Draper Contrast Radiant vs. Da-Lite High Contrast High Power (HCHP) - AVS Forum
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have any experience with the Draper Contrast Radiant surface (http://www.cepro.com/best/details/contrast_radiant_ch2700e/)?

This is a high-gain, grey surface. Kind of like 'the holy grail' in my book, since I live in a condo in the city & can't (reasonably) control the reflections off of light-colored ceilings & walls.

Now the Da-Lite High Contrast High Power (HCHP) has been criticized for having texture. I can confirm that. My 110" HCHP surface has a very distracting texture, seen here:


Those horizontal & mostly vertical striations show up in viewing.

But the HCHP surface yields more contrast than Da-Lite's 'High Power' (HP) surface, since I have light-colored walls & ceilings.

So, rather than just replacing my HCHP screen with a HP screen (which'll scatter more light to my walls/ceilings), I'm wondering if the Draper Contrast Radiant surface does NOT have a texture.

In my own tests, the Draper Contrast Radiant screen surface appears to be extremely similar to the Da-Lite HCHP surface in gain/color:


But I only had a small sample of the Draper screen, so I have no idea how it holds up across the entire surface area of the 110" screen. A close inspection of this small Draper sample vs. the HCHP indicates that they may be the same exact material... the underlying texture/weave looks exactly the same between the two. Gain/color & everything else appears to be the same. So maybe it's sourced from the same manufacturer, hence there's reason to believe it may have the same issues as the HCHP.

Anyone have experience with it?

Many thanks in advance!
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:32 AM
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very interesting, this is the screen that a lot of people have wanted Dalite to make, i.e. a gray Hipower.

You might want to check into this thread http://www.avsforum.com/t/1334832/new-high-contrast-high-power-discussion-thread/350_50 where I just alerted people to the Draper; they're discussing similar screens

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry guys; I had to correct one of my statements above.

The underlying weave/texture of the Draper Radiant, Contrast Radiant, Da-Lite HP & HCHP all appear to be the same.

Makes me wonder if all the screen materials are sourced from the same manufacturer...
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Allow me to report back with my experience on the Draper Contrast Radiant screen.

The Draper tensioning system is better than Da-Lite's snap system. It applies even texture, so, no possibility of ripples.

But the process of getting that last rod across the last notch will require many people pulling that last section. Careful: if you're just one person, you'll likely injure yourself like I did (cuts + pulled muscles in my hand).

I, personally, might put up with Da-Lite's snap system just to avoid the assembly of the Draper screen. It was a nightmare.

Furthermore, the Draper 'Contrast Radiant' surface has the same problems as the Da-Lite High Contrast High Power (HCHP) material. Draper, it seemed, was less willing to work out the problem with me, & more willing to just take a return. Da-Lite seemed more willing to work with me by getting a manager to QC a screen & check it for issues before shipping it to me. So, I decided to go with a Da-Lite replacement, especially since Seegs108 reported here that his replacement was clean, after specifically asking for inspection for his replacement (http://www.avsforum.com/t/1455184/hats-off-to-da-lite).

I'm waiting on the Da-Lite replacement.

In the meantime, here's one image that showcases all the problems with HCHP/Contrast Radiant screens:

Full-Size Image: http://cl.ly/NEsV/HCHP&ContrastRadiant-Dirtiness.jpg

  1. Note the large oval smear (circled in blue) near the bottom right of the attached image of the screen. That's what happens when you try to clean the screen. There's some residue being spread around.
  2. Note the rectangles all over the screen that are brighter than the rest of the screen (2 such rectangles are circled in red). This was from taking the Da-Lite sample patches that have one line of sticky tape on the back, placing it on the screen, then pulling it off. That process clearly removed some of whatever residue is coating the screen & making it darker than it should be (note: if you place a HCHP sample patch on top of the actual 110" HCHP screen I bought, the actual 110" screen is considerably darker than the sample patch... presumably from whatever residue is coating the screen that is not coating the sample patch of the same material).
  3. Furthermore, I enclose (in a black box) one of the obvious vertical streaks that shows up as a darker vertical band during content viewing. Many more of these are obvious during viewing, but are difficult to capture in a photo.
  4. Finally, I circle in magenta a region where you'll find a diagonal rectangular region that's brighter than the rest of the screen, due to the same procedure of attaching/removing the sticky tape from one of the Da-Lite sample patches on the screen. I strategically placed the tape across a darker horizontal band (leads to 'banding') to see if this process of 'cleaning' could get rid of the 'bands'. As you can see, though the tape lightened that region of the screen (presumably from removing whatever dirty residue is on the screen), it did not remove any bit of the horizontal darker band. In other words, I really have no idea where the banding (dark horizontal/vertical streaks) is coming from in the manufacturing process.

Da-Lite/Draper do not even seem to be aware of this problem. So, if you have it, please call up & complain. Fiberglass-based screens should have texture/sparklies, yes, but not the defects enumerated above.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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And, to recapitulate: I can't recommend the Da-Lite High Contrast High Power (HCHP) screen, or the Draper 'Contrast Radiant' screen, to anyone until they fix these issues.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:25 AM
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You did a great service to me and many of us. Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarangiman View Post

And, to recapitulate: I can't recommend the Da-Lite High Contrast High Power (HCHP) screen, or the Draper 'Contrast Radiant' screen, to anyone until they fix these issues.

thank you
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:05 AM
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FWIW the Draper Contrast Radiant won a CEPro Best Award in 2012. http://www.cepro.com/best/details/contrast_radiant_ch2700e/
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:25 PM
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As far as I can tell these show awards are arbitrary and just promotional; your link is essentially an ad.

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Old 10-29-2013, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Just an update:

I ended up getting a relatively 'clean', without much banding, Da-Lite HCHP screen after explicitly demanding that a manger there perform a personal QC before shipping the screen to me. To avoid wasting my time & effort in doing this QC myself, & having to ship back these huge, heavy things. Not to mention the pain of assembling the screen just to find out it has all the aforementioned issues.

Funny enough - it took them a long time to QC. The manager's own comment to me in an email was something along the lines of 'we're having a hard time finding a screen that meets our QC standards'. I couldn't help but laugh at that, b/c essentially what he's saying is that Da-Lite's got all these screens that supposedly don't meet their QC standards, but they ship them to customers anyway.

A few weeks later, I finally got a screen that, while not perfect, is definitely acceptable to me (and I have pretty high standards). Since then, I must say I've thoroughly enjoyed this screen. The fact that I have white walls/ceilings but can still get a beautifully contrasty image is wonderful & mostly owed to this screen's technology (& my Sony VPL-HW50ES, of course). That's why it's particularly sad to me that these HP/HCHP screens do get a bad rep for having these 'dirty/banding' issues - b/c they really have a place in any home where one does not have a batcave.

Note I also lined the ceiling near the screen with some Protostar flocked light trap material. Not only does it help contrast but it also helps frame my home theater:


I must say: perhaps it's partly the nature of the tech, but, it took me months to get this home theater optimized up & running, and what cost the most time was having to perform my own QC on screens & projectors. The # of projectors that I got with terrible lenses, or screens with issues, was staggering. And cost an incredible amount of time & effort - something I wouldn't wish upon anyone. Again, part of this is likely due to the nature of the tech - lenses getting messed up during shipping, hard to coat these beaded screens evenly, etc.. However, better QC would have helped drastically avoid/reduce these headaches, since that's eventually what afforded me a good screen.

Hence I find it pretty inexcusable that Da-Lite/Draper keep selling textured/dirty HP/HCHP screen, especially seeing as how most people say that the old 2.8 gain material never had these problems. While the Da-Lite manager was helpful in finding me a good copy of the screen, he seemed entirely uninterested in pinpointing the source of the issue. I tried to engage a conversation with him about what the potential source of these issues might be - no response along those lines.

Business as usual... perhaps if more people complained & asked for personal QC'ing, they'd find it more efficient to just address the problem at the source. I.e.: complain, people.

Cheers.
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:23 PM
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As I posted in the New High Contrast High Power Discussion Thread, I confirmed with Da-Lite that they have discontinued HCHP due to lack of sales.  That means that Draper Contrast Radiant is the only option left for anyone who wants a reasonably priced grey retroreflective screen.  From reading many posts on this forum, I believe that Contrast Radiant is very similar if not virtually identical to HCHP, and that quality of the HP 2.4, HCHP 2.4, Radiant and Contrast Radiant has improved from the earliest production.  So I feel fairly confident about ordering a Contrast Radiant screen.

 

My viewing conditions pretty much dictate a retroflective screen with good ambient light performance.  My wife and I are the only ones viewing 99% of the time, and our projector (currently Panasonic PT-AX200U) is located on a table right between our two chairs.  It's in our small family room which opens into the kitchen behind our seating.  Ceiling, walls and carpet are all fairly light colored , and that's the way my wife wants to keep it.  My wife needs some light in the room to knit while we're viewing at night, and I sometimes watch sports during the day with a little light control on a few windows.

 

We currently have a 73" diagonal Draper Luma pull-down case with .8 gain contrast grey screen 10 feet from the projector.  The screen case is not mounted, but rests on the floor in front of the fireplace.  My wife does not want a screen permanently mounted to the mantle.  We pull the screen up from its case on the floor and hook it on a clamp temporarily attached to the mantle, which is a little clunky but works OK.  On bright movies it lights up the room quite a bit.  I believe a retroreflective grey screen will tame some of that, and also enhance daytime sports viewing.

 

The plan is to move up to a larger 92" diagonal screen.  The nice thing about Draper is that they've recently expanded the number of screens available with the Radiant and Contrast Radiant materials to 31 different models.  The perfect option for our circumstances is the Traveller portable floor rising screen, as it requires no mounting and gives us maximum flexibility in our family room.

 

I hope that some of the above information is useful to others here.  I've been researching this for many months, and am planning to pull the trigger on this order in the next week or so.  If anyone has any thoughts, please feel free to share.

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Old 04-02-2014, 08:33 PM
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Well, I waited too long.  Draper has now officially discontinued Contrast Radiant, joining Da-Lite in ditching the concept of a gray glass-beaded retroreflective screen, something that someone on here once called a holy grail.  Apparently there wasn't enough interest in the holy grail as delivered by Da-Lite and Draper, so it's now gone.  In retrospect it doesn't affect me that much.  My viewing habits have been evolving, and I only rarely try watching my projector unless it's dark as I also have a plasma for viewing in ambient light.  I'm thinking I'll probably go for the Draper Radiant, which is reported to be virtually identical to the HP 2.4 but available on many more different types of screens from Draper than Da-Lite offers.

 

So I guess this is the official end of the Contrast Radiant/HCHP discussion, at least as far as new screens go.

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Old 04-06-2014, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post

Well, I waited too long.  Draper has now officially discontinued Contrast Radiant, joining Da-Lite in ditching the concept of a gray glass-beaded retroreflective screen, something that someone on here once called a holy grail.  Apparently there wasn't enough interest in the holy grail as delivered by Da-Lite and Draper, so it's now gone.  In retrospect it doesn't affect me that much.  My viewing habits have been evolving, and I only rarely try watching my projector unless it's dark as I also have a plasma for viewing in ambient light.  I'm thinking I'll probably go for the Draper Radiant, which is reported to be virtually identical to the HP 2.4 but available on many more different types of screens from Draper than Da-Lite offers.

So I guess this is the official end of the Contrast Radiant/HCHP discussion, at least as far as new screens go.

Crap. no way... I was going to call on Monday to get a quote on the Contrast Radiant fabric.

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Old 04-22-2014, 05:03 PM
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Just to confirm, I contacted Draper directly and was told that Contrast Radiant CH2700E was indeed discontinued.  I asked why and the person didn't know.  I asked if there might be any remaining screens in stock with Contrast Radiant and was told no.

 

When I previously entered my parameters into the Draper online surface selector tool, it recommended Contrast Radiant CH2700E as Best, Radiant CT2900E as Better and Pearl White CH1900E as Good.  Now it comes up Radiant CT2900E as Best, Pearl White CH1900E as Better and Argent White XH1500E as Good.

 

From everything I've read about Radiant vs. Contrast Radiant (and Da-Lite High Power vs. High Contrast High Power), there's not a huge difference in black levels with some ambient light.  So while I'm a little disappointed not to be able to get a grey retroflective screen, I still think the ambient light rejection of the white retroreflective Radiant (or HP) will make it superior to the plain Draper Contrast Grey XH800E screen I'm currently using.

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Old 04-23-2014, 01:39 PM
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I ended up purchasing another grey high gain screen, angular reflective, which seems promising.

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/newestpost/1501120

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