Posted on January 17, 2009 By Art Feierman
Back last February (’08) we reviewed Elite’s Home2 Series Fixed Screen with Acoustic white surface. We gave that screen a Special Interest Award, rather than our normal Hot Product Award. This was due to certain limitations of the screen, that limited the number of potential users. That particular weakness was the lack of a dark backing resulting in too much light passing through the acoustic screen material, and, when a light surfaced wall is behind the screen, light reflected back through the screen, washing out the image. The screen did work well enough, however when the wall behind the screen is extremely dark. With white or off white walls, that screen’s image was effectively ruined.
For those limitations, Elite has been on my case, for many months, to review their newer acoustic screen surface. This new surface is called AcousticPro and it comes with a black mesh backing, which solves the problem mentioned above. It is definitely suitable for use with a light colored wall/surface behind the scrreen, as well, of course, as working well with a dark surface behind the screen.
For this review Elite provided this fixed frame screen in an 84 inch diagonal, 16:9 aspect ratio version. The Elite part number for this size is: R84WH1-A. Realizing that 84 inch diagonal is a smaller size than most would buy (but very convenient for reviewing), below I list not only the info on the test screen size, but MSRP for several larger screen sizes as well. Elite offers this screen in huge sizes if needed, even 150 inch and larger. You’ll get the idea. Dealers generally sell Elite screens with good discounts.
The frame itself is a nicely beveled light absorbing black finish, about 2.5 inches thick. There are thicker screen frames, but this amount of border is enough to look good. Overall, this Elite screen performed very well. Timing is such, that my main theater (which had off-white walls – unfortunately, until last week), was finally painted to a dark rust color. I had the opportunity to work with this Elite Screen with both light and dark wall color. It did a nice job, in both cases. As I have mentioned in previous screen reviews, we are not really setup to measure and provide hard objective numbers (gain, acoustic properties, viewing cone, etc. This review is therefore subjective on these topics.
To observe the acoustic properties, this screen was placed in my theater, below my Stewart Firehawk G3. Since I do not have a center speaker that would place behind the screen surface, I simply slid my two large front speakers a little closer together, and propped the screen frame up against the outer sides of each, allowing all the sound from the speakers to pass through the Elite screen surface. Putting a friend to work, I had him bring the top of the screen forward and down, moving it out of the way of the speakers, to see what differences/losses I could detect, with the screen in front of the speakers.
The photo below, of the setup was taken before the speakers were moved closer together:
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