Sony VPL-HW45ES with Elite Screens Starling Tab-Tension 2 CineGrey 5D 120" Screen - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 02-03-2017, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Sony VPL-HW45ES with Elite Screens Starling Tab-Tension 2 CineGrey 5D 120" Screen

After doing much research on this excellent forum and elsewhere, we've bought our very first home theater projector and screen. At first, figuring out which projector to get, screen size, throw distance, seating distance, viewing angles, screen material, etc. and whether a projector would even work for our setup was very daunting. I was only able to a handful of threads on the CineGrey 5D here, so I decided to start this thread for my build and share our experiences along the way.

We went with the Sony VPL-HW45ES for many of the same reasons others have mentioned. Some of the key ones are:
  • 4K material simply isn't prevalent enough and most of our viewing would be in HD resolutions
  • The price was within our budget and we plan to upgrade to a 4K projector when they approach the $3,000 price range
  • Others have noted excellent color accuracy out of the box and for the lumen rating
  • Sony's video processing performance is well regarded and we've read the same about this projector (we also had a great experience with our current Sony LCD TV)

We went with the Elite Screens Starling Tab-Tension 2 motorized screen in the 120" size with the CineGrey 5D material because:
  • We're putting the setup in a multi-use family room and aren't able to dedicate a space to a fixed screen
  • We will be using the projector for everything (TV, movies, and games) and it will have to contend with ambient light during the day and early evening
  • We regularly have guests over for movies and sports and will have lights on for these occasions as well
  • This screen was within our budget and similar screens from SI or Stewart cost thousands more

I just installed the projector last night and used a Peerless mount, extension pole, and ceiling plate. The instructions were straightforward I was able to get the projector mounted quickly and without issue.

Our screen will be arriving tomorrow and I'll return with our first impressions when we get it installed and everything is in alignment. We're hoping that it gives us the results we expect. Fingers crossed!

Some technical info:
  • We will be sitting about 12' from the screen which is less than ideal for 1080p at 120" according to some guidelines I found, but we want a screen big enough to appreciate 4K when we're able to upgrade
  • The projector throw distance will be 13' 2" from the screen which just meets the minimum 1.5x screen width that Elite Screens recommends for the ALR material
  • The throw distance is on the shorter end of the range for 120" for the projector, so we should have good brightness (not to mention this projector is said to not lose much brightness at maximum zoom anyway)

Please post your comments, suggestions, or questions - any feedback is welcome!
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post #2 of 15 Old 02-03-2017, 08:12 PM
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As long as you can maintain some control of the light, especially behind the seats and projector (on axis) I expect you will be quite pleased with the combo. I am shooting the hw45 on to a 136" cinegrey 3D in low lamp mode. With the extra gain of the 5D and the smaller screen area, there should be plenty of lumens on tap to fight moderate light during the day. At night with lights off, it will only get better.
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-04-2017, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennymacks View Post
We went with the Elite Screens Starling Tab-Tension 2 motorized screen in the 120" size with the CineGrey 5D material because:
I planning on picking up a Sony 45 projector, and will be interested to hear how the screen works out.
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post #4 of 15 Old 02-09-2017, 03:54 PM
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@kennymacks Looking forward to hearing your initial report on the Tab-Tension 2 setup and installation

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post #5 of 15 Old 02-10-2017, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I installed the screen last Saturday 2/4 and have watched several movies new and old as well some some shows from Amazon and Netflix. I've been taking time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of this setup as compared to an LCD TV.

We also hosted a Super Bowl party for family and friends. The ALR screen and high lamp mode were more than able to combat all the ambient light we had from the dining area and kitchen (we have an open floor plan). I didn't have to make any excuses at all for the picture quality!

Attached are a handful of pictures taken with my phone to give you an idea of the picture in different lighting conditions. Aside from the Super Bowl party, the projector has been in low lamp mode.
  • The picture with the cans was taken in the late morning when the most light is coming through our windows to the left of the screen
  • The picture featuring the characters from Archer was taken in the afternoon with the window blinds partly open
  • The picture with the lamps on was taken in the evening with no lights coming from the windows
  • The last picture was taken with minimal ambient light from some 3 watt LED night lights in the room

Observations thus far:
  • The large picture is immersive and we get completely sucked into what we're watching (Gravity was amazing on this)
  • Nighttime viewing is impressive - the projector and the screen provide very good contrast and depth and while the black levels are not on par with OLED TVs, they are more than good enough us
  • The image during daytime is very watchable, but I would rather save the movie watching for nighttime - we do watch a lot of TV shows during the day which this setup is perfectly fine for
  • The fan in the projector is audible, but we stop noticing it when sound is playing through the speakers
  • Though gain on the CineGrey 5D is supposed to drop off past 40 degrees, I'm still able to see a bright enough image at extreme angles even all the way to the side of the screen - this may be because of our throw distance and the lamp being nearly new
  • The newer "tubular" motors on the Starling Tab-Tension 2 are very quick - I guesstimate it takes around 10 seconds and it's always down before the projector has a chance to throw an image

Please let me know if you have any questions or want me to do a specific test. We're really just enjoying the setup at this point. I'll be working to put all the wires in the ceiling next.
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-10-2017, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennymacks View Post

Please let me know if you have any questions or want me to do a specific test. We're really just enjoying the setup at this point. I'll be working to put all the wires in the ceiling next.

Thanks for the update! Picture looks great. Hope you get lots of enjoyment out of it.
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post #7 of 15 Old 02-11-2017, 10:25 AM
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Thanks for this, and the follow-up pictures. I'm about to take the same plunge for the same reasons, about to post my own thread about it, and good to see another person satisfied with the screen. Makes me even more comfortable with my decision.
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post #8 of 15 Old 02-21-2017, 12:46 PM
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What is the cost of the screen?
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-21-2017, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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What is the cost of the screen?
It is about $1,374 from Elite Screens.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-07-2017, 07:48 PM
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kennymacks, setup looks very nice! I am currently in the market for an elite screen with a budget of $1000-1500. I have ordered sample materials from Elite to test out each material they provide, mainly the Cinegrey5d and the MaxwhiteFG. I have narrowed my choice of screens down to the Starling tab-tensioned 2, but have not seen many reviews online or even on avs here. I would like to know how the screen is performing so far? Is it quiet? Have you had any problems with waves or with wrinkles at all, it looks so perfect in your pictures and I am deathly afraid of buying an expensive screen and dealing with waves or wrinkles. I have heard some horror stories of wrinkles with Elite screens but have also heard Elite CS is very quick to take care of them. I will be making the purchase next week and just need some confirmation that I am buying the right Elite model Thank you so much and sorry for all the questions!
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-07-2017, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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We're still enjoying the screen and the setup. The ALR material does have a bit of sparkle to it during very bright white scenes, but I consider this an edge case. In most scenarios, we're fully absorbed with what we're watching and don't notice the screen. We don't have any waves or wrinkles in our screen and are very thankful for that. I wouldn't say the screen is quiet in motion, but the sound is not unpleasant. There is a click when the motor turns on and when it turns off. Another click is heard a few minutes after it stops moving. I had the same concerns you did after reading what experiences I could find, but I'm a happy customer so far. I haven't had any experience with Elite Screens customer service yet though. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck with your screen shopping!

@eljefeguero

Last edited by kennymacks; 03-08-2017 at 01:08 PM.
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-08-2017, 08:21 PM
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kennymacks, Thank you so much for the reply, sounds like the Starling Tab tension 2 is a good choice for me after all. I am currently working with Jesse from Elite to get the right screen for my room, thanks again for taking the time to let me know what you think, cheers!
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post #13 of 15 Old 02-05-2018, 06:48 AM
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Are you still happy with the Cinegrey 5D? I have a room with light control, but the walls and ceiling are not blacked out, so I get a lot of reflections. I do all of my watching at night, so outside light isn't a problem, but my white ceiling lights up a lot from the projector.

I grabbed some sample from Elite screens and the white ones look still looks washed out to me. The Cinegrey 5D was interesting. How do you like it after having it a year? On my little 10" x 10" swatch, it looked like the darks were darker and the brights were brighter than the MaxWhite white screen swatch that I compared it to. The one thing I wasn't crazy about was the sparkly-ness in all white scenes. I'm not sure how much that would bother me. It also looked a little more "digital" (not sure how to describe it) and less analog/movie screen-like than the MaxWhite sample.

Would you buy it again vs a white screen? How is the off axis viewing?
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-03-2019, 08:53 AM
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I’m looking to get the retractable CineGray 5D. I noticed in the OP’s pictures that the drop is less than 12”. Is it easy to adjust the drop? I need the drop to be about 9” but I didn’t see instructions on how to do it.
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post #15 of 15 Old 01-30-2020, 12:10 PM
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Also checking in to see how it's holding up.
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