As some of you know we use a few projectors at our LAN events. In between events I have been known to setup a projector in the office to watch a movie, watch eSport streams, and even play a few games. The problem I have in the office is our textured walls don’t exactly give the best picture. Because of that and because we would like more flexibility for setting up at our events I have been on the lookout for a projector screen for a while now. My requirements were something that is portable, so it can be taken to our events no matter their location, easy/quick to setup, and of course, I would like it to give the best picture possible in different environments.  I came across a company called Elite Screens that manufactures a wide selection of screens and found the ezCinema Plus Series that fit our requirements and even didn’t break the bank. Today I’m going to take a look at the ezCinema Plus in its largest size (100 inches) and see how well it performs.

Product Name: Elite Screens ezCinema Plus 100”

Review Sample Provided by: Elite Screens

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

 

Specifications

Model

F100XWH1

Size

100”

Aspect Ratio

16:9

Case length

94.4

Screen Width

89.1

Weight

30.6

Gain

1.1

Screen Material

MaxWhite

Viewing Angle

160°

 


Packaging

Sadly I wasn’t looking when the delivery guy brought the ezCinema Plus up to our house. Given the size, I’m sure it would have been interesting to watch them fight with trying to get it in or out of their truck. To put it into perspective, in the photo below you can see that the box extends past our normal large photo area (where we take pictures of chairs) all the way to block two different doorways. At nearly 8 feet long it is the longest box to ever come in for review. To keep it from being banged around Elite Screens puts corner protectors on each corner of the box and them straps them down with an ungodly number of plastic straps. Even when you take those straps off and remove the corner protectors, there are even more straps waiting for you. I can’t complain though because the box came in without any damage at all and of course no damage to the screen inside.

image 1

So inside the box there are Styrofoam pads around the stand every few feet to keep it from moving around inside of the box. The stand is also wrapped up in a plastic bag to prevent scratches as well.

image 2

Beyond the ezCinema Plus itself, you also get a little bit of documentation and a carrying case as well. I will talk about the carrying case in the next section, but for documentation you get a few papers on projector mounts from Elite Screens. There is a paper about an in wall switch for powered screens as well. Then of course you get a user guide. There isn’t too much to the user guide because the ezCinema Plus is a simple design but Elite Screens was careful to make leave nothing undocumented just in case you can’t figure things out on your own, although I have a feeling most people will be able to figure it out. They also slipped in a paper explaining that you might see a few small lines in your screen as first from it being stored rolled up before your use. They explain how to fix them (basically normal use) and that you shouldn’t worry if you see them.

image 8

image 9

image 10

 


Photos and Features

I’ll be honest, my pervious experiences with projector screens have been powered and manual pull down screens that hang from the wall. Because of that I wasn’t sure of what to expect from the ezCinema Plus. After getting everything out of the box I was basically left with a long metal casing with two locks and a carrying strap on top.

image 11

image 12

image 13

image 14

Other than the two latches and the handle on the outside casing, the only other thing going on are the three feet along the bottom. The middle foot is locked into place and is a little wider than the others. The other two feet actually rotate out to give the stand the stability it needs to stand up when extended. All three feet are made out of plastic and are more than strong enough to keep things stable. This does mean that you can’t expect to just sit the ezCinema right up against a wall. At this size, the feet extend almost a foot out each direction when rotated out.

image 15

image 16

image 17

image 18

When you unlatch the two latches and open up the top of the ezCinema’s casing you are greeted with a flip up handle and a bright yellow note that warns you to pull up slowly and horizontally. With the built in assembly that assists your lift and holds the screen in place you could cause a lot of damage if you lifted the screen up and pulled on it.

image 19

image 20

image 21

image 22

As cool as the rest of the ezCinema Plus is, it’s what happens around the back of the screen that really sets the screen apart. It is designed to quickly be setup and tore down. They manage to do this with the cross spring mechanism on the back. They use two hydraulic struts to help make raising the screen easier and to hold the screen up into place once you get it where you want it. These are basically the same struts you might find holding up your trunk or hood on your car. 

image 23

image 27

image 28

image 29

With the screen extended we can see the full 100 inch diagonal MaxWhite screen as well as the black backing. The screen material for the ezCinema Plus has a slight texture to it to diffuse the light but the texture is fine enough that it shouldn’t show, even at HD resolutions. The MaxWhite has a 1.1 Gain, so it isn’t going to amplify your projectors light output but it should still be an improvement over shooting direct onto a wall. The black backing material runs behind the white screen as well to prevent light penetration and help increase the reflectivity. The black edge around the screen helps define your screen and hides anything you project over the edge. As you pull the screen higher, you will also pull out more of the glossy reflective black material that runs below the screen.

image 24

image 25

Even with an easy to use carrying handle directly on the ezCinema Plus, Elite Screens still included a carrying case for you to wrap the screen up in for transporting it. This is great for us because we plan on taking the ezCinema Plus to our events, but it will also come in handy for companies who might need to use this for Expo’s or event rental companies. You get a black canvas bag that has a built in shoulder strap for easier carrying. If you just want to carry it by the handle, they did cut out a hole in the bag to make sure you still have access to the handle directly on the screen.   

image 3

image 4

image 5

image 6

image 7

 


Performance

There were three things that I wanted to check out what I started in on testing the ezCinema. The first and most obvious is how good is the picture quality, both in the dark and with high ambient light. Second, I wanted to see how easy it is to set the ezCinema Plus up and take it all down. Third, I wanted to see how well it would hold up. After spending weeks with the screen I can finally talk about how well the ezCinema Plus performed in all three aspects.

As I touched on in the previous section, one of the biggest features of the ezCinema Plus is its unique cross spring mechanism. After carrying the screen into our office using the built in handle, I was able to set the screen up about one minute. Flipping the two legs out took only a few seconds and the same for the two latches. The only time consuming thing you do when extending the ezCinema Plus is forcing yourself to take your time lifting the screen up to prevent doing any damage. Frankly setting up our projector took up most of the overall time getting everything up and running. I was able to set the screen to the height that I wanted and go with it. For example, you might set the screen lower in your living room than you would if you set it up at an event.

I did run into an issue with the screen early on in my testing as you can see in the photos below. It was leaning one direction consistently and I was concerned that the extendable arms couldn’t support the screen. After spending a little time with it I figured out that our floor wasn’t completely level in that area. After putting a little cardboard under the feat things leveled out and their wasn’t a problem. I’m not sure how frequently this might be an issue. My initial thought was that it might be a nice upgrade if the feet had small adjusters on them, but frankly after giving it some thought I really doubt that many people will have a lean in their floor like that.

image 26

image 33

With everything setup, running the projector at night is amazing. It was really hard to get a photo that really puts things into perspective on how massive the screen is, but to put things in perspective, a 100 inch screen is four times the size of a 50 inch television. A 50 inch television is still impressive on its own, this is your own theatre. Even at that size the picture looked amazing. I did have a vertical wave in the screen material, but it was only noticeable when watching from an angle (you can see what I mean in the picture of the LanOC website). The wave in the material is to be expected when their aren’t supports on each side of the screen pulling it tight. For testing, I watched movies and TV Shows in my off time, but when working late I would put on a Twitch stream in the background. I did get a couple games in on the screen as well and let me tell you, you haven’t lived until you played an FPS on a 100 inch screen.

image 30

image 31

image 32

With my office having five windows in it I can’t ever expect to be able to cut out very much light during the day, especially in the afternoon when the sun is facing in. So I didn’t have the highest hopes in my daytime testing, when shooting directly onto our wall the result was hardly worth even doing. Surprisingly, I was able to still see what I was projecting clearly. It wasn’t as vibrant as in lower lighting, but it was still a noticeable improvement over using the wall itself.

image 34

As for durability, I was a little worried at first when I had the leaning issue. After fixing that I have no doubts that the ezCinema can hold up to the abuse of being packed up over and over again. I do expect to have to replace the struts that hold everything up in the future but going off of how long those same struts hold up on cars I wouldn’t expect to have to worry about it for a few years. This is in line with the two year warranty that is included as well.

 


Overall and Final Verdict

So when we started out I was shooting the projector onto the plaster wall in my office without a care in the world. Picture quality during the day was completely washed out and at night it showed every dip and bump on the wall and believe me there are a lot. The only thing I had going for me was that it wasn’t too difficult to take down my photo area and set everything up. Surprisingly, the ezCinema Plus from Elite Screens ended up being so easy that it is actually quicker to setup than my non-setup. You see it only takes a minute to set everything up and It covers up my photo background so I don’t have to worry about taking it down. On top of that it is easy to pack up and carry around so I can move it around in the house and also take it to our events. The only downside there is simply the length, it is to long to fit into my car, but if we would have gone with a smaller model that wouldn’t have been an issue.

Picture quality was majorly improved, especially during the day. I can actually use the projector in the office during the day with all of the light shining in. The only downsides that I ran into were the leaning issue when I placed it on an unlevel floor and the slight looseness on the left side of the screen that caused it to have a little waviness. All of that was made up for when you take into account the price. At $336 for the largest model it is actually a great value. It costs more than a cheap hanging screen, but the slight price difference is well worth the portability that you get. What really got me thinking, you can pick up a 1080p projector for around $600, combine that with this screen and you are getting almost four times the television size for the same price as a nice 55 inch. If you decide to go a little smaller you could cut the price down even more with the smaller ezCinema Plus models. They all have the same quick setup and picture at a lower price.

fv3recomended

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

Log in to comment

garfi3ld's Avatar
garfi3ld replied the topic: #35483 22 Aug 2014 19:25
A nice projector and a screen like the one in this review can give you the full theatre experience at nearly the same price that you spend on your normal TV. Check out my review of the ezCinema Plus

We have 1035 guests and one member online

supportus

Advertisement