June 13, 2012
| by Grant Clauser
We frequently promote the benefits of projector-based home theaters. They offer the biggest screen impact and often the best bang for the buck on a dollar-per-inch basis. A good 60-inch flat panel TV can cost you $3,000, but that same money spent on a projector can give you a 100-inch picture. But you still need a screen.
While some people opt just for white paint on a wall, a perfect picture can only be obtained with quality screen material, and sometimes those screens can cost more than the projector. Stewart Filmscreen has a reputation for making some of the best home theater screen, but they don’t come cheaply. The company is now launching a new line, called CIMA, to address a market that wants high quality performance, but not the high price that custom-made product carry.
The CIMA line will come in five screen sizes (and two aspect ratios) and configurations (fixed and electric roll-up) and in two materials.
Stewart says the new CIMA products “maintain the exceptional screen performance” of Stewart screens in factors like “unsurpassed screen uniformity and product fit and finish.” The cost savings come from changing from a made-to-order system to a new infrastructure and production method that uses standard sizing and limited options. Stewart notes that CIMA screens will cost about 35 percent less than Stewart’s top-line models.
CE Pro’s Julie Jacobson broke it down like this: “For example, a custom-made 110-inch Stewart screen might “retail” for about $4,100 while the Cima version would be closer to about $3,000.” Prices start at $1,300 and go up to about $3,400.
The NEVE white screen material, in a 1.1 gain is suited for theaters that can be made completely, dark, such as dedicated basement theaters. The TIBURON is a .95 gain gray screen material optimized for rooms with less lighting control, such as hybrid rooms that may function as family rooms and will be used when there may be some ambient light in the room. Electric roller screens come with optional IMC low voltage control for interconnectivity.
You can read a lot more about the new Stewart CIMA line at CE Pro where Julie got an early sneak peak.
Learn more about home theater projectors and screens by reading Electronic House’s special report on Screens and Projectors here.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.