Projector Reviews

Elite Screens Aeon CLR® 3 Series Screen Review

Elite Screens is one of the major screen manufacturers in the industry. They make tons of different models for consumer, educational, and business applications. The Aeon CLR® 3 is a series of fixed frame, front projection screens, created specifically for table-top ultra-short-throw projectors. The Aeon CLR® 3 screens utilize Elite’s StarBright CLR® 3 material, which was designed to reject the maximum amount of ambient light, especially from ceiling lights, thereby preventing room lighting from washing out the projected image. The Micro-serriform optical structure filters light, “rejecting” (actually, absorbing, so that it never reaches your eyes) up to 90% of overhead lighting. The innovative material provides up to 75 times the contrast of standard matte white screen material in a room with ambient light. It also provides an ultra-wide viewing angle of 180°, making it a great option in a typical home or office environment with lots of ambient light.

The Aeon CLR® 3 is available in three sizes: 103” ($878.10 list price), 115” ($TBD list price), and 123” ($1309.60 list price). Ceiling light rejecting screens, like CLR® 3, are designed for ultra-short-throw projectors and are extremely effective since they only reflect light coming from below at a steep angle. Ambient light, including that from ceiling lights, is absorbed by the screen, while light from the projector is reflected toward the viewer, resulting in better color, contrast, and brightness of the projected image.

Compared with a matte white screen, the CLR (Ceiling Light Rejecting) optical surface material provides a massive boost in contrast when used in a room with ambient light. This material will only reflect light that strikes the screen at a specific angle back toward the viewer. For this reason, it is important to note that this screen is intended to be used with table-top UST projectors only. Its use with a standard or overhead mounted projector will result in a dark image, as much of the projected light will be filtered out along with ambient light.

Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screens, like the Aeon CLR® 3, do such a good job rejecting ambient light that the projection system can be utilized anytime, day or night. The Aeon CLR®3 would be a great solution for a family room or an executive boardroom.

Packaging and Assembly

I love projection systems but setting up a screen can be a hassle. They ship in giant boxes that are hard to move around and attaching the screen to the fixed frame can be tedious and difficult.

When the package arrived, I was expecting a much bigger box. Previous ALR projection screens were shipped fully assembled in a massive heavy box. I remember struggling to stuff a gigantic heavy box holding a 100″ screen into a small hotel elevator in New York City. However, the package containing the CLR® 3 screen was light and easy for one person to carry.

The package dimensions for the 103” screen was just 59.3” x 6.7” x 11.8”. One reason the screen ships in such a small package is that the longer horizontal frame rails are shipped in two pieces. This literally cuts the length of the box in half. In addition, the frame is made of aluminum, so it is super lightweight.

Assembly is pretty straight forward and no special tools are required, just a Phillips screwdriver. First, you assemble the frame and set it aside. Next, have a friend help you roll out the screen material on the sponge sheet and carefully place the assembled frame on top. To prevent leaving fingerprints on the screen material during assembly and mounting, Elite Screens includes a couple of pairs of white gloves.

Elite has done a good job with the Aeon CLR® 3, eliminating one of the most painful parts of putting a fixed screen together, which is snapping the material to the frame. I hate having to align the dozens of little buttons and stretching the material enough to snap it to them. The Aeon CLR® 3 uses springs instead of buttons to keep the Screen taut, simplifying the attachment process. Elite Screens even includes a tool to make installing the springs easier. It would have quicker and easier to assemble the screen with two people, but I did most of the assembly by myself in about 90 minutes.

The screen material wraps around the frame and is then covered by a thin black edge trim. This gives the Aeon CLR® 3 which gives the unit the “Edge Free “appearance of a flat-panel TV.