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Dragonfly Motorized Tab Tension 100-inch, Matte White Film Screen Reviewed

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HTR Product Rating

Performance
5 Stars
Value
4.5 Stars
Overall
5 Stars

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Dragonfly-Tab-Tension-Matte-White-projector-screen-review-bridge-small.jpgSome of you may or may not know this, but I have several projection screens set up in my reference home theater, among them a 100-inch Dragonfly motorized tab-tensioned high-contrast screen (.9 gain), which I reviewed back in December. So taken I was by the Dragonfly product that, upon the completion of my initial review, I promptly ordered another Dragonfly screen, this time with their Matte White surface, which carries a positive gain of 1.2. Both materials carry the same retail price in their 100-inch motorized tab-tensioned form, which is a reasonable $2,399.

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So why the two screens?

Well, projection screens have as much to do with your projector's performance as your projector does, for some projectors do better with certain types or styles of screens. Case in point: the Optoma HD8300 DLP projector excels on a negative-gain screen whereas a D-ILA like my reference Anthem LTX-500 (JVC) or Sony's new VPL-VW1000ES 4K projector prefer a positive-gain screen. Since I often review both, it's best that I have two screens - one negative gain and the other positive. The 1.2 gain of the Dragonfly's Matte White screen material resembles what you'll find with other manufacturers, including Vutec, Da-Lite, Draper and even Stewart. I had a Vutec 1.3-gain screen on hand briefly and found the Dragonfly's 1.2-gain surface to be close, if not equal, to Vutec's 1.3-gain surface in terms of picture quality. I don't have a StudioTek 130 from Stewart for comparison but, suffice to say, the Dragonfly Matte White surface is capable of showcasing a brilliant and well-saturated image akin to what you'll get out of a 1.3-gain screen from some other vendors. While a positive-gain screen such as the Dragonfly may bode well for those who prefer poppy, well-saturated colors with strong blacks and solid edge fidelity, it's what Dragonfly includes in the purchase price that excites me.

Like its High Contrast counterpart, the Dragonfly Matte White screen is housed in white aluminum with matte white plastic ends. The included mounting brackets are topnotch and among the best in the business (for me, they're the reference standard), not only for mounting security, but also because they allow you to keep the screen level, even if your wall/ceiling isn't. The internal motor isn't as silent as some, but by no means is it the loudest, and it's fairly brisk in its operation. I also really like the screen's included IR capability, which is housed behind a small black porthole, rather than hanging freely via a dongle like so many other budget screen offerings. Also, the screen's tab-tensioning system is excellent, not to mention fully adjustable - another benefit not all tab tensioned screens grant you. Other standard features include RS-232 support, 12-volt triggers and the requisite cables and controls needed to take full advantage of such features, with an IR remote, 30-foot 12V cable, separate IR receiver and wall-mounted keypad.

Installing the Dragonfly screen, even at its 100-inch diagonal width, is a no-brainer and a project easily completed by two able-bodied people. My wife and I were able to have it up and running in around 30 minutes, which included mounting the brackets to the ceiling joists in my home. From there, getting both my High Contrast Dragonfly screen and newly acquired Matte White screen in line was easy and required only minor adjustments, thanks to the wonderful brackets. Like I said earlier, I found the Dragonfly's Matte White surface to be superior to that of my unity-gain (1.0) Elite and equal to that of Vutec's 1.3-gain surface. While my Elite screen retails for a little less than the Dragonfly, the Vutec costs much more, which speaks volumes about the Dragonfly's value.

Read about the high points and low points of Dragonfly's Matte White on Page 2.

continue to page two
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