Price: £177 More info: Beamax Aspect ratio: 16:9 Fabric type: Matte white Viewing area: 203x114 cm Black borders: Yes Top border: 40 cm
Extremely robust, well designed
Quality comes at a price
A top quality screen is of course essential in getting the most from your projector, and manufacturer Beamax has been working on this for many years, building up an Odeon-sized range of electric, manual and fixed-frame screens.
This latest addition to its existing R-series line-up sports a pull down manual white screen, although it's worth noting Beamax also offers a few high contrast grey screens which are designed for rooms with more ambient light (before buying a screen have a think how dark you can get your room).
Our review sample was the 203x114cm model, and on assembly we found the screen to be reassuringly weighty and solidly put together. Unless you're a pro DIY-er you'll almost certainly need a spare pair of hands to fix the screen to your wall (or ceiling), but after a few quick screwdriver drills we were up and running with minimum fuss. In particular we liked the spring-loaded brackets as they do away with the need for ungainly protruding hooks, providing a flush, discreet fit. The brackets also make it fairly easy to take the entire unit down after use, great if spouse approval is cause for concern.
With its 16:9 aspect ratio complete with black borders, the R-series screen is naturally suited to film use and we found the matte white screen offered impecabble clarity and contrast during upscaled DVD viewing. Similarly with Sky HD broadcasts and hi-def Xbox 360 playback, results were consistently impressive and certainly brighter compared with a plain white wall.
We also liked the variable height adjust meaning you can have as much or as little screen as you want. After extended use there was little evidence of dreaded screen curl or rippling either, the heavy metal weight bar providing good overall tension.
The only real issue with the Beamax R-series screen is the price. For £177 you will be able to find a cheaper manual screen of this size although we doubt they would be able to match the performance and build of this one.
The Beamax R-series is an excellent all-round screen, absolutely spot on for watching films but equally adept at any other visual playback.
With peerless build quality and simple assembly, we throughly recommend it. And as they say, you generally have to pay for quality and the R-series is testiment to that.