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Topic: Monoprice screen quality
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Joined: Apr 22, 2020
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Okay - this is one topic I need an answer that's not theoretical, from people who know. The question is, is the quality of the Monoprice 4K HD tab-tensioned 120" screen okay? Yes, it is cheaper: I've heard of crimping at the masking, but nothing else. I have to purchase two screens. For HD video, there will be a Draper tab-tensioned screen. In another location there will be a more economical screen. This will be used exclusively for 35mm and 16mm film projection. The question of surfaces is another topic. But here I'm wondering if there is truly any difference in image resolution when it comes to film (I am expecting a possible hot spot in light from the smooth surface (will there be?), but sharpness is the question. I believe it makes no difference between a matte surface white and a white shiny HD surface. The lenses in film are the only real determination of resolution). Mainly I need to know if Monoprice is a good build and if the screen will last. Thanks in advance for anyone's input.
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There is only one review of that product on their product page and I haven't heard much talk about it...
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=30452

I would look at other reviews that might be using the same material, and might give them a call or email to find out more about the material in use.

High resolution screens, which are very flat, are not actually shiny. The surface looks very smooth, but it actually should have very high dispersion to eliminate hot spotting. So, while it may look smooth and shiny, it is just flat and not at all shiny, which is ideal for higher resolution viewing.

The key pieces with cheaper motorized screens are the quality of the build, the quality of the motor, and most of all the length of the warranty. You also need to ensure that if this in a commercial setting that they carry the conformity certificates for fire codes which may be required.

There are some reviews of the material (maybe the same) for their fixed frame HD white screen. In the few photos, there are some which show some hotspotting, perhaps from the camera flash, but that's not something I consider to be a good sign, but it isn't terrible. It may show up with any projector used though.

I couldn't swear by these models over what DaLite or Draper would put out for sure.

You might look into some of the Elite screens as well. They are more of a dedicated screen company and they can directly provide you very accurate information, even on their cheaper models.

For example:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1110282-REG/elite_screens_evanesce_tab_tension_b_etb120hw2_e8.html/?ap=y&ap=y&smp=y&smp=y&lsft=BI%3A514&gclid=CjwKCAjw-YT1BRAFEiwAd2WRts6EuWfa5Krxp60IF9U0adkEUPDyg7s2xcjtFEpiHh_Gk4DJxq-gxRoCxkcQAvD_BwE

At under $1,000 for a 120" diagonal ceiling recessed, they may be a good option as well.
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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Quote (AV_Integrated on Apr 23, 2020 7:17 AM):
There is only one review of that product on their product page and I haven't heard much talk about it...
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=30452

I would look at other reviews that might be using the same material, and might give them a call or email to find out more about the material in use.

High resolution screens, which are very flat, are not actually shiny. The surface looks very smooth, but it actually should have very high dispersion to eliminate hot spotting. So, while it may look smooth and shiny, it is just flat and not at all shiny, which is ideal for higher resolution viewing.

The key pieces with cheaper motorized screens are the quality of the build, the quality of the motor, and most of all the length of the warranty. You also need to ensure that if this in a commercial setting that they carry the conformity certificates for fire codes which may be required.

There are some reviews of the material (maybe the same) for their fixed frame HD white screen. In the few photos, there are some which show some hotspotting, perhaps from the camera flash, but that's not something I consider to be a good sign, but it isn't terrible. It may show up with any projector used though.

I couldn't swear by these models over what DaLite or Draper would put out for sure.

You might look into some of the Elite screens as well. They are more of a dedicated screen company and they can directly provide you very accurate information, even on their cheaper models.

For example:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1110282-REG/elite_screens_evanesce_tab_tension_b_etb120hw2_e8.html/?ap=y&ap=y&smp=y&smp=y&lsft=BI%3A514&gclid=CjwKCAjw-YT1BRAFEiwAd2WRts6EuWfa5Krxp60IF9U0adkEUPDyg7s2xcjtFEpiHh_Gk4DJxq-gxRoCxkcQAvD_BwE

At under $1,000 for a 120" diagonal ceiling recessed, they may be a good option as well.

Thanks for all this. And thanks for correcting me that the HD surface is smooth but not shiny.

Just the same I'm expecting some samples of HD screen with which to compare the sharpness and detail in the image.

Since I come from a film background, I know that the quality of a film's projected image comes first from the quality of the lenses, not as much the surface of the screen. So I'm not yet fully convinced that the flatness of the surface between a top of the line 1080 and a perfect 4K really makes that much difference, especially with a throw of 25 feet.

(Most pro theaters have holes in their screens to allow for the audio behind them. I easily see these holes first, before anything. Who complains about this?)

Also, the 4K projector I'm using is a near-top consumer version Epson. The focus (I wish I could put the word in quotes) is a totally slip and slide, remote zoom affair. If it's in or out it's a matter of stopping it - sort of - and going back and forth. It's different from a precise manual focus at the lens itself.

The question of the screen surface is a fearful one to me. I don't want to find out that this is has been hype, because these 4K screens are ungodly expensive.
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I'm not sure, personally, to the typical viewer that it makes much of a difference. Yes, when you get into the proper 4K materials, it if they are properly flat, and properly diffuse, then they likely are a real pain to produce properly. Pricing will come down as they figure out newer ways to make good screens on a budget, but at this point, it does seem the material is a good bit of a premium product.

I would generally recommend people away from it.

Obviously, throw distance won't have much to do with anything. Image size and viewing distance will be incredibly huge factors though.

Theaters certainly are more easily able to get away with AT screens because of the enormous size of the screens, relatively speaking. This is why hole patterns with 4K are a huge issue with home theater and the far more typical 120" to 150" diagonal that homes have vs. the 20'-30'+ screen width of a commercial theater. It makes quite a difference.

IMO, a typical theater doesn't really match up to a decent home theater anyway.

But, yes, the screen samples shouldn't appear to be shiny, but should do a good job showing a diffuse image. Screens typically have the biggest issues when they show positive gain. Especially beyond 1.5 gain. You really can't avoid shimmering, sparkling, and hot spotting with those screens, though there have been some claimed exceptions or very high performance solutions over the years.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.