Projection Screens

Projection Screens As Important As Projectors


It is easy to believe that the quality of the projector alone determines the quality of the projected images. In fact, little could be further from the truth. The qualities of projection screens are also, in fact, vital contributors to the final quality of a projected image. Of course, employing a top-of-the-range projector will ensure that the initial image quality is good but the manner in which it is then rendered by the projection screens can have a profound influence on the end product.

The properties most desirable in a projected image are threefold. These are adequate brightness under a variety of ambient light conditions, a high level of contrast and a uniform image without hot spots or dark corners. Projection screens use a variety of different surfaces and the resulting images invariably show some of the desired qualities but, only in the case of the newest generation of projection screens that employ advanced optics to create their reflective surfaces, are they able to offer all of the desired properties.

The simplest projection screens are just white-coated rigid or flexible structures. Such screens would prove adequate for showing the family 8mm home movies or holiday slides when projected in a suitably darkened room but are less than satisfactory in high levels of ambient light. Projection screens with aluminized surfaces are far more reflective and provide much brighter images while screen surfaces coated with minute glass beads offer even greater brightness. The latter are typically to be found in commercial cinemas.

The technology used to manufacture projection screens has evolved considerably over the years. Much of the improvements have centred on increasing optical gain. Gain is the property used to measure the relative reflectivity of projection screens as compared to a standard coating of magnesium carbonate. Although gains of 0.8 to 1.0 are adequate at low light levels, only modern optical screens are able to achieve gains of 2.5 or more that are effective even in daylight.

Selecting suitable projection screens requires experience. Contact us for help with this and any other visual display requirements