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HDVio Intro, Features and Build Quality

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We were more than skeptical when we first heard of the Focupix electric screens. In fact, that's a bit of an understatement. Their retail price hovered around $799 for a 104-inch screen, however the typical street price was just $329.99. With a retail drop-off that steep we wondered how on earth anyone could pack enough equipment into the box to make this screen actually function. But it was too late - our interest was piqued. It turns out these electric screens must be easier to make than I thought. The overall quality and performance of the Focupix HDVio screen had us rethinking what an electric screen should truly cost the average consumer.

Features and Favorites

focupix-rf-remote.jpgWhat's nice about an electric screen is that it opens up the possibilities. Focupix added some real niceties that stirs the pot and brings a lot of value to consumers:

  • RF remote
    Both a blessing and a curse, an RF remote is included in the package. While this leads to exceptional performance without requiring line-of-sight, there are some trade-offs we'll get to later in the review.
  • Super-easy Installation
    The installation steps are so easy it's not even necessary to break out the instruction manual.
  • Hard-wired control and flexible power options
    Rather than leave users in a lurch with an RF remote and no other way to control the projector, Focupix opted for the more convenient and safe hardwired backup - just in case. This is also the box which receives power for the projector and feeds it to the main screen. You can easily wire a hard power line to it, allowing for an almost endless amount of installation options which do not require a dangling power cord.
  • High Contrast Grey Screen material (with other options)
    While Focupix offers an array of screen materials, including Matte White (1.3 gain), BriteG (2.0 gain), High Gain (2.2 gain), and Grey1.8 (1.8 gain) we opted for the High Contrast Grey (0.9 gain) in order to maximize black levels during presentations which were not always in the best of lighting conditions.

Build Quality

focupix-mounts.jpgThe electric screen system came well-packed, in a box that had Styrofoam surrounds to protect the main unit's aluminum enclosure. The main system was wrapped in plastic and didn't show any signs of wear from the shipping process. Once I pulled the unit from the box, I quickly realized that Focupix had put a lot of care into the design of the projector screen. Taking a close look at the mounting hardware I noted that the system used four machine thread "bugle head" screws which mounted flush into the wall/ceiling bracket. In addition, the center of the bracket had a hole which overlaid a circular nipple which centered the projector system and ensured that there could be no slippage or misalignment of the screws.

The screen material itself is sturdy and smooth. I noticed no obvious imperfections or anything that would disrupt the picture or cause me to see any sort of patterns. In addition, we put a lantern behind the screen and turned it on with the lights out. I'd say the screen is around 90-95% opaque, so light from your projector won't be passing through the screen to the wall behind it. The black surround on the screen is dense and rather thick, in terms of width. I actually like this, though it cuts back on the viewable screen size. Keep this in mind as you select your screen as it will surely impact your image. Here is a rough guide of the available sizes for the HDVio Electric line:

  • 120" diagonal = 113" viewable
  • 110" diagonal = 104" viewable
  • 100" diagonal = 95" viewable
  • 92" diagonal = 86" viewable
  • 90" diagonal = 84" viewable
  • 80" diagonal = 77" viewable

focupix-controller.jpgThe manual controller and power box was housed in a plastic enclosure which didn't look terribly modern, but provided a good access point for AC power. The controller also gives the user a reliable backup plan in the event that the primary RF remote is misplaced. I would have liked to have seen a slightly more robust set of connection terminals, as romex would undoubtedly be difficult to insert into this system - putting way to much tension on the screw-down terminals. A metal box with a rear-access option and metal screw-down terminals would have made this the perfect box for hard-wiring the screen.

focupix-controller-int.jpg

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

BMXTRIX posts on May 19, 2009 10:41
neokeelo, post: 568815
No I purchased the regular 110 grey one.

This one –? Product Code: FHV169AX-110-GY

I think if I keep it rolled up most of the time I wont get any waves for a very long time. It seems like waves develop more on manual pull down screens. I hope this is the case.

No, this is not the case. Rolling a screen up, or leaving it down full time has no bearing on it getting waves in the material. Non-tensioned screens get waves in them 100% of the time. They can have waves out of the box, or they will typically start to get waves within the first twelve months of use.

This is across the board, from every single screen that I have seen over the past ten years and is consistent with reports given by others who have owned electric and manual screens as well.

There are some BETTER non-tensioned screens out there, but they are often in the same price range as the tensioned Focupix or an Elite tensioned model.

While you did get a good price, you will get waves in that screen and that will make the screen a fair bit worse than just using a wall to project onto in due time.
westcott posts on May 19, 2009 08:48
neokeelo, post: 568815
No I purchased the regular 110 grey one.

This one –? Product Code: FHV169AX-110-GY

I think if I keep it rolled up most of the time I wont get any waves for a very long time. It seems like waves develop more on manual pull down screens. I hope this is the case.

Wow, I thought my memory was failing or Alzheimers was kicking in early until I checked the original dates. This thread is almost exactly a year old!!!!

Man, don't scare us old people like that. Our weak hearts can barely operate a remote.
neokeelo posts on May 19, 2009 04:40
No I purchased the regular 110 grey one.

This one –? Product Code: FHV169AX-110-GY

I think if I keep it rolled up most of the time I wont get any waves for a very long time. It seems like waves develop more on manual pull down screens. I hope this is the case.
BMXTRIX posts on May 18, 2009 11:09
Did you get the tab-tensioned version? I'm really interested in hearing about how you do/don't like it. I put up one of their fixed frame screens and while the quality of the entire thing was nowhere near what Carada delivers, it was good for those on really tight budgets.
neokeelo posts on May 17, 2009 02:46
I just purchased the 110" screen. I will post some pictures after I receive it and get it installed.
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