Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
Only 3 stars but bear with me...
on 7 September 2015
The reviews for this screen are lumped together - regardless of size. My review is for the 120" version of this item.
Firstly, the smell. Some describe it as 'chemical', some describe it as 'plasticy'. The optimists out there will hope that people are exaggerating and that those describing it as 'plasticy' are the more accurate reviewers. So much for optimism. The smell is undoubtedly of chemicals and it is much much more than simply an annoying smell. If you walk up to the screen and sniff it, you will recoil uncontrollably from the sheer power of it. It's like sniffing the world's worst smelling salts. The problem is, logic tells you that the smell will go faster the longer the screen is left in the down position, so you start planning when to leave descended - ie while you're away at work, or when you go to bed. If this is the room you watch tv in, you won't want that screen down while you're in there. The chemical smell from ours was so powerful when it was down that we needed to shut the door at night and put a towel along the bottom of the door to stop the smell leaking out into the hallway and beyond.
I realise that all screens smell to a certain extent at first, but this is unbelievable. Clearly the screens are not left to cure long enough during the manufacturing process. Three weeks after getting the screen (and lowering it at every time the room was unoccupied) we were able to watch a film.... but in the morning my breathing was really tight, like the beginnings of an asthma attack.
The smell is going, slowly.....
Assuming you're not put off, and have decided if you get this screen you will hang it somewhere for at least four weeks before attempting to watch a film.... the screen itself....
The screen casing is larger than shown in Amazon... a kind of hexagonal shape about 5 inches in diameter and really solidly built.
NOTE - This screen is for wall mounting only. I say this because the holes through which the fixing screws go, are in fixed positions on the ends of the casing. In other words, unless you're incredibly lucky and your ceiling joists exactly coincide with the holes on the screen's casing, it will have to be mounted on a wall. (This may be true of most screens, I don't know... but I thought I'd draw it to your attention, because for some reason I was expecting some form of adjustable brackets).
With fore-thought, you can put this screen up on your own. If the screws are accurately (and I mean accurately!) put into the wall - protruding about quarter of an inch - you can raise one end of the screen to hook onto one screw, then go to the other end and raise that to hook onto the other screw.
Another little problem...
To get power to the screen, you get a 13A plug on a lead that goes to a small control box, (moulded connection) then a moulded lead out of the top of this control box to the right hand side of the screen casing. (A round, four pin power connector which I believe is called a '4-pin power pogo connector'). It is not an elegant solution, since the overall length of this arrangement means the 13A plug barely reaches the floor. Fine if you have a power-point halfway up the wall, but not for me - I needed it to plug into an extension lead, which it just about reaches. The 'pogo-pin' connector on the screen casing is a bit specialist, so dispensing with the control box and relying on the remote control isn't really an option.
It's a shame about these issues, because the screen itself is very good. If you've not owned a screen before, be aware that unlike cinema screens, home screens are if anything over-reflective, which means your room will be good and dark in the night scenes, but will be brightly lit in the daytime scenes, regardless of how well you exclude external light. This may seem obvious, but unless your room is draped in black curtains, the light from the movie itself will bounce back and reduce the blacks on normal shots. You'll get the cinema experience all right, but if you sit there critically analysing the picture (which I did, because I bought an expensive projector!), then you will be able to pick a few holes. But like all screens and screen sizes, you adapt quickly and just enjoy the movie.
Only time will tell me if this is going to help keep the edges from curling, but on instinct, it looks like a pretty good arrangement. I'm optimistic about that!
Be aware also, how much longer the casing is than the actual screen! I was convinced they'd sent me the next size up in error (and was for a while, smugly happy). Because of the tab-tensioning arrangement, the casing is in total, 20" (50cm) wider than the actual screen, so make sure you've got the space!
Screen height... if you're worried about looking up at the screen and getting a stiff neck, don't....
The black above the screen is better than advertised - just over 14"
As an example - my screen casing is mounted about 85" above floor level. If the screen is fully lowered, the white of the screen can come down to about 8" above the floor - so way more than you'd need - you won't get a stiff neck.
The screen comes with a plastic tool that allows you to set where it automatically stops after one press of the 'down' button too.
I'm only awarding 3 stars purely because of the eye-wateringly awful smell. Don't underestimate that and don't imagine you will enjoy a movie the first day you get the screen up. If you suffer from any form of breathing issues I would say avoid this screen altogether, and also ask the question in relation to other screens.
If it weren't for the smell, I'd have ignored the cable length issue and probably given 5 stars, because mechanically, for the money, it's otherwise a very good buy.
We've had the screen 4 weeks now and although the smell is slowly going, it's still there, and still unpleasant. Hopefully I can update this review and award another star soon! Hope the above helps.
5 weeks in, the smell has completely gone. About time. It's a great screen now :) but I'll leave it as three stars because I think a five week wait to use a product is something the manufacturers need to deal with.