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Help: can't find the 'RIGHT' screen

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
hey guys, been lurking forever and this place is always great to find my answer. truth is, this is the first time i haven't been able to find my answer just by searching.

anyway, i'm looking for a new electric screen with the following:
-100-106" 16:9
-grey screen material (0.8-1.2gain preferred)
-drop adjustment
-IR control or trigger input (i want it to roll down 'automatically'. so either by programming into my harmony one, or the trigger)
-bonus if it's AT, not necessary though, especially if it's 100"
-budget price, so far the screens i've been looking at have been under 400.

the screens i've been looking at(and none of which satisfy ALL my wants)
Elunevision luna pro cinema grey 106":http://www.eastporters.com/PDF/Luna/brocheur.pdf
-doesn't have drop adjustment
Antra electric 106": http://www.amazon.ca/Antra-Electric-Motorized-106-Projection/dp/B004ECN6U6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1358619311&sr=8-4
-white screen, only RF.
Elite Screens ELECTRIC100H-A1080P2: http://www.amazon.ca/Elite-Screens-ELECTRIC100H-A1080P2-Spectrum-Projection/dp/B00934CQ1K/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1358580078&sr=8-8
-white screen
Elite Screens ELECTRIC100H: http://www.amazon.ca/Elite-Screens-ELECTRIC100H-Spectrum-Projection/dp/B000YTRFEG/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1358619416&sr=8-5
-white screen
Vision HD VHD-E100: http://www.visionhd.ca/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=37&products_id=934
-only RF. don't know if it has a trigger input, don't know if it has drop adjustment, don't know much about it really at all.

background on the use:
Projector: Epson HC720.
Room: about 15'x25'. first row seating is about 12ft from screen, second row about 20ft. The av gear is all located behind the screen, speakers are as well, but can be placed just off to the side if needed. It's in the basement, with good light control, dark carpet, medium dark brown walls, but a white ceiling. excuse the mess, there's still some things 'under construction' but here's a quick pic to give you the idea. the screen will be location just in front of the tv, mounted under the 'drop section'.

i've been using a manual 1.0gain white 120" screen for a few years and i'm not very happy at all with the blacks. VERY bright imo. i've messed around with hanging up a grey sheet and honestly prefer the picture on the sheet than the screen without even doing any more calibration. so based on this, i'm pretty confident that i do want a grey screen. right now this pushes me towards the elunevision if i have to make a compromise. i figure it's at least a well known budget screen, and the only thing i'm giving up is the 'one touch' operation. but before i order, i want to make sure i haven't overlooked something. all of the screens i listed beat the elunevision in at least one way(better price, drop adjustment, etc). starting to think i waited too long to replaced my old white screen, the grey screens used to be so much easier to find. and elunevisions USED to have the drop adjustment as well. grr

anyway, any help you can offer is greatly appreciated
post #2 of 12
So you want a $1500-$2000 screen for $400 and you can't find it? Not sure I understand.. Like asking for a New Honda at a used Kia price.. Wait another 6 months and save more money to get what you want in a quality product.
BTW Gray screen fabric is also know as High Contrast and there is no shortage of such fabric.
Edited by airscapes - 1/19/13 at 11:28am
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

So you want a $1500-$2000 screen for $400 and you can't find it? Not sure I understand.. Like asking for a New Honda at a used Kia price.. Wait another 6 months and save more money to get what you want in a quality product.

with all due respect, no, not at all. the screens i want WERE available at this price. i gave one example, the luna screen from elunevision. the older models had everything i need. the new models removed the drop adjustment for some reason... i understand what you are trying to say, but i think you missed the point. i'm not looking for top end quality and performance. i'm looking for certain features in a budget quality and performing screen. notice i didn't say anything about handling 4k resolution, or perfect uniformity, or zero texture, etc.

and i also provided FIVE options that all contained the features i want(just not all in the same package). so i definitely don't think i'm asking for the world here.

take the elite screens for example, it's under 300 for EVERYTHING i want, except a white screen material. am i supposed to believe that making it grey should cost 4x as much? and if that's the case, than why is the grey screen from Vision HD actually cheaper?

for what it's worth, i did get response back from VisionHD and that particular screen does have a drop limiter, so the only 'issue' it has is being RF only. something that i'm sure others would consider an added feature, it's just not ideal for my application.

even still, it's now a VERY strong candidate. i just wish i could find more info on it. so far the other 'cheap' electric screens have had good reviews for reliability. but obvious any budget screen has to be cheap somewhere, i'm just trying to make sure i can live with those 'issues'.
post #4 of 12
Check HTdepot... they have 0.9 gain screens and their prices are decent enough. I recently got one of their HDvivo electric gray ones. They had some sale and I ended up getting a 92" (86" viewable) for like $235-245 or somewhere along those lines w/ free shipping. But even with their normal prices they aren't bad. It does have a drop limiter, but I haven't experimented with it yet. I've just been manually controlling it. Someone did mention it's a bit hard to figure out because the instructions are very weak, however it does work from what I've heard. It has both IR and RF remotes that come with it... also 12v trigger.

You can see my thoughts about the screen I recently purchased from there, here: (at the very end of the thread)


I also found this:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/315275-REG/Draper_207104_Luma_Manual_Front_Projection.html#Specification (Pretty sure they make bigger ones to suit your wants, but you can search for that yourself).

If I had to do it over again, I may have tried the above Draper screen instead. However, I am fairly satisfied with the HTDepot Focupix one, except for the issues I've mentioned in my posts in the Focupix/HTDepot thread. The main reason I didn't get the Draper one was it seemed like the places selling it for cheap did not accept any sort of returns at all.

If you end up getting a Draper similar to what I linked to, please let me know what you think of it. Especially if it smells, and if it has any waves or wrinkles at all. Also, one of the problems I had with one of the materials I tested was "sparkles" especially in the whites. Whatever you get, let me know. I want to know what to recommend to any friends of mine who might get projector setups as well.
Edited by damag0r - 1/19/13 at 1:34pm
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
thank you very much for the reply, i will go check out those options.

i've been sending emails back and forth with a rep from VisionHD and i have to be honest it's sounding better and better all the time. right now, they are definitely the one to beat for me. it's just too bad they seem to be such an unknown company.

VisionHD: doesn't have IR or a trigger input(though he said i should be able to add a trigger in the future. waiting for more explanation on that)
Elunevision: doesn't have the drop adjustment anymore
Elite: not available in grey
post #6 of 12
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by havok2022 View Post

Have you looked at Monoprice screens?


i guess i should have stated earlier, I'm in canada. monoprice doesn't ship screens here. but yeah, i still looked at them, haha.

i'm starting to have second thoughts on going grey. the visionHD screen is .08gain which puts me at the very minimum recommended brightness. to be honest, i've alway turned down the brightness on my displays, and i feel producing black is THE most important part of a good picture. but it's hard to ignore the experts completely.

i've spent a couple hours messing around with every type of 'off-white' fabric i could find around the house and my general evaluation seems to be that white is the WORST color for displaying anything other than white(i know technically this isn't true, but it's my perception in my room), but it's the ONLY color that's any good at displaying white... it's becoming quite the internal debate and i'm going mad looking at comparisons and reviews. i'll watch one scene and think i MUST go with a grey material because it just looks phenomenal on dark scenes, and then see another scene and think the grey is almost unwatchable. i have a feeling the white being beside it is what's messing it up, but without a suitable grey screen to demo anywhere around me, i'm not sure what else to do.

is there something else i could try to make a white screen work? painting the whole ceiling isn't really an option, but i could maybe do the part under the overhang. i just find my room super bright when the projectors on, it's as if i have reading lights on.
post #8 of 12
Dark Ceiling and side walls within 5' of the screen should be a big help. Having the projector properly calibrated or at the very least using a calibration disk to set brightness and contrast would be helpful. If still to bright look into getting an ND filter for the lens.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
i did a little 'testing' last night.
the projector is, and has always been calibrated. not professionally, but reasonable well with some basic stuff and discs, etc. anyway, i noticed that when the projector displays a solid black screen, it actually looks pretty decent, but as soon as even a small logo is displayed, the room lights up and the screen becomes dark grey at best. so it does seem i could get some very noticeable improvements with a little more paint.

i started painting the ceiling under the overhang, and i'll finish that and check out how things look afterwards. hopefully it helps enough, because doing the rest of the ceiling isn't an option.

anyway, i feel like i at least have some viable options now, so i should be able to try a view more things and narrow it down to white/grey and based on that i think i've got my decision made. now if only the ceiling wasn't stucco so it was easier to paint i could be done and watching a movie right now, haha.

finished up the first coat of paint and watched 'Here Comes the Boom'(pretty good movie btw) and i have to say i'm fairly impressed with the difference. i feel like it only got me about halfway to where i want to be though. i did not notice nearly as much difference between the 'black' on the screen with and without picture being displayed, but the screen was still very visible at all times in the room. i do feel like i could 'get away' with a white screen now, and in the future upgrade the projector to get a more appealing black level and contrast. before the paint, i don't think the projector would have made any difference to lower black levels as it was just getting washed out from reflected light.

i'll probably do another coat tomorrow, set up the 'grey sheet' and watch some clips from a dark and bright movie to see which way i want to compromise.
Edited by fierce_gt - 1/20/13 at 7:47pm
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
well, i ordered a .08 gain grey screen from visionHD. got some good service and quick replies through email, and aside from RF only and no trigger the screen physically had all the features i wanted. we'll see how the quality is when it arrives. i'm not expecting earth shattering results, but i'm hoping to see a small improvement over the flat white screen i have now. fingers crossed. thanks for the help
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
well for what it's worth, the screen arrived on monday, got it installed and gave it a test run. picture looks good, it's not a dark grey so whites still appear white, it does improve blacks a bit, but i guess if i want any better i'll need a better projector.

motor runs quiet, it's not the fastest screen out there i'm sure, but it works. i haven't timed it, but i'd say it's about 45seconds to drop.

other than that, it's what should be expected for this price. there's not much texture, but if you look for it from a few feet away you will see it. it's actually less than my previour screen. the edges for the black border aren't pristine, there's a little bleeding at the tape edge, but not noticeable from seating position. i haven't noticed any hotspotting or anything else distracting, but that's expected of a matte screen anyway. brightness is just fine with my projector.

service was quite excellent, aside from the fedex guy leaving the screen on the front porch without even ringing the bell, it was a great experience overall. i would definitely recommend these guys to the budget oriented screen buyer in the future. well, if you're in canada anyway. there's not a lot of options up here and free shipping for a screen is pretty impressive.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
i feel that since it was so hard to find any info when i was searching, it's my duty to make an update for the next consumer looking for a budget screen.

so here's an update on the visionHD screen

-quiet operation
-easy install
-has the features i wanted

-waves appeared pretty soon after install(much quicker than my last screen, but not any worse so far)
-i'm noticing more artifacts (sparklies?) in the bright areas of the screen when i sit in the front row(about 12feet)

overall i'm quite satisfied with the purchase, and it does the job just fine for my older 720p projector. but that being said, if i wanted a 'pristine' image, spent some money on a really nice 1080p projector, etc, the screen wouldn't allow me to get the most out of that gear.
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