.


If I ever went back to a pull down screen, I would spend the extra money to get one that's tensioned.

2014
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post #3 of 32 Old 04-18-2010, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. How long do waves normally take to appear? If it'll take a few years anyway then I could just get a cheap screen and replace it more frequently.

Apart from the fancy surfaces available on the more expensive models, is there a big difference between cheap tab tensioned screens and expensive tab tensioned screens?
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post #4 of 32 Old 04-18-2010, 10:32 PM
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With big colorful scenes u won't notice waves, wrinkles, with light background scenes you'll notice them. Alot of movies u won't notice waves or wrinks
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post #5 of 32 Old 04-19-2010, 12:01 AM
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The notion that pulldown always results in waves is incorrect. I can state this as fact because a N=1 refutes the theory.

I had a Da-lite 92" Model B pulldown for about 5 years hanging in the family room. The climate is controlled 24/7, cool and dry year round. No waves developed. Nada. None.

I replaced the 92" with a 106" Model B pulldown. Been hanging for a couple of years. Zero waves so far.

I realize that this is an issue for many but I have been fortunate to avoid it so far. The screens are so cheap that if I can get at least 5 years with no waves, I am happy.

42" in the dining room.
50" in the bedroom
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post #6 of 32 Old 04-19-2010, 03:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Right, thanks again for the replies. At the moment it's a decision between the Focupix TensionFlat 92" and the cheap Focupix/Elite models.

Will an electric screen be less likely to develop waves than a pull-down one? With a pull-down you're essentially pulling it against the spring, while with electric the screen just has to support the weight of the bar at the bottom.
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post #7 of 32 Old 04-19-2010, 05:11 AM
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I have waves with both of my non-tensioned manual pull down screens, no waves so far with my electric non-tensioned screens.
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post #8 of 32 Old 04-19-2010, 04:53 PM
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Any non tension screen is prone to waves in time, to think a screen wont get waves simply because its Electric is foolish.
I bought the Focopix 92 tab tensioned screen and couldnt be happier, I had to manual non tensioned units that both had wave issues.
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post #9 of 32 Old 04-19-2010, 05:09 PM
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tensioned is the only way to go. my friend has a non tensioned and he advised me to get a tensioned--his is now wavy as a flag in a hurricaine and mine is flat as a board. if it were me there would be no option...
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post #10 of 32 Old 04-19-2010, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLATYE View Post

Right, thanks again for the replies. At the moment it's a decision between the Focupix TensionFlat 92" and the cheap Focupix/Elite models.

Will an electric screen be less likely to develop waves than a pull-down one? With a pull-down you're essentially pulling it against the spring, while with electric the screen just has to support the weight of the bar at the bottom.

I had the same concerns as you re. a budget screen and waves. I didn't have a ton of $$$ either......I went ahead and purchased the Focupix 120" NON-tensioned 1.3 screen for my Viewsonic Pro8100. This was about 6 or 7 weeks ago and it's been used a lot. To date this screen has NO waves and just a tiny bit of curl-in at the edges that you have to get up close and look for. Maybe in time my opinion may change but for now I'm very happy I didn't break the bank to go with a tensioned model. Couldn't be happier with my "bargain basement" screen and it arrived in 3 business days from Virginia to Michigan in fine shape. Best of luck with your decision!

Ed
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post #11 of 32 Old 04-20-2010, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Right, thanks for all the help. I see how the budget looks and hope that I can afford a TensionFlat screen.
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post #12 of 32 Old 04-20-2010, 01:10 PM
 
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Its true, not every non tension screen will develop wrinkles or waves. However, if you are going to play the percentages, you can assume they will. However if you get the older highpower material or sometime like the Model C from Dalite, chances are you wont have many issues
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post #13 of 32 Old 04-21-2010, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
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At the moment it looks like I'll be going for a non-tensioned screen, unfortunately. The only TensionFlat one that I could afford was this, and it won't be available until July. I'm not willing to go down to an 84" screen (reasonably cheap CineTension models), and the projector can't handle the 120" CineTension (which is available for slightly under $500).

Has anyone seen a 100" tab-tensioned screen for under $400?
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post #14 of 32 Old 04-21-2010, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLATYE View Post

At the moment it looks like I'll be going for a non-tensioned screen, unfortunately. The only TensionFlat one that I could afford was this, and it won't be available until July. I'm not willing to go down to an 84" screen (reasonably cheap CineTension models), and the projector can't handle the 120" CineTension (which is available for slightly under $500).

Has anyone seen a 100" tab-tensioned screen for under $400?

Yeah, there's a "refurbished" one on HTDepots' site right now for $399.

Ed

Whoops! Make that $499...........My apoligies!
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post #15 of 32 Old 04-23-2010, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old corps View Post

Yeah, there's a "refurbished" one on HTDepots' site right now for $399.

Ed

Whoops! Make that $499...........My apoligies!

Too expensive, unfortunately. $400 (for the 92" one) was pretty much the absolute limit for me.
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post #16 of 32 Old 04-24-2010, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Another question: is it really bad if the image doesn't completely fill the screen?

I can get a 120" tensioned screen for a reasonable price (a bit under $500, but it's brand new while the 100" one from HTDepot is refurbished). With the current room layout, I doubt that the projector (a Viewsonic Pro8100) will be able to handle that size; it'll probably be limited to around 110". This would create a wide border between the edge of the image and the black surround on the screen.
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post #17 of 32 Old 04-27-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLATYE View Post

Another question: is it really bad if the image doesn't completely fill the screen?

I can get a 120" tensioned screen for a reasonable price (a bit under $500, but it's brand new while the 100" one from HTDepot is refurbished). With the current room layout, I doubt that the projector (a Viewsonic Pro8100) will be able to handle that size; it'll probably be limited to around 110". This would create a wide border between the edge of the image and the black surround on the screen.

How far back from the screen will the VS pj be? My Pro8100 is 18" from my 120" screen and it's great.

Ed
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post #18 of 32 Old 04-27-2010, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLATYE View Post

Another question: is it really bad if the image doesn't completely fill the screen?

I can get a 120" tensioned screen for a reasonable price (a bit under $500, but it's brand new while the 100" one from HTDepot is refurbished). With the current room layout, I doubt that the projector (a Viewsonic Pro8100) will be able to handle that size; it'll probably be limited to around 110". This would create a wide border between the edge of the image and the black surround on the screen.

The question is somewhat academic since it is likely that even with a "properly" sized screen you will always have some "issue" with aspect ratios that will result in the same question... will it look bad??? Depends... some people use some form of masking to help the situation. You can probably do the same easily (eg. some form of "curtaining" on the sides maybe... that's what I use to "mask" my screen for 4:3 viewing)... and using a different "stop" (drop position) to help with "masking" on the horizontal (ie. top / bottom).
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post #19 of 32 Old 04-27-2010, 02:45 PM
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Non tensioned pull down screens under 100" from a quality maker have a much lesser chance of wave/wrinkles. Anything above 100" you should seriously consider tab tensioned. Or a fixed screen.

Uncle Willie


Oddball: Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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post #20 of 32 Old 04-28-2010, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old corps View Post

How far back from the screen will the VS pj be? My Pro8100 is 18" from my 120" screen and it's great.

It'll be something like 11' from the screen. That's the limiting factor; at maximum zoom with that throw distance, the absolute maximum screen size is about 110".

Quote:
Originally Posted by budwich View Post

The question is somewhat academic since it is likely that even with a "properly" sized screen you will always have some "issue" with aspect ratios that will result in the same question... will it look bad??? Depends... some people use some form of masking to help the situation. You can probably do the same easily (eg. some form of "curtaining" on the sides maybe... that's what I use to "mask" my screen for 4:3 viewing)... and using a different "stop" (drop position) to help with "masking" on the horizontal (ie. top / bottom).

Okay. Thanks for the information. I was hoping that with the Pro8100 I'd be able to get it to match the screen pretty much perfectly (since it's got both zoom and lens shift). Is that unrealistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgkdragn View Post

Non tensioned pull down screens under 100" from a quality maker have a much lesser chance of wave/wrinkles. Anything above 100" you should seriously consider tab tensioned. Or a fixed screen.

Right, thanks. Unfortunately a fixed screen isn't possible for me right now; I need to be able to access the wall behind the screen easily.

I've been able to find a cheap non-tensioned 106" screen for about $140 including shipping, so I've bought that for now. I'll see how it goes, and if/when it does develop waves I'll have a look at a proper tensioned screen.
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post #21 of 32 Old 04-28-2010, 06:11 AM
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Based on your comment, I am not sure you understand about aspect ratios. Given the "normal" range of video / film content available today, there are a number of aspect ratios that will likely get displayed. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to watch all material with a "fixed size" screen regardless of what your projector is capable of although zoom and lens shift help. People use masking to "flex" the final size of the screen to fit the projected image that is currently being viewed as they want "black" all around the image (not black on white screen). So unless you are just watching one specific content (ie. one specific aspect), your question will always be a question for you regardless of what size screen you have as no one screen size will always be exactly the "right size". You should probably read / understand more about aspect ratios.

So... probably, the question is "do I need to mask my screen"? of which, if you search, you will find lots of comment and opinions. A "larger than normal projected screen" will likely require more masking than one that "fits" along "one dimension".
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post #22 of 32 Old 04-29-2010, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budwich View Post

Based on your comment, I am not sure you understand about aspect ratios. Given the "normal" range of video / film content available today, there are a number of aspect ratios that will likely get displayed. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to watch all material with a "fixed size" screen regardless of what your projector is capable of although zoom and lens shift help. People use masking to "flex" the final size of the screen to fit the projected image that is currently being viewed as they want "black" all around the image (not black on white screen). So unless you are just watching one specific content (ie. one specific aspect), your question will always be a question for you regardless of what size screen you have as no one screen size will always be exactly the "right size". You should probably read / understand more about aspect ratios.

The plan so far is to use it almost exclusively for games (16:9), so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. However, I see your point. I should probably think about setting up masking so I can handle other content types.
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post #23 of 32 Old 04-29-2010, 04:29 AM
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It really depends on what games you would be playing or what you would really seek from such a TV..

Color dependants is a huge factor to work with too...
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post #24 of 32 Old 06-03-2010, 05:38 PM
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Just as another data point, I had a tensioned electric drop from Da-Lite that developed waves. After a couple years, I got sick of it, and they replaced it under warranty. The new one developed waves too
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post #25 of 32 Old 06-04-2010, 10:07 AM
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Has anyone ever seen the FAVI screens that pop up on fleabay from time to time? 120" 16:9 electric screen (non-tensioned) for $275 with free shipping seems hard to ignore. Even the little video review they stick in the ads (though not a full review, and somewhat half-assed) look promising. For $275, someone has to give this guy a go!

Okay, $200 now. I think i'm going to have to bite here. I'll let you know.
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post #26 of 32 Old 06-04-2010, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goobenet View Post

Has anyone ever seen the FAVI screens that pop up on fleabay from time to time? 120" 16:9 electric screen (non-tensioned) for $275 with free shipping seems hard to ignore. Even the little video review they stick in the ads (though not a full review, and somewhat half-assed) look promising. For $275, someone has to give this guy a go!

Okay, $200 now. I think i'm going to have to bite here. I'll let you know.

Please post back on the quality of the screen and let us know I am very interested.
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post #27 of 32 Old 06-04-2010, 07:04 PM
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ive seen the 100" favi 1.3 gain electric screen for a bill anda half at the big auction site
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post #28 of 32 Old 06-06-2010, 11:23 AM
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I have had a da lite highpower pull down 95" screen for 6 years or more with no waves
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post #29 of 32 Old 06-07-2010, 09:39 PM
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Slatye,
Don't know if you made the jump yet for a screen, but if you're within driving range of Boston, I have a new in the box Draper Access V, tab tensioned, white electric screen. They sell for about $2000, I'm trying to get $500 for it.
The case is made to recess above the ceiling. The case is 105" long and fits in between joists or can be hung under suspended ceilings.
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post #30 of 32 Old 06-13-2010, 12:39 PM
 
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thanks
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