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Topic: Recommendations for a motorized and visible screen
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Joined: Feb 3, 2013
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Hey, I am looking for recommendations on a wall-mounted motorized, screen for my living room. Tensioned preferably. The unit will be visible so can't be too ugly It will be mounted up high on a wall.

In a previous home, I installed a custom 133inch Da-lite Cinema Vision HC screen cosmopolitan Electrol with a silent motor. It was great apart from the screen would always get sticky after a year or two. Had to replace it once. The plasticizers coming out of the PVC or something like that. I don't want another screen material like this. Apparently, it doesn't like staying rolled up so it automatically unrolled every night, but it still got sticky over time.

Fairly casual installation - no black-out blinds etc. More a living-room installation.

Any advice? Thank you!
[Edited by scotsman10 on Sep 12, 2019 at 12:10 PM]
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Da-Lite, Draper, and Stewart remain the big three manufacturers.

I can say that I own a Draper tab-tensioned screen and I haven't experienced any issues with it getting sticky. Good thing as it's a $3K+ screen (ceiling recessed, 161" diagonal).

With your screen size, I would typically recommend DaLite as a good option, but with your past luck, perhaps give Draper or even Elite a try. I will say that tab-tensioned screens, while the best retractable option, are rarely truly perfectly 16:9 or perfectly square, so you will have some of that to deal with.

https://elitescreens.com/products/electric-wall-ceiling-projection-screens

I would be hard pressed to call any of them very nice looking. Even the ones with the better looking cases. Instead, maybe consider building a soffit around it, or a 'shelf' that hides the screen which you can put stuff on (plants or something). I had a client who did a built in bookcase, and the front of the built-in hid their 106" diagonal screen. It was gorgeous.

You have a lot of options when it comes to screens and in all fairness, I can't speak to much to all of them which are available. You do still want tab-tensioned, but if it were my home, I might look to buying a cheaper tab-tensioned model with decent ratings, then building something that is truly worthy around it.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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Thank you! Very helpful. My previous Dalite screen was $2.3k. I actually see that the High Contrast Cinema Vision screen material that I had previous has been discontinued by Da-lite. I wonder if the stickiness from the PVC was the reason? It became terrible after a couple of years - lots of shiny streaks.

What sort of Draper screen material would work the best in a casual family room?
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Certainly materials are changed out regularly, and DaLite has changed a number of things. Their current HD Progressive material is one of my top recommendations.

I struggle with material recommendations because I tend to lean towards 1.3 gain screens. Watch sports and brighter TV shows during the day and suck up that the black levels will be mediocre, but the gain will help with making the image look the best it can, giving you more 'pop'.

After dark, the added gain is awesome to really make the image come alive. It's also better for larger screen sizes and for 3D viewing as well as HDR content viewing.

From Draper, that's their Pure White XT1300.
But, they offer a Contrast White XH1100E which sounds intriguing as well.

Count on their TecVision screens to carry a heftier price tag and I'm sure their TecVision XT1300X material is amazing, but you will pay. Their ALR surfaces, to improve contrast, are just something I would avoid. If you demand the best possible contrast, paint the room darker and invest in good light blocking shades and curtains. Don't spend money on a band aid.

I used DaLites HCCV screen material before and the one thing I did notice towards the end was the sparkling that the screen created. This is not something you will see on any quality screen. So, I would stick with a white screen if at all possible. Or, if you go grey, you may need to accept that it will suck some of the 'pop' out of your image.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.