Carada Projection Screen - Criterion 16x9 Brilliant White:
Summary, Pros and Cons
Reviewing screens isn't something I've done much of, until recently, so I don't lay claim to being really expert at it.
I am fully confident that the Carada Criterion, with it's Brilliant White 1.4 gain surface, has to be one of the very best values in fixed wall screens, available to consumers today. The combination of accurate color balance, virtually no hot spotting, a good amount of gain, and a wide viewing angle, combine with what appears to be very good construction. This would make this Carada screen a highly recommended projection screen if it sold for the prices typically offered by larger, better known brand names.
As it turns out, however, Carada sells their screens direct to the end user. Their prices appear to be significantly below the best discount prices (from online dealers) that I am used to seeing from companies like Da-lite or Draper. I would like to be able to tell you exactly how the Carada Brilliant White compares with their offerings, but I just haven't reviewed their products. I can say though, that I can't imagine that the other brands can do appreciably better than what this screen does so well.
Stewart FilmScreen's screens, to my knowledge (and I have their motorized Firehawk in my own home theater), have always carried the best reputation in the industry. Even assuming their legendary StudioTek 130 (their most similar surface to Carada's Brilliant White), is better, it would be easy to argue that the Carada offers more value, as it sells for a fraction the price.
If most of these apply to you, the Carada Criterion - with it's Brilliant White should be near or at the top of your list.
For commercial applications, this Criterion screen should again be an excellent value. I can see it as being highly functional in training rooms and conference rooms, although I would suspect that in those environments, the narrower Precision frame will be chosen more often. The wide viewing angle and modest gain, combined with today's bright portable and install projectors should prove to be an excellent combination.
I, again apologize for not being here when the screen was unboxed and assembled so I can't directly comment on how easy the screen is to assemble and mount, only tell you that it didn't take my installer very long, and he encountered no problems at all.
When choosing a screen, in this case a fixed wall screen, the surface you choose should be selected to match your environment, and your projector. As such, again, I was extremely pleased with the Brilliant White's performance. Carada does also offer a matte white surface, and a high contrast gray. Their performance will be significantly different from the Brilliant White. They may or may not perform as well compared to their competition, as the Brilliant White screen surface does in its class. Down the road I do hope to get a chance to review their gray surface as well.
Finally, to restate, I am most impressed with the Brilliant White's performance, and the Criterion frame with its wide velvet covered trim looks great mounted in my testing room. By the way, on the amusing side, Carada calls its light absorbing velvet surface "The Black Hole".
For those needing to save even more money, (or like the sleeker look), Carada's Precision frame costs slighly less and has a narrower, non-beveled, but still has velvet covered frame.