By Clay Hankins
This is the 4th article written in a series that addresses why we choose the manufacturers we do.
When I first started out in this business, I was very much an "audio guy". You might have surmised that by the company name and though that is still my passion, I have spent a lot of time learning how to make video look its best. Nothing compares to the value received by having your system properly calibrated, but when it comes to the home theater/media room with a projector/screen combination, screen choice is as important, if not more so, than projector choice. First let me say, this was something I needed a little convincing on.
Screens come in all kinds of brands, with all kinds of fabric choices, in all shapes and sizes and in all kinds of price ranges. Most of the entry level packages we have allocate a screen budget of about $600-$1000. That number is pretty much the entry level price of a decent screen without breaking the bank. There are a number of choices in that price range as well from companies such as VuTec, Grandview, Elite, Dragonfly, and Severtson (who I will write about in my next article). In the early days, I remember thinking that compared to the price of a Stewart, how much of a difference can a piece of fabric make? Boy was I about to get an education.
Having access to Stewart, I hadn't sold one in the early days of business because we weren't doing a lot of theaters for one thing, and the ones we were doing were on entry level end. I can across a client that wanted one (well, insisted on one actually). This job would be my first Stewart install, and the first time I had seen one in a theater rooom. We had a lot of construction on that job so it took a while before we were ready to install the screen and projector and the day finally arrived to get it done. We got it hung on the wall, turned on the projector, did the alignments and, WOW! I was blown away. I just couldn't believe how much of a difference there was in the Stewart and all the other screens I had installed. The images just popped off the screen. Colors looked natural, brightness was even without having hot spots, in short, it looked like 110" flat screen TV on the wall.
Once I was enlightened, I started looking more in to Stewart and of course, now I knew why most every reviewer out there chose Stewart as their "reference" screen. They are the benchmark. Are they cheap? No. But do they provide great value? Absolutely.
Most of the time when I am advising clients on how to best spend their "theater" dollars, I will suggest to them to put the largest portion into the screen and speakers. Those are the two items that will almost always live in the theater for the life of the theater. True, I won't be putting any Stewart screens in a $5000 theater, but I can get them in a $6500-$7000 theater, depending on other equipment choices.
Again, are they cheap? No, but they are an excellent value for what you pay to get such a great return on your investment.
You can check out Stewart products at www.stewartfilmscreen.com
Filed Under: projector, stewart filmscreen, video screen
By Clay Hankins, the CEO of The Audio Guy, LLC.