Anyone who really likes films has probably at some point dreamt about having a full-blown front projection system in their house. But then those boring things known as ‘practicalities’ have most likely reared their ugly heads, with their negative vibes about cost and set up difficulties. Darn.
Today, though, we’re looking at a product that might just be able to cut those ‘ugly heads’ off. For the Vutec Vu-Easy is a remarkably simple-to-install projection screen that can conveniently hang out of the way on your wall like a painting, while also delivering really premium pictures from any half-decent projector.
If you’re not familiar with Vutec, the company hails from the US – no great surprise, we guess, given the huge, projection-friendly houses they’ve got room to build over there.
Vutec makes a wide selection of screens, including motorised models and models using recessed and rising arm designs. But as spatially challenged Brits, we found ourselves particularly drawn to the Vu-Easy model with its hang on the wall rigid frame design. After all, if you can hang one of these babies on a wall it can take up hardly any more room in your house than the wall itself – even though it’s giving you a screen size far in excess of anything you’d get from a TV. Unless you somehow installed something like Panasonic’s 103in plasma screen behemoth.
Actually, mentioning the Panasonic 103in screen highlights the key issue of price, too. For while that plasma screen will set you back around £50k – plus any extra costs incurred by the nightmarish process of actually installing that unbelievably heavy bit of kit – the Vu-Easy screens start from under £930 for a 92in standard size model.
Obviously we’re not completely comparing like with like here, as the Vu-Easy screen needs to have a projector pointed at it before it actually produces any pictures. But with really good projectors now appearing for prices comfortably under two grand, this means the Vu-Easy can still play its part in delivering, say, a 100in home cinema image for 10-15 times less cash than you’d need for the similarly large plasma TV.
And let’s not forget, either, that the Vu-Easy concept is far less limited in terms of size than any plasma or LCD technology; for instance, standard Vu-Easy screens go up to 189in diagonal, making even the Panasonic 103in plasma look like a shrimp. Cool.
The Vu-Easy actually comes in a series of standard 16:9 sizes (92in, 103in, 110in, 123in, 133in, and 147in). But you can also have screens custom made to pretty much any size your viewing room demands. What’s more, you can also get them in 4:3 aspect ratios if you really think this is worthwhile; a 16:10 ratio more suited to PC sources; and even a 2.35:1 CinemaScope format if you’re lucky enough to have a projector with a suitable CinemaScope lens.