Originally Posted by humbland
....His story was that the issue was in the "glass beads" used to make the screen. They were of a particular design and only available through a single source. When that source dried up, DaLite tried to obtain the material through other means. They found something they thought would work and resumed production. However, the resulting product could not meet QC specs. They struggled to "fix" it, but could not solve the problems. After a while, they just gave up.......
The market for HP screens was not large enough to solve the production problems....
...People would pay a premium for a HP screen (at least here at AVS).
...Now, low cost imports....are providing excellent quality offerings at a fraction of the "old guard" pricing. Lastly, FP brightness... Lasers, LED, etc. are changing the paradigm and driving consumers to low gain screens.
Sadly, HP Screens have seen their day.
Thank you. Of all the explanations I've heard relayed from Dalite reps, this is the most comprehensive.
I would still push back on a couple of points:
Regarding the glass beads:
I suppose it's a possibility that a single glass bead source dried up, but glass beads continue to be manufactured. And whatever that source was, it was also a factory with machines, not a dwarf at the bottom of the Rhine. (We old folks have glass beaded slide projector screens from the 1950s.)
You refer to the change Dalite made going from the 2.8 to the 2.4 and all the QC problems that entailed. (BTW after Dalite gave up, Elunevsion continued to sell the 2.4 until last year.) It is true that the 2.4 is a QC nightmare, but the big difference between the two screens is not the glass beads, but rather the materials under, and on top of the glass beads. These materials are very different from the 2.8. The glass beads seem to be very similar.
I somewhat resist the idea that Dalite's market for HP screens wasn't sufficient to meet production costs. I don't think Dalite had any idea what they had in the 2.8. While they were selling it, it was their cheapest screen material. It was also their most durable, their most cleanable, their most ambient light rejecting, impervious to wrinkles, incapable of hot spotting, required no tab tensioning... all of this in addition to being the single brightest screen on the market.
In spite of this, until they switched to the 2.4 (with all it's QC problems), Dalite would actually refuse
to sell you this screen for home theater. If you wanted to order from them directly, they would happily sell you one of their 1.1 or 1.3 materials, or one of those awful gray screens which no longer exist, but if you wanted the 2.8, you had to order through a third party as if you were getting an off-use drug. Dalite Home Theater division also prohibited their many custom installers and HT shops (back in the old days) from selling the 2.8.
I think the only thing that drove consumers away from the HP 2.8 was Dalite itself, and the HT shops of the time, who didn't want to sell the lowest cost screen material (less than 25% of what Dalite was charging for their "Home Theater" material). That was before forums such as this took off. Very few consumers had access to real information.
The thing that's now driving consumers toward low gain screens is lack of choice. There is no longer a decent retro-reflective screen anymore.
Sadly, I fear your conclusion is absolutely correct.