Looking for opinions on new garage door opener

I need to replace my chamberlain chain drive. 1/2 HP is enough for my metal 2 door garage door.
I want it to be quieter, so that means belt or screw. Don't have preference to either. $200 is my spending limit. I want to be able to get it from HD/Lowes/Sears. I've been pointed to:
Chamberlain Whisper Drive Genie Excellerator
I assume the basic features (2 control, optical sensor, smooth stop/reverse) are all the same. So I'm curious about little extras (disabling remote, backup battery, etc). And just the general overall quality of the unit.
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For openers . . . These remote-controlled devices are safer and more secure than ever. Some are also quieter and quicker.
Whether you're replacing a garage-door opener or buying one for the first time, technology is on your side. The latest models we tested require less force to automatically stop and reverse the door if it touches a person or an object. New ones also have remote controls that thwart thieves by using constantly changing "rolling codes." Unlike older models, which entailed lengthy code setting, the latest do most or all of that setup for you. Once the door is down, it's automatically locked--a convenience over nonpowered doors. Four we tested are especially quiet, a plus for light sleepers or homes where someone lives or works over a garage.
WHAT WE TESTED, WHAT WE FOUND The nine openers in this report include leading brands Chamberlain, Craftsman (Sears), Genie, and LiftMaster. Just two manufacturers make most garage-door openers: Chamberlain makes Craftsman and LiftMaster models along with its own brand, while Overhead Door makes Genie units. That explains why models sold under different brands may look similar.
Most openers are install-it-yourself models sold at large retailers. Professional units like the Genie Pro and LiftMaster are sold by professional installers and can have a higher price, though not always. At $255, the high-scoring LiftMaster costs about the same as other top performers--and far less than the $350 Genie Pro model we tested. Figure on $125 or so to have an opener installed, though you can opt to do the work yourself, as do roughly half of all buyers.
Don't assume that "pro" models are better or sturdier. Even the non-pro openers lifted our 16-foot-wide test door with ease. Which you choose may depend on whether you want one that's especially quiet or fast.
The sound of silence. All openers raise and lower the door via a trolley that slides along a rail. Most use a chain or screw to move the trolley. A new type of cogged belt helped lower the sound level for the LiftMaster, Genie Pro, Chamberlain, and Craftsman 53964 to 48 to 53 decibels (dBA). That equates to half as much noise as the 57 to 63 dBA for the others in our test house. Most emitted a penetrating hum; the screw-drive Craftsman 53965 and Genie Excelerator made a less obtrusive rattle. A quieter, DC motor helped silence several units.
Safer closure. Like most openers, those we tested have an electric eye that immediately stops and reverses the closing door if a light beam near the ground is broken by, say, a child or pet. A backup reverse feature does the same thing if someone straddles the light beam without breaking it and the door makes contact. Closing force needed to trigger that feature averaged about 45 pounds, compared with about 70 pounds for those on which we reported in 1994. Even then, our tester was unhurt after letting the closing door contact his shoulder as he crouched on a scale (we now use a self-recording mechanical scale). But such force could still hurt a small child or pet.
Escaping the elements. Most models took 12 to 13 seconds to open or close our test door. The Genie Excelerator opened the door in about 8 seconds, though it took as long as the others to close the door.
Control issues. Most openers come with two remotes to accommodate two drivers. The Genie Pro and LiftMaster have just one, with extras priced at about $30. Four models include a wireless outdoor keypad in case you forget the remote or its battery is dead. All but the Genie IS550-2 have a console for opening the door from inside the garage. Genie units add a diagnostic system.
Blackout insurance. All tested models let you disconnect the trolley if you need to operate the door manually from inside the garage. With the two Genie screw-drive models, you must climb a ladder or use a broom handle to reattach the trolley.
Putting it together. Installing most openers requires assembling the rail pieces, hanging the power head and rail from the ceiling, and attaching the trolley to the door, along with wiring the electric eye, power head, and control console. The Genie Pro and LiftMaster ease that process with a one-piece rail that needs no assembly, though its 11-foot length makes it hard to carry home.
RECOMMENDATIONS
All of the tested openers worked impressively. So pick one based on your priorities.
Choose a belt-drive model if quietness tops your shopping list. Among the four we tested, the LiftMaster Estate Series 2500, $200, excelled overall and costs little more than some noisier units.
Choose the Genie Excelerator ISD990-2, $200, if you're impatient. It lifted our door the fastest and was also relatively unobtrusive.
Whichever model garage-door opener you decide on, set aside roughly a day for a new installation. Get a helper for parts of the job. And hire a pro if you're leery about mechanical and electrical projects. Remember that the springs balancing the door's weight are under tension when the door is closed. Consider hiring a pro to check that the springs are sound and properly balance the door's weight.
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IF you think screw drives are quiet, think again. I have owned 2 screw drives and every winter they would souind like a machine gun until I lubed them with the special grease. I now own a Chamberlain belt drive and the only thing you hear are the wheels on the door rolling up. Nice.

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If you have a Wayne Dalton garage door store near you check out their IDrive. Lowes has it too but WD store may be cheaper or install it for free.

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Our iDrive is OK now, but it took a couple of calls and a wait of a week or two to get the replacement parts (free under warranty) to get it to work right. It's very quiet. No backup battery.
See the thread I started a while back about fluorescent lights and Infra-Red devices.
Perce
On 10/16/05 08:47 pm Art tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

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I think they made a temporary screw up. My parents had one installed 2 years ago and it works fine with flourscent lights in the garage. And it is darn far away from the opener.
The only complaint we had was the plastic arm that securely keeps the door closed is only a pressure fit and fell off once. It is possible that it wasn't installed correctly the first time. They contracted out the installation to a guy they since fired and he was an idiot. Much of his work had to be redone including properly centering the door. But WD took care of it and I have 3 of their doors and non IDrive openers in my house and they are very reasonable and reliable on service so I forgave them this one screw up at my parents house.

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Ended up with the Genie Excellerator, the cheaper of the 2 units (didn't need the extra controls). Installed it myself, replacing a Chamberlain chain drive system.
It's 10x quieter then the chamberlain. The high pitched whine is rather annoying, but it's quiet otherwise. I'd be curious to here how much quieter a belt driven unit is (Chamberlain Whisper Drive was my other choice)
A bunch of people recommended the Genie Excellerator as a great overall unit, and the speed of opening is very impressive. I won't have to sit in the driveway anymore to pull into the garage.
I live in central, FL, so cold winters so any potential issues with the screw drive are not a concern.

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