• Troubleshooting
  • FAQs
  • General Support

    General

  • What about screen controls?

    Most electric screens require controls. All SI motorized products include 12 Volt trigger, IR Remote & Receiver, and a Wall Switch. This eliminates the need to select a certain control type up front. All accessories are included in the box and are delivered with your screen purchase.

    For even more connection, our Solo & Solo Pro screens are capable of being integrated with home control systems such as Control4, Savant, Crestron, and even Amazon Echo.
  • How much should I expect to pay?

    We have screens that will fit nearly every budget. From our top of the line Black Diamond screen, to our affordable 1 Series Fixed and Motorized products, we have a solution that will fit your budget.
  • What other room conditions can affect my screen picture quality?

    Pay special attention to positioning screens with regard to HVAC vents. The airstream may cause the screen to wave, creating a distraction as areas of the screen move in and out of focus. This is primarily a consideration in drop down screens, and may be mitigated by selecting a tab tensioned screen system.
  • What is the lead time for my projector screen order?

    The lead time for manufacture of most screens is two to three weeks. SI maintains certain stock levels for quick ship. Ask an SI representative or reseller about our “Available Now” program.
  • What is SMTPE?

    The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), is the leading technical society for the motion imaging industry. SMPTE members are spread throughout 61 countries worldwide. As well, over 250 Sustaining (Corporate) Members belong to SMPTE, allowing networking and contacts to occur on a larger scale. Touching on every discipline, our members include engineers, technical directors, cameramen, editors, technicians, manufacturers, designers, educators, consultants and field users in networking, compression, encryption and more. SMPTE was founded in 1916 to advance theory and development in the motion imaging field. Today, SMPTE publishes ANSI-approved Standards, Recommended Practices, and Engineering Guidelines, along with the highly regarded SMPTE Journal and its peer-reviewed technical papers. SMPTE holds conferences and local Section meetings to bring people and ideas together, allowing for useful interaction and information exchange.
  • What is gain?

    Gain is achieved by using screen surface pigment and or textures to concentrate reflected light into the viewing cone. If you have a 2 gain screen on a 1000 lumen projector you will be reflecting 2000 lumens.
  • Image brightness and contrast

    Apparent contrast in a projected image (the range of brightness vs darkness) is dependent on the ambient light conditions, luminous power of the projector and the size of the image being projected. A larger screen size means less luminance (luminous power per unit solid angle per unit area) and thus less contrast in the presence of ambient light. Some light will always be created in the room when an image is projected, increasing the ambient light level and thus contributing to the degradation of picture quality. This effect can be lessened by decorating the room with dark colors or by utilizing one of our ALR screen materials such as Black Diamond or Slate. The real-room situation is different from the contrast ratios advertised by projector manufacturers, who record the light levels with projector on full black and full white, giving as high contrast ratios as possible.

    Manufacturers of home theater screens have attempted to resolve the issue of ambient light by introducing screen surfaces that direct more of the light back to the light source. The rationale behind this approach relies on having the image source placed near the audience, so that the audience will actually see the increased reflected light level on the screen.

    Highly reflective flat screens tend to suffer from hot spots, when part of the screen seems much more bright than the rest. This is a result of the high directionality (mirror-likeness) of such screens. Screens with high gain also have a narrower usable viewing angle, as the amount of reflected light rapidly decreases as the viewer moves outside of the viewing-cone of such a screen. Because of the said effect, these screens are also less vulnerable to ambient light coming from the sides of the screen, as well.
  • What does the half gain angle of a projector screen mean?

    The half gain angle is the area of the room where the projected image produces the fullest spectrum view. This area is roughly in the shape of a cone with its point toward the center of the screen. Viewing cones are described by defining the degree radius formed by the outer limits of the cone. Higher gain reflective screens produce narrower viewing cones, while matte surfaces produce a broader viewing cone. Half gain angle is 1/2 of the viewing cone. Multiply the half gain angle by two to get the total viewing cone.

    One of the most often quoted properties in a home theater screen is the gain. This is a measure of reflectivity of light and can be “negative” (any gain less than 1.0) “neutral” (exactly 1.0) or positive gain (any gain above 1.0.) Very high gain levels could be attained simply by using a mirror surface, although the audience would then just see a reflection of the projector, defeating the purpose of using a screen. Many screens with higher gain are simply semi-glossy, and so exhibit more mirror-like properties, namely a bright “hot spot” in the screen – an enlarged (and greatly blurred) reflection of the projector’s lens. Opinions differ as to when this “hot spotting” begins to be distracting, but most viewers do not notice differences as large as 30% in the image luminosity, unless presented with a test image and asked to look for variations in brightness. This is possible because humans have greater sensitivity to contrast in smaller details, but less so in luminosity variations as great as half of the screen.

    A second common confusion about screen gain arises for grey colored screens. If a screen material looks grey on casual examination then it’s total reflectance is much less than 1. However, the grey screen can have measured gain of 1 or even much greater than 1. The geometric behavior of a grey screen is different from that of a white screen of identical gain. Therefore, since geometry is important in screen applications, screen materials should be at least specified by their gain and their total reflectance. Instead of total reflectance, “geometric gain” (equal to the gain divided by the total reflectance) can be the second specification.

    Curved screens can be made highly reflective minimizing visible hot spots, if the curvature of the screen, placement of the projector and the seating arrangement are designed correctly. The object of this design is to have the screen reflect the projected light back to the audience, effectively making the entire screen a giant “hot spot”. If the angle of reflection is about the same across the screen, no distracting artifacts will be formed.
  • What Size Projection Screen do I Need?

    In order to determine what size projection screen is right for you, the first step is to take some simple measurements.

    First, determine where your optimal seating area will be, and measure the distance from your seating area to where the surface of your projection screen will be. This is called your “seating distance.” Once you have this number, input it into our Screen Size Calculator to determine the best screen size for your environment.

    Once you have a result form our Screen Size Calculator, you’ll need the ceiling height, and the length and width of the room. You will want to cross reference the recommended screen size from the tool and make sure that screen will fit in your room. You will also want to ensure that your eye-line compared to the screen surface rests in line with 1/3rd the way up the screen.

    Even though we make recommendations based on various industry related calculations, screen size is ultimately a decision of personal preference and what the room will allow. Our tools make a recommendation, but it is up to you to decide what your personal preference will be.
  • What is a Projector Screen?

    The projection screen is at least as important as the projector, after all viewers watch the screen not the projector! A quality projector screen reproduces the image without losing quality, by maximizing the light coming from the projector and reflecting it so that everyone in the room can see and read the image clearly. Both the projector and projection screen need to match the size and purpose of the room. You need to take into account the reason the projector will be used and how much light there is in the room.

    Screens come in a number of aspect ratios. Square screens’ ratio aspect is 1:1, while video screens’ ratio aspect is 4:3. A wide screen has a ratio aspect of 16:9. When choosing the aspect ratio of your projector screen you must match it with the aspect ratio of your projector. A general rule of thumb is that 4:3 and 1:1 ratio screens best suit business presentations or television viewing. Screens that are 16:9 suit DVDs or “widescreen” broadcasts.

    The fabric of the screen is another important factor. Matte white diffusion screen fabric is generally suitable when light conditions can be controlled. Datalux is a type of fabric specifically designed when you need a wider viewing angle. It is particularly suitable when the projector is mounted on the ceiling. Retro-reflective fabric is best used when the projector is at table height and there is not a huge audience. Rear projection screens are much more expensive and are useful when you don’t want the projection unit to be visible.

    Manual projector screens are pull-down varieties that come in a range of styles and fabrics. Electric screens have a motor and can be raised and lowered using a wall electric switch or a remote control. Fixed screens are the perfect solution if you need the screen to be available all the time. Portable screens are flexible and range in style and size, from table top to wall-sized.

    A projection screen is an installation consisting of a surface and a support structure used for displaying a projected image for the view of an audience. Projection screens may be permanently installed as in a movie theater , painted on the wall , semi-permanent or mobile, as in a conference room or other non-dedicated viewing space. Uniformly white or grey screens are used almost exclusively as to avoid any discoloration to the image, while the most desired brightness of the screen depends on a number of variables, such as the ambient light level and the luminous power of the image source. Flat or curved screens may be used depending on the optics used to project the image and the desired geometrical accuracy of the image production, flat screens being the more common of the two. Screens can be further designed for front or back projection, the more common front projection systems having the image source situated on the same side of the screen as the audience.

    Different markets exist for screens targeted for use with digital projectors , movie projectors , overhead projectors and slide projectors , although the basic idea for each of them is very much the same: front projection screens work on diffusely reflecting the light projected on to them, whereas back projection screens work by diffusely transmitting the light through them.
  • How to Clean your Projection Screen?

    One common question about projection is how to clean your projector screen.  It is very important that you follow your manufacturer’s screen cleaning instructions so you don’t damage image quality.

    1. Step One
    2. Determine what type of screen material you have. Screen Materials types: PVC, Fiberglass, Glass, Acrylic, Special Optic. Not sure? Contact us and we’ll help.

    3. Step Two
    4. Verify if your screen has a first surface coating or not – you can do this by softly wiping your hand across the surface feeling for any texture – you can also look for color irregularities.

    5. Step Three
    6. Fiberglass: Maestro White/Grey
      1. Remove dust with soft bristled attachment on a vacuum cleaner or use compressed air.
      2. Do not scrub or use solvents or any abrasive substance which might damage the fabric.
      3. Clean with a Microfiber cloth dipped in soapy water using a few drops of mild detergent in a gallon of water, then rinse with clean distilled water.
      4. You can clean small stains by rubbing the fabric very gently with a clean white pencil eraser.
      5. Please allow 10 minutes of drying time before retracting motorized screens.

      PVC: Slate .8 and 1.2, Pure White/Grey, Backstage and Backstage 360.
      1. Preferred Method: Microfiber cloth towel and distilled water. 2. Secondary Method: Can be cleaned with any soft cloth (microfiber preferred). Mix a solution of 1oz simple green to 20ozs water. You can lightly rub the surface until the spot is removed. 3. Please allow 10 minutes of drying time before retracting motorized screens.

      Black Diamond
      1. Preferred Method: “Whoosh” solution by Tech Hygiene, and a microfiber towel. Lightly apply the solution to the viewing area of the screen. Afterwards use minimal pressure on a microfiber towel, and move it back and forth in linear movements.
      2. Secondary Method: Micro Fiber cloth towel and a mixture of 95% water/5% Dawn.
      3. Allow 3 minutes for the screen to dry before viewing.
      4. Tips: With all coated materials you can only rub so many times before damaging the projection screen coating, use caution.

      Acrylic: Flex-glass
      1. Preferred Method: Simply apply a mixture of 10% Windex and 90% water to a microfiber cloth.
      2. Secondary Method: Microfiber cloth towel and a mixture of 95% lukewarm water/5% Dawn

    For additional details on how to clean Screen Innovations projection screen products, please contact us.