Aug 15, 2013 4:24 PM, By Bennett Liles
Screens have come a long way in just the past few years. In fact, the whole concept of projection screens has evolved so rapidly that they, more than ever, are now an integral part of their installation environment. Here we have a look at front- and rear-projection screens, as well standard and custom designs, many of which are completely retractable or convincingly blend into their surrounds when turned off. New coatings, tensioning methods, and fabric construction have combined to offer any venue the opportunity to use today’s top screen technology. At the same time, self-contained units can double as whiteboards and projection surfaces with complete mobility and interactive software.
The Inline screens from Austrian manufacturer AV Stumpfl are fixed installation models with a quiet, rubber-mounted motor drive. However, some of the smaller models are available with a manual crank drive mechanism. The bottom bar is shaped to disappear into the wall-mounted case when the screen is fully retracted. The casings are delivered standard in RAL 9010 and are available in three sizes up to a width of 196in.x157in. with special colors available as an option. The screen may be mounted on a wall or ceiling, and it may be recessed into suspended ceilings using the standard QuickMount bracket. Surfaces include the Plana and Strato with different thickness and gain figures.
Blue Ocean Screens from U.S. Nippura features Move, a completely mobile and self-contained rear-projection solution for education and other presentation and conferencing applications. Bounded by a welded aluminum frame, the unit folds out in the back from a transport depth of 28in. to a viewing depth of 48in. and rolls on adjustable casters. The projection surface is a Blue Ocean center-cast acrylic rear-projection screen using an integral projector with 5,000 to 7,000 lumens, depending on the model. The unit also has an integrated audio system (3.1 channel speakers and subwoofer system), adjustable lectern tray, power supply, and ventilation/filter system. The MOVE viewing area is a 103in., 16:10 surface in WXGA or WUXGA resolution with a choice of either LCD or DLP projector engine. Also featured is a secure storage tray for additional AV equipment and a full suite of annotation software.
Designed primarily for high-end home theater applications, the Criterion Series screens from Carada feature a frame 3.25in.-wide by 1.5in.-deep with a bevel on the front and an inside edge that cleanly snaps to the screen’s surface. To absorb any spill light, the Criterion series screens are covered with Carada’s Black Hole velvet trim. Each of the screens include flush wall-mounting brackets and the screens are available in five aspect ratios. Custom sizes and aspect ratios are available depending on the size and shape of the venue projection system. The Carada screens are flexible, unsupported PVC fabrics available in cinema white, brilliant white, and high-contrast gray. These are flame-retardant, mildew-resistant, and washable with soap and water.
To make the most of large-format, rear-projected images, Custom Display Solutions offers the VistaPlex Ultra rollable-rigid diffusion rear screen. An XY axis coat design, the VPU is composed of “Rare Earth” micro-alloys suspended in a proprietary mixture that is applied to high optical quality 3/16in. polycarbonate substrates. The screens are available in sizes up to 100in.x396in. and can be cut to any aspect ratio, rolled up tightly for transportation, and moved into the installation venue for assembly. The screen may also be coated on the reverse side to prevent retro-reflection, particularly with short-throw projection systems. The design combines ease of installation in difficult venues with smooth and even light levels across the surface.
For retractable applications in boardrooms and conference rooms, the Tensioned Contour Electrol screen from Da-Lite offers quiet operation and a smooth, flat projection surface. Equipped with an integrated low-voltage control and patented roller technology, the screen is very quiet during extension and retraction. The curved aluminum extruded case is available in black, white, or graphite. To provide even lateral tension there is a tab guide cable system; vertical tension is maintained by a custom slat bar with an added weight. To match any room décor, the front of the case is available in a choice of seven veneer finishes. The assembly can be ordered with a serial control board or video projector interface built into the case.
dnp’s Screens Supernova Infinity uses optical screen modules, an aluminum structure, suspension wires, strong magnets, and its surrounding frame to provide a solution for large display, front-projection applications. Installable via a floor stand, wall, or hung from a ceiling, the screen has a 2in. depth with a .3mm space between modules for a seamless surface. The aluminum frame structure can house any number of modules for screens of unlimited size and is available with 08-85 ISF-certified screen material or 23-23 screen material, the latter of which is best for environments with wide viewing angles such as conference rooms, point of sales, and point of information locations. The Supernova 08-85 screen material is good for low-light venues, but it can also be used in high ambient light situations when using a more powerful projector.
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