Do I want a curved projector screen?
Curved screens do have some distinct advantages, especially in installations where the throw is very short (1.6 or less) and pincushion distortion becomes an issue. Note that most curved screens are actually “cylindrical” in that there is no curve up and down – only from left to right. Advantages of a curved screen:
- Curved screens help compensate the pincushion distortion that occurs when an expansion-based anamorphic lens is used because an inward-curving screen naturally produces a form of “barrel” distortion which can partially compensate for the “pincushion” from the lens. As you can imagine it can be complicated to determine how much curvature you need in the screen to compensate for how much distortion is in your short throw-ratio installation. But even in a general sense, the higher the throw ratio, the less noticeable the distortion, and therefore the less of a “need” for a curved screen.
- For some people a curved screen can bring you an even greater sense of immersion when watching movies. The slight curvature of the screen gives the impression of the image wrapping around you, involving you in the action to an even greater degree. The opposite view is that a flat screen is more like a window into the movie. Either viewpoint is valid and “best” is up to you.
- Curved screens can deliver a more uniformly illuminated image for centrally localized seating with less “hot-spotting” since light that would normally be reflected to the side is instead more effectively directed back to the seating area.
Do I need a manual or electric projection screen?
This is really a question of the room environment. Most manual and electric screens are available with the same surface treatments. Electric projection screens give “wow” factor. But if you are going to leave the screen in the down position most of the time, either will work well. Keep in mind the size of the screen. The larger the screen, the more space a fixed screen will take up in your room. Electric screens can be hidden in the ceiling and have a stealth esthetic appeal.
What are the different types of projection screens?
There are several different types of projection screen, each have their advantages and disadvantages. This is a brief explanation of the different types and what they’re for:
- Rigid Wall-Mounted
This type of screen utilized a rigid surface to maintain their geometry perfectly. This makes them suitable for applications that demand exact reproduction of image geometry. Such screens are often used in home theaters, along with the pull-down screens.
- Portable Screens
Sometimes it is necessary to utilize this type of screen in spaces where a permanently installed screen would require too much space. These commonly use painted fabric that is rolled in the screen case when not used, making them less obtrusive when the screen is not in use. To meet this need, we offer Solo and Solo Pro screens, which utilize a lithium-powered motor core allowing you the same benefits from a motorized screen, but in a much more compact, portable cassette.
- Electric Screens
Also known as motorized screens, these screen types can be wall mounted, ceiling mounted or ceiling recessed and are intended for permanent mounting locations. These are often larger screens, though electric screens are available for home theater use as well. Electric screens are similar to manual pull-down screens, but instead of the screen being pulled down manually, an electric motor raises and lowers the screen. Electric screens are usually raised or lowered using either a remote control or wall-mounted switch, although some projectors are equipped with an interface that connects to the screen and automatically lowers the screen when the projector is switched on and raises it when the projector is switched off.
Both mobile and permanently installed motorized screens may be of tensioned or not tensioned variety. Tensioned models attempt to keep the fabric flat and immobile, whereas the not tensioned models have the fabric of the screen hanging freely from their support structures. In the latter screens the fabric can develop slight wrinkles in the viewing surface giving imperfections to the projected image.
What projection screen surface is right for me?
Use our Screen Material Wizard to find out what material is right for your environment. The tool helps you select the correct screen material for your room based on amount of ambient lighting, projector specifications, screen format, and your desired screen size. Each of these variables are computed by the wizard to help you achieve the ultimate picture quality according to (SMPTE) standards!