Projection screens

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How to choose a projection screen ?

A projection screen is an indispensable piece of equipment of every conference room, lecture hall or a modern classroom. The purpose of the projection screen is to make the images projected by a multimedia projector visible to the audience and ensure they are displayed at the best quality possible. The size and the properties of the projection screen need to guarantee that its diverse contents is always visible and easily legible to a large audience.
When shopping for school equipment and investing in a good projector one must not forget about the importance of selecting an appropriate projection screen for it too. Some budget decision-makers still wrongly believe that a wall or a white window roller blind can easily serve as one – and they couldn’t be more wrong. Even the best projector will not be able to produce good images with correctly reproduced colours without a correctly selected screen.
When choosing the right projection screen, several factors should be taken into account, including the type of the image source, the type and size of the room and the size of the audience. Each setup is unique, which is why there are so many screen designs and models and such a variety of projection screen surface types.

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1. Screen type: installed permanently or portable ?

The choice between a portable projection screen and the wall- or ceiling mounted one depends on the circumstances and the personal preferences and needs of its users. In general however, if only possible, a wall- or ceiling mounted, fixed or manually or electrically retractable screen will be preferred over a portable one. The latter can be a handy solution to those who need to use a projector in a variety of places.
Tripod screens are convenient and compact and can easily be transported between rooms within the same building. Folded screens are also designed with portability in mind, yet they can provide more space than their tripod counterparts.
Wall-mounted screens can be lowered and retracted manually or electrically and are installed permanently. Manual projection screens must be manually prepared (lowered) for use. Electric projection screens are lowered and retracted by an electric motor, which can be operated using a remote control or a wall switch. They are perfect particularly for conference rooms equipped with compatible equipment control systems.

2. Screen size

The projection screens available from Avtek can be used both for video projections and computer data presentations. While choosing the size, one needs to make sure the screen will not only make video content visible to the audience but also allow reading text and numbers if needed. The following rules should followed:

  • screen height should be approx. 1/6 of the distance between the screen and the last row of audience seats,
  • the bottom edge of the screen should be at least 125 cm (50 inches) above the floor,

3. Screen aspect ratio

The optimal aspect ratio of the projection surface depends on its intended purpose. Multiple factors need to be considered. Here are the most important ones:

  • standard aspect ratio 1:1 (all-purpose) can be used with any projector. However, the projection surface will usually only partially be filled with the projected image,
  • 4:3 is the screen aspect ratio suitable for projectors whose native resolution is XGA (1024x768) or SVGA (800x600),
  • the panoramic aspect ratio 16:9 is best for a projector with native Full HD (1920x1080) or UHD (3840x2160) resolution,
  • 4:3 screens are optimal for projectors whose native resolution is WXGA (1280x800) or WUVGA (1920x1200).
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4. Screen surface type

The optimal aspect ratio of the projection surface depends on its intended purpose.
Multiple factors need to be considered. Here are the most important ones:

  • Type of the projection room and projector position
    The shape and the size of the room and the position of the projector (placed on a table or suspended under the ceiling, etc.) are definitely the two key aspects to have in mind. Failing to take the room size into account can result in the projected image being out of focus or impossible to see for some of the audience.
  • Ambient lighting conditions and projector brightness
    The physical properties of the projection screen surface determine how light is reflected in each direction, which impacts not only the viewing angle but the image brightness as well. A screen that disperses light homogeneously in all directions will have a relatively wide viewing angle, at the expense of the relatively low gain (or light density) factor. And the other way round – the screens with a narrower viewing angle will have a greater light density factor. The brightness of the image projected in a room always depends on the ambient lighting conditions, the light density factor of the screen used and the brightness of the projector. Each of those components contributes in its own significant way to the legibility of contents projected on the screen.

All types of Avtek projection screens use Matt White – the all-purpose projection screen fabric surface that offers the best quality to price ratio.