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General help with screens plse.

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by TT9, Jan 23, 2003.

  1. TT9

    TT9
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    Greetings all,

    Could those in the know please give me a quick summation of what's what with projector screens - makes/colours/eleccy/non-eleccy ones etc, particular Stewart if anyone has experience of these (heard they were good!)

    I have refrained from a plasma purchase and decided on a projector after following numerous threads over the last few weeks. I think it was Kramer and his HS10 that finally persuaded me.

    I will demo this model, the Sanyo, the Pan AE100, maybe a SIM, in due course but would appreciate a little background knowledge on screens so am not caught off guard by cheeky salesman.

    Any comments would be very much appreciated.
    Apologies if this has been discussed before.

    Thanks,
    Steve.
     
  2. John_N

    John_N
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    Well I'll start the ball rolling then.

    My understanding is that Stewart make some of the best screens around. They are also at a hefty price premium, coming in at the thousands of pounds mark. I initially wanted a stewart screen but when I found out it would cost a similar amount to the projector I kind of lost interest.

    Screens can be fixed frame, or roll-up. You can get electric and manual roll up ones. Most manufacturers make screens of all three types. I understand that the electric ones are less likely to crease than their manual counterparts given the often larger diameter drum and the more controlled winding and unwinding process. I would imagine that fixed frame screens were better because the material is more likely to be perfectly flat.

    Some electric roll-up screens are called 'tab tensioned' where the screen is tensioned from the sides as well. These are generally a lot more expensive. I am not aware of any 'tab tensioned' manual screens - only electric.

    When I was looking at a certain model of screen, the prices were something like:
    Manual roll up - £250 electric roll-up £800 electric tab screen £2500

    You can get a few grey screens which are supposedly better for contrast on a digital projector. However they sometimes make the image a bit dimmer compared to a white screen - best to audition the materials. However, AFAIK the grey screens are only available on 'fixed frame' screens which may or may not suit your installation. This includes the stewart firehawk and greyhawk and the da-lite 'da-mat high contrast' - all of which are fitted to fixed frames as far as I know (could be wrong here though).

    You are supposed to get what you pay for, but at the same time I would say shop around because I personally have seen price variation for the same screen and model from £400 to £800 in the UK alone... I think some home cinema sellers think that they can make big profits from the niche market.

    Some people try and make their own. They are obviously usually the fixed screen where you stretch material over a frame. You can get the material separately I gather. You can also paint a wall with stuff called 'screen goo' which I haven't personally tried.

    I started off projecting onto a white wall which worked quite well for a while. Then I tried painting it grey and it would have worked well apart from the roughness of the wall which suddenly seemed to get a lot worse. So I've ordered an electric screen.

    Hope this helps a bit.
     
  3. TT9

    TT9
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    Thanks John for excellent response.
     
  4. Insp.Gadget

    Insp.Gadget
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    Not much I can add to John's detailed post, except that if you did want to go down the DIY route for a screen then the following company sell screen material by the metre (and 10cm increments then on).

    AVCOM

    Speak to Rob if you can, he has been very helpful (and patient !!). As well as the material stated on the site, they can supply High Contrast Cinema Vision and also da-mat (both a shade of grey) made by Da-lite.

    I'm thinking about using some fibreglass supported stuff in a roll-up type blind but currently waiting on some samples (he's waiting on them from Da-Lite). I can't remember the prices off the top of my head but I think you're looking at about £150 for a 2 X 1.5 metre piece. They also do (cheaper) seamed pieces but he said at this size it wouldn't need to be seamed anyway (but you would still get the seamed price i expect). Although this seems a bit dear it suits me as I can make a screen to fit my exact space rather than compromising with a pre-made screen.

    Hope this is of help.
    Greg
     

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