Pricey Screen vs Cheap Screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 08-21-2013, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Is it really necessary to spend big bucks to get a nice quality screen? Take a look at the photos below. Which screen would you choose?





In the photos I have one screen dropped half way down in front of another screen. I’m using a BenQ W7000 PJ. The lower half screen is a $750 video spectra 1.5 gain Dalite. The upper half screen is a $160 matte white 1.3 gain Favi.

That’s a $590 difference in price… and I certainly don’t see a $590 difference in picture quality! As a matter of fact, the Favi looks better. The colors are richer and the image is smoother. Look at the blue sky in the first photo and you can clearly see the difference. The sky on the Dalite screen appears to be slightly washed out compared to the Favi. And, the Favi screen seems to disappear with an image fired up on it, but not so much with the Dalite.

This is just one example and I’m sure there are other pricey screens that would give the Favi a run for its money. But my point here is that you don’t have to spend the big bucks to get a nice quality screen.

I should also note here that I am currently in the process of looking for a bigger screen, which is how I was able to post this comparison. My Favi is 100” and I want a 110” screen. If Favi made 110” I would buy it. But their next size up is 120” and I don’t have the space for that size. So, I’m still looking and I have now decided to spend much less than originally intended. Maybe someday I’ll be wealthy and buy a Stewart, but for now I’ll keep it cheap with nice quality.

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post #2 of 34 Old 08-21-2013, 01:46 PM
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I am wondering the same thing right now... I wish I could do an AB comparison on my projector of choice and a couple of 120" gray screens.
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post #3 of 34 Old 08-21-2013, 03:04 PM
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a new Kia and a new lexus both run and rid nice.. check the same cars as time goes by.. Cheap is cheap you get what you pay for, just search the forum this questions is a weekly event.
If you don't care if the the screen gets waves or the motor stops working in 3 months, or a year, then I guess you shouldn't need to spend extra. If you can not afford a Lexus but need a car, then the Kia is what you buy and hope it does not let you down.. I just find it odd that everyone thinks screens should be $200.. why? Why do you all think that $1000 for a screen you will have for 10 years is over priced? You would not buy $200 projector, why is it ok to buy a $200 screen which is just as important as the projector?

Here is a guy who went with a cheap screen.. now looks what has happened.. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1390908/screen-recomendations-for-a-131-screen/0_100#post_23649806
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post #4 of 34 Old 08-21-2013, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently saw a post with a Stewart tensioned screen, just over a year old that had wrinkles beyond repair. So there's no guarantee that bigger bucks are going to save the day. My electric non-tensioned $160 Favi is over a year old now and still wrinkle free. If I got 2 years out of it and had to replace it I would certainly consider that I got my money's worth out of it. rolleyes.gif
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post #5 of 34 Old 08-21-2013, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mesonto View Post

I am wondering the same thing right now... I wish I could do an AB comparison on my projector of choice and a couple of 120" gray screens.

Yea, wouldn't it be great if 'Home Theater' stores were as common as Best Buy stores. Side by side comparisons with projectors and screens would be so much easier.

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post #6 of 34 Old 08-21-2013, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven414 View Post

Is it really necessary to spend big bucks to get a nice quality screen? Take a look at the photos below. Which screen would you choose?





In the photos I have one screen dropped half way down in front of another screen. I’m using a BenQ W7000 PJ. The lower half screen is a $750 video spectra 1.5 gain Dalite. The upper half screen is a $160 matte white 1.3 gain Favi.

That’s a $590 difference in price… and I certainly don’t see a $590 difference in picture quality! As a matter of fact, the Favi looks better. The colors are richer and the image is smoother. Look at the blue sky in the first photo and you can clearly see the difference. The sky on the Dalite screen appears to be slightly washed out compared to the Favi. And, the Favi screen seems to disappear with an image fired up on it, but not so much with the Dalite.

This is just one example and I’m sure there are other pricey screens that would give the Favi a run for its money. But my point here is that you don’t have to spend the big bucks to get a nice quality screen.

I should also note here that I am currently in the process of looking for a bigger screen, which is how I was able to post this comparison. My Favi is 100” and I want a 110” screen. If Favi made 110” I would buy it. But their next size up is 120” and I don’t have the space for that size. So, I’m still looking and I have now decided to spend much less than originally intended. Maybe someday I’ll be wealthy and buy a Stewart, but for now I’ll keep it cheap with nice quality.

I believe this is the exact same screen as the Favi http://www.htdepot.com/Focupix-Flexio-16-9-Electric-Motorized-Screen-110-p/20016.htm and it's 110". I bought the Focupix 120" electric from them over 2 1/2 years ago and it's never had any wrinkles or waves and has been up & down a zillion times without issue. From the pics and specs I'm convinced it's also the same as the 120" Favi.

JMHO

Ed
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post #7 of 34 Old 08-21-2013, 07:42 PM
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i have a 100" favi from htdepot that I bought over 3 years ago. within 8 months of having it, it got waves and drove me insane. needless to say it has been rolled up sitting in the garage for over 2 years

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post #8 of 34 Old 08-21-2013, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea... I guess it's the luck of the draw. You can get a good one or you can get a bad one. Or there could be other factors involved, like humidity for example.

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post #9 of 34 Old 08-22-2013, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I am still researching screens, and I would love to buy something like a Stewart reflections active 170 3d. That sounds like the perfect screen for my needs... if I could only find one that I could afford.

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post #10 of 34 Old 08-22-2013, 04:57 PM
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Cheaper screens are not built as good as more expensive screens. For instance, the outside frame is built more luxurious and stronger. Also, cheaper screens have more texture and more visible sheen than a more expensive screen. I have a 120in Favi screen and it has a lot of texture. I also seen a lot of texture on previous screens I owned, Elite, Visual Apex screen, and my Da Lite HP screen. I have a smaller carada cw screen and they have a little texture that can not be seen in the image though. The carada bw sample I had had a little sheen in the image but no noticeable texture. I have a sample of the Jamestown screen and it has strong texture too. The JKP samples I have does not have any texture at all, extremely smooth. That's what a reference screen looks like
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post #11 of 34 Old 08-22-2013, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Just for the record: I don't mean to insinuate that cheaper is necessarily better. I'm only saying that if you can't afford a more expensive screen, if you're on a tight budget, there is still hope for you to get an affordable screen that does reflect a very nice image. I like the image that my Favi reflects, and I don't see any texture in the image, but (with the exception of my recent unpleasant Dalite experience) I've never had a nice higher quality screen to compare it to.
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post #12 of 34 Old 08-22-2013, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven414 View Post

Just for the record: I don't mean to insinuate that cheaper is necessarily better. I'm only saying that if you can't afford a more expensive screen, if you're on a tight budget, there is still hope for you to get an affordable screen that does reflect a very nice image. I like the image that my Favi reflects, and I don't see any texture in the image, but (with the exception of my recent unpleasant Dalite experience) I've never had a nice higher quality screen to compare it to.

Pretty much my thoughts exactly except I haven't had an unpleasant Dalite experience.smile.gif

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post #13 of 34 Old 08-22-2013, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven414 View Post

Just for the record: I don't mean to insinuate that cheaper is necessarily better. I'm only saying that if you can't afford a more expensive screen, if you're on a tight budget, there is still hope for you to get an affordable screen that does reflect a very nice image. I like the image that my Favi reflects, and I don't see any texture in the image, but (with the exception of my recent unpleasant Dalite experience) I've never had a nice higher quality screen to compare it to.

If you sit far enough away and dont mind the cheaper build, you probably won't notice the difference. To me, the main thing is the texture and sheen of the screen.
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post #14 of 34 Old 08-23-2013, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blee0120 View Post

If you sit far enough away and dont mind the cheaper build, you probably won't notice the difference. To me, the main thing is the texture and sheen of the screen.

That sparkly sheen was one of my issues with the $750 Dalite I just returned. I do not see that sheen on my Favi. Just look at the photos I posted and you can clearly see the difference. As for the cheaper build: Yes, the case isn't as sturdy as the Dalite was, but I cannot justify paying and extra $590 for a sturdier case. The ideal situation would be to have sturdy hardware with a quality image at an reasonable price. wink.gif

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post #15 of 34 Old 08-23-2013, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven414 View Post

That sparkly sheen was one of my issues with the $750 Dalite I just returned. I do not see that sheen on my Favi. Just look at the photos I posted and you can clearly see the difference. As for the cheaper build: Yes, the case isn't as sturdy as the Dalite was, but I cannot justify paying and extra $590 for a sturdier case. The ideal situation would be to have sturdy hardware with a quality image at an reasonable price. wink.gif

Im all for hcheaper screens. Good thing you had an A/B comparison rather than taking others opinion. Some people like tell you what you looking at. Sheen or sparkles are more distracting than texture, because if the screen has texture, you can just move your sitting distance back a little farther.
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post #16 of 34 Old 09-02-2013, 08:50 PM
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I just looked at my friends Vapex screen that I gave him 3 years ago. I was surprised that it had very little texture. I assumed it had more. I read some reviews saying it had a slight color shift. That of course can be calibrated out. I have a Carada CW and there is very little difference between the two. The Vapex is rated with a little higher gain but I would not be able to tell the two apart. The carada looks better than a lot of higher priced screens like Draper and Da Lite. So, I would definitely choose a Vapex screen that is around $350 over the other mid priced screens from $800-1000. If you going to spend over $1000, you should look no farther than the JKP or Stewart.
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post #17 of 34 Old 09-03-2013, 11:23 AM
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The question is how better is a Stewart, Black Diamond, DNP Supernove (that cost 3 to 4K) from a Carada (around 1K) or other cheaper screens?

I have heard people complaining about sparkles etc on a 4000 dollar screen, so which one is the best choice.
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post #18 of 34 Old 09-03-2013, 12:43 PM
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How is the texture on a Monoprice tensioned electric screen vs an elite cinetension2 vs Vapex tensioned? I've seen this debate amongst cheap vs expensive screens but since I'm stuck with having to get an electric screen I'd like to get a tensioned one for peace of mind.
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post #19 of 34 Old 09-03-2013, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utee05 View Post

How is the texture on a Monoprice tensioned electric screen vs an elite cinetension2 vs Vapex tensioned? I've seen this debate amongst cheap vs expensive screens but since I'm stuck with having to get an electric screen I'd like to get a tensioned one for peace of mind.

Would seem that requesting fabric samples from each manufacture to evaluate in your environment from your seating distance would make the most sense.
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post #20 of 34 Old 09-03-2013, 02:29 PM
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Thanks I'll go ahead and do that.
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post #21 of 34 Old 09-03-2013, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smuggymba View Post

The question is how better is a Stewart, Black Diamond, DNP Supernove (that cost 3 to 4K) from a Carada (around 1K) or other cheaper screens?

I have heard people complaining about sparkles etc on a 4000 dollar screen, so which one is the best choice.

There are sparkles with the Stewart Studiotek 130 and that's a very expensive screen. I think it comes down to texture then sheen in the picture.
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post #22 of 34 Old 09-06-2013, 04:11 PM
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There are sparkles with the Stewart Studiotek 130 and that's a very expensive screen. I think it comes down to texture then sheen in the picture.

I can barely see any sheen on my StudioTek 130 G3 from 12' 4" ( 118" wide screen - 1.26 screen widths viewing distance ) with 20 foot lamberts. The picture is extremely uniform and clean looking. My Da Lite HCCV screen at 1.36 screen widths has screen texture in all but the darkest scenes.

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post #23 of 34 Old 09-06-2013, 04:18 PM
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Is it really necessary to spend big bucks to get a nice quality screen? Take a look at the photos below. Which screen would you choose?

I can't answer that question without seeing video scenes varying from dark to bright pure white panning across the screen, seeing the actual physical construction of the screen frame / motor / case, and seeing how thick the actual screen material is. And how uniform it is - something that is impossible to see other than in person.

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post #24 of 34 Old 09-06-2013, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I was mainly referring to the quality of the image between the 2 screens. The case on the cheaper screen is not heavy duty, but it's plenty strong enough to hold up & do the job. The material is thick enough that it does not let any light leak through and the screen has remained wrinkle free for well over a year now. The case on the more expensive screen was very heavy duty and the screen was a bit thicker, but I was very, very unhappy with image quality of that screen (the difference can clearly be seen in the photos). Bottom line is I cannot justify spending bigger bucks (over $500 more) for a stronger case and thicker screen material if the image quality is worse than the cheaper screen. In the infamous words of Mr. Spock, "It's not logical, Captain!" cool.gif

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post #25 of 34 Old 09-06-2013, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

I can barely see any sheen on my StudioTek 130 G3 from 12' 4" ( 118" wide screen - 1.26 screen widths viewing distance ) with 20 foot lamberts. The picture is extremely uniform and clean looking. My Da Lite HCCV screen at 1.36 screen widths has screen texture in all but the darkest scenes.

Do the texture of your Da Lite screen bother you?
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post #26 of 34 Old 09-07-2013, 06:37 PM
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Do the texture of your Da Lite screen bother you?

Absolutely. It's being replaced next with either a Da Lite JKP HP Pro 1.1 screen or a Stewart Neve 1.1 screen. Both have a much cleaner artifact free picture. That is my next and last ( for awhile ) theater upgrade.

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post #27 of 34 Old 09-08-2013, 04:25 PM
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Would you guys say a cheap screen like an Elite screen with have a better PQ than a Center Stage XD screen?
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post #28 of 34 Old 09-21-2013, 07:04 PM
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utee05- did you get samples? any updates on your decision?

I decided to get a 106" tensioned screen in white and am looking at Elite or Visual Apex. The elite is about $963 and vapex is $800. I don't mind the price difference but does anyone have a recommendation or know the differences? Do either of these screens have issues with too much texture or are they pretty smooth?

EDIT:
I see there is another thread on this exact topic so I'll post this question there. Here is the link: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1379945/vapex-vs-elite-cine-tension-2
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post #29 of 34 Old 09-22-2013, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

a new Kia and a new lexus both run and rid nice.. check the same cars as time goes by.. Cheap is cheap you get what you pay for, just search the forum this questions is a weekly event.
If you don't care if the the screen gets waves or the motor stops working in 3 months, or a year, then I guess you shouldn't need to spend extra. If you can not afford a Lexus but need a car, then the Kia is what you buy and hope it does not let you down.. I just find it odd that everyone thinks screens should be $200.. why? Why do you all think that $1000 for a screen you will have for 10 years is over priced? You would not buy $200 projector, why is it ok to buy a $200 screen which is just as important as the projector?

Here is a guy who went with a cheap screen.. now looks what has happened.. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1390908/screen-recomendations-for-a-131-screen/0_100#post_23649806

That is a really poor argument. I'm not saying your wrong but for example for a two meter hdmi chord spending $100+ on said chord will not provide any benefit over a $10 monoprice chord (though over long runs it of course can). Your argument suggests that you always get what you pay for which just isn't true.

Personally I haven't' had a front projector for a bit over two years (I am about to buy another one) and I would recommend getting the best projector your budget allows for and getting a cheaper screen and then upgrading the screen later as the difference I have seen a screen make is generally rather small compared to the benefits of a better projector.

As a general note please don't let pictures sway your opinion beyond the difference is not night and day as screenshots are not a very good representation of what you will actually see in person.
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post #30 of 34 Old 09-23-2013, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahkim View Post

utee05- did you get samples? any updates on your decision?

I decided to get a 106" tensioned screen in white and am looking at Elite or Visual Apex. The elite is about $963 and vapex is $800. I don't mind the price difference but does anyone have a recommendation or know the differences? Do either of these screens have issues with too much texture or are they pretty smooth?

EDIT:
I see there is another thread on this exact topic so I'll post this question there. Here is the link: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1379945/vapex-vs-elite-cine-tension-2

I have decided to wait a couple of more months to get the Elunevision Reference 4K tab-tension screen. Mainly waiting to save up a bit more.

Let us know on how you end up liking your VA screen if you decide on that one.
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