ScreenKote - Projection Screen Surface Coating
You Save: $174.50
- Inexpensive way to achieve a high-quality projection screen
- All you need in the one package
- Sufficient materials for renewal of surface in a year or two
- Warranty - 12 months
Best Buys Review
There is an unfortunate side effect of modern technology and it may seem a little counterintuitive. Every year sees home theatre projectors improve in quality, even as their prices inexorably fall. Just the other day we were looking at a home theatre projector that used DLP technology first introduced a couple of years ago at $9999. But this projector was the same brand as that earlier one, easily performed as well as it (or even a touch better), but cost just $2999. Likewise, within this edition of Best Buys you will see a review of the BenQ PE8720 home theatre projector, which made its first appearance priced at $9999. Now the recommended retail price is just $5999 and we have seen it advertised for $2000 less than that.
So, the home theatre enthusiast is blessed today with wealth of high-quality projection options at very low prices. But what about the other half of the projection system?
Spending $5000 to $10,000 on a projection screen seems fitting when the active part of the system, the projector, costs $20,000 or $30,000. But no matter how essential the screen is to a high-quality picture, something within us cringes at the thought of spending more on a passive screen than we do on an active projector
Thankfully, there are a number of lower cost screens appearing on the market, but there is a solution which costs even less, and you may well find perfect fo your needs.
This solution is ScreenKote. It is, essentially, a white paint which you can use to allow an existing surface (such as a wall, or a screen home built out of MDF) to become a high-quality projection screen
At a cost of $349, you get a package containing 1L of white ScreenKote paint. It is up to you to provide the surface to which you will be applying the ScreenKote.
This could be as simple as an area of wall in your home (although you may want to add some kind of finished surround to that area, an make sure the surface is smooth before you begin).
There ought to be enough to give you two coats of ScreenKote to a large, 110" (280cm) screen, with enough left over for a re-coat to renew the surface in a couple of years. Of course, this depends upon the technique you use to apply the coat. If you spray, you can expect to go through a lot more of the material. But if you use a smaller screen of, say, 80" (203cm), you will probably have sufficient ScreenKote left in the resealable plastic container to perform two surface renewals over coming years.
Do not be cynical. This is not just a ceiling white paint, repackaged. We are assured by Theatre Concepts that the services of a paint chemist we employed for the better part of a year to develop the material, with an eye on neutrality of colour reproduction and finished surface robustness.
ScreenKote has a specified gain of 1.1.
We were provided with a board of white Screenkote which we could place against our reference projection screen. Using the new Sony VPL-VW50 projector, which has full 1,920 by 1,080 pixel resolution, and a 1080i high definition movie, we felt the detail of the white surface was excellent. The colour neutrality was excellent as well, with it being only just perceptibly cooler than our regular screen, although we suspect it is more a case of that screen being a little warmer.
The viewing angle remained identical to our regular screen, with not the slightest bit of beaming or any 'hot spots'.
In short, the ScreenKote surface provided a high-quality projection surface for a tenth of the price of the screen with which we compared it to. That makes it excellent value for money, and the solution to many front projectors users' problems.
- Requires you to be a competent painter
- You should add a black 'light splash' surround