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Help! Needs lot of information and advice! Making a screen decision soon!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Edit: I've purchased my screen, but I'm leaving the rest of my post here for any who are interested. I'll be going from a 80" diagonal 1.4 gain screen (which is plenty bright on my old Z3 with an old lamp eco mode) to 0.8 gain screen grey screen, which should be a great match for the TW4000/AE3000 (whichever I get) and the off-white walls and ceiling of the projector room..

I'll run through the basics of what I want, and what company "A" and company "B" offer. The more perspective and advice I can get, the better equipped I'll be to make a decision.

First, I'm ordering a customized version of a 100" 16x9 electric screen. Here is what each company's electric screen looks like before hand:

Obviously company B has a bigger matte around the screen and longer screen, which is good for me. Company B is less, but not enough that it would make me choose based on price.

Company A and B will both customize the screen to make the screen height 996cm (80" inch normal height), which is what I want. (80" for 16x9, 100" for widescreen movies) Company A will either chop the screen off at the bottom (just a black weight bar, but will do for free) or will charge me for custom extensions of the top or top and bottom. Based on their pricing, the cheapest option is to effectively chop the screen off up top and pay to add 700mm of extension. (+$150) Company B will customize for free, and while black matte size stays the same, the change of height in the screen means the new height is shorter:


Again, here Company B seems to have the clear advantage. But how important is 1" vs. 2" black borders?

Both company's screens are IR remote only, and seem very similar in design and size. (Company A's is slightly smaller, but both should just barely fit in my 2.5m wide room.)

The major differences I need help with are the samples I received.

Thickness:
Company A feels quite thin and light, Company B feels heavy and almost twice as thick. A seems to be around 0.25mm, while B seems around 0.45mm. Is a thick screen more likely or less likely to get waves or problems over it's life than a thin screen?

Texture: (back)
Company A is somewhat smooth, but Company B has a very clear stitch, even clearly visable from the front when I hold a sample at an arm's length. Is a thick screen texture going to be problematic from 10 feet away? Is it too much texture to take advantage a of 1080p picture? (at 80" or 100"?)

Company A: (6:1 macro and 3:1 macro)


Company B: (6:1 macro and 3:1 macro)


Screens:
Both companies have a white and grey screen. I was very unimpressed with Company B's grey screen, as whites looked grey, but the other three screens samples handled blacks, whites and details pretty well. That said, Company A's screens feel almost powdery and smooth, while Company's B screens still have the texture issues and feel almost plasticy.

Company B's screens, which are thicker and have more texture, have a bit of a shine to them. They almost seem to sparkle a tiny amount when getting a lot of light from a projector, or that is to say, tiny points of light will show up based on the shine/texture.
(Photos of all screens are below, as to keep this less cluttered)

Mounting:
Company A's screen, by default, mounts to a ceiling, but has a wall mount option for a very reasonable amount, that would put two sets of holes in our wall:

Company B's screen is designed for mounting on a wall or ceiling, but involves four plates, which means more sets of holes in the wall. Personally I think Company A's mounting system is less fuss, and less holes. (Which is surprisingly important for my wife.)

My gut feeling is that Company A's screen is nicer, as long as there's not problem with the relative (lack of) thickness, or something else I've over looked, but I hate the idea of being told they'll customize it for free, but that either means chopping off the bottom or paying an extra 20-25% to add the black matte fabric I need when the other company's customization is free with no string attached and fits my measurements.

Everything in bold blue is where I specifically don't know if something's a problem or an issue or not, and while I'd like as much guidance and help as possible, that's where I really need it.

(Please note, I am in Japan, so I have very limited options. Shipping an electric screen from overseas is not a viable option, and other 100" models available in my price range do not fit the width of my room.)
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

In case it's helpful, below are some close up and macro photos of the screens, click to see the image in a larger size:

All four screens:

Top left: Company A grey
Top right:
Company A white
Bottom left:
Company B grey
Bottom right:
Company B white

Company A white: (6:1 macro, 3:1 macro)


Company A grey: (6:1 macro, 3:1 macro)



Company B white: (6:1 macro, 3:1 macro)


Company B grey: (6:1 macro, 3:1 macro)



None of the images above are edited in any way. The point of the photos, especially in the 3:1 shots, is to show the texture of the screens, not the actually color of the screens. The color can be seen in the top photo of this post.
post #3 of 13
I'd go with Company A in white and pay to have it customized the way you prefer. The visible texture of Company B's screens would drive me crazy!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I would like to say a big thank you to M@verick, fanbrain, Javatime, FLBoy and especially
FremontRich, who all gave me helpful advice that led to me having enough information, help
and opinions to make a confident decision.

From a screen material standpoint, it's probably pretty obvious that I was leaning towards
company A, as they do have the better material, and for the amount of money I'm spending
it's silly to get the obviously inferior screen. (Now I just had to justify the extra cost to myself.)

First, I was doing some thinking about how 2.35:1 movies would look zoomed in to fill up the
100" width, and I thought of a possible issue with the border at the bottom:

(Since I'm not a native Japanese speaker, I made the above to clearly explain myself.)

I don't want the projector shining "black", let alone colors (such as subtitles) on the weight
bar or below the screen, so I realized there was some real merit to having a longer black
matte area under the screen.

Then, I realized a way to use Company A's existing default screen to lengthen the bottom
without adding to my cost. (rotate the original screen 180 degrees)


The owner of Company A is the guy I've been dealing with the whole time, and hearing his
warranty and post-warranty terms, I feel pretty confident ordering this screen and dealing
with him.

So, order placed. I'll probably post some pics once it's arrived and set up.

Thanks again to everyone who helped.

(Manually added line breaks, since the width of my oh-so-professional MS Paint diagram makes the text hard to read.)
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
It came! It's installed, and I'm very happy with it. Here are just a few quick photos, if anyone's interested.

Here's how the room looked with the old screen:


Here's how the wall looks now that the new screen is installed:

(My wife is happy to be able to use the closet easily.)

And here's how the wall looks with the screen down:


I couldn't find any reasonable wall mounts for speakers in Japan, so I kind of created my own with some sink piping, a few nuts and bolts and some caulk. The speakers were covered with caulk from the first time I put them up when we moved in (wife preferred that to putting holes in the wall) so I cleaned them up as much as I could and painted them and the homemade pipe mount the same color as I used for the wall.

Now I just need that new projector! (Hurry up Epson and Panasonic! )
post #6 of 13
That's looking very nice!
post #7 of 13
Big improvement. That screen looks mean. Glad you went scope.
Its nice to see someone enjoying the hobby within means even without the typical huge theater room. Thats a true enthusiast. I hope you find your dream projector.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
ResOGlas and Alan, thank you both for the kind words. The new screen looked good with my old projector, but the new screen looks amazing with the new projector.

the 2.2:1 is somewhere between CIH and CIA, but it works very nicely, as TV and games would be too big (for me, in my opinion) if it were CIA. I suspect that there are 1.85:1 movies where bigger would be good, but this screen really does seem to give the best of both worlds without getting more extravagant. (And trust me, the TW4000 and motorized screen were pushing my luck. )

Some screenshots, should anyone be interested, are here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post15173287
post #9 of 13
please paint that room dark. 1000% image improvement!
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryg View Post

please paint that room dark. 1000% image improvement!

No go, my wife would never say yes to that. However, removable curtains and black cloth...that is a possibility. (The compromise had to be something she could easily put away when she wants the room to look like a normal tatami room.)

The improvement is definitely noticeable.



Some tiny (wall colored) removable adhesive hooks (for picture frames) are holding up the curtains on the left, and while it's very simple and cheap, it's very, very effective at improving the image and the viewing experience.
post #11 of 13
Tell her this is customary tatami HT room. Black walls


BTW nice improvement
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryg View Post

BTW nice improvement

Thanks. My 4 year old Sanyo wasn't going to be able to convince me that black walls were that important. The TW4000 has been much more persuasive.
post #13 of 13
washito with black cloth is almost sacrilegious, however those curtains will probably help the picture 1000%.

I was considering having a washito in my new house...but decided to go with a HT room instead....this thread almost makes me happy with the decision.
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