Can I use a plain wall instead of a screen?
In order to increase portability and decrease the immediate cost, some customers opt to project their image onto a plain wall or white sheet instead of purchasing a professional projector screen. Using a wall will definitely still get you an image but image quality will never be as good as when a good quality projection screen is used. Painted walls, even if painted white, will not match the colour reproduction, brightness efficiency, and overall image quality of a good quality projector screen.
Fixed Frame Screens
Fixed Framed screens are generally better for dedicated viewing areas. These screens do not roll away, they are a permanent fixture in the room like a picture frame on the wall. As the fixed frame screen does not roll the material, the life is generally a little longer, with less stretching over time. The downside to this type of screen is the material is always on show and therefore can become dirty overtime if people, touch the surface.
Fixed frame screens are most popular in Home Theatre setups.
What is an ‘Aspect Ratio’ what what type should I use?
The Aspect Ratio is basically the shape of the projection, all projectors, Televisions, and computer monitors have an Aspect Ratio. There are 3 Aspect Ratio’s commonly used, 4:3 (which is more square), 16:9 and 16:10 (which are both widescreen formats).
We normally recommend matching the ratio of the screen to the projector you are using. If you have a SVGA or XGA resolution projector, that would be a 4:3 ratio so best to use a 4:3 screen. If you have a WXGA resolution projector, that would be 16:10 so best to use a 16:10 screen. For home theatre 16:9 is more common as this is what the home theatre grade projectors use.
Does size matter ?
With projection screens, definitely. However, bigger is not necessarily better. Ever wondered why the last seats to fill in a cinema are the ones at the front? This is because the screen is too big for the viewing distance. When determining the correct screen size, we must consider the minimum viewing distance and the maximum viewing distance . In other words, what is the best screen size for your room?
The minimum viewing distance is the closest distance to the screen one can sit before losing the ability to see the picture as a whole. Once a person is closer than this, the human eye cannot capture the whole picture – the eye can only focus on a part and will have to continuously scan the screen to read the entire image.
The minimum viewing distance we recommend is 1.5 x the width of the screen
(so for a 2m wide picture, the closest we recommend to sit would be 3m).
The maximum viewing distance is not as vital but you obviously don’t want to sit so far back that you lose the cinema experience..
The maximum viewing distance we recommend is 4 x the width of the screen .
Remember, the biggest screen won’t necessarily give you the best result. Most customers will not require a screen size more than 2.2m wide. The last thing you want with your new home theatre set up is to feel sea sick or have a headache when trying to watch a movie.
Are there different screen materials? Which one is best?
Front projection screens have been offered in a variety of materials. In the past, screens were offered with glass beaded, pearlescent and silver or silver lenticular screen materials. All of these have been shown to have their limitations. Matte white screen material is currently the best choice for modern LCD and DLP Projectors.
In fact, we strongly recommend you use nothing but matte white. Only matte white guarantees the best all round performance
The performance of both LCD and DLP projectors are optimised for use with matte white projection surfaces.
Other screen materials will compromise image quality in one way or another to increase the screen’s gain. A high gain material is simply unnecessary with today’s projectors and is not worth the image quality loss.