B&H Photo Video
B&H Photo Video
VutecElegante Fixed Frame Front Projection Screen (86.25 x 115.25")
at B&H Photo Video
Elegante Fixed Frame Front Projection Screen (86.25 x 115.25")read moreBuy at B&H Photo Video
B&H Photo Video
VutecElegante Motorized Front Projection Screen (45 x 80")
at B&H Photo Video
Elegante Motorized Front Projection Screen (45 x 80")read moreBuy at B&H Photo Video
Performance Setup Value PRICE $219 as reviewed AT A GLANCE Plus Highly affordable Good uniformity Quality construction Minus Time-consuming to assemble THE VERDICT The VApex PRO is a great option for anyone looking to put together a home theater on a budget without cutting corners. Recent advances in projection screen technology have created a shift in home A/V from cave-like theaters that block out every last drop of light to open spaces that integrate with the rest of the living environment. For screen manufacturers, a main mission over the past few years has been to design models capable of withstanding some degree of ambient light while delivering good image quality over a wide viewing angle. Known as ambient-light-rejecting (ALR) screens, these do exactly what their name suggests: cancel out the impact of lamps, overhead lighting, and undraped windows so that the light you see reflected off the screen is primarily what&rsquo;s beamed at it by the projector.
Performance Setup Value PRICE $2,257 as reviewed AT A GLANCE Plus Uncanny ability to make any projection technology look exemplary Greatly enhances contrast and black level, even with budget projectors Easy assembly with superb fit and finish Performance enhancement that would be banned if projection video were a sport Minus Slightly pearlescent sheen with some high-brightness, fully saturated, high-motion scenes That it has appeared only recently THE VERDICT If you need evidence that a high-quality ambient-light-rejecting screen can give spectacular results with an entry-level projector, look no further than the SSE Ambient-Visionaire Black 1.2. &ldquo;Is this heaven?&rdquo; John Kinsella unwittingly asks his son, Ray, in the 1989 movie Field of Dreams. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s Iowa,&rdquo; Ray answers. Turning slowly to walk away, John halts, replying, &ldquo;Iowa? I could have sworn this was heaven.&rdquo;
Performance Setup Value PRICE $3,138 as reviewed AT A GLANCE Plus Exquisite color rendering Solid black level with a tremendous sense of image depth Glare-free viewing with sensible ambient light level Minus Pricey compared with Elite&rsquo;s traditional screen materials, though in line with or cheaper than some other ALR solutions THE VERDICT No misgivings apply to this multi-layer, firm-surfaced material. Every atom of detail in the source reflects back with seemingly free, bonus lumens. If there&rsquo;s color shift at extreme angles, it&rsquo;s only measureable, not noticeable. High light-output capabilities and receding prices in the DLP and LCD projector camps have recently broadened the application possibilities for two-piece projection video. One facet of design garnering prominent attention from screen manufacturers is ambient light rejection (ALR) technology, which allows a projector/screen combo to function as the big-screen TV in a multipurpose room the way a flat-panel TV might&mdash;though at a potentially much larger size.
Performance Features Build Quality Value PRICE $549 AT A GLANCE Plus Stupidly simple setup/takedown Machine-washable screen material Front- or rear-projection configuration Minus Thin (though strong) aluminum poles THE VERDICT Affordable, easy to set up, and convenient to transport, this huge screen has an awesome picture and provides more fun than just about anything else you can do outdoors with your clothes on. What more could you want? Not everyone is as keen on outdoor televisions as I am. In fact, most people with whom I&rsquo;ve discussed the subject have walked away convinced that I was a blithering idiot&mdash;or, at least, more of a blithering idiot than I&rsquo;d previously proven myself to be. On the other hand, the folks who&rsquo;ve had the chance to watch a movie or a playoff game on one of the outdoor TVs I&rsquo;ve tested over the years have invariably come away from the experience with a totally different (ahem) outlook. For those of us who have watched TV au naturel, there is nothing ridiculous, extravagant, or abnormal about it. It&rsquo;s just one heck of a good time.
Performance Setup Value PRICE $3,097 (as reviewed) AT A GLANCE Plus Pristine image with no obvious artifacts Nearly perfect brightness and color uniformity Minus Performance hinges a lot on room May not provide the gain needed to achieve desired brightness THE VERDICT The StudioTek 100 provides the most accurate picture I&rsquo;ve ever seen from a screen at home. While it demands a truly dark viewing environment&mdash;and a bright projector&mdash;it&rsquo;s worth the effort if you want the best image possible. Your video playback system is like any other part of your home theater: It is only as good as its weakest component. In the last five years, massive improvements have been made in both video sources and playback systems, but we&rsquo;ve also seen a huge growth in the options for projection screen materials. There are new designs that bring great flexibility, allowing customers to do front projection in rooms that they never would have considered before. But most of the time, just like with fancy video processing, these new, exotic materials give you one thing but take away another, imparting visible artifacts to the image such as sparkles, texturing, and hotspotting.
Performance Setup Value PRICE $2,049 (as tested) AT A GLANCE Plus Superb color and contrast with room lights out Lights-on viewing can be more satisfying than with a conventional screen Minus Don’t expect miracles: Lights-out viewing still offers a superior picture THE VERDICT No screen can provide a projector’s best performance in normal room lighting, but the Screen Innovations Slate takes aim at this goal and, though not scoring a bull’s-eye, comes closer than most. The surest route to realizing a knockout, big-picture home theater is to install a separate projector and screen. Once you&rsquo;ve experienced it, you&rsquo;ll wonder how you were ever satisfied with a &ldquo;tiny&rdquo; flat-screen HDTV. Up until a few years ago, the biggest obstacle to realizing that ideal was the price of a good projector. Today, however, you can buy an excellent projector for under $3,000, and although that&rsquo;s not chicken feed, it&rsquo;s within the reach of many serious home theater enthusiasts. But what was once a secondary stumbling block is now front and center: the need for a fully darkened room to wring the best performance out of that projector. With most projection screens, there&rsquo;s little choice, and this has kept home projection a niche market.
Performance Setup Value PRICE $1,675 AT A GLANCE Plus Excellent picture quality Competitive with Stewart&rsquo;s upmarket designs Minus Varied sizes and configurations but no custom options THE VERDICT Stewart Filmscreen&rsquo;s Cima lineup offers fewer options than the company&rsquo;s long-respected but more expensive designs, but it makes Stewart&rsquo;s pristine image quality now available to a wider range of buyers. What can one say about a projection screen? Quite a lot, actually. A screen is much more than a bedsheet or the nearest white wall. While it can&rsquo;t improve the quality of a projector, it can, if poorly designed, most certainly degrade it. Screens can be solid or (mostly) acoustically transparent. They can be white or various shades of gray (the latter often incorporating special treatments designed to improve performance in a less than ideally darkened room). They&rsquo;re available in a wide range of gains&mdash;1.0 for more or less neutral performance or higher values to enhance brightness from a less than torch-like projector and/or a super-large screen.
Performance Setup Value PRICE $2,773 (varies with size and configuration) AT A GLANCE Plus Places center dialogue where it belongs Good sound transparency Minus Light easily passes through it Needs a bright projector to look its best THE VERDICT Acoustically transparent screens aren&rsquo;t for everyone. None of them is totally transparent to sound, and all of them&mdash;this Seymour no less so than others&mdash;allow some light from the projector to pass through. But if your system demands such a screen, the Seymour is well worth a close look. At the 2013 CEDIA Expo, many of the home theater demos used acoustically transparent screens. And a number of them&mdash;including those from Wisdom Audio, Datasat, and Digital Projection&mdash;used screens from Seymour-Screen Excellence.
Performance Setup Value Price: $1,600 At A Glance: Outstanding picture at any viewing angle &bull; Cinematic curvature &bull; Excellent value At one time, two of my favorite Los Angeles&ndash;area theaters were in Westwood: the Village and the National. The Village had, and still has, a huge, flat screen. The National (tragically closed and torn down in 2008) had a gently curved one of about the same size. While the Village had the more awesome audio, I always preferred the subtly more immersive visual presentation at the National.
Performance Setup Value Price: $2,899 At A Glance: viewable with ambient lighting &bull; Works best with carefully planned lighting &bull; Image dims significantly from center screen to the side The best projection quality has always required a completely darkened room. This takes the edge off that Super Bowl party, with guests stumbling around in the dark spilling their buttered popcorn and drinks in your lap.