This is the second installment of our blog Supersize Your Super Bowl Party with a Bright Room Projector
! If you haven't read the first part yet, start there. If you have, read on:
A Decision You Must Make: Will your screen be visible at all times?
For many folks one huge advantage of a projector / screen combination is that with a motorized screen, when you aren't watching content, It rolls up, so that you aren't staring at some huge gray rectangular area on your wall, which would be a good description of any 60 - 75 inch LCDTV when turned off.
A closed motorized screen is far more esthetically attractive than an equal sized LCDTV that's turned off! And even more so, if recessed into the ceiling. This screen is mounted to the wall at the top.
If you don't care about that esthetic, then you can go with a fixed wall screen with either nice fat wide black borders, or screens with minimal frames - "all screen". The good news is that with fixed wall screens, light "rejecting" options are very affordable, as I said above, with street prices starting under $1000!
Consider this Elite Aeon CineGrey 3D surface (image below). While not as sophisticated ALR as the SI screens, you can have this fixed wall light absorbing screen for a fraction the price of motorized: A 100" Aeon CineGrey 3D has a list price of $750 while the 120" diagonal is only an extra $125! (Image provided by Elite, who promises me this is an "Actual" projected image, undoctored.) Impressive. Want to be even more impressed, for those prices it comes with an RGB led light kit (not shown in this image) that goes behind the screen to outline it in whatever color works for you.
Light rejecting (absorbing) screens take todays bright projectors and let them challenge LCDTVs for supremacy in living rooms and family rooms.
If you don't want to see that big gray area when not watching, but find a SI screen to be above your budget, Elite also offers their motorized Starling tab-tensioned CineGrey 5D surface for $1699 in 106" and $1899 in 120" diagonals. More and more screen manufacturers are getting into the ALR game, so note that Da-Lite - perhaps the best known American brand of screens also offers models for your consideration.
Heads up: I should mention that these surfaces from Elite are pretty new, so, while I've seen them at trade shows, I haven't had them here in my testing environment, so I can't tell you how close they come to my SI Slate 1.2, but if they are even close, you've got a great combination that's pretty affordable.
Elite also sells more sophisticated (aka better) light absorbing screens in their EPV (Elite Prime Vision) series (sold through local installing dealers, not online). Their DarkStar 9 and PolarStar look outstanding in bright trade show situations, and look to be comparable to the Screen Innovations fixed screen models, including their more expensive Black Diamond ALR screens, but those EPV screens are also pretty expensive.
I'm not yet familiar with the pricing of Da-Lite's entries, but I'm sure they are worth checking out as well. Other screen companies playing in this "ALR" space include Vutec and also I believe, Draper.
Bigger is Better - Especially for Super Bowl
15 years ago when HDTV was something you were first hearing about, and no one had it yet, the largest TVs around were pretty much 32" diagonal. Common large sizes were 21 and 25 inch. It would have been near impossible to fathom back then, what today's 70" LCDTV viewing experience is like (in all ways) compared to a top of the line conventional 25" Sony Trinitron.
OK if you've been watching your sports - and notably the NLF playoffs and Super Bowl, (whether by your self or with friends)...if you've been doing all your sports viewing on a 60" or less...then visualizing the dramatically enhanced experience of watching those same games on a 120" projector / screen combination, compared to a 60" LCDTV is probably almost as difficult to imagine.
Nobody wants to go back to watching movies and sports on 21 inch TVs. (Ok, Millennials do, they think an iPhone 6+ is a "big screen TV", but, hey, Millennials are young and "inexperienced"! They (you?) will learn soon enough.
It's not too late. As of this publishing date, you've got more than a week to visit Best Buy, Amazon, or your favorite knowledgeable online or local projector dealer.
Wondering why you always end up going to someone elses Super Bowl party? Perhaps its because bigger, in this case, is better.
Once you get your Bright Room Projector and screen solution, you too can be silly like me, by telling your friends how their 65" LCDTV is just the right size for a kitchen, or 3rd bedroom, and how 37" LCDTVs are perfect for the powder room.
If you hurry, you still have time to throw your best Super Bowl party ever.