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Elite ezFrame High Contrast Gray, Fixed Projector Screen Review-2

Posted on August 29, 2006 by Art Feierman

Assembling the Elite ezFrame Projector Screen

The frame is fairly easy to assemble, although I must confess, I didn't have to assemble it myself, I just watched it being done. Elite is located about 40 miles from my location, and in Elite's enthusiasm to have it reviewed, they drove down the screen (boxed) and one of their people assembled it. I'm sure the Elite guy assembling it is far more experienced at it than you or I, so assembly time, will be longer than for us "normal people". The point is, it took definitely less than 30 minutes from sealed box in his SUV, to having it completed (and I was talking with him part of the time). I already have another (Carada) fixed screen mounted on the wall of my testing room. The 100" Elite was placed just in front of the other screen (slightly leaning against the frame of the other screen). As a result, the time mentioned does not include finding wall studs, installing the wall brackets, and hanging the screen.

Documentation has plenty of diagrams, but text (no doubt translated from the original Chinese), leaves something to be desired, there seem to be more "letters" (point J,K) on the manual, than discussion of them. Still, if you figured you could assemble a screen you shouldn't have any problem doing so. If you are a complete klutz, and are counting on an extraordinarily good manual to save you, look out, or find a friend who has "skills". The screen surface attaches to the frame at 22 separate points, which creates a tight flat screen surface without any visible waves, that would distort the projected image.

Screen Light Absorbing Trim

The screen has a velour type, black, light absorbing beveled surface that mounts on the frame. The black area measured 2.5 inches wide, on all sides. Interestingly, their website describes the border as being 3 inches, not 2.5, an error Elite should correct. I don't recall if the original version of this screen had a wider border. To put Elite's 2.5 inch border in perspective, the Carada Criterion's border is 3 and 3/8ths wide all the way around. (Carada offers a 2nd, slightly less expensive border that is about 2 inches wide.)

2.5 inches of black border makes for a good looking screen, and provides more than enough border at the top and bottom to deal with the light overshoot (top and bottom) that many of the new DLP home theater projectors have (or widescreen business projectors for that matter) that feature the relatively new 1280x768 resolution Darkchip2 DLP chip. (That chip allows Texas Instruments to use one chip for typical home theater (1280x720) and for business WXGA (1280x768), so that the full 768 vertical can be displayed. Some of the popular home theater projectors that use this chipset include the Optoma HD72 and the Mitsubishi HC3000. Almost all the widescreen business DLP projectors also use that chipset. I should note that those needing a brighter solution for their home, due to ambient light, might consider one of those bright business projectors.

The downside of using the 1280x768 chip, is that when you set up your projector to fill a 16:9 screen left to right - 1280 across, you end up with a total of 48 pixels vertically that will overshoot the screen surface, (768-720=48) and hit the frame (24 pixels at the top, 24 at the bottom).

The Elite's black velour easily absorbs the light from this overshoot, and you really have to be looking for it to spot the light hitting the screen border. If you do the computations, for a 100" diagonal screen, the overshoot works out to about 1.5 inches at the top and at the bottom, so the 2.5 inch border is more than enough, and would do the job even with Elite's huge 150" diagonal screen.

Projector Screen Image Properties - Gain

I would describe the R100H1 as a light gray surface. Despite this Elite claims a gain of 1.0. In comparing brightness with my Carada Brilliant White (gain claimed of 1.4), the Elite screen was not quite as bright. I do not have a viable method of measuring the actual gain of screens, but find the gain of 1.0 to be reasonable assuming the Carada meets its 1.4 claim. If anything I suspect that the gain is slightly lower, say, 0.9.

Difference in brightness between the Elite ezFrame projector screen and a competetor.The end result is a screen that will work well with larger screens, or some of the less bright projectors, if you are looking for a screen that can lower black levels, but don't want to sacrifice as much brightness as some of the darker gray surfaces.

The image immediately to the right, shows the brightness difference between the Carada (top) and the Elite (bottom) separated by the Elite's velour border.




Projector Screen Image Properties - Color Accuracy

Following the same procedure above, we measured the grayscale balance at 100 IRE directly from the projector - measuring R, G, and B, values. We then performed the same measurements with light reflected off of the screen. Below you can see two images of my calibration software. The first is the RGB balance measured directly off of the projector, the second reflected off of the screen.

From an overall color temperature change, the direct temperature measured 6654K and reflected off of the screen, 6456K, about a 200K difference, which is very slight and easy to correct for. Essentially this Elite screen reflects back just the slightest more red, than blue. The percentage measurements between Red and Blue, go from 99.62 (red) and 101.19 (blue) on the direct measurement off of the projector. Off of the screen, red increases slightly to 100.17 while Blue drops to 99.69.

Better still, the amount of green compared to Red and Blue remains virtually unchanged. dropping from 99.99% to 99.98%

In summary, this Elite screen would have to be considered very color neutral, with the shift to red being barely detectable to the eye, even if you could show the same image with a perfect neutral screen, and then switch back to view the Elite screen.

The two images below (if you can read the small print - show (first) the color balance measuring directly off of the Optoma HD7100 projector. (You can see the RGB percentages on the right, and the target slightly off from a perfect 6500K, in the lower area. The second image shows the numbers and target, with light measured reflected off of the screen.

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