If you have shopped for screens you likely already know there is a huge disparity in pricing, and there are a lot of options to choose from. Some people try to get by with a smooth wall painted white while others buy some fabric and construct a custom solution. However there are drawbacks to these options and you'll likely never get as clear and crisp of a picture as you would with a true screen. Since prices have come down considerably in recent years, you would be hard pressed to design and build anything of comparable quality for less money than simply purchasing one of these Silver Ticket screens. Yes you can spend much, much more – you could even spend more than $2,000 for the same size screen if you really wish, but I doubt you would find the final result any more gratifying. In fact I’ve read reviews elsewhere that compared much more expensive screens to this one and found the Silver Ticket screen was just as good if not better for a fraction of the price. As the saying goes… why pay more?
Before purchasing my screen, I opted to project onto the wall to get a feel for what size would work best in my room. I used painters tape to mark the corners of the projected image and then measured to determine the appropriate screen size. I'd highly recommend this option since it allows you to get a feel for the optimal solution for your specific room factoring in speaker placement, distance to projector, obstructions etc. You also need to accommodate the size of the border so pay close attention to not only the dimensions of the screen, but also the overall dimensions including the frame to ensure everything fits as you intend.
When I received my screen and started unpacking it I quickly realized I had made a good choice. The extruded aluminum rails are very robust and do not flex AT ALL. The felt covering is perfectly flat and smooth. Assembly instructions are simple and to the point, but YouTube videos are available if you are more of a visual learner. I had the advantage of a flat ping pong table (covered with a blanket) to use for assembly but an open area of carpeting would work as well. All of the assembly hardware was high quality and made this a snap. They also provided a few extra screen clips and at least one extra assembly screw just in case. Initially I was concerned that the two piece rails for the top and bottom would be a weak point, but once assembled this is not a concern as those rails are laser straight. Also, the joint in the rails is effectively invisible due to the felt on the rails themselves – if you didn’t know that joint was there, you would never see it so it turned out to be a non-issue. The tensioning system left the screen completely taught with zero ripples or waves - however if there were minor indentations on the screen material itself I would guess they would work themselves out over time as the screen adapted to the tension.
It should be noted the screen itself is a PVC material with a coating so essentially a form of very flexible plastic rather than a traditional fabric. I noticed a minor smell when unrolling it similar to an air mattress or inflatable pool, but this odor disappeared within a couple of hours. I can’t say if this material is as strong as fabric, but I can say installation was easy and there were no problems with tensioning as some other screen designs struggle with, so perhaps this material is more forgiving (it does have a certain amount of stretch to it). Either way the quality of the image is amazing so in my view that is what matters.
Because of the material being PVC this screen is not acoustically transparent. This means you would be unable to install speakers behind the screen as it would muffle the sound. If you want speakers hidden behind a screen you’ll have to opt for a true acoustically transparent (AT) screen which will either be perforated or will be more of a fabric weave material to allow sound to pass through it.
The installation of the screen on the wall was the only step which required two people. After measuring, and measuring again to ensure I had the screws in the proper locations I found it was helpful to use a bit of painters tape on the front of the frame to show me where the wall brackets were located, and another piece of tape on the wall above the screws. This allowed us to lift the screen up, align the two pieces of tape, and hang the screen off of the screws with zero issues. However, if the wall screws are too loose or too tight you may have to take the screen back down and adjust - so be prepared to take a few minutes for this step.
The four screws that hold the screen to the wall were the only part of the hardware that I wasn't 100% satisfied with. The Philips heads on the screws weren't machined all that well so some minor stripping did occur while screwing into the studs. If I were to install the screen again, I'd chuck these four screws in the trash and install four high quality bugle head construction screws instead. A minor point, but worth mentioning. The wall mount brackets themselves work well, but I would have preferred some type of French cleat system that would have been more forgiving and wouldn’t require precision alignment of the screws. I should also note that the wall mount brackets do result in the screen sitting in front of the wall by around one-half of an inch. This allows your fingers space behind the frame when installing, and it gives the center reinforcement strut a place to sit. I had thought the screen would sit flush with the wall when installed so initially I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this, but once installed I haven’t even noticed. That said, I do think with a small modification to their mounting brackets and a small change to the center strut they could easily design the screen to be installed flush to the wall. Why they didn’t do this I’m not sure since there is no need to worry about leaving room for speakers on a non-AT screen.
All things considered I'm very happy. The projected image (I'm using the Sony VPLHW40ES 1080p 3D projector) is incredibly sharp and bright. There is a noticeable improvement over the image projected onto the wall and the detail is so fine that I'm able to see pores in the skin of actors from over 15 feet away... so clearly both the projector and screen are doing their jobs. The felt frame does a fantastic job of absorbing light, thus if you set your zoom so that a few pixels fall onto the edge of the screen you won't even see it. A homemade screen with a wood or metal frame that isn't covered with felt might not have this advantage as they would tend to reflect some of that light back at you rather than absorbing it like the felt. This screen also does not have any trademarks or brand names on the frame like some other screens I looked at. That isn’t a big issue for most people, but I feel a lack of a brand name makes it look more professional.
The Good: * Sturdy aluminum rails * High quality assembly hardware * Smooth felt material on rails * Good assembly instructions * Easy and fast assembly * Great packaging * Amazing screen image * Even more amazing value * Lack of branding on frame
The Bad: * Wall mount brackets require precision measuring (unforgiving) * Wall mount screws are not up to par with the rest of the package * Final installation leaves gap between screen and wall
The Ugly: * Aside from the friend who paid five times much for a screen which isn’t as nice as this one giving you a dirty look out of frustration… there really isn’t anything to report here.
If you are on the fence about this screen, I’d urge you to buy it. I couldn’t be happier with the finished product and I’m a bit picky when it comes to my AV gear. It took me months and months of research before I committed to a projector and screen and I regret nothing. I was prepared to spend much more on a screen but after reading reviews and comparing I kept coming back to the Silver Ticket option… and I’m glad I did. My very minor complaints are so small they aren't even worthy of deducting a half star from the rating, so this is most certainly a five out of five product.
I’d love to hear your feedback if you come to the same conclusion as I did so leave a comment below and let me know!