Home Theater Projection Screens, Four words simple enough right?

April 29, 2004

Maybe not, let me throw a few terms at you, contrast, ansi contrast ratio, on/off contrast ratio, gain, lumens, ambient light, grey scale, color shift, absolute black level etc etc. and that’s just a few off the top of my head….

Ok lets make sense of all of this, first off I’ll assume you have a fixed 16:9 projection screen, no real reason other than that’s what I recommend and Install, pull down and motorized screens(unless the tensioned type) generally don’t offer the best value, anyway moving on, what color should the screen be ? easy question right, not always

For years the common logic was to use a white screen and choose a higher gain if you had ambient light in the room, veering slightly off topic, if you have light in your room in my book at least you don’t have a “theater” right back on topic, so the logic was low gain provided the best image in low light situations and moving up to say a 1.5 gain was a good tradeoff if you had moderate levels of ambient light in the room, enter the greyhawk screen, which Stewart states was specifically designed for LCD & DLP projectors, not sure that CRT’s wouldn’t benefit from one but ok

While at the same time significantly improving ANSI contrast, which is the relative light output say of a particular scene in a movie, not the full on/off contrast that’s typically quoted in projector specifications, grey screens help to absorb reflections in the room, why is this important?, well not only does the refractive light “wash” out the image because you have in essence another light source in the room (besides your projector) you have a backwash of light into the room itself which tends to throw off all sorts of critical things such oh say color balance absolute black level etc etc

So wrapping up, a nice plain ol’ blanco projection screen with no, too low gain in my book still offers the best image for a room capable of being totally blacked out, new products such as the greyhawk or Carada’s High Contrast Grey do however offer alternatives for those of us living the real world or wherever you happen to live.

Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Reviews