Ambient Light Rejecting or ALR screens, whether they’re colored white or grey, are designed to reject or reflect ambient light away from the viewer while at the same time making the projection image brighter by reflecting that light back to the viewer. Elite Screens, on the other hand, is a company that makes ultra-portable projector screens and screen material of various materials, colors, and properties, which incidentally include ALR screens. ALRs depend on viewing angles and view cones to work so that ambient light doesn’t end up robbing the clarity of your projected video.
With that said, should you go for Elite Screens ALR Projector Screen Material ZRM-135HW-CINEGREY5D or Elite Screens Designer Cut Series RM-135HW-CINEWHITE for your ALR and home cinema projection needs? Each product has its own respective pros and cons. Read on to find out more about them.
CineGrey’s Pros and Cons
On top of having ALR properties as a 135-inch diagonal, pre-cut screen material, the Elite Screens CineGrey5D product is also colored gray/grey. This means that it possesses the ability to boost the contrast of any projection from digital projectors even in rooms with ambient light. The ALR technology and the high-contrast color serve as a one-two punch combo that makes CineGrey5D a cut above the rest.
- The ALR-Type Pre-Cut Projector Screen Material: This raw, pre-cut screen projector material offers both ALR and grey projection screen benefits to ensure the best brightness and contrast from your projector image when push comes to shove. Yes, you have to assemble it on a fixed frame like an artist canvas versus ready-made projector screens, but this is the same deal with CineWhite screen material as well. These raw DIY projector screen materials exist in order to make it cheaper for people to buy ALR screens or other screen types versus ready-made screens.
- Frame Size and Pre-Cut DIY Material: The Elite Screens Designer Cut Series CINEGREY5D already comes pre-cut for your convenience. You simply need to stretch the 135-inch diagonal roll of multi-layered PVC material over a fixed frame that’s tension-mounted like you would an artist canvas. This should result in you getting a 68-inch by 120-inch frame that’s about 16:9 in a widescreen aspect ratio that’s commonly used in 1080p HD or 4K Ultra HD projectors. It’s also 4K ready on top of being HDR-ready and HD ready. It can even handle Passive/Active 3D projectors without sacrificing fidelity.
- CineGrey5D Screen Material Specifications: It offers 1.0 gain on multi-layered PVC and up to 1.5 gain overall. The material is also certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), but that’s also the case with CineWhite. It’s also angular reflective, which means depending on the angle it can produce a viewing cone wherein ambient light is rejected and projector light has reflected the audience, ensuring an 80-degree viewing angle and 88 percent polarization retention. These specs allow the Elite Screens Designer Cut Series CINEGREY5D to be Ultra HD ready and 3D ready, maintaining image fidelity while also boosting contrast.
- Ideal Applications for CineGrey5D: The ideal applications for the ZRM-135HW-CINEGREY5D include use in rooms where you have little control over ambient light. It’s capable of increasing projector brightness 1.5 times even though on certain projectors with a contrast ratio of 2,000:1, its contrast-enhancing capabilities are rendered redundant. Don’t use it on high-contrast projectors since it makes the dark parts too dark. The fact that it’s an ALR gray projector screen nevertheless ensures even low-light projectors to have high-contrast and high-brightness properties on their projections or images.
- Certifications and Safeness: Aside from being certified by Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) as being manufactured with world-class, industry-standard materials, this Elite Screens Designer Cut Series ALR Projector Screen Material is also certified GreenGuard and GreenGuard Gold UL 2818 as safe for indoor use and emission-free in its manufacturing. In other words, you’re assured that Elite Screens CineGrey5D is safe for the environment and indoor cinema use, doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals that can endanger you and your family and offers high-quality, industry-standard manufacturing that’s also emission-free (quality control complaints aside).
CineWhite’s Pros and Cons
Essentially, the ALR raw pre-cut CineWhite screen material should be your screen of choice if you’re dealing with projectors with a contrast ratio greater than 2,000:1. At this point, it’s redundant to depend on a CineGrey product because the projector itself is providing high contrast. CineWhite, like any white blank canvas, offers superior fidelity for a brighter picture. Using gray screens on a high-contrast projector also makes the blacks and grays too dark.
- The Blank White Canvas: There is a multitude of reasons as to why you should choose CineWhite over CineGrey, chief among them is the fact that white screens are the standard screens for projectors since forever. The white coloring is more dependable in ensuring image fidelity, especially when you’re dealing with higher resolution media in the 1080p to 4K Ultra HD resolutions. A blank white screen in the projector context works the same way as a blank white canvas in an oil painting context. White ensures that the projection or image is translated or viewed at in the most faithful manner possible, without filters or enhancements.
- A Little Larger in Assembled Size: The Elite Screens Designer Cut Series CINEWHITE shares many specs with the Elite Screens CineGrey5D product because they’re both made by Elite Screens. Thusly, this is also a pre-cut, 135-inch diagonal product. However, some cuts are larger than others. While the CineGrey product we’ve retrieved from Amazon gets you a 68-inch by 120-inch viewing size, this CineWhite product we found instead offers 72 inches by 124 inches of viewable space. Thusly, at least this version of CineWhite offers a larger assembled size although it’s also available at a similar size as CineGrey.
- A Little Cheaper Despite Being ALR: CineWhite is a little cheaper than CineGrey despite being ALR and despite being available at a bigger size because it’s the more common type of screen. For less than a hundred bucks, you can get this projector screen material that’s perfect for budget-friendly applications or for custom mounting at your home cinema. It’s inch-per-inch more affordable than CineGrey despite CineGrey possessing some unique attributes to it such as better contrast boosting to ensure white whites and darker blacks as well as more intense colors all-in-all. Besides which, both are wrinkle-free surfaces shipped in rolls designed for Ultra HD ready projection.
- More or Less the Same Specs: Both CineGrey and CineWhite shares the same specs by being both ALR screen materials to be used in a DIY fashion on a tension-mounted fixed frame. They’re also Active/Passive 3D projection ready as well as 4K Ultra HD ready. If 8K Ultra HD projectors become available in the 2020s, both PVC materials can handle that too. You can easily clean both with soap and water since they’re mildew-resistant. They even share compatibility with UHD/HD projectors, ultra-short-throw projectors, and standard projectors save for high-contrast DLP. They also share many of the same certifications. However, CineWhite only offers from 1 to 1.1 gain while CineGrey offers up to 1.5 gain.
- The Gray Coloring Difference: The main thing that separates CineWhite and CineGrey is the gray/grey coloring difference. On top of offering anti-ambient-light properties by being an ALR screen, the ZRM-135HW-CINEGREY5D is also a high-contrast screen that boosts contrast on digital projectors in viewing rooms with ambient light. So on top of redirecting ambient light and maximizing projector light with its ALR properties, the CineGrey is also capable of turning even a low-light projector into a high contrast one with its multi-layered, lightly textured gray PVC screen. This ALR is also topnotch enough to allow both standard 2D and special 3D projection to boot.
- Regarding High-Contrast DLP Projectors: High-contrast DLP projectors are now super common and likely your home cinema projector of choice for 4K Ultra HD viewing. In such cases, buying CineWhite instead of CineGrey ALR projector screen materials is your best bet. These “higher than 2,000:1 contrast ratio” projectors have enough contrast to not require the assistance of a gray ALR projector screen that’s slightly more expensive than its white ALR counterpart. However, such high-contrast projectors have not totally made screens like CineGrey obsolete. Grey screens can still be depended on when considering latent contrast value and other circumstances.
The Bottom Line
Both CineWhite and CineGrey materials have similar ratings and similar pros and cons, with their main differences being that one is colored white and the other is colored grey/gray. Their ALR properties, viewing scope, and viewing angles are identical to each other because they’re both made by Elite Screens. They also share many of the same specs for the same reasons. Of course, it does help that the more common CineWhite is cheaper by the inch than CineGrey.
Therefore, in regards to which one is better for your home-viewing, schooling, or business-presenting, needs, it’s all a matter of specific circumstances. If you have one of those high-contrast DLP projectors, you don’t need to pay extra for a roll of the CineGrey5D ALR projector screen sheet. The cheaper CineWhite ALR will suffice and give you all the ALR action you need. However, if you’re in need of high-contrast projection with additional ALR safeguards because of your low-light, low-contrast projector in an environment where you can’t avoid ambient light, then CineGrey is the way to go.
- “What is ALR?“, Stewart Filmscreen, Retrieved March 26, 2020
- “Elite Screens Designer Cut Series ALR Projector Screen Material ZRM-135HW-CINEGREY5D“, Amazon.com, Retrieved March 27, 2020
- “Elite Screens Designer Cut Series RM-135HW-CINEWHITE“, Amazon.com, Retrieved March 28, 2020
- Evan Powell, “Should I use classic white or high contrast gray?“, ProjectorCentral.com, March 24, 2004