Stewart's Sales Department - Whewweee!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 07-11-2001, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I just got off that phone with Stewart's sales department. I'm in the process of deciding between a standard frame & screen versus a screen only purchase. I asked about the warranty surrounding the material only and he informed me that Stewart will not warrant any tears or imperfections once it has been removed from its packing on screen purchases and standard screen/frame purchases. He stated the user is on his/her own after the carrier leaves with your signature. This was very hard for me to accept from a company that charges a premium for its product. Definately not a warm-and-fuzzy feeling! I inform the Sales person that I am suprise that Don Stewart would endorse this type of customer service. He try to retrace some of his statements. This long distance conversation has left a bad taste in my mouth about Stewart's sales people and its service.

Albert

[This message has been edited by Alberts (edited 07-11-2001).]
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post #2 of 23 Old 07-11-2001, 07:36 PM
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That experience stands in stark contrast to the many, many, many, positive comments I've heard from people who have dealt with Stewart. Most are "wowed" by the level of customer service.

Perhaps you got someone new?

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post #3 of 23 Old 07-11-2001, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by akm3:
That experience stands in stark contrast to the many, many, many, positive comments I've heard from people who have dealt with Stewart. Most are "wowed" by the level of customer service.

Perhaps you got someone new?

No kidding! I heard and read many positve feedback about Stewart's customer service. I left the conversation drained and perplexed about their product support.

[This message has been edited by Alberts (edited 07-11-2001).]
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post #4 of 23 Old 07-12-2001, 07:08 AM
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I wish I could afford a Stewart screen. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif From all the stories I have read, you shouldn't have any troubles with a screen purchased from them. Regardless of what the sales department told you. That is my impression just from reading posts here. I would doubt that a company that has an owner that posts here and answers questions as often as he does would leave you hanging in the wind. Just my take on the whole thing.

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post #5 of 23 Old 07-12-2001, 08:30 AM
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Far be it for me to intrude here, but. Some possible avenues for clarification.

In retail, at the last place I worked, there was a sign on the wall: "NO Cash Refunds".

This worried people, due to the fact that it was a used goods store. I had to explain to them:

"This is where we give, or reserve the right to have an actual locked in policy, that we can bend if we feel appropriate. The sign is on the wall to protect us from the UNREASONABLE customers, who mishandle product, and then mis-represent their behavior, in order to have us pay for their mistakes and idiocy. Thus, the sign is our avenue of self protection. We issue full refunds all the time, if the situation warrants it. Due to the nature of the situation at hand, we must have the avenue of self protection that the sign provides. If you buy something from us, we will be more than reasonable, if you are."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I suspect there is similar policy concerning custom-cut fabric only purchases from Stewart. I do not wish to be putting words in their mouths, but I think that you might find exactly that.

Messing with, and handling raw screen material can cause serious damage to the material, if mis-handled...at all. People can routinely, and actuially DO make mistakes when measuring the size they need custom cut.. at great expense to themselves. Sometimes, they mishandle the implmentation of their own custom mounting scheme.

There must be an avenue of self protection for any company in such a situation... severe losses can result..and sometimes, customers wish to push their mistakes back on to the company providing the stock, and cover themselves. Totally unfair, but they do it all the time. I very much suspect that you will Find Stewart more than reasonable, if any complaints about a custom-cut material purchase are real, and verifiable.

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[This message has been edited by KBK (edited 07-12-2001).]

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post #6 of 23 Old 07-12-2001, 06:01 PM
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KBK,
Ken..Thank you for your post. That was very well said.

Dear Albert,
I am sorry that the sales person at Stewart did not have the articulation or communication ability to clearly define Stewarts policy on the above item. The sales department
had a special meeting today to discuss your post and how to
better communicate with end users.
But let me first state the fact that Stewart has been voted the number one home theater company for customer service by the Inside Track Survey for the past 6 years. This survey is to the home theater industry as the the J.D. Powell survey is to the automobile industry. We are proud of our award winning products and service and strive to continue to be the best in the industry
Now let me clear up the confusion and set the record straight.

All Stewart products come with a minimum of a one warranty. If for any reason a ht customer is not happy with a product we will replace it or refund their money hassle free.

I think were some of the confusion lies is that the freight companies require us to put a sticker on the shipping container stating that the receiver has 24 hours to report concealed freight damage. Perhaps this was somehow misinterpreted that the customer has only 24 hours to determine that the product is free of manufactured defects. If this was the case I would agree with you Albert that it would be totally ridiculous.
Also...on large venue size seamless screens, like 20 feet by 50 feet, Stewart will not give a warranty against tearing when installing the screen on a frame that Stewart did not manufacture. But that same screen would always have an optical warranty.
On smaller Home Theater size screens, we will warrant it against tearing on a frame by others. (The Studiotek and GrayHawk material is is very difficult to rip compared to the to the large 40 foot by 90 foot seamless cast screens)

Albert...If you are still not clear and need more clarification please give me a call at 800 762-4999. I would be more that happy to discuss your concerns further with you.
Sincerely,
Don Stewart
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post #7 of 23 Old 07-12-2001, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Mr. Stewart,

I have always heard nothing but good things on AVS/MVS forums concerning Stewart's screen products. It is my primary reason for moving toward Stewart film screens. Unfortunately, I became uneasy about purchasing one following my discussion with a Stewart sales representative. This was soley due to the warranty policy stated by him. Your post has clearly stated Stewart's warranty policy in a postive manner and its definitive commitment toward customer satisfaction. Product quality and customer support is exactly why I have decided in purchasing your product over other brands. Your reassurance has re-enforced my purchase decision and made me a believer in Stewart film products.

Thanks for your response...

Albert

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post #8 of 23 Old 07-14-2001, 06:11 PM
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*******
The sales department had a special meeting today to discuss your post and how to better communicate with end users.
*******

And *that* is exactly why I'm saving for a Stewart screen. That level of responsiveness and "concernedness" with customer satisfaction is worth $$$.

I wish bigger manufacturers (the Sony's etc of the world) would take this tack, but obviously it wouldn't work in a giant organization like that.

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post #9 of 23 Old 07-16-2001, 04:28 AM
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What makes Stewart Filmscreen so amazing is that they maintain their great service to the low end consumer. We all expect companies to bend over backwards for the large accounts. But to extend the same level to an individual customer spending from 1-5k is just terrific in an age where getting any service at all is infrequent.

I enthusiastically add my praise for Don Stewart and Stewart Filmscreen.

--Les

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post #10 of 23 Old 07-16-2001, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Don Stewart:
The sales department had a special meeting today to discuss your post and how to better communicate with end users.
*Ouch* Don't you just hate being on the receiving end of such meetings? Nevertheless, I am glad to see such attention to detail as well.

Sam



[This message has been edited by smchan (edited 07-16-2001).]
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post #11 of 23 Old 07-17-2001, 07:49 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by Don Stewart:

All Stewart products come with a minimum of a one warranty. If for any reason a ht customer is not happy with a product we will replace it or refund their money hassle free.

Are you serious? I have an eight month old 80x45 StudioTek130 with deluxe velux frame. Now I want to upgrade to a 96x54 Grayhawk. Can I really return/exchange my current screen plus the additional cost for a new one? The only reason I'm not happy is that the Grayhawk was introduced and would like to achieve the better blacks from my DLP.

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post #12 of 23 Old 07-18-2001, 09:12 AM
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Robster, just what im looking for,if you want to sell it,LMKhttp://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.giftommy

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post #13 of 23 Old 07-18-2001, 05:56 PM
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Robster,

Stewart made an offer like that when the Greyhawk first came out, I think people who had purchased within a certain time frame could exchange their Studiotek 130's for Greyhawks. I don't believe they make a regular practice of it, though. You could try asking your dealer or calling Stewart directly. Your best bet may be to sell your screen, it should retain it's value pretty well, I hope you kept the packing material!

Regards,

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post #14 of 23 Old 10-10-2001, 11:48 AM
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Here is an email to Don Stewart:
Quote:
Don,
I'm a moderator of Home Theater Spot and a member of AVS. I'm well aware of your company's sterling reputation, as evident in your reply to AVS member Albert (re: concerns about the warranty).

This is my situation:
I have a Mitsubishi 65907 65" rear projection set. Over the past year, working with ISFer extraodinare Chuck Williams and members of the Spot, I have tweaked the set to an almost perfect picture. Now able to access the service menu directly via an I2C connection and laptop, Mitsubishi owners are able to correct the color decoder (dreaded red push) and EE. With Mits' superb lenses and extensive format control, the picture is breathtaking. Well, almost so....

The last tweak would be to replace the rather pedestrian screen. Hotspots, color shifts, graininess - all more apparent with the well-calibrated picture. My journey for perfection has lead me to your doorstep. My initial contact with your company was during CEDIA, and it was suggested that I call when folks returned (I had planned to go, but my scheduled changed...). So, last week I called again. Based on information from your website, and talking with others, I had decided on the MicroWave, although I wanted more information on the Aeroplex 100. My Mits has 7" guns that put out a good deal of light, & I have good control over the lighting in my "theatre" but I'm concerned with the loss of brightness with a diffusion screen.

The person I talked with (no, I do not remember his name) was up-front with me concerning the lack of data Stewart had with replacement screens for RP sets like the Mits. I an aware of the cost (potentially $800-1000) and this is within my budget (heck, I've spent as much tweaking the set for grayscale, focus, alignment, geometry, etc), but not unlike Albert's experience, I recieved a rather 'cold shoulder' to my questions. No, he couldn't guarantee that the picture would be significantly better, and emphasized the difficulty of swapping screens. Frankly, it was a turnoff!

I believe that there is an untapped potential for Stewart to provide superior screen solutions for folks who prefer the RPTV format, and I'd like to 'partner' with you to see what the best solution would be. I'm ready to spend some money - are you willing to spend some time & effort to help a customer?

Thank you
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post #15 of 23 Old 10-10-2001, 12:04 PM
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J. Mike,

You might be interested in this screen material
http://www.thescreenworks.com/New_Pr..._products.html

Near as I can tell, it amounts to a diffusion screen with lemticular front suface. Doesn't sound to exotic, but to my knowledge no one else makes something similar.

The lenticulations are quite fine, I'd guess 2x - 4x finer than my Toshiba RPTV.

I have many different rear screen material samples (Glasfire, Stewart Flexscreen I think) 100 and 150, Dalite Datex, etc., and the SLP screen has by far the best combination of light efficiency and rejection of ambient light.

I got quoted $1650 for a 96" diag 4:3 screen.

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post #16 of 23 Old 10-10-2001, 01:05 PM
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Noah,

Thanks so much for the feedback http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

To the best of my knowledge, a 3 gun RP setup requires a fresnel element to help focus light with a short, folded light path. Most manufacturers place a lenticular screen in front of the fresnel for added brightness. In the case of the Mits, there are two separate screens held together by tape - and this leads to graininess and bowing, not to mention hotspotting.

Stewart's fresnel/lenticular systems are one piece with a much smaller pitch - therefore my expectation of better quality all around.

The link you provided is for front projection applications, and specifies a single lens projector - like a DPL or LCD projector used in the corporate world.

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[This message has been edited by J.Mike Ferrara (edited 10-10-2001).]

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post #17 of 23 Old 10-10-2001, 07:48 PM
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J. Mike,

I clicked on the link above and it took me to the rear screen page.

They make the point that the fine lenticulations won't alias with the pixels of a digital pj, so it should be a non-issue with the SLP.

I don't quite understand how graininess/hotspotting is related to the screen elements being separate. I'd think graininess is due to the source material or the electronics.

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post #18 of 23 Old 10-10-2001, 11:36 PM
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All,

Separate screen elements can produce bowing if the elements are not the same distance apart over the whole area of the screen, the centre of the fresnel lens may bow out for example. I couldn't comment on graininess being related to this, but most RPTV screens have larger lenticulations/fresnel pitch than higher quality screens.

I wouldn't have thought a diffusion screen with a lenticular front surface would work all that well, but apparently it can. I would have thought that they would lose a lot more light than they do. There may be some ghosting or fuzziness from the diffusion particles in the screen, though.

Most short throw RPTV's do require a fresnel element, the problem with putting a lenticular screen in front of that is that you will always get a little bit of moire in the centre band of the screen. The fresnel is a circular pattern and more lenticulations are linear, at some point the circles and the linear lenticulations will interfere at a frequency that will produce moire. The smaller the pitch, the less visible the moire.

That's why I recommended that Mike get a rigid diffusion screen with a fresnel. It should be cheaper than a fresnel lenticular and give better quality, at the expense of lower gain and reduced ambient light tolerance.

Regards,

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post #19 of 23 Old 10-11-2001, 01:27 PM
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Kam.

A lenticuled diffusion screen makes a lot of sense to me. It concentrates otherwise wasted light that would have hit the floor and ceiling into a narrower vertical angle.

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post #20 of 23 Old 10-11-2001, 02:49 PM
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Looks like I'll give Da-Lite a call, they've got the fresnel*/diffusion screen configuration:
Da-Lite Polacoat Ultra

* corrected from lenticular. Neither Da-Lite nor Stewart list a lenticular/diffusion screen.
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[This message has been edited by J.Mike Ferrara (edited 10-12-2001).]

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post #21 of 23 Old 10-11-2001, 10:28 PM
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Noah,

I agree with the logic, but I'm a little skeptical on how well it would work in the very short throws of an RPTV. The diffusion layer is essentially acting like the fresnel lens trying to collimate the light so that it is all parallel, except they appear to be using diffusion to spray the light into the lenticulations. That may be OK in medium throws, but in a very short throw you may run into the gain characteristic of the diffusion layer and lose brightness and uniformity in the corners. The narrow vertical viewing angle (which essentially removes the effect of the lenticulations) implies that the diffusion layer has a high gain and may not work well in short throws.

Lenticulations definitely make sense in many cases, but I'm not convinced about the performance of a lenticular diffusion screen, but I haven't seen one in person yet either so take my comments with a grain of salt.
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post #22 of 23 Old 10-12-2001, 05:48 PM
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Kam,

Sorry, I forgot the discussion was in the context of very short throw. I'm working on a longer throw setup; I forget which, but one of the mfgr's told me there's no need to use a Fresnel with throw ratios greater than 1.5:1.

Collimation and diffusion are two separate functions. A perfect diffuser would need no Fresnel no matter how short the focal length, because by definition it disperses incoming light from any angle into an outgoing hemisphere.

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post #23 of 23 Old 10-12-2001, 09:46 PM
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Noah,

At throws longer than 1.5 you are probably OK with no fresnel, although it may be desireable depending on the vertical viewing angle of the lenticular layer. On a straight diffusion screen there should not be any problems.

<QUOTE>Collimation and diffusion are two separate functions. A perfect diffuser would need no Fresnel no matter how short the focal length, because by definition it disperses incoming light from any angle into an outgoing hemisphere.</QUOTE>

Usually yes, but in the case of the lenticulated diffusion screen it is not. The diffusion layer takes the place of the collimating fresnel lens (it is behind the lenticlations, embedded in the acrylic).

Regards,

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