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Topic: Weighing the benefits of an automatic screen
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2
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I am curious about having the capability to control the screen via the projector (looking at the InFocus x2 or ScreenPlay 4805). To what extent does the projector "control" the screen? Can you halt the lowering of a 4:3 screen to convert it to 16:9? Or is it more of "turn on projector, screen lowers all the way until fully extended"?

Second, I would be using the screen in a relatively low ceiling room, primarily for PPT presentations with the ability to completely darken the room (no adjacent windows or anything). I am not sure I would actually have the need for an auto-screen. Is there some really great advantage that I am missing? Thanks, and welcome everyone to bigscreenforums.com!

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WizzyWigg
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 9
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Hi,

Well I personally can't see any advantage to a powered screen other than the "wow" factor in your presentation.

I have a dedicated home theater room and I have a manual screen. It is down all the time, I never raise or lower it. Now if your room is dual purpose, the spouse might love you a little more if the screen was up and out of the way when not being used. Otherwise I don't think I'd personnally spend my money in that area. I'd rather take that extra cost and apply it to better sound proofing, or seating or speakers etc...

So I guess my advise would be, if you don't need it up go with a manual roll up, or just get a fixed screen.

Now as far as the aspect ratio of the screen goes, my personal choice would be to just get a 16:9 screen and not worry about 4:3. I'm not sure what you ment by PPT presentations, so maybe I'm off base here. But my screen is in 16:9 and a majority of my viewing is either movies or HDTV which all utilize the 16:9 format. 4:3 just isn't important to me, and on the rare occasion I do view 4:3 material, I don't really have a problem with the blank areas on the side of the screen.

Now you can buy expensive masking systems. These usually pair up with expensive power screens. These systems can be made to mask for virtually any presentation, such as 4:3, 16:9, or all the way down to 2.35:1, which is a pretty common aspect ratio.

Personally I don't mind the "black bars" enough to spend huge $$ on powered masking options. But if you have the coin, you might as well spend it, it is certainly nice!
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Joined: Apr 25, 2003
Posts: 2
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It all depends on your individual preferences. I have an electric screen and love it and believe it is an absolute must in my case. I have young kids and the last thing I need is fingerprints or worse dents in the screen. Everyone who enters the room knows that when the screen is down, you treat it with total respect. When I am at work, the screen stays out of harms way. The room it is in is a dedicated home theater/music listening room. It still looks great having the screen disappear. You really do get the "wow" factor from everyone who sees my setup for the first time.

The question of being able to go either 16:9 or 4:3, I believe I can answer.

You can hard program the screen to go either 16:9 or 4:3, not both. This is usually done by using a special screw that tells it where to go to the millimeter each time. I have mine set for 4:3. When watching 16:9 movies, I simply manually move the screen up by using the switch on the wall. This helps a lot for different sized wide-screen movies. This automatically masks the bottom of the screen. I believe this is much harder to do with manual screens.
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Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2
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Gentlemen-
Thanks for your quick reply. I appreciate the advice, and think that a manual screen would suit my needs perfectly, even though an automatic would create a 'wow'. I just don't care that much about it! I didn't know about the special screw that selects the aspect ratio. Does your screen descend when the projector is turned on (via the screen control jack) or is it a wall switch?

The comment about protecting the screen from curious kids (and adults!) is especially pertinent, and I would want to keep the screen up and away from everyone.

Thanks again to everyone and have a blessed Easter weekend.

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WizzyWigg
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Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 29
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When I got my Panasonic L300U (16:9), I dug out my old (15yrs. +) which was a Manual, 80" x 60", Draper Luma (glass beaded - I got it with my 1st LCD PJ). It wasn't bad and I could raise it up for widescreen material.

I recently got a new Da-Lite 106", 16:9, Model C, Hi-Power, screen. I am really happy with it because it matches the native PJ size, and gives me a nice wide screen. For watching 4:3 material, it's not as bad as I had expected. Although the 4:3 image is smaller (69" x 52") than my old screen, I don't need to go through the zoom push-ups to fill the screen and the lower resolution pictures look better on the smaller screen area.

NOTE: The Hi-Power material was chosen because it's less prone to developing "waves" (the larger rollers in the Model C also helps) and because it is closer to the gain of my old Draper. I can reasonably have a low level light on in the room and still get a good picture. It also helps in that I can run my PJ in it's low power mode for longer lamp life.
- Claus
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