Out With The Inflatable and In With The Fixed-Frame
For many years, we had a 10′ outdoor inflatable projection screen in our rental inventory. While the screen performed well during its early years, it recently turned into a maintenance headache. The fact that it’s inflatable is an advantage due to the ease of setup. However, it’s equally as much, if not more of, a disadvantage. Anyone that’s ever owned an inflatable camping mattress can relate to having to check it for leaks before a camping trip and then praying that it doesn’t blow in the middle of the night during the camping trip. In our line of business, we don’t risk an uncomfortable night of sleeping, we risk an after hours call from an upset customer who says, “Hey, the screen you rented us just deflated and our event starts in an hour!”
So last June, when George and I travelled to Las Vegas for the Infocomm 2014 show, a new (and more durable) inflatable screen was on our shopping list. Surprisingly, we saw very few inflatable screens on the show floor compared to the prior year; only one to be exact and after carefully looking it over, we were not impressed by the quality. On the last day of the show, we came across Elite Screens who had their Yardmaster outdoor screen on display. Similar to the Da-Lite Fast-Fold® screens (which we stock many of), the Yardmaster is a fixed frame screen that’s a little more rugged than the Fast-Fold® so it can withstand the outdoor elements.
A few weeks ago, Elite Screens released their Yardmaster 2 model, which comes in either rear or front projection. We decided to give this a try, so we ordered a 10′ 16:9 rear projection model. We set it up this afternoon behind our shop and thus far, we are impressed with the quality. Additionally, there is a light breeze outside today and the screen has been holding its own pretty well. Like many inflatable screens, the Yardmaster 2 should be tethered down and we will send a few sandbags along with it anytime it goes out on a rental. It will be used for an event at UCF next week and we look forward to receiving their feedback.
Further information about Elite Screens and their outdoor screen products can be found on their website at www.elitescreens.com. If you are interested in renting or purchasing an outdoor screen, please feel free to contact us!