Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Brooklyn, New York
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No Jesse, the more expensive screens are not a scam.
Take for example, two basic white screens of the same size. One screen is 400 dollars, the other one is 2000 dollars. You audition both screens, and find that both screens look great to you and you don't see why you should waste 1600 extra dollars. Upon closer inspection, you find that the cheap screen's material is a thin vinyl, while the expensive screen is a much thicker, stronger material. Upon inspection of the frames, you find that the cheap screen's frame will flex much more than the expensive one. You also find that much greater care is taken in how the material is Attached to the expensive frame. You may also find the wall mounting system superior in the expensive frame.
The Question is: After discovering the reasons why there is a big difference in price, Which screen would you buy?
I would say the larger majority would buy the 400 dollar screen because it performs perfectly well for a good price. The quality of the frame and screen material is good enough to do the job.
However. That doesn't make the 2000 dollar screen a scam purchase. The Quality of Materials and Frames are just as important to some people as the screen's performance.
Also, as DavidHir pointed out, pricier screen makers also take more care in addressing the problem of screen artifacts. When you first get into using a projection system, you enjoy the new world you've entered and either don't notice flaws or are not bothered by them. As time marches on, and you gain much more experience with projection systems, your eyes become much finer tuned to the flaws. Little things you didn't notice before, or were not bothered by, are now things that your sharpened senses see with ease. In time, these artifacts become so objectionable that you can no longer enjoy watching the cheaper screens anymore. So you look to the more expensive products because these problems (which would seem minor to the majority of viewers) are minimized, and you're now willing to pay for it.