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Which screen? DRH, Beamax or other make?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Nick_T, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    I'm looking for a decent projector screen for my Epson EMP-TW10H. This screen will be used for watching movies mainly in a very dark room (I have a plasma to use for the other times).

    As much as I would love an electric screen to save some cash I will be going for a manual pull down screen. I want to mount it on my standard height ceiling. I also want an upper black border so the viewing area isn't too close to the ceiling.

    After reading though the forum I see a couple of names come up quite often when it comes to projector screens. These are Beamax and DRH. I like the look of both these companies products and the prices seem to be very reasonable.

    After some calculation I have worked out that a nice size for the screen will be roughly 90" diagonal (16:9).

    The screens I am looking at at the moment are:

    DRH Slimline Manual 203 x 114 Matt White @ £158 (http://www.drhscreens.co.uk/slimline.html)
    Beamax R-Black 16:9 Manual 213 x 124 @ £169.99
    (http://www.hifibitz.co.uk/product.asp?id=3187)

    The DRH screen seems to have a gain of 1 where as the Beamax one is said to be 1.1 (although if I went for the R-Series rather than the black one this also has a gain of 1 like the DRH screen).

    I like the fact that the DRH screen case is white so it won't stand out too much on my white ceiling, but I am also worried about reflections from the bottom of the screen etc. That is where the 'black' series Beamax screen seems to be better as the whole casing is in black. Then again it will be a big black screen casing mounted on my white ceiling which may look a bit odd. This can be resolved by going for the R-Series which has a white case.

    Can anyone comment on either of these screens or manufacturers? Or can anyone suggest another screen to go for around this price?

    :thumbsup:
     
  2. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    Does anyone have any experience with either of these makes of screen? They both seem to be very similar by looking at the specs and quite a few people seem to have these screens.

    I would appreciate it if anyone with experience in these screens could tell me if they have been impressed or have had any problems with them.
     
  3. gingerone

    gingerone
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    I'm in exactly the same position as yourself Nick, I currently use a black out blind but I want to mount my PJ on the ceiling and I want a decent screen before I do this. I like the R series black as well but would prefer some opinions either way.
     
  4. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    I'm thinking of going with the Beamax screen at the moment as they appear to be the bigger company having their screens sold at various online Hi-Fi shops where as the DRH screens only seem to be sold directly (correct me if I am wrong).

    I'm unsure which of the Beamax screens is the best to go for. As I've mentioned already I want a home cinema 'budget' 16:9 ceiling mounted manual screen. Beamax seem to do two models which suite my needs, the R-Series and the R-Black series.

    The differences from the beamax website (http://www.beamax.com) seem to be:

    • R-Black has a 1.1 Gain Matt White screen where as the R-Series has a 1 Gain Matt White screen
    • R-Black weighs 1kg more than the R-Series
    • R-Black has a black casing where as the R-Series has a white casing
    • R-Black is roughly £30 more expensive than the R-Series (from www.beamaxed.co.uk)

    Is the R-Black Series meant to be the best one for home cinema? Will the 1.1 Gain screen help my Epson EMP-TW10H projector over the 1 Gain screen?

    Are these screens considered to be good home cinema screens? The model I am looking at currently is the R-Black 10229.

    If anyone could comment on these screens it would be much appreciated.

    :thumbsup:
     
  5. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    Screen Size Dilemma
    Ok, I’ve just been playing with my projector trying to work out screen sizes and it would appear that the best screen size may actually be the bigger 105" (diagonal) screen (viewing area of 234cm x 131cm) rather than the previous 91" screen I have been looking at. :rolleyes:

    I've been trying to compare the two sizes picture quality wise but am finding it hard. I currently have the picture partially projecting on my wall (some objects are in the way, including the plasma) and it looks good at both sizes. Obviously I am loosing some brightness and contrast by making the picture bigger (and by using a painted wall) but it doesn't seem to be that noticeable with the picture remaining plenty bright enough (this is for night time full blackout viewing the majority of the time remember).

    Are there any other disadvantages of having a bigger screen? I've looked on the Beamax guides for screen size on their website. They recommend a minimum viewing distance for 16:9 of the diagonal size of the screen (around 105" for the larger screen). I just measured the distance to be around the 115" mark so in theory this is within comfortable viewing limits. They also recommend having a distance of 95cm from the floor to the bottom of the picture, this is possible with this screen size leaving a gap of 20cm from the ceiling to the top of the picture. I don't know how much to follow this advice though as I have never had a screen that high from the ground before.


    Screen Manufacturer Dilemma
    After some more reading and research there seems to be about the same amount of people on the forum using the Beamax series of manual screens as there are the DRH screens with no one complaining about either. I would still like to hear from people with these screens if you are reading this.

    So now my current options are:

    • DRH Slimline Matt White 16:9 (Picture Size: 231cm x 130cm, 1:1 Gain) @ £178 inc. VAT & Delivery
    • Beamax R-Black 16:9 (Picture Size: 234cm x 131cm, 1:1 Gain, P/N: 10230) @ £249.99 inc VAT & Delivery
    • Beamax R-Series 16:9 (Picture Size: 234cm x 132cm, 1:1 Gain, P/N: 10251) @ £288.93 inc VAT & Delivery

    Looking at the prices there is a large hike in price for the Beamax screen (£80 at HiFiBitz.co.uk) where as the DRH screen is only £20 more making it a whole £70 less. At this difference in price I am now steering towards the DRH screen. :rolleyes:
     
  6. crispybig

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    I have a DRH electric "Regular 24" matt white, which is also available as manual pull-down. I like the aesthetics of the tubular case which is unobtrusive, and easily painted as it's textured and not flat gloss (which is impossible to get a smooth finish on by hand).

    I am also impressed by the (lack of) curvature and waviness.

    Can't speak for the Beamax as I've only ever had the DRH.
     
  7. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    After my many questions on this subject (which by looking through the old archives I have found to been asked many times before :lesson: ) I have finally decided on what to get.

    Yesterday I put an order in for a DRH screen with a DRH projector mount (I only noticed they did these through their auctions on eBay as they have no mention of them on their website, only £29 so I thought it was worth a try).

    Through much research and testing I decided to go for the smaller screen (203cm x 114cm) as it gave the ideal viewing angle according to THX standards and also gave a nicer picture and was easier on the eye in my tests.

    I've now got to work out how to mount the screen and projector on my plaster board ceiling. I'm hoping there are joists exactly where I need them but I doubt this. I've read people suggesting getting special raw plugs for plaster board, but I don't think this is an ideal method of mounting the screen or projector for that matter especially considering the screen is a manual kind so will have me tugging on it. :rolleyes: Unfortunately the floor wont easily come up above where I am mounting the screen or projector. My house is fairly modern with large sheets of chipboard flooring which go under the walls and into awkward placed. The chipboard floor boards look like they will be hard to fit back if I was to remove them.

    I hope to get the screen this evening and will probably be making a trip to B&Q or similar on Sunday for the correct fastenings. Let’s hope this all works. I’ll post up once I’m done.
     
  8. chalkstorm

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    How did you get on Nick - I'm also looking at getting a DRH screen .....

    Regards

    Si
     
  9. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    The screen and projector mount arrived promptly from DRH Screens the next day as expected. All packaged well and delivered without a problem. I had great communication from DRH Screens, they answered all my questions over email and phone. Pricing was very clear on their website and as they say, everything over £100 has next day delivery thrown in for free (through City-Link couriers). :thumbsup:

    Mounting both the screen and projector mount was a little difficult to get exactly right due to trying to find joists and lining everything up exactly. I managed to mount the screen in one joist at one end (I bought a joist finder in the end) but I had to use a cavity spring toggle thing on the other end (like this: http://www.toolstation.com/images/library/stock/webbig/53684.jpg). All worked well though and seems to be a very strong and secure mounting. The projector mount also had to be mounted between joists unfortunately but all seems quite strong using the spring toggle things I got from B&Q.

    The screen itself is very nice. The casing is quite an unobtrusive colour (sort of a beige / grey colour) and is textured. So against a white ceiling it doesn't stand out too much. The screen casing is also quite compact (hence the name 'Slimline'). The mounting brackets are riveted onto the casing so you don’t really have a choice when it comes to mounting the screen (the brackets accommodate ceiling mounting or wall mounting). But the brackets are fine and didn’t cause a problem.

    The screen pulls down no problem and locks into place every time. Although some people have had problems getting the screen to retract back up I've not had a problem and it works well (sometimes taking a couple of attempts).

    The screen material is nice, there were no blemishes on the screen and it had a very sharp black border around the white section. As mentioned by some people already on these forums the black borders on the sides of the screen do curl slightly, but the curl doesn't reach the white area and therefore doesn't affect the viewing area (white section). The screen came with a nice 45cm black border at the top so you can have the screen at various heights. I've noticed that a small amount of light does come through the material. You can see a very faint picture being projected through the fabric on the black backing when looking at the back of the screen in pitch black conditions. This is very minimal and doesn't seem to affect the quality of the picture.

    I would say for the money the screen is very good. The only screen I have used other than this is the 60" 16:9 tripod screen I got in a bundle with my projector so I don't have a lot to compare the screen to. I have no complaints at all at the moment. I could do with a better projector though… where does it end…. :rolleyes:

    I will try and take some photos tonight.
     
  10. LFCRules

    LFCRules
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    In bankruptcy probably, unless you win the lottery, which of course you won't this weekend coz I have already bought the winning ticket :clap:

    Seriously for a sec, I've also got a DRH screen, one of the pullup "Easy" ones, and it is cracking. Great delivery from DRH also, no fuss, next day, and boxed well. Whenever I finally decide to move and own a property, and I need a pull down, they will definately be top of my list :smashin:

    Cheers

    Andy
     
  11. chalkstorm

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    Thanks for that Nick - it sounds great. Look forward to the piccies!

    Regards

    Si
     
  12. Ewan154

    Ewan154
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    I bought an Beamax 16:9 Frame Projctr Screen(200 x 119cm)
    for my Epson EMP-TW10H - havent received it tho.

    When you get a change-would you post some pics :confused:
     
  13. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    Just taken some pics, trying to trawl through some DVDs for some decent still images. Took longer than I thought. I will go through the ones I have taken and post the decent ones up tomorrow morning. I took some of the screen, screen casing etc. and the screen in use as well as the projector mount.
     
  14. Nick_T

    Nick_T
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    Here are some photos I took last night of the screen setup. Unfortunately my camera isn't great, especially when it comes to low light but you get the idea.

    I really want to remove my dodgy 80's fireplace so I can mount the plasma centrally on the wall. I hope to do that sometime soon.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. chalkstorm

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    Looks great Nick - you must be really pleased! I am just trying to justify the cost of going for an electric screen - but as it will be mostly left in the 'down' position, it seems like a waste of money.

    Thanks again for the photos and info...!

    Regards

    Simon
     
  16. Ewan154

    Ewan154
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    Nice set up m8 :thumbsup:
     

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