Review: Carada Precision Series Projection Screen

February 12, 2007

CaradaA few months ago we moved to a new house which brought on several changes in our home theater system. First off, we were once again able to have a subwoofer without worry that our cranky neighbors would complain. The second change the move afforded us was the chance to pair our projector up to a larger screen. The room layout placed our seating position a bit farther back, so we decided to move up to a 92” screen versus our previous 80” projection screen.

Ok, so which screen to pick? Several factors went into my decision but ultimately I went with a 92” Carada Precision Series in Classic Cinema White. My thought process went along the lines of: the Carada in ‘Classic Cinema White’ fits my budget. I’d heard good things about them from other owners and given the fact that I have different projectors in my viewing room from time-to-time, I knew I wanted to go with a low-gain ‘white’ screen as to accommodate a wider range of projectors.

The first thing I noticed after receiving my Carada screen late last week was how beautifully packaged the contents were, even down to sealing the individual bags that contained the four frame pieces. It’s obvious Carada cares about the final product on your wall as much as the sale itself.

Another reason why I went with Carada is I’ve become spoiled installing screens with snap-on fasteners versus Velcro. It may sound trivial for something you’ll do once maybe twice but I really find it to be a hassle pulling the Velcro tight across the screen frame and having to start over if you didn’t pull it taut enough in the process.

Carada Screen - Box Contents

As it turned out, Carada’s screens facilitate something else that might very well come in handy, at least in my case. Some screen manufacturers use single point mounting systems with wall-clips that attach to pre-determined locations on the screen frame, in essence you have one fixed location for the screen after you’ve mounted the wall clips.

Instead of this more common single point mounting system, Carada uses two wide wall-strips that allow the screen’s contact points to slide horizontally a few inches left or right once the screen is mounted. These strips also give you a larger contact point to aim for when hanging the screen.

This isn’t a huge concern for something you’ll ideally only do once or twice but the flexibility could come in quite handy, with a projector upgrade and if it has a slightly different lens offset. With a bit of lateral repositioning on the wall, your new projector could use the same mount/location with just a minor adjustment of the screen. Again, not a huge deal, especially if your new projector has lens shift or has the same lens offset, but the option is a welcome one.

Top Rail in Place

The overall build quality was quite impressive, don’t let the budget price fool you ($542.54 in my configuration). The Carada Precision (and Criterion) series screens are easily on par with screens that sell for many hundred’s more. Oh before I forget, Carada even saw fit to include something that at first caught me off guard but once I thought about it, I couldn’t do anything but grin. Each Carada screen comes with two pairs of white gloves to use while installing the screen to the frame. Nice touch in my opinion, they really do want your final product to be flawless.

I have to say, after having installed upwards of a hundred different screens from various manufacturers the Carada screen was a breeze to install, looked great on the wall and definitely gave the impression that could have easily gone for several hundred more dollars than the asking price. While I do have to apologize for the poor quality of my screen shot of the finished product below, luckily I won’t ever have to apologize for the on-screen image in front of visitors. The Carada screen did exactly what one should expect from a neutral to low gain screen, faithfully reflect the light emitted from the projector, nothing more nothing less.

Screen Shot

Obviously grey and or high gain screens don’t exactly fall into that neutral category but as it turns out I’ve had experience with Carada’s ‘Classic Cinema White’, ‘Brilliant White’ and ‘High Contrast Grey’ screen materials as well. As you can see even back then, I preferred the ‘Classic Cinema White’ and ‘Brilliant White’ in the majority of my tests. I’m not sure if it’s Carada’s specific flavor of 1.0 gain screen material that I favored or just happenstance but I found that it offered the right combination of brightness and black level in my room. Overall I’m quite happy with the screen, the materials and workmanship were all top notch.

At the risk of coming off like a ridiculous self-help guru one of the points I wanted to make with this review is that front projection doesn’t have to be complicated. Some of my peers may grimace at that statement but deep down they’d probably agree. The advent of motorized horizontal and vertical lens-shift, powered zoom and focus has greatly simplified front projection installation. In the past typical projectors were much less forgiving with regard to where they could be mounted in relation to the screen but with lens-shift showing up in projectors retailing for as little as 4k or so, those days are waning.

I firmly believe that the average do-it yourselfer/home theater enthusiast with even a cursory knowledge of front projection could install his (or her) own screen and projector in a matter of hours. Concealing the wires may still prove problematic for those unfamiliar with the tricks of the trade but even this isn’t an insurmountable task by any means. Of course, as with any service oriented profession there will always be those who prefer to pay for the benefit of having a proven professional accomplish the task. Whether your ready to go the do-it-yourself route, hire a professional or somewhere in-between, as always I highly recommend front projection if your room and significant other will tolerate it. Happy viewing.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Projection Screen's, Reviews


Comments

  • Wall Lcd

    Great Explanation!

  • Wall Lcd

    Great Explanation!

  • n8

    Good review.. I ordered my 118″ Carada Brilliant white earlier tonight.. looking forward to the simple setup in my new house!

  • n8

    Good review.. I ordered my 118″ Carada Brilliant white earlier tonight.. looking forward to the simple setup in my new house!

  • Brian

    Would you recommend the Carada classic cinema white or brilliant white with a high lumens and contrast projector where there will be ambient light in the room and need a wide viewing angle.

  • Brian

    Would you recommend the Carada classic cinema white or brilliant white with a high lumens and contrast projector where there will be ambient light in the room and need a wide viewing angle.

  • B.Greenway

    Hey Hoyt, yeah snap-on buttons.

  • B.Greenway

    Hey Hoyt, yeah snap-on buttons.

  • Hoyty

    I bought a severtson screen a little over a year ago and really liked its mounting. It used four rods the slipped through the edges. Then there were little metal tabs to pull the rods over. I thought that was a pretty good mounting method as well. I am wondering when you say snap on, do you mean as in buttons?

  • Hoyty

    I bought a severtson screen a little over a year ago and really liked its mounting. It used four rods the slipped through the edges. Then there were little metal tabs to pull the rods over. I thought that was a pretty good mounting method as well. I am wondering when you say snap on, do you mean as in buttons?