Earlier this year, we were talking to some of our residential technology dealers, who also do commercial AV work. In our discussions, an issue that kept coming up was getting people to understand when it is time for an upgrade of their projection screens.
In recent years, projector technology has leaped ahead. Laser, 4K-ready, HDR … the advancements just keep on coming. Customers read about those improvements and want the latest and greatest in their own homes and offices. But, surprisingly, they don’t often think of replacing the screen att he same time.
This goes back to the old way of thinking about projection screen technology: It’s just something to shine the projector on. Now, we at Draper know there’s nothing farther from the truth! So we developed a white paper to help folks realize why it’s important to upgrade the screen at the same time as the projector!
Time for an Upgrade?
There are many reasons for replacing a projector. The image quality has deteriorated, the space is changing, or you’ll be using it to view a different kind of content. Perhaps technological progress has left it behind.
But when it’s time to change your projector, is it also time to change the screen? Perhaps not in every single case, but quite often the answer is yes, for several reasons.
Back when you installed your projector and screen, 4:3 may have been the dominant resolution. Or perhaps your old projector was 16:9 and your new one is 2.35:1. If you keep using the same screen, you will wind up with either a smaller image, or a distorted picture as you try and make it work with your new projector’s resolution. It’s best to match the screen’s aspect ratio with that of your projector or you could encounter the dreaded black bars.
One of the most important advances in projection technology has been the ability to fit more pixels into the image. The resulting native resolution increases to 720p, then 1080p, and now to 4K, mean a much sharper, more accurate picture. As the image quality increases, an older screen can become a liability, because flaws in the material or limitations in performance can offset the gains in the projector. If you are replacing a projector, these days it’s likely to be a 4K model. To enjoy the full benefit, make sure to also purchase a 4K-ready projection screen.
New Surface Technologies
As projectors have improved, so have projection screens. First there was Matt White and Glass Beaded. Then grey screens were introduced to enhance contrast. Now there are screen surfaces designed to reject ambient light—that’s light from sources other than your projector—so the image doesn’t wash out when the lights are on. These and other advances mean that a projection screen solution specific to room conditions can be installed. For example, Draper’s TecVision line of premium surfaces contains different formulations each designed for a specific need, and new formulations can be developed to handle changing needs.
To read the rest of this white paper, you can click here to download a free PDF (there’s no registration required). You can also order a printed copy of the white paper to be mailed to you.