That is true, there are some options if you can't afford the price of an electric screen. You might consider a fixed screen, if that is not practical you might look into making a manual roll-down screen yourself. A pull-down screen is probably not a very good idea if you regularly raise and lower the screen, because it does stress the screen material and may cause warping or other changes over the life of the screen. Also, the spring mechanism of the pull-down screen is probably not as mechanically reliable as an electric screen.
Anyways, if you are inclined to make your own solution you could probably get the screen on a roller (and maybe even in a case) and rig up a simple chain or rope to roll the screen up and down, this would prevent any stress on the screen material and it would probably be pretty affordable.
When putting together my system about a year ago, I was faced with the same choices. The Stewart screen I wanted was much more expensive with the motor option. I didn't want to spend that much, and didn't see any good reason for the very large price difference for the motor. I'm REALLY glad I gave in bought the motorized version.
It goes way beyond simple convenience for me. A projector (or any electronics) is eventually obsolete, and the owner can only resist the temptation to trade up for so long before ever better models entice him/her to change. A screen will stay with you indefinitely. It makes sense (to me) to spend the extra money on what you really want.
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