Da-Lite screens pull-down vs. electric mechanisms?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by LouAR, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    Does anyone have any experience with these screen mechanisms? I am planning to get one but cannot decide if the electric mechanism is worth the extra money. I do not know how they compare in terms of durability, dependability, and longevity.

    I can get the pull-down Model C 58x104 for about $500 or the electric for about $800. It will only be down for viewing (2 or 3 times per week).

    Can anyone offer any input?
    ThanX,
    ~Lou~
     
  2. David WS

    David WS Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm kind of going through the same issue. I'm working on my theater in my basement. I've pretty much decided to go with electric for two reasons.

    1) I'll be more apt to raise the screen when not is use.
    2) I'm concerned about the "position" of a manual screen when lowered. For those of you with manual screens, how difficult is it to get the screen in the correct position when lowered (in relation to the projected image). I've used the old Tripod screens and everyone remembers the screens in elementary/highschool. It seems like you would have a hard time stopping the screen in the same spot all the time.

    My only question is tensioned or non-tensioned. I'm leaning towards the tensioned. My logic is get a good to very good screen now (Dalite Tensioned Cosmo 16:9). Get a OK to good projector (Sanyo Z1) and upgrade the PJ in a few years. For the near future I'll be watching DVDs on this system and it will do just fine for that. I have an RP HDTV upstairs so I'll be able to watch true HD on that whenever I get a HD reciever.

    So, my logic is this. Get a High quality screen that will work with a wide range of projectors and will last for a long time (meaning, I'll be happy with it for a long time). I figure the price and quality of Screens won't change much over the next 10 years while the Price and quality of projectors will change quite a bit.
     
  3. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    I am trying to keep my first entry into FP on an entry level budget so I am not presently considering the tensioned feature. If I could afford it, I would get it but given that my screen will only be drawn down about 45" I think I can get away without it for now. When I can move and have dedicated space, that will be the time to compare tensioned vs fixed. Your point about consistent length is well taken - thanks. I think the electric ones are programmable so as to get the same length every time.

    I did call Da-lite (toll free on their web site) and they are happy to discuss the specs of your intended projector and viewing area and make materail recommendations. For my circumstances, they are recommending the "Video Spectra" material. As you are thinking of keeping the screen as you upgrade projectors over time, you may want to research the material and get the most versatile.

    I am looking at the Hitachi Home 1 FP just reviewed on Projector Central because of the very flexible throw. Most throw to image size ratios do not accommodate my logistics. If this were not an issue, I might consider the Z2 or one of the ones in that class (see some of the threads).

    Hope you are happy with whatever you get... And thanks for the good point.
    ~Lou~
     
  4. Torgny Nilsson

    Torgny Nilsson Second Unit

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    I have a 100" DaLite pull down screen, with CSR. I decided against an electric screen because of the extra wiring, cost, and potential problems with the motor, etc.

    The pull down screen is great. But you have to ignore DaLite's instructions on raising it by pulling down 6 inches and then helping it up. You need to pull it down and then let go entirely. If you do that, it works like a charm every time.

    I'd recommend the pull down unless you want to control it from your seat and have some way to do that. Otherwise, the electric screen cost and potential motor problems don't seem worth it.
     
  5. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Actually I think it is probably the other way around. The pull down, (counter spring mechanism) is more likely to fail then any electric motor system.

    Regards

    Gregg
     
  6. LouAR

    LouAR Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Greg, Torgny & David,
    I suspected there would be differing opinions on this subject and wanted to see the arguments before deciding.

    Previously, even though wavering, I was leaning towards the cheaper manaul pull-down but now I am starting to swing in the other (electric) direction.

    Anyone else want to add to this discussion?
     
  7. David WS

    David WS Stunt Coordinator

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    My theater will be in a room where I can completely control the ambient light. I'm planning on using a matte white screen (Da-Matte or Matte White). As far as I can tell its the most versitile screen surface to use, especially if you can control the light level of the room.

    How can you say such a thing as not trusting electronic devices? I totally understand the budget issues as well. I'm only getting an electric tensioned because taxes worked out in my favor this year. [​IMG] Otherwise I was looking at an Advantage Manual with CSR. Now I'm going Cosmo baby!
     

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