A Complete Product Guide
A relatively new brand of high quality yet affordable
home theater projection screen solutions
Elite Screens Inc. is a California based company established in 2004. Relatively new in the home theater projection screen market, yet it still managed to established itself world-wide with a product range that compares to other major players in the field like Da-Lite, Stewart and Draper.
Elite specializes in high quality yet cost effective projector screen solutions, with a full range of wall and ceiling mounted electric and manual pull-down screens, tripod-portable, and fixed-frame screens for both home cinema and home entertainment, business and educational use.
We review the Elite product line to discover more what is on offer from this projection screen manufacturer.
Elite Screens has become one of the major players in the projection screen business. Their product line covers a wide range of projection screens at various sizes and arrays available in front, rear, and acoustically transparent projection screen materials, to suit any projection application.
Elite projection screens come with all that is needed for a complete installation. There is black-backing on matte screens to eliminate light penetration, standard velour surfacing on all fixed frame screens to prevent glare, and critical items like IR & RF wireless remotes, RJ45 Ethernet control packages and built-in trigger ports, are all included. A 2-year warranty complements the whole package.
Most screens come in flame retardant material for added safety. In addition, most screen surfaces are mild dew resistant and can be easily cleaned with a moist cotton cloth.
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Innovative Projection Screen Solutions from Elite Screens
If there is one thing that has characterized Elite Screens during these relatively few years that they have been in the projection screen business is constant product innovation. This is the real secret behind Elite Screens continued success.
Suffice to say that the latest Elite Screens catalog lists over 37 different screen array series and over 14 different screen surfaces; these range from ultra-high gain screen surfaces, to high definition acoustically transparent screen fabrics for the best in audio and video integration in the home theater.
In this first part of our Elite Screens product guide, we cover some of the highlights within the interesting line of projection screen solutions on offer from this projection screen maker.
Among the latest Elite Screen product additions, one finds the StarBright™ series with its StarBright 4. This is an ultra high gain projection screen material with a screen gain of 4 and a supported viewing cone of 120 degrees. This high screen gain is achieved through the use of what is referred to as angular-reflective surface; this is further coated with a special coating aimed to eliminate hot spots; the latter problem is typical of most high gain projection screens.
This ultra high screen gain render the StarBright Elite Screen solution suitable for use in the presence of high ambient light conditions. It is not the type of screen material you would find in the home theater; these are mainly intended for use in business presentations and educational/instructional applications. In fact, the StarBright projection surface is used in the Elite Screens WhiteBoardScreen series which comes with a dual purpose, that of a projection screen and a White Board.
Though as stated, the StarBright solution is mainly intended for business/educational applications and public gatherings, screens such as the WB96H-G4 StarBright 4 Whiteboard Elite Projection Screen can still serve a purpose in the area of home entertainment. The ultra high gain surface will enable anyone enjoy their home entertainment in a shared room e.g. living room, under normal ambient light conditions as long as there is no stray light falling direct on the screen. A further advantage of an ultra high gain screen is that in most cases, you can still enjoy a relatively bright picture with the projector set in economy mode even under moderate levels of ambient light, thus helping to extend the projector lamp life.
We mentioned the AcousticPro solution in our projector screen guides when discussing acoustic transparent screens; these allow for the placement of speakers behind the screen for a sound field that better encompasses the movie action and the audience.
Elite Screens has updated its original AcousticPro solution with two new screen surfaces, the AcousticPro 1080p2 designed for 1080p projectors, and the AcousticPro-4K for the latest 4K, 4096 x 2160 video projectors.
AcousticPro-4K has got a much finer weave that creates ultra-fine perforations in the projection surface, which while still leaving the projection surface acoustically transparent, produces a surface that is virtually free from acoustic perforations for image projection purposes. The result is a projection surface that does not produce any moiré artifacts or loss of image detail with both 1080p and 4K image projections.
Supporting a relatively wide angle of view (160 degrees viewing cone) and a screen gain of 1.0 for the AcousticPro1080p2 and 1.1 for the AcousticPro-4K, these projection screen fabrics represent an extremely interesting projection screen option for the home theater.
This screen surface is available in various screen arrays including Elite ezFrame series of fixed home theater screens; these come with full tension uniformity supported by anodized black aluminum frame with Pro-Trim black velour surfacing to enhance the screen appearance, while the stylish masked black border absorbs any light overshoot. Elite Screens AcousticPro is also available as fabric only for use in custom applications and DIY projection solutions.
What renders the Kestrel series unique is that this electric projection screen is neither wall nor ceiling mounted. Instead, it is a free standing motorized screen that rises from the floor thanks to the use of a motorized 'scissorbacked' cross spring risers.
Available either in MaxWhite and CineWhite projection surfaces with a screen gain of 1.1, Kestrel Elite screens come in various aspect ratios; they also include a remote control using both IR and an enhanced RF control with a 100 feet range.
There is also a built-in 5-12V projector trigger to synchronize the screen up/down operation with the video projector on/off action. As with all Elite electrical projection screens, the Kestrel series of projector screens uses a compact tubular motor for a super quite operation.
This represents one of the latest additions to the extensive range of Elite projection screen solutions. At anything between $4,000 and $5,000 for a screen that ranges in size from 72-inch up to 100-inch diagonal, the Raptor series of Elite screens is definitely one of the most expensive projector screen solutions at this screen size for home entertainment use.
A case in point is the 84-inch diagonal Elite CFE84H-C Raptor motorized floor rising front projection screen which is selling at amazon for $5,200. However, this is no ordinary projection screen solution. It is the solution to use if you really want to impress your friends!
It represents the ultimate in concept of disappearing projection screens and an ideal solution for use in a shared room such as a living room or non-dedicated media room in the industry.
It is a motorized floor rising screen integrated into a top-class stylish media cabinet which can take not only your AV receiver, u ray disc player, cable or satellite set-top-box and an extensive part of your favorite movie collection, but also your flat screen TV so that when you are not using the projection screen, you can still enjoy your TV viewing. The TV rests on the inner side of the top shelf meaning that it will be automatically hidden out of sight behind the screen when the projection screen rises out of the media cabinet.
The whole screen mechanism features a series of sensors to ensure that the screen operation is totally safe and would not hurt your hands while the screen is rising or lowering.
Main features include:
Adjustable media cabinet shelves
IR/RF remote operation and built-in 5-12 volt trigger to synchronize rise/drop operation with the on/off cycle of the video projector
Washable screen complete with black backing, a screen gain of 1.1 and a wide viewing cone of 160 degrees
Super quite operation thanks to a built-in tubular motor
Simple media cabinet assembly
With its stylish cherry or dark oak wooden finish, the Elite Raptor Series is the projection screen solution from Elite Screens that will definitely be the center of attraction in any home entertainment setup.
An equally innovative solution from Elite Screens is the Osprey series of dual format projection screens designed to utilize the available full screen width.
This is made possible thanks to the use of a pair of tensioned 16:9 and 2.35:1 projection screens installed in tandem to support both 16:9 HDTV viewing and 2.35:1 Cinemascope projection screen format for widescreen movie picture viewing.
One such model within the Elite screens range is the Elite Screens DTE97C78H-E24 Osprey Series Tensioned Dual Format electric front projection screen (38 x 89.3"/38 x 67.5") available from both amazon and B&H Photo Video for $1,499.
As with all electric Elite projection screens, the Osprey series comes with RF remote control operation, 5-12 volt trigger switch for synchronization with video projector on/off cycle, premium grade screen fabric with a 1.1 gain and over 160 degrees viewing cone, dual tubular motor for super quite operation, adjustable vertical limit switch to regulate the screen rise/drop operation, and specially designed sliding wall brackets for precise projection screen alignment and ease of screen installation.
The above represents just a few of the many projection screen solutions available from Elite Screens. As we stated in our introduction, the full range of Elite projection screens and accessories comprises an extensive line of high-tech quality projection surfaces and screen arrays ranging from standard manual screens and easy-to-fold tripod screens, to a full range of electric screens that literally disappear out of sight when not needed.
In the second part of this Elite Screens product guide, we first present a short description of the projection screen materials available from this projection screen maker; this should help you determine which screen surface is best for your projection environment. We then discuss those Elite screen solutions most appropriate for the home theater and home entertainment; most of these screen solutions can take different screen fabrics to better meet your needs.