Dalite: glass bead? - AVS Forum

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Andrew Low's Avatar Andrew Low
08:56 AM Liked: 10
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03-09-2000 | Posts: 885
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I'm considering a Dalite CinemaVision (1.3). My question is about this "glass bead" that seems to be the plague of Dalite.

Does the CinemaVision have a "glass bead"? From the website it doesn't seem to. I'm interested in anyones comments on the CinemaVision vs. any other material (Draper M1300?).

I have seen a M2500 and have decided that the hotspotting (however slight during movie playback) would bug me too much.

My projector will be ceiling mounted, and I have total ambient light control. Most viewing will be done from the "optimum" location.

Oh, and stewart is out of my price range -- this is my first screen, so if I make a mistake, I'd like it to be an affordable one.

Jim Ferguson's Avatar Jim Ferguson
03:21 PM Liked: 10
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03-09-2000 | Posts: 2,523
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I have a Da-Lite 1.3 screen. I don't know if it's glass-beaded or not, but it sure does sparkle. It looks more like little bits of ground glass or mirrors. In addition it's a little bit grainy. I would not buy this particular screen again if I had it to do over again.
Andrew Low's Avatar Andrew Low
08:43 AM Liked: 10
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03-10-2000 | Posts: 885
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A question for Jim Ferguson: do you know that your Dalite 1.3 screen is a CinemaVision?

I have seen a M1300 screen -- it was quite "matte". Having watched movies on it (Dwin projector) I've never noticed the screen.

I've also seen a M2500 screen, it was very reflective -- and seemed to have some screen texture. I was viewing it from quite close up under imperfect light control (Let's not start a high gain discussion..)

We have Dalite screens here at work, and I have seen the "grain" that people talk about -- but don't notice it unless I'm looking at it close up. However, I'm quite sure that the material we have here at work is _not_ CinemaVision.

Isn't there anyone that wants to defend Dalite?

Oh, and if anyone has pointers to reviews on Dalite / Draper I would appreciate them.

Jim Ferguson's Avatar Jim Ferguson
04:19 PM Liked: 10
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03-10-2000 | Posts: 2,523
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this is the indication on the invoice:

Dalite 52" by 92" 16:9 cinemavision screen 1.3 gain stationarywith frame
[This message has been edited by Jim Ferguson (edited March 10, 2000).]
RickS's Avatar RickS
10:07 PM Liked: 20
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03-10-2000 | Posts: 789
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I have the Da-lite Cinema View 1.3 gain powered screen. It was purchased about 10 months ago. It has a sparkle finish, wrinkles
that I have learned to live with http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif . I was told that this is normal for a 96" x 72" screen (10ft diagonal) by Da-lite. I asked for a replacement but, that didn't happen. I will be looking at new screens this spring /summer. Da-lite won't be one of them.

Thanks Rick

Andrew Low's Avatar Andrew Low
01:16 PM Liked: 10
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03-11-2000 | Posts: 885
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Thanks for your feedback everyone -- I'm going to reconsider my screen choice.

I phoned up Dalite and asked if they could send a sample of the CinemaVision material to me -- they seemed pretty happy to do this, so I'll report back when I get it (sometime next week in theory). I also sent email to Draper about getting samples of the M1300 material, but no reply yet..

I guess I'll have to wait and see for myself, but I'm amazed at how poor a reputation Dalite has in this forum. I would have thought that there would be a few Dalite supporters..


Andrew Low's Avatar Andrew Low
11:28 AM Liked: 10
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03-16-2000 | Posts: 885
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Got my Dalite samples today. They shipped me samples of all their screen materials on 8x10 sheets of paper. All I had to do was call the 800 number and ask.

Some of the fabrics are pretty horrid looking close up -- the glass beaded 2.5 gain material looks like sandpaper.

The CinemaVision 1.3 gain material at first look didn't have any "sparkles" in it. I put it over a 100watt lightbulb in a well lighted room (work) and didn't see any.. then I moved it into the sunlight -- yikes! The sparkles jumped out at me.

Once I could see the sparkles, they were very apparent -- even under lesser lighting conditions.

Holding it at arms length in front of a Sharp LCD projector at work -- I could see the sparkles if I moved the sheet from side to side (they glittered) -- held still, it was difficult to see.

Having a friend hold it and backing up to just beyond my arms length (5 feet)-- I honestly couldn't see the sparkles.

Back under the 100watt lightbulb and the sparkles are very hard to see (even close up).

I would have to say that from my quick look so far the CinemaVision sparkles are much less obvious than I expected. Compared to the M2500 material I saw with a NEC XG135 projector, it seems to be better in terms of texture/reflection. (hard to explain the effect I noticed from very close up)

DatMat fabric seems very matte, no sparkles at all. I don't think I want a 1.0 gain screen..

I will have to visit my friend who has a M1300 screen and compare.

I'm interested if anyone has observations similar, or in contradiction to mine.


Dean McManis's Avatar Dean McManis
01:53 PM Liked: 10
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03-16-2000 | Posts: 1,600
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I had a 120" 4:3 DaLite Cinemavision screen for about a year and it was just fine. Maybe it was an earlier material, I don't know because I bought it used.

The screen material had the texture and consistancy of latex rather than cloth. The surface was a little shiny, but had no sparkles that I'd heard about.

The screen had a slight yellow/paper tone to it, but overall it looked good.

But I wanted a larger 16:9 format screen without having to overdrive my projector, so I went with the Draper M2500.

I thought that in addition to the brighter picture, the M2500 had better color and contrast properties than my previous DaLite screen. I think that the minimal hotspotting and color shifting problems of the M2500 (I didn't have any streaking problems) are offset by the ability to have a larger, bright screen. But that's just my choice.

I've also gotten samples of the Draper M1300 and AT1200 material and both looked very good from the small samples that I saw.
Andrew Low's Avatar Andrew Low
07:16 AM Liked: 10
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03-20-2000 | Posts: 885
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Thanks for the positive feedback on the CinemaVision material. I'm going to be using a ECP 4101 on a 80inch (or less) wide screen (equivalent to 100" diagonal 4x3). So I expect that I won't be overdriving the projector since I have total light control.

I think the sparkle issue is blown out of proportion -- but since the Draper M1300 is quite close in price/performance there is a valid reason for comparison.

To be fair, the M2500 screen I saw was with a floor mounted projector and it exaggerated the hotspotting/colour shift -- I may reconsider the M2500.

Mark Rejhon's Avatar Mark Rejhon
01:02 AM Liked: 102
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03-21-2000 | Posts: 8,125
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Andrew Low,

You might want to look at my setup again. My projector is now on a cieling mount:

Andrew Low's Avatar Andrew Low
07:58 AM Liked: 10
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03-21-2000 | Posts: 885
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Thanks Mark, I may just do that..

Andrew Low's Avatar Andrew Low
12:51 PM Liked: 10
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03-21-2000 | Posts: 885
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Received my Draper screen sample (M1300) today. I must say that I'm quite impressed with both DaLite and Draper for their prompt responses, and willingness to send samples to prospective customers.

Anyone wrestling with screen choice should certainly contact the screen companies and request samples. DaLite has an 800 number on their website, and I simply sent Draper email asking for a sample and gave my address.


Mark Hunter's Avatar Mark Hunter
08:02 PM Liked: 10
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03-21-2000 | Posts: 4,870
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Hi Andrew,

Could you post Draper's email address here? I couldn't send you email directly to ask you for it.

Andrew Low's Avatar Andrew Low
10:33 PM Liked: 10
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03-22-2000 | Posts: 885
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You can find contact information on their websites:

Draper: http://www.draperinc.com/
Da-Lite: http://www.dalite.com/

Andrew Low's Avatar Andrew Low
07:19 AM Liked: 10
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04-06-2000 | Posts: 885
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Just wanted to update anyone who was paying attention to this thread -- or has found it by searching the archives..

I was able to easily obtain samples from both DaLite and Draper. (see info above).

Now that I have my projector (Electrohome ECP-4101) I was able to decide on screen size by playing around with seating distance and projector placement (floor mounted for the time-being).

The CinemaVision material is quite sparkly compared the the Draper M1300. I was able to notice the sparkles at arms length with the projected image as the only light source. Placing the CinemaVision sample on the screen and moving back to a 5 foot viewing distance (not my normal viewing distance), I was unable to detect any sparkles from any viewing angle.

The Draper M1300 material is very "matte" compared to the CinemaVision. The image on the M1300 sample seemed a little brighter than the CinemaVision sample -- but this was very subjective and I may have been mistaken.

When it came to decision time, I just couldn't bring myself to risk the DaLite sparkle problem. Feedback from this forum and other information I've seen on the web (comparing the two) lead me to this choice.

I'm certain I'll be quite happy with the Draper M1300.

Two suggestions to the screen companies:
The ISF certification does mean something, I think Draper should consider getting one of their materials ISF'd.
DaLite should consider the size of the samples they are giving out. While the presentation on a page of paper is very "pretty" the Draper sample was larger, and the paper border got in the way when trying to A/B compare them.

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