Screen Innovations Viságe Front-Projection Screen Page 2

The Short Form
$2,399 / / 512-832-6939
•Produces a bright picture for daylight viewing
•Visible hot-spotting at off-axis seats •Limited contrast and detail in dark pictures (daytime viewing) •Pricey
Key Features
•Comes in 60- to 120-inch (diagonal) screen sizes •Velvet screen frame comes in 10 colors •Available in 16:9 widescreen and 4:3 configurations
After firing the projector up with my window blinds open and turning on some Arena Football on the INHD channel, I was surprised by how bright the picture looked. The killer app here is obviously daytime sports-viewing: Colors looked punchy, and the image had decent contrast, with the black parts of the players' uniforms coming across as reasonably dark. Watched on a regular Da-Lite Da-Mat screen (a model designed for dark home theater viewing) under the same conditions, the same picture looked so washed-out that I could barely make out what was happening.

Switching to The Hunt for Red October on HBO-HD, the image still looked clear, but dimmer portions of the submarine drama's mostly dark picture came across as flat, with little in the way of shadow detail. (Viewed later that night on the Viságe in a dark room, the movie looked much better, with strong contrast and clean color.) The picture was also beamy, with noticeable hot-spotting at the center - a typical issue with high-gain screens like this one. Viewing from seats way off to one side of the couch also made the hot-spotting more noticeable.

BOTTOM LINE If you want to watch TV with a front-projector in anything but a completely dark room, you'd do well to check out Screen Innovations' Viságe front-projection screen. At $2,399 for a 60-inch model, it's definitely pricey, but then again, it's one of the few screens on the market that can deliver a decent-quality image in a high ambient light environment. One day, 60-inch or larger flat TVs may be cheap enough that you won't think twice before buying one. Until then, there'll be a definite niche for specialty front-projection screens like this one.

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