Encore CineVue and CineAcoustiq 4K Projector Screens Review
Tony O'Brien is dazzled by the quality of these two home cinema projection screens…
110” 2.35:1 CineAcoustiq 4K Fixed Screen ($1,499 RRP)
110” 16:9 CineVue 4K Fixed Screen ($849 RRP)
Selby Acoustics may be a household name in the AV scene, but founder and CEO Shaun O'Brien tells me this wasn't always the case. Starting in 2003 with an eBay account and $100 of banana plugs, it wasn't long before he was searching for premises large enough to house the business' growing range of products. A range of products, which now included prestigious stablemates such as Krix, Onkyo and Epson to name but a few.
A passionate AV enthusiast, Shaun's goal has always been to provide quality products that offer excellent value for money not only to consumers but AV dealers alike – the latter sourcing Encore screens through Fundamental Audio. Recognising both the rising popularity and high price point of Acoustically Transparent Screens (AT) he set about creating a range of high performance AT screens at a more grounded price-point.
“The idea was much simpler than the execution”, he jokes, explaining that everything from the screens' coating to packaging material was reworked from the original prototype. In the end, the Encore range encompassed a dizzying array of screens ranging in size from 100” to 160” in 16.9 and Cinemascope and of course the non-AT variety. Custom orders can also be arranged for screen sizes of up to 200”.
I recently spent some time with the acoustically transparent Encore 110” 2.35:1 CineAcoustiq 4K Fixed Screen ($1,499 RRP) and non-acoustically transparent Encore 110” 16:9 CineVue 4K Fixed Screen ($849 RRP), opting to install the latter myself, so I could well and truly get my hands dirty.
What strikes you when unpacking the Encore is how well everything is packed. You'll find everything you'll need for yourself and a friend to assemble the screen – free pizza and beer notwithstanding – including two sets of Allen keys, butcher's paper to lay the screen on and two pairs of white gloves to avoid smudging it with those greasy fingers. Attention to detail is superb, going so far as to include a brush to clean the screen's flocked edges.
Interestingly, the Encore's horizontal frames are split in two, joined via the included grub screws. This, Shaun explains, dramatically reduces the chance of damage during transit. Nevertheless, both horizontal and corner frames came together smoothly with a snug fit. The screen is stored in a sturdy cardboard tube with the rear having a black PVC backing. Naturally, the CineAcoustiq screen forgoes the PVC backing in favour of an acoustically transparent black material which is clipped to the back of the screen, negating the need to paint the wall behind the screen black.
Another surprising but welcome inclusion is a strut which is placed vertically at the centre of the screen to avoid bowing; the CineAcoustiq has two such struts, which sit either side of the centre so they won't get in the way of the centre speaker. After inserting fibreglass rods through the sleeves at the edge of the screen, it was simple enough to attach it to the frame with the included springs. From start to finish, installation took two and a half hours, including a generous morning tea break and copious note-taking. I'm sure the process would have been faster with the help of a friend, but such is to be expected in the current climate.
While I had some reservations about seam lines where the central bars were joined, it turns out these were unwarranted as the seams were barely visible. The flocked fame was 80mm wide and 35mm deep, enough to tame some light spill, while not looking too cumbersome. The white screen of the Encore has a smooth, shiny texture.
UP AND RUNNING
Matched with a 1080p Sony VPL-VW45ES, the CineVue 4K was tasked with playback from several sources and encompassed both movie watching and gaming. Regardless of the source, the Encore produced bright, punchy images free of any screen induced artefacts. I wasn't able to discern visible screen texture from the primary viewing position roughly four metres from the screen, nor for that matter at much closer distances. The combination of white walls and day time viewing is a nightmare for any projector/screen combination. While an ALR screen or at least a grey screen would naturally fare better in such environments, the Encore performed well given the limitations of a white screen.
Naturally, there's going to be visible weave in any acoustically transparent screen, and the 110” 2.35 Encore CineAcoustiq 4K is no different. I matched the CineAcoustiq with the Epson TW-EH9400 and Panasonic UB-9000. With a 100% white field projected onto the CineAcoustiq, I wasn't able to discern any visible weave from 1,800mm.
Changing to a 100% white window at 15% size produced a very respectable 80 nits in SDR. This number was reached with the lamp in medium lamp mode and contrast reduced from its default setting of 50 to 31. Switching to high lamp mode produced 125 nits with the lamp in High and contrast returned to its default value of 50. Obviously, this number has more to do with the projector's capabilities than the screen, but it illustrates the CineAcoustiq isn't crippling light output.
As with the CineVue then, the CineAcoustiq turned in an excellent performance, especially given its modest price point. I was unable to discern any artefacts which were introduced by the screen, the weave discernible from only the closest of distances.
Meticulous attention to detail, excellent quality with bright, punchy images are the hallmarks of the Encore screens. While the CineVue is a serious performer that would be quite at home in a quality home theatre, it's the CineAcoustiq 4K which stood out. The combination of build quality and performance at these price points is hard to ignore. Match either of these screens to a capable home theatre projector, and you're going to be rewarded with excellent SDR and HDR imagery.
For more information, visit Encore Screens.
As the owner of Adelaide based ‘Clarity Audio & Video Calibration’, Tony is a certified ISF Calibrator. Tony is an accomplished Audio-Visual reviewer specialising in theatre and visual products.