Projection Screen Reviews

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 04, 2014  |  0 comments

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’t for everyone. None of them is totally transparent to sound, and all of them—this Seymour no less so than others—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—including those from Wisdom Audio, Datasat, and Digital Projection—used screens from Seymour-Screen Excellence.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 17, 2014  |  0 comments

Performance
Setup
Value
PRICE $1,675

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent picture quality
Competitive with Stewart’s upmarket designs
Minus
Varied sizes and configurations but no custom options

THE VERDICT
Stewart Filmscreen’s Cima lineup offers fewer options than the company’s long-respected but more expensive designs, but it makes Stewart’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’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’re available in a wide range of gains—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.

Michael P. Hamilton  |  Aug 25, 2021  |  0 comments

Performance
Setip
Value
PRICE $3,242 (as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Superb uniformity and detail rendition
Precise color tracking and accurate saturation
Minimal reduction in audio fidelity
Minus
Woven design involves inherent light loss
Beer budgeteers may find it champagne-priced

THE VERDICT
Stewart's remarkable new Harmony G2 is a reference-level Acoustically Transparent offering for systems with speakers installed behind the screen.

A myriad of boulevards dissects a tract of former citrus groves, referred to long ago as Hollywoodland. Of these thoroughfares, singularly, there is Hollywood Boulevard, known the world over for a century of broken dreams. As lore recounts, and contemporary tales of woe reveal, there is little left to ponder beyond what should have been after most fame-bound aspirants leave.

Michael P. Hamilton  |  Oct 05, 2017  |  0 comments
Performance
Setup
Value
PRICE $4,132 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent off-axis light rejection
Wide viewing angle maintains color saturation
Very good calibration accuracy
Minus
Cloudy artifacts with camera pans on bright scenes
High price

THE VERDICT
A paradoxical hybrid that blends excellent contrast management for challenging viewing environments with a frustrating callousness about pristine image fidelity.

Two years ago, Sound & Vision contemplated how pairing sub-$2K projectors with innovative ALR (ambient light rejecting) screens might compete as similarly priced replacements for large flat panels in multipurpose environments. Compelling, immersive, life-size projected images for the same currency swap as a diminutive, backlit, uh…TV?

Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 27, 2012  |  1 comments

Stewart Active 170 3D
Performance
Setup
Value


Da-Lite High Power
Performance
Setup
Value
Stewart Filmscreen Reflections Active 170 3D
Price: Varies by size, type (see review) At A Glance: Higher gain than popular StudioTek 130 G3 • Good off-axis performance and color uniformity • Noticeable hot spot

Da-Lite High Power
Price: Varies by size, type (see review) At A Glance: High Gain • Picture darkens visibly off-axis • Hotspotting virtually undetectable

We’ve come a long way from the days when screens were an afterthought. I imagine there are still a few enthusiasts who cut their projection teeth on a sheet or a bare white wall, or even an old, beaded, home-movie screen. Today we know better. The screen is a vital part of the projection setup.

Screens now come in a wide variety of sizes and characteristics. Their physical construction—fixed frame, retractable, flat or curved, masked or unmasked, perforated or not—is a subject for another day. There are also rear-projection screens. Here, however, we’re primarily concerned with the characteristics of the screen material itself, as used in front-projection setups, the type most commonly found in theaters, both commercial and home.

Kris Deering  |  Oct 31, 2014  |  4 comments

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’ve ever seen from a screen at home. While it demands a truly dark viewing environment—and a bright projector—it’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’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.

Kris Deering  |  Apr 28, 2020  |  0 comments

Performance
Setup
Value
PRICE $1,484 (material only, as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent Image Uniformity
Dramatic reduction in artifacts over previous generation
Exceptional build quality and ease of installation
Minus
Minor artifacts on images with vertical camera motion

THE VERDICT
With dramatically improved performance over the previous generation StudioTek 130 material, Stewart Filmscreen's new ST130 G4 establishes a new reference standard for a gain screen.

I often feel that the screen is the most overlooked component of a video projection system. That's because the screen material itself lacks "wow" factor, and it typically doesn't get tagged with the sexy marketing buzzwords associated with other home theater gear. But selecting the right screen for a video system is crucial since the screen ultimately will serve to either enhance or reduce your projector's performance.

Al Griffin  |  Dec 01, 2016  |  0 comments

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’s beamed at it by the projector.

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