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Good for Road Warior, not so much for home theater
on August 30, 2012
The main goal of purchasing this screen was a large screen in a compact space. My projector, the Optoma GT750E, is a wide screen projector and so are my laptops. I liked how this screen folded up into a protective case and the length is much shorter than other screens I have borrowed from colleagues. I was also hoping to use this as my home theater screen for movie night.
The screen is very compact and the way the legs mount into place is quick simple and designed very well. The screen is easy to unfold even if you are a shorter person.
I received the screen at home and unpacked it and set it up. The first thing I noticed was two slight folds running vertical up the screen in the middle. This is caused by the fact that the screen is mounted on two rollers housed in the left and right side of the frame. As you expand the screen from the center out, the two rollers roll out the screen. While the case is in the closed position there is a 3 to 4 inch center section of the screen that is flat and then the rest is rolled up (if my description isn't working picture an old document that is written on a scroll that has a bottom and top piece of wood that you un-scroll). As a result of being stored this way, it caused two vertical shadows with room light hitting the screen. I projected a movie and then my tivo onto the screen and luckily I didn't really notice any ill effects because of these slight creases but if this was my home theater screen I would expect it to not have this flaw.
The other flaw in the screen that is noticeable was that the top of the screen and bottom do not have any type of bar which results in them just being a piece of fabric without any backing. The right and left rollers don't keep the screen tight. Therefore the top under the weight of the fabric caused a bowing and the top of the screen in the middle had an arc. The end result was that when watching 16x9 HD content there was a distortion. Specifically I was watching Americas Got Talent and the heads of the judges kept warping as they moved because the top of the screen was arced instead of flat. Again for home theater this would drive you nuts over time. I did watch Star Wars Episode III and since that had black bars on top and bottom because of the aspect ration the arc didn't bother me there was no video on the arced area of the screen.
Not taking into account the above flaws, the case, stand and mechanism for unfolding the screen are well designed and thought out. The arc problem could be solved in many ways by making a quick support that spans the length of the screen vertically in the middle.
Like I said in the intro, this was bought for presentations on the road and the above flaws are not enough for me to return this and then settle with a screen that is twice the length when all closed up. I will even use it once in a while to watch a movie. But, when I decide to get a permanent screen for my home theater, I will be buying something else.