Updated: May 9, 2015
Getting the Most for Your Money: Elite Projector Screens:Guide to Elite Projection Screens - Having a home theater is something that has been reserved for those with huge dedicated home theaters and equally large budgets. The great thing about technology, though, is that as it advances, it becomes more accessible to more people. Today, virtually anyone can have a home theater, whether it is in a dedicated room or a dorm room. One of the biggest names in the industry, Elite, provides projection screens that have advanced technology for modest prices. Which Elite projector screen is right for you? What features should you look for? How much should you pay? This guide will take a look at all of these questions to help you make the best choice so you don't have to think about specs and features again; you'll be too busy enjoying your home theater.
Choosing an Elite Projector Screen - Many manufacturers tend to focus on the projector itself or its speaker components, but a great screen is essential for ensuring you get the quality you want. Elite makes several types of projector screen, including manual, electric, and fixed frame screens, and among their most popular lines are: CineTension, EZ Frame, and Vmax2. Let's take a look at each and see what they have to offer. Before we get started, let's take a look at some of the common terms you'll run across and what they mean for you. One of the most common is screen surface. Sounds easy enough, but some screens absorb light differently, and you want to ensure that yours gives the best picture. You will see matte white in the Elite projection screens and others. It provides excellent color and definition. Another term is gain. This is the measure of how much light the screen can gather and then redirect. With matte white screens, you will likely see a gain of 1.0, which is suitable for home use. Gains that are higher are meant to allow the projection screen to work in lighter conditions, such as a classroom or boardroom. Viewing angles are quite simply the angles at which the screen can be viewed. You'll see that Elite's screens typically have a 160-degree angle viewing angle. Flatness or tensioning. With non-fixed frame projector screens, you want a screen that has tensioning so it doesn't bend and warp the picture. You can browse the best selling Elite Screens projection screens here.
Best Elite Projection Screens:The CineTension Elite Projector Screen - ProjectorReviews remarks that finally there is an affordable motorized screen. This is perhaps Elite's best strength: they make home theater screens much more accessible to the average consumer. The CineTension 2 series, which won the 2008 EH Magazine Product of the Year, features CineWhite Tension material for uniform flatness, 160-degree wide angle viewing, standard 4-side black masking borders, 4:3, 16:9, 16:10, or 2.35.1 aspect ratio, AcousticPro1080 sound, infrared (IR) and Optional ZR800D IR universal learning remote system, optional in-wall switch, floating installation brackets, aluminum housing with powder coat, adjustable vertical limit switch, plug and play installation kit, optional in-ceiling trim kit, and 2 year parts and labor warranty. CineTension screens are available in sizes ranging from 84 inches to 150 inches. The CineTension 2 electric screen stands out in the projection screen market because it is a low-cost model, of which there are very few electric options, and it is high quality. This is an unusual combination, but one that benefits consumers immensely. A review on HomeTheaterReview said that while big ticket names offer electric screens, it is extremely hard to find budget ones. And none comes close to the Elite projector screen. The reviewer noted that while he regularly upgrades his projector, he kept his Elite projection screen. This is not an "entry-level" projector screen; it just has an entry-level price. Take the 84-inch CineTension screen: this high quality screen costs just $569 and has all the features you'd find in any of the larger screens. Even at the high end, you'll pay less than $100 for the 150-inch CineTension screen. Other comparable screens can cost 2 to 3 times as much. Look here for a selection of affordable CineTension projection screens in different sizes and prices.
The VMAX2 Elite Projection Screen - AlaTest reviews say that the Elite VMAX2 is an excellent screen, and more important to your budget, an excellent screen for the price. The VMAX2 series features MaxWhite 1.1 Gain black-backed material, 160-degree wide angle viewing, 4 side black masking borders, AcousticPro1080 matte white screen, IR remote control, detachable 3-way wall switch, radio frequency remote, 5-12 volt trigger, optional in-wall up/down switch, durable metal casing, bubble level, built-in adjustable vertical limit switch, and 2-year parts and labor warranty. The VMAX2 comes in sizes from 84 inches to 180 inches. ProjectorCentral says that it is a notch up from the original VMAX. Reviewers are generally happy with this projector screen, but one did note that the remote was "ugly." A small price to pay! You can see the VMAX2 models here. Prices start at under $300 for the 92-inch model to about $1200 for the 180-inch screen.
The EZFrame Elite Projection Screen - ProjectorReviews gave the EZFrame Elite projector screen their Hot Product Award for its low price and superior price performance. The review noted that it is doubtful you'll find a better screen when "you take price into consideration." Elite calls this the best solution for a dedicated home theater. This line features full tension uniformity, standard CineWhite Gain 1.1 screen with 160-degree wide angle viewing, anodized black aluminum frame with velour surfacing to absorb projector light overshoot, easy assembly, sliding wall mounts, 4:3, 16:9, or 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 84- to 206-inch and customized sizes, and AcousticPro. Unlike the previous 2 lines, this is a fixed frame screen. Again, what separates these Elite projection screens is the price. For dedicated home theater projection screens, prices under $1000 are absurd, and yet, you'll find that Elite makes several that are well below this mark. Browse the best selling EZframe Elite screens here. The EZ Frame was named BestCovery's Best Projection Screen. Elite is consistently ranked among the best projection screens; they review well on Amazon, Wize, Buy.com, and other consumer review sites. While you could get higher quality with a Da-Lite, Draper, or Stewart, you will pay 2, 3, or more times as much as you will with an Elite. Will you be able to tell the difference? Among you picky, techy people, probably. Among the rest of us, probably not. It is about balancing the price with the quality. Luckily, Elite makes the equation much easier to solve.