While the projector screen or home theater projection screen may not be the most glamorous aspect of the home projection theater system, it is indeed a very important factor in the overall home theater experience. While there are many projector screens available, not much information is readily available in regards to the screen itself. The more common projection screens are whiteboards, reflective screens, gray screens and white screens. Some of the major details about the screens and some of the deciding factors in selection will be discussed here. While it is quite common for some people to use any blank spot on a wall to project their images or multimedia, this is not the preferred solution.
A projection screen will come with specifications just the same as any equipment. Some of them are more relevant than others depending on the uses of the projector and screen. Contrast is one of the most common measurements in the projector screen. While the contrast ratio will always be the same based on the projector, a high-contrast screen is usually the most effective and flexible screen available for multi-purpose projectors and theater environments.
These high-contrast screens actually lower the light levels of the projected media making the darker colors easier to see and differentiate. When this happens, it makes viewing of the lighter materials easier as well, allowing the viewer to experience a sharper color separation and decreasing some of the more common problems of blurs, rainbows or screen doors (Resulting from “pixelation” of the image where individual pixels are projected instead of a complete image)
Low-level contrast screens are more likely to be used for static image displays where the color and separation of an image will be static for long periods of time. This allows the image to be properly (and clearly) displayed, usually from a wider viewing area. This type of projector screen will not reflect poorly on the edges of a static display causing blurring or sharp contrast distortions in a still display. Whiteboards are another common type of projection screen. Recent advancements in whiteboard technology are geared mostly towards the presentation. Many of the available whiteboards on the market are actually interactive and allow the user the ability to control the projector (Usually computer based) from the whiteboard itself. While this screen is not ideally suited towards movie viewing, for the more mundane world of business presentations, the whiteboard can be a powerful tool.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of home projector screens is paint. While this may not appeal to everyone, there are obvious benefits as well. Paint will not rip or tear and it is easily cleaned. The projection “screen” can be painted on to a wall using a highly reflective paint. It is designed to be used over existing white base paints. If the walls are covered in a darker color, this may not be a viable option for a projector screen. While there are mixed reviews, the paint does seem to be a cheaper and more viable alternative as a projector screen for more and more people.
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