Product Review (July 2004) - Da-Lite Corp
92" Cinema Contour Fixed Frame with the
High Contrast Cinema Vision Filmscreen

By Kevin Nakano


Da-Lite Screen Company has been providing high quality projector screens for consumers and businesses for as long as I can remember. More recently, the need for high-end home theater screens has prompted the company to introduce a variety of new products. One of their latest introductions is the High Contrast Cinema Vision screen, designed to enhance the performance of today's digital projectors. We had an opportunity to use this screen with a couple of new digital projectors including both LCD and DLP technologies. The Cinema Contour frame came boxed with the screen and offers a sleek looking design that features a 45 degree angle cut on a 3-inch black-powder coated border. Many other screen options are available for this frame including Da-Lite's Da-Mat, High Contrast Da-Mat, Pearlescent, Cinema Vision, High Contrast Cinema Perf, Audio Vision, High Contrast Audio Vision, Da-Tex, Dual Vision and High Power viewing surfaces. The High Contrast Cinema Vision screen is a gray-colored material that works well with moderately powered DLP projectors by lowering the perceived black level. The flame retardant and mildew resistant material is easy to maintain and can be easily cleaned with mild soap and water. The screen has a gain of 1.1 with a viewing angle of 45 degrees. Various screen sizes are available from 60" to 240" diagonal in video (4:3) format and 92" to 220" diagonal in HDTV (16:9) format. We requested the moderately sized 92" High Contrast Cinema Vision screen in the 16:9 format for our evaluation.

Frame
The Cinema Contour frame requires some assembly as each of the four segments that make up the fixture are separately packed in the shipping container. Each segment slide easily together and require some additional screws and snaps to be installed. A total of 46 snaps are required to attached the 92" diagonal 16:9 screen to the perimeter of the frame. This ensures the screen is pulled tight enough to prevent any wrinkles. The screen has a black vinyl backing that helps prevent light from passing through. Sporting a 45-degree cut on the frame for a sleek, modern appearance, the Cinema Contour is an ideal choice for any fixed wall screen application. The frame is available with Da-Lite's Pro-Trim finish, a fabric frame covering that aesthetically enhances the appearance of the installation and absorbs projected light just outside of the screen area. The screen material has pre-installed snaps that mate directly to the back of the frame for a perfectly flat viewing surface. The plastic frame construction is lightweight making it easy to lift, yet provides a rigid framework that doesn't flex. The fully assembled screen looks attractive and professional and should fit nicely into today's modern decor.

Performance
We used two projectors with this screen to get a feel for the overall performance. Each projector was properly calibrated using a Sencore VP403 signal generator over the DVI interface. Our first projector was a high definition Panasonic PT-AE500U LCD model. The projector was ceiling mounted about 13 feet from the screen. This projector is an exceptional value and produces a good high resolution image for the money. Black looked pretty good even though this projector technology does not inherently produce deep blacks. The gray screen material helped improve image contrast especially near black. Moving to the higher performance Optoma H77 HD2+ DLP projector, the image had even more contrast with deeper black levels. We watched several high definition movies using this screen and the picture was excellent. Colors looked realistic with good saturation and natural looking skin tones. We found the Da-Lite High Contrast Cinema Vision screen to be an excellent and cost-effective alternative to the more expensive Stewart FireHawk.

Conclusion
The Da-Lite High Contrast Cinema Vision filmscreen mounted on the Cinema Contour Fixed Frame worked very well in our viewing room and produced an excellent picture. The image quality we saw from both our LCD and DLP projectors
was certainly worth the cost ($850 street price) of this package. Using our reference Optoma H77 DLP projector, the filmscreen produced a high contrast image with excellent color saturation while keeping the blacks in check. We found this screen to be a great value for those cost conscience home theater buffs that really want to go with a large front projection system. Moderately powered DLP projectors appear to really benefit from this screen.

- Kevin Nakano



OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review System

Projector #1: Panasonic PT-AE500U High-Definition LCD Projector
Projector #2: Optoma H77 High-Definition DLP™ Projector
Scaler: Anchor Bay Technologies iScan HD Video Processor
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Bass Management: Miller & Kreisel BMC Mini 5.1 Bass Management Controller
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box #1: Samsung SIR-T165 Terrestrial HDTV Receiver with DVI
Set-top Box #2: RCA DTC100 HDTV/DSS Satellite Receiver
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables
DVI Cable: AudioQuest DV-1 30m DVI-D Cable
Video Generator: Sencore VP403 SDTV/HDTV Video Pattern Generator
Color Analyzer #1: Sencore CP5000 All Display Color Analyzer
Color Analyzer #2: Eye-One Beamer with Milori ColorFacts

Review at a glance


DaLite - 92"
High Contrast Cinema Vision (16:9)

  • DLP Ready
  • Smooth gray vinyl surface
  • Increases Black Level
  • Washable with soap and water
  • Flame Retardant and mildew resistant

    Specifications:

  • High Contrast Cinema Vision Material
  • 92" Diagonal
  • 1.1 Gain
  • Viewing Angle: 45 Degrees

    Source: Manufacture Supplied
    MSRP: $1092
    Shipping Weight: 28 pounds
    Shipping Size: 102" x 14" x 14" (LxWxH)
    Warranty: 1 year parts/labor

    Product Information (115.9kb)
    Parts List (425kb)
    Spec Data Sheet (39.2kb)
    Installation (455kb)
    Pricing (116.7kb)


    Company Information
    Da-Lite Screen Company
    3100 North Detroit Street
    Post Office Box 137
    Warsaw, IN 46581-0137
    Phone: (574) 267-8101
    Toll Free: (800) 622-3737
    Fax: (574) 267-7804

    E-mail: info@da-lite.com
    URL: www.da-lite.com

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