I'll add my two cents as well since I'm a happy Elite customer.
Due to screen decision paralysis(size, material type, scope vs. 16:9, etc.) and the fact that every retractable screen from the "major" companies was a minimum of $2000 and quickly up from there, I had my projector in a box in my basement for a year. To be honest though, my fear that my wife wouldn't like the screen and PJ in our living room was another issue contributing to the indecision.
Anyhoo, I was browsing around the web for screens and I ran across a 100" 16:9 screen from Elite for well under $200 and figured what the heck, for $200 I can finally see what the PJ fuss was all about, figure out what size screen I really want, and give the old WAF a whirl. If things don't work out the most I'm out is a couple hundred dollars.
So I ordered the Elite Screens 100 Inch 16:9 Spectrum Electric Projector Screen
as a Christmas gift for myself from the wife and kids
. The value of this screen was amazing IMO considering it comes with 3 different ways to control it and it was incredibly easy to install. It had the MaxWhite screen and came perfectly packaged.
Well, let me tell you, when my wife saw that 100" screen it was love at first sight!
She was blown away(and me too). It turns out that the 100" size was perfect for our room and seating distance and we had it for the past week or so and it was great. The only problem is that there were some waves in the corner that were a bit irritating. Not surprising really considering it's not tab tensioned. Also, there is only 6" of drop and I felt like I was looking up at it and it seemed there was too much light reflecting back from my white ceilings and washing the picture out. But I don't want to give the impression I'm complaining! I'm not. At that price point I think I got every bit of my money's worth - and then some! If I didn't have the resources to get a more expensive screen I would have kept it and been very satisfied with the value I received.
But I do have the cash, so I decided to return it and get the 100" Cinetension 2 with the 24" drop and the Cinewhite screen material. As was mentioned, the packaging on the Cinetension screen was fantastic. Doubled boxed and reinforced. The screen arrived in perfect condition. Easy to install with all the hardware included. I emailed Elite customer support for instructions on adjusting the drop and I had a response with instructions within the hour. Outstanding support!
The tensioned screen is just awesome and there is no defects whatsoever. I easily adjusted the drop to 16" and had to adjust the tension on one side of the screen. Easy peasy. The screen surface is perfectly flat and the image quality is outstanding. This Cinetension is a better screen in every respect. Much faster motor, perfectly flat surface, easily adjustable side-to-side in the ceiling brackets and a better screen material. I couldn't be happier and for less than $1000 it is also an amazing value IMO.
The impact of lowering the screen is just remarkable. Not only is the picture improved with better blacks from less reflections, but it is incredible how things change when the picture is at your height and you're not looking up at it. Far more immersive and intimate. Just the perspective change alone was worth the extra money IMO.
Well just my 2 cents and I wanted to post my experience for all those - like me - that look at how inexpensive these are and just assume they're probably garbage. Not at all in my experience. I'm not saying the more expensive screens are not better, they may or may not be, just that I am totally satisfied with what I paid and what I received and Elite deserves kudos for delivering real value.