One of the most frequent questions we get from AV dealers is about our projection screen alphabet soup—all those letters at the ends of our projection screen names. C, E, M, and V. What do they stand for? And what about projection surface names? What do the letters and numbers mean?

Projection Screen Designations
First, let’s take a look at the letters that appear after our projection screen names. The C, E, M, and V are there to distinguish between different types of screens available with the same screen case—for example, Silhouette C, Silhouette E, Silhouette M, and Silhouette V.

E—This designates a motorized projection screen with a self-supporting (non-tensioned) viewing surface. These screens are made with textile-backed materials. The surfaces are kept flat by the thickness and weight of the screen surface, and the weight of the dowel.

V—This is a motorized, tab-tensioned projection screen. Tab-tensioned screens are vinyl without a textile backing. The surface is held completely flat with a tensioning system. The screen—including viewing surface and tabs—is cut on Computer Numerical Control cutting tables. Tabs are folded to the backside of the screen surface and RF welded. The result is a strong tab. Special wire is threaded through the tabs and tensioned to hold the surface perfectly flat.

M—Like the E, this also signifies a self-supporting (non-tensioned) viewing surface with textile-backed materials. However, the letter “M” also indicates a manually operated projection screen. That is, a pull-down spring-roller screen. The surface is still kept flat by the thickness and weight of the screen surface, and the weight of the dowel.

C—Similar to the V designation. “C” means this is a tab-tensioned projection screen surface without a textile backing. The C is a manually-operated screen, using a crank to roll and unroll the surface in and out of the case.

Viewing Surface Names
Another common question we get relates to projection viewing surface names. What does the XT1100E after Matt White mean? And how about TecVision MS1000X ALR?

Those numbers and letters let you know the viewing surface’s performance at a glance. The first letter refers to the viewing cone, the second letter is contrast, the numbers are the gain, and the final letter tells you what viewing surface family the surface is part of.

In the above example of XT1000E:

  • The X means an extra-wide viewing cone (half gain is greater than 60 degrees);
  • The T means the surface has typical contrast, meaning it’s white in color and should be used where ambient light is controlled.
  • The 1000 stands for a 1.0 gain.
  • The E means it is part of the OptiView family, so it’s a self-supporting surface used on non-tensioned screens.

Hopefully this little primer helps make things plain. Meanwhile, is there a question you’ve always wanted to ask Draper? Drop an email to and let us know!

For more information on projection screen tensioning, click here.

For details about our viewing surface naming system, click here.

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