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Recommendations for a retractable 100" screen


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Hi all,

 

Hoping you can help. We're in the early stages of a renovation (demolition on the rear of the house is done, ground work and restumping done, moving into construction phase now). I've got the go-ahead to install a projector in the living room, which has a bay window, which my partner wants to remain usable. The obvious solution is a retractable screen.
 

Horizontal measurement across the window is a perfect fit for a 100" screen. Throw distance is around 3.5m–4m (I'd need to check the plans again).Haven't bought a projector yet but I'm thinking Epson EH TW-9400.
 

It's definitely a living room setup rather than a dedicated HT room but we've always had little roller blackout blinds in the bay window that do a surprisingly good job and it's a decent darkness. Questions ensue 😀

I've read this thread about top-end vs budget screens and some of this overlaps I suppose – do I need to spend $1,100 on something like this Encore one or is something like this Visualax one for $400 going to be just as good? I'm stretching to reach the TW-9400 projector so if I can budget in other areas then that would be good. 

Does the claim of being 4K on a screen really make much difference? Noting that even my budget pick above, the Visualax, claims to be a 4K surface. 

And, though this might be a dumb question, what's the deal with motorised screen cables? The screen is at the top of the window (obvs) so does that mean you have a cable trailing down to the skirting board? If my electrician can do it, can it be wired directly into the wall at the top? (This would necessitate a rewireable motor unit?) I have read that motorised units can come with very long-life batteries (no AC power and no wires required) but I'm not sure what level of model that applies to? (Budget pick above clearly shows the power cable, whereas the Selby page for the Encore screen doesn't say much about its power source.)

And – apart from the obvious convenience – is there anything inherently superior about a motorised screen's surface? I'd like to think I'm not so lazy that I can't walk 3m across the lounge to pull down a screen before starting a feature film. If it makes for a cleaner aesthetic (with no plugs or power cables) then this could be the direction I go in. Or are the 'boss level vibes' of hitting the remote from the couch extremely satisfying? Let me know!

Cheers,
Dylan

 

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Hi There,

 

I have an Epson EH-TW9400 and after much research (and budget constraints) went with an Elite Screens 120" VMAXT120XWH3, which should also come in 100".

 

My set up is also part of a lounge room and the screen drops down in front of the TV.

Distance from screen is about 3m. The ideal screen should be a fixed and Ambient Light Rejecting screen, but walking back from "ideals", a drop down screen is perfect and an Ambient Light Rejecting screen is super expensive and they are not made to roll as the material is too thick or can get damaged.

 

I am not familiar with battery powered screens, but in general I don't go for battery powered devices if I can, as batteries at some point will die for sure.

I had and outlet installed at the top just behind where the screen will be placed and I highly recommend that you do this. It looks great and properly done.

 

I also suggest to work out the exact clearance that you need when the screen drops, so the measure between the screen (dropped) and the bay window including any protruding areas of the window as you want the screen to drop down freely.

The Elite Screens drop down close to the wall where they have been installed so you may need to consider brackets so that it comes out from the wall a little bit. In my case as I wanted the screen to drop in front of the TV I had to get brackets. I will try to add a photo here later on.

 

So far I have been very happy with this screen and I have had it already for 10 months. Image is very satisfying with 4k as well, colours seemed to be more intense after I started using this screen rather than the plain white wall. At times I have to lift the bottom bar and then allow it to drop so that this action removes any ripples, I don't think that this is a big deal and it takes 8 seconds The ripples are barely noticeable even if I don't do this.

 

I wrote here in the Elite Screens owners forum more details about my experience.

Elite Projector Screens Owners & Discussion Thread | Televisions, Projectors & Screens (stereonet.com)

 

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Thanks so much for this – so helpful. I had already begun to look into Elite Screens models. Having a model number (albeit in 120") will definitely help. 

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1 hour ago, Art Watson said:

Thanks so much for this – so helpful. I had already begun to look into Elite Screens models. Having a model number (albeit in 120") will definitely help. 

No worries, and if you can go bigger better. We watched Dune at home last Saturday and it was amazing. The next day we went to see Dune 2 at the VMax Village Cinema screen sitting about half way from the screen, and it looked so much smaller!

So for me 3m and 120" is perrrfect. Go bigger if you can. You will not regret it. And at your distance of 3.5-4m Maybe even go for 130" if it fits, as with the Epson EH-TW9400 you will be able to adjust with the motorised Zoom and go bigger for 1:85 picture.

Only thing with such a big screen is to consider where your front speakers will go.

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27 minutes ago, RCADees said:

So for me 3m and 120" is perrrfect. Go bigger if you can. You will not regret it. And at your distance of 3.5-4m Maybe even go for 130" if it fits, as with the Epson EH-TW9400 you will be able to adjust with the motorised Zoom and go bigger for 1:85 picture.

Only thing with such a big screen is to consider where your front speakers will go.

You must have read my mind. When you said you had a 120" screen I started to think about going wider than the actual window dimension. But you're also right that I'll need to consider where the front speakers go, as I'm looking at wall-mounted fronts rather than floorstanding or standmounted.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi there, I thought I'd update this thread with some photos of my screen for you:

This is the Elite Screens 120" VMAXT120XWH3

You had asked at the beginning of your post if it was worth it to have it electric and the answer is definitely yes. It is part of the magic I believe, you turn on your projector and the screen then drops. It is part of the show 

 

Also if not electric and depending on the height of the ceiling you may end up with a very long string to be able to pull down the screen. 

 

You can see the power point just above the screen, barely noticeable. As I don't like to have electronics on stand by if they are not being used, I had the option of either run down a switch to cut power to the screen, or in this case it turned out to be easier in my case to have a remote switch which does this.

 

For looks certainly the in-ceiling screen would have been great, but I had a few complications for installation (beams in the ceiling etc) and budget too so decided to go for this simpler/cheaper option, but it may be worth investigating in your case as you are still building. If you do this check the ceiling height, Vs the drop of the screen. Companies like the Australian made Screen Techniques will tailor the drop as required, but of course it depends on your budget as it is about double the price of the Elite.

DSC_0669.thumb.JPG.2b32b88e0e2e3774de3185cde84f06ae.JPG

 

So in this case the in-wall speakers would work well, but you would need to measure perfectly so that the speakers do not get blocked by the screen when it drops down. Also you may need to investigate how installing in-wall speakers would affect the listening seating position. And very important to consider as you would have a bay window, what will be the location of the centre speaker so that it is in line (as much as possible) with the front L/R speakers. Another thing I am not keen about in-wall is that obviously they cannot be moved once installed and on most models they cannot be tilted towards the listening position. So check installation due to your bay window frame.

 

DSC_0670.thumb.JPG.2f0458eda3d44b4d604a9f5771aba2bb.JPG

 

The brackets come out 15cm from the wall and as I explained the Elite Screens downside is that they drop very close to the wall, so there is not much clearance at all. Once again, measure perfectly where and how everything will be placed once the screen drops down.

 

DSC_0668.thumb.JPG.3f1439535ee61c17e060a565d2051b0b.JPG

 

You can see how I routed the power cable through the back of the cover.

 

DSC_0666.thumb.JPG.445144f88f141fb2a3e8eb3540720d58.JPG

 

DSC_0663.thumb.JPG.9c7090a83fcb3fa71a2baf395f39f946.JPG

 

And here you can see the clearance (barely any) for dropping next to the speakers.

 

DSC_0664.thumb.JPG.e3b32a0d8e5b1bc2d3b164aa9523a5e0.JPG

 

ScreenDropDSC_0665.thumb.JPG.e9b98bc287044dad7bd99f7a1ae4f0bc.JPG

 

Good luck with whatever you decide and if you have any questions let me know.

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Posted (edited)

Hey @RCADees - thanks for the pics! Very helpful.

 

1 hour ago, RCADees said:

You had asked at the beginning of your post if it was worth it to have it electric and the answer is definitely yes. It is part of the magic I believe, you turn on your projector and the screen then drops. It is part of the show 

 

Good to know you think this is way to go!

 

1 hour ago, RCADees said:

For looks certainly the in-ceiling screen would have been great, but I had a few complications for installation (beams in the ceiling etc) and budget too so decided to go for this simpler/cheaper option, but it may be worth investigating in your case as you are still building.

 

This room is a renovation of an old formal living room rather than a new build and we need to protect the period ceiling rose and plaster work so definitely no in-ceiling screen. The beams and cost would also be a problem, as you experienced.

 

1 hour ago, RCADees said:

The brackets come out 15cm from the wall and as I explained the Elite Screens downside is that they drop very close to the wall, so there is not much clearance at all

 

The main accommodation I had to give my partner for her to go with the projector idea was that we wouldn't have a big TV blocking the view out the bay window. The compromise is that we'll put a smallish (by today's standards) 65" TV on the wall to the right of the window, with a soundbar. This will be for TV news and whatever when we don't need the full movie experience. I realise that having two different setups 90 degrees to each other might not be ideal but we think it will work for us. 

So long story short, the screen shouldn't need to come out any further than the wall that encloses the bay window. Shouldn't need brackets. 

 

1 hour ago, RCADees said:

So in this case the in-wall speakers would work well, but you would need to measure perfectly so that the speakers do not get blocked by the screen when it drops down. Also you may need to investigate how installing in-wall speakers would affect the listening seating position. And very important to consider as you would have a bay window, what will be the location of the centre speaker so that it is in line (as much as possible) with the front L/R speakers

 

For similar reasons to the above (renovation not new build) I'm not looking at in-wall speakers. Nice to see the standmounts in your set-up as I'm thinking of wall-mounting small speakers.

 

 

1 hour ago, RCADees said:

You can see how I routed the power cable through the back of the cover.

Nice! Looks very tidy.

 

1 hour ago, RCADees said:

And here you can see the clearance (barely any) for dropping next to the speakers.

 Yep, I'm acutely aware of this, especially after you sowed the idea of going up in screen size. There won't be any margin of error here. And I notice that Elite Screens lists "Viewing dimensions" rather than total width of the casing or the rod on the bottom of the screen, so I'll need to query that when buying. 

Thanks again for the pics!

Dylan

Edited by Art Watson
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20 hours ago, Art Watson said:

The compromise is that we'll put a smallish (by today's standards) 65" TV on the wall to the right of the window, with a soundbar. This will be for TV news and whatever when we don't need the full movie experience. I realise that having two different setups 90 degrees to each other might not be ideal but we think it will work for us. 

So long story short, the screen shouldn't need to come out any further than the wall that encloses the bay window. Shouldn't need brackets. 

 

Hi Dylan,

 

Glad that your project is going ahead. Very exciting!

 

The TV that you see in the photos is a 49". We also enjoy that set up. I prefer that television looks like, well television, rather than a movie.

If you have two couches set up correctly the set up should work very well, I did consider that option too.

 

20 hours ago, Art Watson said:

I notice that Elite Screens lists "Viewing dimensions"

 

Just follow the information below to have an idea. This is what I did.

 

If I could have gone 130" I would have also done this, but it just would not fit for me because of the speakers to the right and left of the screen. The Epson EH-TW9400 will let you fit and move the lens from your couch to best suit the available area. This is in particular useful when watching 1.85:1 or 2.39:1 content. Choosing a 16:9 screen will allow you to expand the size vertically when watching Imax content which feels huge and it is great to enjoy from time to time. Last night we watched Knives Out which is 16:9 and it was very enjoyable, a different experience too.

 

About the measurement from the wall, and if you are going for an Elite Screen, check below the measurements, because as I said before, there is only 13mm from wall to screen (C1). Grandview and others have more space. So if the window frame is 20mm the screen will obviously not drop freely. Unless you use the actual window frame to hang the screen from.

 

Elite Screens SKU : VMAXT

image.thumb.png.5c59c58925426103749755c3286712ce.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by RCADees
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Posted (edited)

@RCADees Thanks for that chart – that's really helpful. Great to have the overall width and weight bar measurements.

I hadn't realised there's only 13mm from wall to screen – and you're probably right that the window frame juts out 20mm. So maybe I will need brackets after all.

 

Based on the room size, I'll be lucky to fit a 120" screen. No way there's room for a 130" one. 

Edited by Art Watson
Fixed a typo
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2 hours ago, Art Watson said:

@RCADees Thanks for that chart – that's really helpful. Great to have the overall width and weight bar measurements.

I hadn't realised there's only 13mm from wall to screen – and you're probably right that the window frame juts out 20mm. So maybe I will need brackets after all.

 

Based on the room size, I'll be lucky to fit a 120" screen. No way there's room for a 130" one. 

 

No problem at all. Happy to help out. 

I did everything based on the measurement chart. And measure and re-measure as many times in order to avoid variables. Then just found a good price and ordered. Happy to hear how it all goes 🙂

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I went with a Grandview 112” 16:9 motorized as it suited my room installation. The screen is placed in front of sliding glass window screened by heavy black out drapes which my wife insisted remain operational so the theatre room can be used for other purposes than watching movies. Happy wife happy life! This meant I could not easily use fixed brackets without mounting them directly to the ceiling, but could suspend the screen from eyebolts in ceiling in front of the drapes. I ran the power chord over and behind the drapes to a wall socket which saved me money from getting a sparky to install another power outlet up near the ceiling. I ordered the screen through Selby who couriered it next day at no charge and I think I paid in the $1500 range in mid 2021. The screen works a treat with an Epson 9400 projector. I went with the Grandview rather than the elite as the drop suited my arrangement; didn’t realise Elite could provide a custom drop a the time. I also had to ring the distributor Ambertech in North Sydney when setting the drop up and they were extremely helpful. The screen has been well used for two years now, no wrinkles and looks great. I don’t think you can go wrong with either Elite or Grandview and last time I looked they are very close in price. Good luck!

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