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-   -   High Power screen material supply issues? (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-screens/1527313-high-power-screen-material-supply-issues.html)

freychris42424 04-14-2014 11:37 AM

I just got a response back from a seller that there is a supply problem with High Power screens and Dalite doesn't know when they will be getting more in. Has anybody else heard of this?


Dave in Green 04-14-2014 12:50 PM

Hmm, interesting sequence of events.  First Da-Lite replaces High Power 2.8 with High Power 2.4, and many report here they're unhappy with the change.  Then Draper adds a similar Radiant retroreflective screen and there's speculation it may be from the same source.  Then Da-Lite adds High Contrast High Power, and many comment here about quality control problems.  Then Draper adds a similar Contrast Radiant material that also appears to have QC problems.  Then Da-Lite drops High Contrast High Power.  And within the last few weeks Draper removes Contrast Radiant from its list of screen options.  If Da-Lite is, in fact, having supply problems with High Power 2.4, is it possible that the supplier of this type of screen material just can't deliver a consistent quality product?

henrich3 04-15-2014 02:52 PM

A comment on the HP manufacturing delays from a Da-Lite partner:
"We are not planning on discontinuing the High Power surface. We are working on manufacturing more of this material right now. We do not have an estimated date on when High Power screens will start to ship again."

Dave in Green 04-15-2014 04:38 PM

That's good news about High Power not going away.  If there were early QC problems when it was first produced, you'd expect later runs of the material to incorporate improvements from lessons learned.  So the next batch may be even better than the last.  Every time I think I've found a reasonable alternative to Da-Lite High Power (or Draper Radiant), closer examination shows that the alternatives are either less effective overall for my needs or way more expensive.

Dave in Green 04-22-2014 05:48 PM

It's me again with another speculation.  You have to pardon all my speculations because I have a constantly churning vivid imagination. :)  Looking at the HP sequence of events again, Da-Lite got absolutely hammered for switching HP formulations without publicizing the fact when they went from 2.8 to 2.4.  With both versions available at the same time, there was absolute chaos.  Now the old-timers here are going to have to help me on this, but does anyone recall a time in the past when Da-Lite ever ran out of the old 2.8 and couldn't fulfill orders as appears to be happening here?  The reason I ask is because a plausible explanation for the current lack of availability is that Da-Lite might possibly be changing HP formulations again.  Only this time, they could be deliberately creating a gap so that there's no mix of old and new HP formulations available at the same time.  Again, this is pure speculation.  We'll eventually see what happens.  But in the meantime it's open to speculation.

noah katz 04-23-2014 01:11 PM

Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post

First Da-Lite replaces High Power 2.8 with High Power 2.4, and many report here they're unhappy with the change.

I don't recollect that; are you maybe confusing the HP 2.4 with the HCHP?

airscapes 04-23-2014 01:28 PM

Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

I don't recollect that; are you maybe confusing the HP 2.4 with the HCHP?

No, most people who bought the 2.4 and had the 2.8 and reported on what they found were not all that happy with the changes.. Some were ok with it, but most like the old better.

Dave in Green 04-23-2014 02:38 PM

I've read every post on the subject at least three times, and the consensus seemed to be that 2.8 owners mostly preferred 2.8, though a few liked the slightly wider viewing cone they thought they got from the 2.4.  Even those who preferred the 2.8 said that the 2.4 was still better than any other retroreflective screen on the market at anywhere near HP's price range.  The one thing that continues to puzzle me is why no one seemed to find any advantage in the smaller reflective spheres used in the 2.4 formulation.  Da-Lite said that was to produce finer resolution with 1080P images than the larger spheres used in the 2.8, which was designed more for the larger pixels of 720P.  I don't recall any 2.4 vs. 2.8 discussion that said 1080P showed finer resolution on 2.4 than 2.8.

airscapes 04-23-2014 03:56 PM

Because that was marketing BS. The new stuff has 3 different sized spheres and a lot more empty space between them compared to the 2.8 (I have looked in person with a microscope) The 2.8 has NO space between spheres and it takes many many spheres to make up one 1080p Pixel at 110" diag.. my pixels are about 1/32" square.. you could get a boat load of 2.8 spheres in the dead space between pixels!

Dave in Green 04-24-2014 08:15 AM

Great explanation, Doug.  I've seen the close-up images of the 2.4 and 2.8 and understand exactly what you mean about the way the two screen surfaces are formulated.  I just didn't realize that the individual pixels were so big in comparison to the reflective spheres used in either screen.  My understanding is that HP has always been a hybrid of a glass-beaded and plain white screen, and that it's the spacing between the spheres that is thought to give 2.4 a slightly wider usable viewing cone but less gain at the sweet spot than 2.8.

Dave in Green 05-06-2014 08:25 AM

It gets more intriguing.  Da-Lite has removed reference to High Power from their website and no longer lists it as a screen material option.  To the best of my knowledge, screen manufacturers normally do not remove all mention of a screen material from their website just because there's a minor supply issue.  So I just called Da-Lite, and they said they only removed it temporarily and plan to put it back up on their website as soon as they have a new supply.  Also removed as a screen option on the Da-Lite website is the old Glass Beaded screen material, but I didn't ask whether or not that was also due to a supply issue.  We'll see how this plays out.

Craig Peer 05-08-2014 02:04 PM

The High Power material is still listed under the electric screens - http://www.da-lite.com/products/electric-screens/wall-and-ceiling-mounted-electric-screens/contour-electrol

I have not heard that High Power material is going away. It's very popular!

Dave in Green 05-08-2014 02:35 PM

Right, High Power has not been removed from the drop down menus for various screens, but it's still missing from the list of screen materials with descriptions.

blkblzr00 05-09-2014 11:19 AM

I just received a 133" HP screen earlier this week. I had been waiting for about a month and was surprised when it shipped. I assumed they had figured out their supply issue but maybe I need to open up the box and make sure they didn't send me the wrong screen.

henrich3 05-10-2014 02:26 PM

Is your screen the HP? Any problems?

Dave in Green 05-17-2014 04:13 PM

Just checked the Da-Lite website again, and they've now removed High Power from all the drop down menus.  That's a lot of website work for a screen surface that is supposedly only temporarily unavailable.  It looks as if Da-Lite has greatly reduced the number of screen surface options on non-tensioned screens.  For example, the Model B is now only shown available with Matte White, High Contrast Matte White and Video Spectra 1.5, and the Model C only adds Silver Lite 2.5 to those three options.  Both of those manual screens were previously available with many more surface options.  If anyone has a good contact at Da-Lite, it would be interesting to know what's really going on there.

airscapes 05-18-2014 04:47 AM

A guess is they are dumping all the crap and only leaving what sells the most.. If you have ever ordered the complete sample pack and looked at them all you wouldn't really want much of the material in your room. Shame about the HP. I will have to start looking for another used 2.8 for backup..

stephenbr 05-18-2014 05:10 AM

Yes that is a damn shame if they are no longer supplying the HP - I was about to put an order in for one. I'll also have to keep a sharp eye out for a 2nd hand screen.

Dave in Green 05-18-2014 07:47 AM

For the time being at least, Draper is still offering its Radiant CT2900E as an option on many different screens.  Even though Draper rates Radiant at 2.9 gain vs. HP's 2.4, people on this forum who've compared samples of the two said they were identical.  Over the years I've owned plain matt white and contrast gray screens in the inexpensive Luma manual pulldown series, which is Draper's equivalent of the Da-Lite Model B.  They've both served me well, and I'd have no hesitation buying a Draper Radiant screen if Da-Lite fails to return the HP 2.4 to its lineup.



stephenbr 05-18-2014 05:39 PM

I've heard that Draper have also dropped their Radiant CT2900E screen - expense of manufacture and low demand (plus increasing brightness of projectors) are the reasons explained for me for the cessation of production. My Australian supplier is right now trying to source a Draper Radiant screen for me so I will soon know if they have any material left in stock.

Dave in Green 05-19-2014 08:33 AM

I haven't been able to find any reference to Draper dropping the CT2900E.  But in researching that I stumbled across the fact that Draper originally identified this screen material as CT2400E.  The numbers in Draper's identification system represent gain.  So while the CT2900E represents 2.9 gain, the original CT2400E identification shows they originally rated it at 2.4 gain -- same as the Da-Lite High Power 2.4.  This is further evidence that Da-Lite and Draper were selling the same screen material under different names.


Looking at it historically again, Da-Lite first dropped their high-contrast variant of this material and then Draper followed suit.  Then Da-Lite claimed to be out of HP 2.4 and doesn't know when they'll get more, and now this latest rumor that Draper may be about to do the same.  Worst case scenario is that both companies will give up on this relatively inexpensive retroreflective screen material which has a small but loyal following and try to steer customers to much higher-cost options.  Best case scenario is that they have another lower-cost option in the works with even better performance.  It's even possible that if both Da-Lite and Draper drop this material that another screen manufacturer might pick it up.  It's all speculation right now.


I can understand the lessening need for high-gain screens as projectors become increasingly brighter.  But from my perspective the concept of small glass spheres covered with an emulsion is still a valid concept for producing a lower-cost screen with all the other benefits of retroreflectivity, such as reducing light scatter in rooms with lighter colored walls/ceilings/floors.  I really believe the high-contrast version of these screens was on the right track but just not executed properly.  I'd be willing to pay a little more for a well-executed retroreflective screen using small glass beads in an emulsion with a darker backing reducing gain down to the 1-1.5 range on axis.  I find it hard to believe this is not achievable at a lower cost than the much more expensive black screen options.  Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Craig Peer 05-19-2014 10:19 AM

Originally Posted by henrich3 View Post

A comment on the HP manufacturing delays from a Da-Lite partner:
"We are not planning on discontinuing the High Power surface. We are working on manufacturing more of this material right now. We do not have an estimated date on when High Power screens will start to ship again."

I asked Da Lite a few minutes ago why the High Power material was no longer listed on the Da Lite website. And they said -

We have suspended shipments of our High Power surface until later this year due to isolated quality concerns related specifically to High Power.

We are sorry for the inconvenience, but want to ensure the products you receive meet the quality standards in place.

There is currently no set date for when the matter will be resolved, but we are looking at Q3 as a possible timeframe. ]

In the meantime, we recommend High Contrast Matte White and Video Spectra 1.5 as alternative surfaces.

stephenbr 05-19-2014 02:42 PM

Thanks for the update Craig - that is positive news.

Dave in Green 05-19-2014 02:44 PM

Craig, many thanks for getting a more definitive answer to the big question.  The added details from this explanation make sense.  There were early quality questions when the new HP and HCHP (and their Draper cousins) were introduced nearly two years ago.  I'd guess they were still getting more consumer complaints than with their other screen materials, and demanded that their supplier fix the problem before ordering more.  I can't think of any reason why they wouldn't come out and say right now it was discontinued if that was the end game.  Hopefully when it's reintroduced the quality will be closer to HP 2.8 standards.  It may be that Draper is planning to do the same with their Radiant.  Time for those of us considering a purchase to be patient and wait for a better quality product.

henrich3 05-19-2014 03:45 PM

I asked Draper Customer Support to send me a sample of their Radiant CT2900E material, and to check with their manufacturing folks to see if they were still shipping screens with that fabric. I told them about Da-Lite's supply issues with the seemingly identical High Power material. A Draper rep responded with:

"Draper is in the process of discontinuing this fabric. We will no longer be selling it; therefore, I have cancelled the shipment of your fabric sample. We can supply our Pearl White on this product which has a gain of 1.9."

Despite the issues, I've asked AV Science (Mike) to order a 126" Cinema Contour HP screen for my new HT. Fingers crossed, I'll see if they can deliver...

Dave in Green 05-19-2014 03:58 PM

Wow, things are really moving fast.  Literally overnight Draper removed all mention of Radiant CT2900E from their website.  It was there yesterday.  I hope that the Draper rep was wrong in saying that it's being discontinued and that they will bring it back when they can be assured of its quality as the Da-Lite rep stated.  The strong points of this type of screen material are simply too good to give up on.

henrich3 05-19-2014 04:24 PM

Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post

Literally overnight Draper removed all mention of Radiant CT2900E from their website.  It was there yesterday.

Radiant was an option on Draper's Onyx webpage this morning. I just refreshed the page on my browser & the option disappeared. Presumably my discussion with their rep this morning about the issue moved them to action.

The HP material has been a wonderful match for my JVC pj, especially for 3D. Hopefully Da-Lite's expectation of resuming production later this year will hold true...

Dave in Green 05-20-2014 06:44 AM

Here's a little speculation on Da-Lite saying that High Power production is suspended and Draper saying Radiant is discontinued:  When Da-Lite changed the design of HP from 2.8 to 2.4, they didn't acknowledge the change until questioned.  So it's possible Da-Lite could change the design of HP again in a way that would make it easier to produce without quality problems and return HP to their lineup in a few months.  High Power still has great name recognition largely based on the legendary 2.8, so it makes sense for Da-Lite to stick with that name.  On the other hand, Draper marketed Radiant for less than two years.  Quality was spotty from the beginning, so Radiant didn't build the same reputation as HP.  It might make more sense for Draper to bring back a redesigned Radiant under a new name.


The best scenario I can see is that a several month pause in production is not just to change the manufacturing process for more consistency and better quality control, but to actually redesign the screen material for even better performance.  This will be interesting to follow.

byancey 05-21-2014 10:24 AM

I've been considering investing in a high-gain screen pretty much since I built my Home Theater about 10 years ago...but my specially prepared projection wall painted with Behr Premium Ultra White actually makes an excellent 1.0 gain screen, and given that my room is completely light controlled, I haven't been able to justify the cost or need for a higher gain screen. I just recently upgraded to a projector with 3D support, and while the image is more than bright enough in 2D, I find brightness to be borderline acceptable in 3D. My setup requires a very long throw (~21'), so I'm already losing quite a bit of light output due to the physics of focal length/f-stop. Finally decided to pull the trigger on a HP electric, which I could drop-down and use to get an extra puch specifically for 3D movies. Rotten timing, as the talk of supply issues started showing up just as I started seriously considering the purchase. I managed to find a supplier that had one screen in the size I needed listed with a 1-2 day lead vs the typical 7-10 days, and I placed on order in the hope that they had one sitting in a warehouse ready to ship. Just checked-in with them today, and was informed that the screen drop-ships from da-lite, who is currently having supply issues. I'm a bit dissapointed, but not terribly suprised by this outcome.

My guess is that with the current quality control issues, it's not cost effective for them to continue selling the screen. In terms of screen yeild, it's gotta be expenive if a high percentage of the screens have production flaws that aren't easily overlooked by the primary customer base (i.e. videophiles). Returns on these things can't be very fun given the freight costs. Question is, is this a new issues that has popped-up recently, or is it an ongoing issue and Da-Lite has just finally decided to pull the product until the production issues can be addressed. I gather from posts in this forum that it's been ongoing issue (at least with the 2.4 version of HP). If it was an easy thing to fix, my guess is that they would have addressed it in the 4+ years the product has been available. I don't doubt that Da-lite is looking into bringing the fabric back if production issues can be addressed, but I do have some doubt as to whether they will actually succeed at the same gain and cost of the current HP. Seems questionable enough that Draper simply decided to call their Radiance version of the same material discontinued.

My question is, if HP and Radiance are no longer available, what other options are there for a high-gain drop-down screen. I'm having a real hard time finding any alteranatives, even if at a slightly lower gain. Many of those listed as High Gain (Silver Lite 2.5) don't sound very suitable for HT use and many others appear to be available only in rigid format. So, what exactly is the next highest gain screen material out there that might give enough extra punch on 3D viewing to justify having a 2nd screen for 3D only?

Craig Peer 05-21-2014 12:09 PM

There is the Stewart Ultramatt 150 - http://stewartfilmscreen.com/residential/materials/front_projection_screen_materials/ultramatte_150/ultramatte_150_residential.html

I'm not a fan of high gain screens myself ( StudioTek 130 G3 is my favorite screen with gain, and that's as high as I go ), but I thought the UltraMatt that JVC was using in the JVC suite at Cedia looked really good.

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