By: Andrew Robinson – Reviewer’s System
It’s not too difficult to find affordable fixed screens from a variety of manufacturers and in an abundance of styles these days. It seems even the big-ticket brands are offering some sort of entry-level product to bring new customers into the fold. The same cannot be said for remote-controlled electric drop-down screens. While every screen manufacturer worth its salt has an electric screen or two in its arsenal, none seem to be quite as affordable, or good in some cases, as the Elite Cinetension 2 reviewed here.
Available online from Elite’s own website, the Cinetension 2 is Elite’s top offering, yet keeps with Elite’s core business values: high performance at affordable prices. The Cinetension 2 is a cord tensioned retractable electric screen for on-wall or on-ceiling home theater installations. It comes equipped with an IR and RF remote control and requires the use of a 120-volt power source nearby. The Cinetension 2 can also be operated via a 12-volt trigger for a truly hands-free presentation. The screen itself comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 84 inches to 150 inches diagonally. Whatever your size or screen material, the price maxes out at $1,349, which is a phenomenal value for a large-scale electric screen. My current screen is a 92-inch woven surface electric that retails for well over five grand. The equivalent from Elite, which do not offer a woven finish but does supply a perforated edition, would cost me well under a grand. That’s a tremendous value. The Cinetension 2 comes fully assembled, with a two-year warranty from the factory and is ready to simply plug and play in a matter of minutes. What more can a videophile on a budget ask for?
• The Cinetension 2 is a truly affordable solution for a consumer looking to bring the wow factor of a motorized screen to his or her home theater space.
• The cord tensioned screen remains wrinkle-free after years of use and the motor is about as trouble-free as they come.
• Easy to install and easier to live with, the Cinetension 2 a no-brainer investment for consumers just looking to enjoy the show.
• The various screen surfaces are of high quality and lack just that last 10 percent or less that the costlier competition will bring to the table in terms of sheer performance.
• The motor is far from the quietest and the speed with which the screen drops and retracts cannot be described as quick.
• The casing is robust and of high quality, but lacks the finish options you’ll find with costlier products.
• The Cinetension 2 can only be mounted on a wall or ceiling, leaving those who would want to recess it into the ceiling itself a bit out to dry.
When you think about joining the front-projection party, you have to consider not only which projector to buy, but also which screen. Set your sights on the wrong screen and you’ll pay the price. Set your sights too high and you’ll pay far more than your projector is potentially worth. Elite’s Cinetension 2 series of screens is about as safe as you can get, unless you’re looking to extract every last ounce of performance from your system. The Cinetension 2 comes in a variety of surfaces suitable for a wide range of projectors, is easy to install and is truly affordable. When I was first getting into the front-projection game, even as I climbed up the ladder, the one constant was always an Elite screen. Consider this screen highly recommended.