Why are screens so expensive? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-30-2000, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Well Sharp has been gracious enough to fix the blue LCD panel on my projector (pixels were dropping like flies), so I'm going to hold out on the new projector purchase. I can't decide on D-ILA v. DLP v. LCD anyway!

I want to upgrade my screen and thought I'd price out the Draper Sonata V M2500 100" Diagonal. The screen has an automasking feature for 4 preset aspect ratios: 1.33, 1.78, 1.85, and 2.35. The first quote came back at more than 5K! That's as much as most entry level projectors!

Any thoughts? Alternatives?

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post #2 of 11 Old 11-30-2000, 07:22 PM
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It's a big mechanised device, designed to operate flawlessly, every day, for many, many years without failure. There is good reason it is so expensive. You can buy a da-lite tripod jobbie for $100.

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[This message has been edited by KBK (edited 11-30-2000).]

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post #3 of 11 Old 12-01-2000, 03:55 PM
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Alternatively you may want to try a fixed screen, I think 5k would indicate that the screen has a motor to roll the screen up and down. A fixed screen that can't roll up will save you a significant amount of money (even with the 4 way masking).

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Kam Fung
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-01-2000, 03:56 PM
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The automasking feature is what makes it so expensive. A 16:9 motorized Draper of the same size (without masking) will cost less than half that.

Bryan
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-02-2000, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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First, let me thank you KRK, KFung, and Brian for replying to my whiny post. I was really frustrated at the time because I KNEW I was being gouged. I've since got some more moderate pricing for Da-Lite's Horizon Tab Tensioned Screen with multiple masking at around 2K. A little birdy has told me that the Draper can be had for about the same, I just need to find a reasonable seller. I'm going to check with Alan on the price.

K, I would like to have a fixed screen, but until I build the dedicated room, I need a screen that disappears. Check out my screenshots and you'll see what I mean ( http://www.microtheater.com )

I still think that the manufacturers are gouging us on the motorized screens. That's why VuTek and others have jumped in to this market. There must be plenty of margin on these things. $2,000.00 is somewhat more reasonable to me, but $5,000.00? Come on vendors/manufacturers, especially Stewart!

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post #6 of 11 Old 12-02-2000, 09:30 PM
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Sorry but their isn't that much money in screens. Not the good ones! A 4 way masking screen is atleast $5k.

You can get a roll down jobber for under $200 for the time being!

Dan

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post #7 of 11 Old 12-02-2000, 11:24 PM
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I think there's more margin than most people think, but it will be expensive no matter what. Alone, 4 way masking on a fixed screen is pretty cheap (actually very cheap if you DIY) and a motorized screen with no masking is also quite reasonable. It's when you put them together that it becomes very complicated to mask multiple aspect ratios. Reliable masking than can be rolled up is pretty challenging!

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post #8 of 11 Old 12-04-2000, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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K, I think your choice of the word "reliable" is a good one. That would add to the cost. I'm sure that if these screens could be mass produced, then it would also result in price drops.

Thanks Dan, but I already own a 100" 4:3 Da-Lite manual pull down, so I'm looking for an upgrade.

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post #9 of 11 Old 12-08-2000, 05:42 AM
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Rich,

Think about something for me a minute. When you buy a projector that is worth say at least $7,000 why would you want to spend $200 on a screen? After all, what is it that you are looking at when you are attempting to view the image? The screen of course, so as is much of life, you get what you pay for in a screen. Indeed the manual pull down you now have is not designed for a Home Theater setting. It was designed for a classroom. If you have kids (and they are school age) I am sure you have seen Da-Lite screens in their school.

If you are looking for an inexpensive, but upgraded alternative to your current screen. I would recommend looking at either a fixed wall screen or a non-tensioned electric screen. I am confident that if you spend a little bit of extra dough on the screen you will be happy with the results.

By the way, I am confident that the screen manufacturers are not making much in profit. I used to work closely with one of them in a previous life and can tell you from experience that some of their screens are just an accommodation sale (at least on the non-consumer side, not sure about this side).


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post #10 of 11 Old 12-09-2000, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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BrewsterMan, I couldn't agree with you more about the importance of the screen. That's why I'm upgrading and that's why I'm willing to pay a couple of thousand for a good screen. I reiterate that I can't go with a fixed screen due to my current constraints. Check out my HT pix and you'll see what I'm talking about. Note the careful attention to the design of the room. I'm not going to change that beauty for a fixed screen. I'd have to remove the circa 1863 fireplace that I'm currently redesigning. Also, I now find unmasked screens to be unpleasant in the extreme and will settle for nothing less.

That said, my current screen is of VERY high quality and was specifically designed to improve contrast on LCD. I assure you that I didn't buy a screen designed for a school.

I don't completely agree with your premise that you "get what you pay for". Conversely, I believe that more often that not, the opposite is true: a fool and his money is soon parted.

I suspect that, based upon the HUGE variances in the bids that I've received, markups of 250% are common. The average top bid for my screen was around $5,000.00, the average low bid was around $2,000.00. This was for the SAME screen! Caveat Emptor, fellow AVS forum buddies.

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post #11 of 11 Old 12-09-2000, 06:54 PM
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I think BrewsterMan's comment applies to the manufacturers profit, a merchant's margin would probably be much higher. After all most of the time screens, cables, and accessories make up the bulk of their profit from a sale. This does change in the front projector market where EVERYTHING has a high margin.

Regards,

Kam Fung
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