Projectorcentral Criticizes Carada - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-02-2005, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I was all set to buy a Carada screen and am still considering it, but then I read projectorcentral's review and it scared me a bit.

When it evaluated the reflective qualities of the grey and Cinema White they had the lowest reflective value of any screens they tested. They concluded that the Cinema White was too translucent and therefore was letting too much light through.

http://www.projectorcentral.com/cara...or_screens.htm

A am about to purchase a Panny AE900U and am now not sure what to do. I currently have a PB6100 and a wall painted 'neutral grey' (white base + lamp black) as suggested in a series of posts on this forum a couple years back. When I had put my old Carada samples on it, color wise it is almost a perfect match for the Cinema white. In fact, the pieces of the sample that weren't curled up made it difficult to tell where the paint ended and material started from about 13' back.

I know Carada has a pretty good following on this forum, are there any reviews that refute projectorcentral's conclusions?

Thanks

Billy
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-02-2005, 05:40 PM
 
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Every review I have read was how great the screens are. Projector central sells screens so I doubt they would give an honest review and steer business away from themselves. J.H.
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post #3 of 18 Old 12-02-2005, 08:54 PM
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I am in the maket for a projector and screen also and was also surprised by the review at projector central after hearing such good things about Carada - see the official Carada thread also.

Three pages of buyer feedback for Carada and everyone scored them a perfect 5 for 5. I don't think I have ever seen a perfect rating with that many reviews. Usually, there are a few bad reviews, even if they aren't grounded in truth. Strange...

Note projector central did not review the BW screen, which seems to be quite popular.
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post #4 of 18 Old 12-02-2005, 08:55 PM
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Here's the URL, I needed one more post:

http://www.projectorcentral.com/deal...dealer_id=8523
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-02-2005, 09:18 PM
 
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Yeah it didn't make sense. I have been looking for screens for a while now and Carada has the marks fron consumers plus they are made in the US and thats big for me. When its time I am going to buy a Carada Screen. Plud David from Carada was just great with all my questions. Very knowlegable guy. J.H.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-03-2005, 06:28 AM
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I would like to know if the BW material really is 1.4 gain. It seems the other two fabrics let too much light to pass through and that is why they do not achieve the rated gains. The BW material has a backing on it so it might be better.
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-04-2005, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.H.
...Projector central sells screens...
What makes you think this? Projector Central doesn't sell anything. They have site sponsors that include companies that sell Carada!

Most people can't tell the difference between Carada and other brands unless they are side-by-side. So, a high quality screen that is worth enjoying for the price. I recommend them all the time - as well as Severtson. Would love some people to use some Saaria screens and see how they are as well.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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post #8 of 18 Old 12-05-2005, 03:47 AM
 
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Projector central like the plasma review site are not reliable in most cases. THey seem to be reviewd poorly because they mostly trying to sell or lead you to a seller. I just don't trust then usually. J.H.
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-05-2005, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinode
I would like to know if the BW material really is 1.4 gain. It seems the other two fabrics let too much light to pass through and that is why they do not achieve the rated gains. The BW material has a backing on it so it might be better.
I think gain ratings are confusing as the baseline 1.0 or "unity gain" is calculated differently for every manufacturer. But I can at least tell you for certain that the Carada Brilliant White is not as reflective as Draper M1300 (which is rated at 1.3 gain) or Dalite Video Spectra (rated at 1.5).

I'd suggest you get look at a bunch of samples before making a decision. Carada has great customer service and is very responsive to sample requests.
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-05-2005, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
I know Carada has a pretty good following on this forum, are there any reviews that refute projectorcentral's conclusions?
This review states that the Carada HCG stacks up against the Stewart Firehawk, so I guess that you could say it refutes PJCentral's findings:

http://www.audioholics.com/productre...Review_01.html

Unlike PJCentral, they include pictures and measurements to quantify their findings.

Quote:
What makes you think this? Projector Central doesn't sell anything. They have site sponsors that include companies that sell Carada!
Which of their sponsors sells Carada? I thought that Carada was only sold direct over the net.
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post #11 of 18 Old 12-11-2005, 03:35 PM
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I got my Carada 104" BW last week and have watched two movies on it. Using the Z4 only in eco mode. Completely lightcontrolled room and I'm in absolutely awe about the quality so far. The screen is put upon a background with black cloth. No hotspotting, just a razorsharp image, that returns plenty of light, even in the low eco mode. I don't know enough about gain to say if 1.4 is true or not. But compared to my earlier 1.0 gain highcontrast (grey) screen, this is superior in every way.

I have read both reviews from Projectorcentral and Audioholics. I've always liked and trusted the reviews from both and since the Projectorcentral review is not about the BW screen, I can't comment on it. But I will sign the Audioholics review any time :p
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post #12 of 18 Old 12-11-2005, 04:40 PM
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Which 1.0 grey screen did you have?
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post #13 of 18 Old 12-15-2005, 03:53 AM
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Swearengen,
I'm considring the same combination ... wondered how it performs with some amount of ambient light (say a pool table pendant pointing down some 25 feet back from the screen (behind the seats and projector) and perhaps a sconce or two back there as well?
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-05-2006, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.H.
Projector central like the plasma review site are not reliable in most cases. THey seem to be reviewd poorly because they mostly trying to sell or lead you to a seller. I just don't trust then usually. J.H.
I find it funny that AVS'ers like the reviews that they agree with and dislike the reviewers who disagree with them. Projector Central is an independent review site and there are others. The problem with all of these reviews is that the sites are supported by ad revenue from manufacterers and vendors of the projects that they review. It is opinion of experienced users who help keep the reviewers honest - however read the review on Projector Central closely again. The Carada Classic Cinema White screen was given poor remarks because it "only reflected 65% and was the least bright of the six white screen products in the review. Its peak white measurement was 65% relative to the standard 100% white board used in the test." People on this site are talking about the Carada Billilant White Screen which is a different animal.

If a screen is absorbing or pass through 35% of the light that hits, it will project a dimmer image than a screen that reflects more light - The question is can you tell the difference in the real world. The market place using has a way of correcting the opinions of bad reviewers, and that is why we ask other AVS'ers their opinion before we buy. However, when the opinion is that let's trash the reviewer and no facts are presented to support what is being said then we are no better off. The contrary reviews that I have read for the Billilant White screens made by Carada which a listed 1.3 gain. But for me until, I read more independent reviews on Carada screens, I will pass. Just my nickle, only got one, don't want to gamble it away.

"trust but verify"
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-06-2006, 05:36 PM
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Draper m1300 material is actually rated at 1.0 gain. I had a 92 inch draper shadowbox clarion with m1300 material, coupled with a Panasonic 300 projector. and am now about to purchase a Carada 106 inch criterion series...just need to decide on a material...

I don't remember looking at the 1300 material from behind with the projector on, but it did not have a backing. I am leaning toward the CCW because my room will be totally light controlled and I prefer watching in the dark. My projector is the Epson 550.
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-07-2006, 06:06 AM
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These are actual descriptions of their various screen materials from the Carada website -- when you read these descriptions remember the Projector Central Review:

http://www.carada.com/detail.aspx?ID=109

Quote:
Classic Cinema White Screen Material

Our Classic Cinema White screen material provides an exceptionally wide angle of view, helping to maintain a consistent image from different seating areas. It has a gain of 1.0, and is most suitable for dedicated theaters with good ambient light control.

Brilliant White

Our Brilliant White screen material has a gain of 1.4 for that extra bit of punch, with a minimal decrease in viewing angle. It is also a thicker, more opaque gauge of vinyl than our Classic Cinema White. With its higher gain, it is a good option for dimmer projectors, or in environments with some ambient light such as boardrooms or churches.

High Contrast Grey

Our High Contrast Grey screen material has a gain of 0.8, and can improve your image’s contrast by lowering the black levels. This material is a good option for digital projectors with less than spectacular contrast ratios.

Which screen material should I choose?

The answer can depend on many variables, so feel free to contact us if you want some help deciding. But here are some basic rules of thumb.

If you have a top-of-the-line projector with excellent contrast ratio and brightness specifications, AND you have good control of ambient light in your viewing environment, then Classic Cinema White is probably your best choice.

If you don’t have total control of ambient light in your room, or your projector isn’t quite as bright as you’d like, then you may want to go with Brilliant White. Also, if you plan to hang your screen from the ceiling out away from the wall, then Brilliant White would be your best choice, as it will prevent excessive light from penetrating the surface and causing a glow on the wall behind.

Our High Contrast Grey is a great surface to pair with some of the current digital projectors that perform beautifully in every way, except for black levels. But keep in mind that the negative gain WILL lower the image brightness a little. So if your projector is a little lumen-shy, or you like a really bright image, you might prefer to sacrifice better blacks and go with the Brilliant White (it’s really just a matter of personal preference).
Do your self a favor and now read the Projector Central review: http://www.projectorcentral.com/cara...or_screens.htm

What conclusion do you come up with? As I said before the "Brilliant White" screen material may be a different animal - but the Classic White and High Contrast Grey screens appear to eat up light? I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusions and if Carada screens will work for you.

"trust but verify"
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post #17 of 18 Old 01-07-2006, 07:43 AM
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I find Projectorcentral's review suspect because they indicate that the Draper m1300 fabric is 1.3 gain and "measure" it at 125% reflectivity. However, if you go to Draper's site and look at their own gain chart, you will see that they rate the m1300 at 1.0 gain.

http://www.draperinc.com/images/Scre...SGainChart.pdf


I have been emailing David Giles at Carada about my next screen and am going to ask him specifically about this matter. I don't recall seeing many bad reviews of the carada screens and this is the first commercial review that has been negative.
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post #18 of 18 Old 01-07-2006, 06:01 PM
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I own a Carada BW screen and also own their HC gray material. Originally when I was shopping for screens, I ordered about every sample and put them up with my HX1 for comparrison.

I had the Carada BW, CCW and HCG
Full size Dalite matt white 1.0 gain
Stewart 1.3 gain and 1.5 gain samples allong with a Firehawk.
I also had a Silverstar sample.

I put up my Dalite matt white pull down screen for a base for comparisson and then taped up all the samples.

In a completly dark GOM covered light controlled room:

Order of brightness in the viewing cone for each sample.

Silverstar
Stewart 1.5 gain
Stewart 1.3 gain followed very closley by the Carada BW. Very close.
Dalite mattte white followed very close with the Carada CCW. I might mention the CCW screen sample was mounted directly on the Matt white Dalite. Not sure it this would help its gain or not.
Last was the Carada HC gray.

I ordered the Carada BW and loved it with my dim HX1. I now have a very bright C3X so I ordered the HC gray. I love that screen wtih the C3X. The gray screen is very hard to evaluate by itself sitting on a white screen. It looks washed out, dark and everything looks gray. Put up the full screen and everything changes. Colors look perfect, very saturated and if you have enough lumens to light it up, very bright. I am going to try a ND filter wtih it next as I am still putting out 20 footlamberts off this screen.

Here are my guesses on the gain In my opinion only.

Silver star 2.6
Stewart 1.5 and 1.3 respectivly
Carada 1.4 gain is probably more like 1.2 but keep in mind low gain screens meaning .9 to 1.5 gain there is very little noticable differance unless put side by side. The differance between a 1.2 and 1.5 gain screen is not all that noticable compared to putting up a silverstar screen with almost 3 gain. However that said, if I put a blank white piece of printer paper on my BW screen, its really hard to see as it really does not stand out on it. Maybe just a tad darker but really subtle.
Firehawk is probably around 1.2 to 1.3 as well as long as you have it tensioned well, have the projector up high and sit in its narrow viewing cone. It looked just as bright and vibrant as my white samples when set up properly. In a completly dark room the blacks looked just the same as my white samples with the same gain. In my living room however with white walls, the Firehawk had much darker blacks as it rejected the ambient light very well.

Carada HC gray is probably around .6 to .8 gain and there is a reflective coating on this screen so being in the viewing cone and having it properly tensioned is key. A floppy sample does not do it justice IMO. The cone is prettly large but having the coating tells me there must be a viewing cone as compared to the BW screen.

I really loved all these screens and they are all good depending on your viewing enviroment and one screen definatly does not fit all situations. That is why you have choices.

Good luck.

Jeff
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