Projection Screens Technology Showcase
Aug 4, 2011 11:04 AM, by Mike Keadle
Today, projection screens are often cast into the shadows of the latest plasma, LCD, or LED monitor. More often than not, that razor-thin, ultra-bright display has more of a wow factor than an “old-fashioned” projection screen.
Projection screens are not altogether out of the running though when it comes to new, hip, and trendy styles. The latest screens offer many distinct advantages in the AV systems that are installed today. They offer a variety of shapes, sizes, and surfaces. Not only are some capable of displaying the latest 3D video, or conforming to every curve and twist the designer imagines, they also provide a distinct advantage to many displays—size.
The projection screens in this year’s showcase offer sizes that far exceed the largest flatpanel display. They also offer a much lighter and portable pico option to go along with the trendy pico projectors used by many travelling business men and women.
Here are the latest offerings from some of the leading projection screen manufacturers.
The new VistaPlex (VPX) 70 rear-projection coating from Custom Display Solutions was specifically designed for simulation and image blended environments. It is composed of “rare earth” micro alloys, which are suspended in a proprietary mixture and applied to the surface of high optical quality acrylic or polycarbonate substrate. This coating design provides incredible brightness uniformity over the entire image, and very crisp image resolution. It eliminates hot-spotting even with the shortest throw projection lenses. It also provides a relatively wide viewing angle with a 52-degree half-angle rating. These factors make it particularly effective in edge-blended images using multiple projectors. VPX 70 is available in sizes up to 108”x240” and can be cut to fit any aspect ratio. It can be applied to substrates ranging in thickness from 1/8in. all the way to 3/4in. thick. The ability to be used with such a wide range of substrate thicknesses renders it one of the most versatile simulation grade rear-projection materials available.
The new VistaPlex Ultra (VPU) substrate material provides the rigid quality benefits of other rear-projection substrates, but it offers a tremendous amount more flexibility. One of the biggest benefits of VPU is its ability to be rolled up extremely tight into a drum container for shipping and moving on site. This allows a rigid material to be used in spaces that would otherwise be limited due to size restrictions trying to maneuver a large rigid screen throughout the building. VistaPlex Ultra is 3/16in. thick and can be coated with any of the CDS projection coatings. It is available in sizes up to 100”x396” and can be cut to any size or shape.
Da-Lite’s new Large Dual Masking Electrol is a ceiling-recessed electric screen available in sizes up to 18ft. wide, enabling even large venues to benefit from the ability to project two different aspect ratios. The screens use Da-Lite’s step-back masking system, which prohibits shadows around the projected image by placing the mask flat against the viewing surface. The Large Dual Masking Electrol series is available in either tensioned or non-tensioned models in many of Da-Lite’s front and rear projection screen surfaces. Masking choices are either HDTV format, which is masked to NTSC video format, or CinemaScope format, which is masked to HDTV format. Custom sizes and formats are also available.
The new HD Progressive 1.1 Perf material in Da-Lite’s lineup offers up the advantages of the HD Progressive material in an acoustically transparent fabric. It provides virtually no sound loss from speakers placed behind the screen and provides excellent image quality. It is available in either a tensioned electric or fixed-frame screen. The material provides a viewing half angle of 85 degrees and a gain of 1.1.
In high ambient light conditions, Da-Lite’s new High Contrast High Power fabric now provides a solution offering moderate viewing angles (20-degree viewing half angle) with high gain (2.4), and greatly enhanced contrast thanks to its grey base and reflective surface. High Power High Contrast fabric is available on most of Da-Lite’s electric, manual, or fixed-frame screens.
Silver Lite 2.5 is Da-Lite’s new multi-purpose front-projection material. It is ideal for passive linear and circular 3D projection due to its ability to maintain 99.3 percent of the polarized light, and the 2.5 gain which compensates for light lost in the polarization process. It is also an excellent choice for 2D images in high ambient light environments, and for low-output projectors due to its higher gain and high contrast. Silver Lite 2.5 features a 25-degree half viewing angle.
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