As promised, I'm reporting back with my experience on the Draper Contrast Radiant screen.
The Draper tensioning system is better than Da-Lite's snap system. It applies even texture, so, no possibility of ripples.
But the process of getting that last rod across the last notch will require many people pulling that last section. Careful: if you're just one person, you'll likely injure yourself like I did (cuts + pulled muscles in my hand).
I, personally, might put up with Da-Lite's snap system just to avoid the assembly of the Draper screen. It was a nightmare.
Furthermore, the Draper 'Contrast Radiant' surface has the same problems as the Da-Lite High Contrast High Power (HCHP) material. Draper, it seemed, was less willing to work out the problem with me, & more willing to just take a return. Da-Lite seemed more willing to work with me by getting a manager to QC a screen & check it for issues before shipping it to me. So, I decided to go with a Da-Lite replacement, especially since Seegs108 reported here that his replacement was clean, after specifically asking for inspection for his replacement (http://www.avsforum.com/t/1455184/hats-off-to-da-lite
I'm waiting on the Da-Lite replacement.
In the meantime, here's one image
that showcases all the problems with HCHP/Contrast Radiant screens
Full-Size Image: http://cl.ly/NEsV/HCHP&ContrastRadiant-Dirtiness.jpg
- Note the large oval smear (circled in blue) near the bottom right of the attached image of the screen. That's what happens when you try to clean the screen. There's some residue being spread around.
- Note the rectangles all over the screen that are brighter than the rest of the screen (2 such rectangles are circled in red). This was from taking the Da-Lite sample patches that have one line of sticky tape on the back, placing it on the screen, then pulling it off. That process clearly removed some of whatever residue is coating the screen & making it darker than it should be (note: if you place a HCHP sample patch on top of the actual 110" HCHP screen I bought, the actual 110" screen is considerably darker than the sample patch... presumably from whatever residue is coating the screen that is not coating the sample patch of the same material).
- Furthermore, I enclose (in a black box) one of the obvious vertical streaks that shows up as a darker vertical band during content viewing. Many more of these are obvious during viewing, but are difficult to capture in a photo.
- Finally, I circle in magenta a region where you'll find a diagonal rectangular region that's brighter than the rest of the screen, due to the same procedure of attaching/removing the sticky tape from one of the Da-Lite sample patches on the screen. I strategically placed the tape across a darker horizontal band (leads to 'banding') to see if this process of 'cleaning' could get rid of the 'bands'. As you can see, though the tape lightened that region of the screen (presumably from removing whatever dirty residue is on the screen), it did not remove any bit of the horizontal darker band. In other words, I really have no idea where the banding (dark horizontal/vertical streaks) is coming from in the manufacturing process.
Da-Lite/Draper do not even seem to be aware of this problem. So, if you have it, please call up & complain. Fiberglass-based screens should have texture/sparklies, yes, but not the crap enumerated above.