EPSON Duet Portable Projection Screen

Bill Livolsi, January 26, 2007

The new Duet portable screen is a unique offering from Epson. Selling at $250 or less, it offers both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios without black bars, and stows quickly and efficiently in less than a minute. With both wall and tripod mounts included, the Duet is a great alternative to a full-frame screen that can collapse into a compact package when not in use.

Features

The Duet, unlike most portable screens, deploys from side to side rather than from top to bottom like a standard pull-down screen. It has two click-stops - one for a 65" 4:3 screen, and one for an 80" 16:9 screen, for a very clean appearance in either aspect ratio without black bars.

The Duet includes both a tripod and a wall bracket, for home or portable use. When using the tripod, the screen can be set up in under a minute. The wall bracket requires slightly more forethought but offers a permanent or semi-permanent mounting solution.

The entire package can fold together to form its own carrying case. In this form, the tripod locks into the frame, and the carrying handle attached to the screen's frame makes transportation simple. The stowed screen is 43" long and less than 8" wide. However, it weighs nearly 27 pounds, so it isn't as light as some of the other portables available.

Even when the Duet is mounted to the wall, the screen can still retract into its casing. Since traditional theater screens tend to dominate the rooms they occupy, the Duet could be useful in establishing a low profile home theater in a room with multiple uses.

The Duet uses low gain screen material. Ambient light control is important for best results, but the screen has a very generous viewing angle. For larger audiences, or for a football party where people are standing in different areas, this is useful.

Limitations

One disadvantage of the Duet over a fixed frame screen is that there is no support at the top of the screen. As such, the top edge of the screen can sag slightly in the center. While this is not a deal breaker by any means, it can be a minor annoyance.

The tripod sits with two legs forward and one leg back, and it needs nearly 30" of clearance from the wall when using the tripod. If you need to place the screen closer to the wall, you'll need to use the included wall bracket.

The Duet imparts a slightly blue cast to the projected image, due to the material and coating used on the screen. However, on most home theater projectors you can compensate for this by accessing the color controls and reducing blue a few notches or adding yellow to the projected image.

Since the Duet is so portable, it is an attractive option for outdoor projection at night. However, if you plan to use it in this manner, remember to account for wind conditions. A light breeze will give the screen some unstability, and if it is coming from the right direction it may cause the Duet to act like a ship's sail, knocking it to the ground and likely damaging your screen.

Conclusion

For less than $250, the Epson Duet gives you a highly portable screen that is ideal for either 4:3 or 16:9 projection, at the office or at home. It is easily stowed when not in use, and paired with a portable projector it can be part of a formidable portable theater. It is an excellent performer for its price, and a fantastic value.

Reader Comments(7 comments)

Posted May 9, 2014 2:43:00 PM

By Donna

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How is this screen in brighter areas? Does a room ahve to be in very low lighting to near darkness in order to get good images? Lets say no curtains option is available but we still want to be able to project onto something.

Posted Jun 20, 2009 11:29:45 AM

By drms

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I was looking forward to receiving this screen as I had read many favorable reviews and the size, portability and price-point fit my needs perfectly. I have another portable(?) 85" screen, but it rolls up/down vertically, so the entire screen-width case makes it difficult to transport in my car (running the entire length and wedged up against the windshield). Upon un-packing and setting up the Duet screen (literally taking seconds), I immediately saw a wide (4-5 inches?), deep "crease" where the 2 case halves meet running vertically down the center. This is not to be confused with the slight curling at the top and bottom of the screen or the slight waves that I have seen in other reviews of this screen - those are defects I could live with. This crease is an obvious defect and is certainly visible with a projected image. I called Epson and they were surprised to hear of this issue, and sent me a new screen. It had the exact same problem. The customer service rep then opened 2 other screens at their office (to ensure they weren't sending me another defective one) and both of those screens had the same issue. So 4 screens in total had the issue. They told me my only option was to have my money refunded and that I could try purchasing the screen again in a few months time when they figured out what the problem was. I hope they get this problem solved, as I really would like one of these screens - just a smooth one. The design, build quality (other than the crease)and price are excellent.

Posted Dec 20, 2007 1:34:55 AM

By prfssr

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"Will the Duet raise higher than you have it in your pictures?"

No real height adjustment; the post is one piece, fixed. The only means for changing the height is by adjusting how much the legs are splayed apart, with concomitant variation in stability. With the legs splayed out as I have them, the bottom of the screen case is 33 inches high. The case is 42-1/2 inches high.

Sorry for the delay in posting this -- I haven't looked at this thread in a while.

Prfssr

Posted Nov 10, 2007 1:02:02 PM

By DeJarnett

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Thanks for the info on the Epson Duet. I'm in the process of purchasing a Powerlite 76c to be used in a class that I am teaching (about 60 students) and am considering the Duet.

What I haven't been able to find (maybe I just missed it) is how tall the screen can be raised. I'm in a flat classroom and ideally I could raise the top of the screen nearly to the ceiling in order to give a clear view for those in the back.

Will the Duet raise higher than you have it in your pictures?

Thanks.

Posted Sep 12, 2007 11:39:13 PM

By prfssr

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I already own an Epson Duet Portable Projection Screen. I bought it as soon as it came out. I thought the design was very clever.

It is very easy to use. I use it with the stand. Most of the time I'm too lazy to put it away in a closet, but then, I live alone. I had tried a 92-inch pull-up (from the floor case) screen, but I returned it, mainly because, if I rested the case on the floor, the screen blocked the sound from my loudspeakers (I have a pair of 6-foot high Magneplanars), and, if I placed the case upon a pair of stools, to let some sound through, it looked too cheesy. For a long time my solution was to stretch a cheap (low thread count) white sheet across my Magneplanars, but that had its drawbacks too (light pass-through, so I hung a black sheet behind the loudspeakers; dealing with clothespins; it was somewhat of a pain to put up, so it rarely got taken down). Wrinkles were actually not a problem, but I wished the screen was less optically transparent. Plus, I wanted to take the screen down for normal stereo listening. With the Epson Duet, there is enough clearance below the bottom of the screen to let a lot of sound through.

It's true about the top edge sagging a bit. Plus, I wish the tensioning were better -- there can be some slight rippling -- something I could stretch out of my old sheet arrangement. But the screen would no doubt cost a lot more if it had some kind of edge tensioning system. I keep mine collapsed into the case when not viewing a movie, if I have it up. And, I do miss the 92-inch screen size (I sit about 11 feet back). But the brightness is tremendous (was not needed). The colors are better from the Epson screen than they were from the sheet.

But the main reason I'm writing this note is to inform potential buyers that, contrary to what is reported in the review, it IS POSSIBLE to arrange it so the tripod can be placed with a leg sticking forward, not backward, so that it can be placed closer to a wall or whatever (in my case, as close as possible to my power amp, which sits between my loudspeakers). All that is required is to drill out a rivet holding the legs in their as-installed orientation. Once that is done, the legs can be rotated to any position. There is even an allen-head set screw clamp in the ring that holds the bottom of the legs, so they are perfectly secure. Why the manufacturer chose to fix the orientation of the legs is beyond me. Making this mod is a no-brainer.

I've attached a couple of 800x600 photos showing my arrangement. Hope this info is useful.

Prfssr

Posted Apr 13, 2007 11:18:05 PM

By paulb_30

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I have the PT-AX100 with a 92" diagonal 16:9 screen (the screen is about 80" wide). My ceiling mounted projector is about 9' from the screen and I usually sit from 9' to 13' from the screen and I find this very satisfactory. I only use it for viewing SDVD's, so I can't comment on how it will work with the other applications, except to say that the PC should be as good or better, while standard broadcast/cable tv is renown for poorer visual quality when projected on the big screen. However, reportedly the image is incredible with any HD source. Since you're doing this in your bedroom, I hope that it doesn't keep you up too late.

Posted Apr 12, 2007 9:31:23 AM

By Rsaeire

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After looking around at various projector screens the above seems ideally suited and priced for my needs.

I'm looking to setup a home theater solution for my bedroom and after measuring how big a screen size can be accomadated, 80" seems perfect. Although everybody seems to be going with 92"+ screens, the size of this screen, as previously mentioned, will suffice. My walls are light blue and I have a stippled white ceiling. I plan on using it mainly in very low light to darkness.

I plan on getting the Panasonic PTAX100 for viewing mainly content from my PC over DVI such as normal browsing, TV and ovie viewing so any ideas, suggestions or comments will be greatly appreciated.

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