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Stewart Filmscreen ElectriScope Video Projector Screen Review

by The Review CrewJuly 9, 2010

The Basics:
I like my screens to be retractable, largely due to the fact that I don’t have a dedicated viewing room. My living room doubles as my reference theater. I like my screen to be like my components: hidden. This said, it’s been hard until now to find a true 2.35:1 aspect ratio screen that a) is retractable and b) has variable masking for viewing 16:9 and 4:3 material. Stewart’s ElectriScope screen offers just that: a native CinemaScope experience, complete with motorized masking for every aspect ratio, all in a convenient and easy to hide electric roll-down screen.

The Upside:
Stewart’s ElectriScope is just about the best of all worlds in my book. Its whisper-silent motor drive raises and lowers the screen into position in seconds. It’s a true 2.35:1 native screen, so today’s modern anamorphic-capable projectors are going to have a field day with the added horizontal real estate, provided you have the appropriate lens or lens attachment. But unlike other CinemaScope screens, the ElectriScope has both horizontal and vertical masking to change the wide aspect ratio to 16:9 and even 4:3, meaning all of your bases are covered, regardless of content. Most important is that all of these changes are programmable and/or adjustable via remote, giving you the right aspect ratio and Stewart quality image every time.  Like all Stewart screens, minus Starglas, the ElectriScope comes in a variety of acoustically transparent materials, not only for the screen itself but also for the masking elements.

The Downside:
A quick look at the feature set and product brochure for the ElectriScope screen and it’s obvious how Stewart would like for you to integrate it into your home: in your ceiling, recessed between your ceiling trusses for a completely seamless look. However, there may be some people who don’t have the ability to fully integrate the ElectriScope screen into the home and wish to surface-mount it. Well, that requires custom brackets and they are, of course, optional. Also, as with all electric screens, one must take into consideration the need for power. The ElectriScope screen has a 120-volt motor, so a standard power receptacle will need to be nearby – this is something you may need help with from an electrician.

Conclusion:
I am a firm believer in motorized drop-down or pop-up screens, for I am still a long way from having a truly dedicated room for my theater. Even so, none of the motorized screens I’ve encountered have been able to take full advantage of the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, leaving annoying black bars on the top and bottom of my 16:9 projection screens. The Stewart ElectriScope motorized screen solves many of the problems I’ve had with screens of yore and offers a bevy of features that make it supremely backwards-compatible. Plus, it’s a Stewart, so you’ll be able to rest assured that the quality, build and image you’re enjoying are topnotch.

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The Review Crew
The Review Crew is a group of beat editors, writers, and consultants that have been working together for years. They know just about everything about everything collectively and have published their collective work under the Review Crew brand moniker for almost 20 years.



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