I am very excited. And, while I am by nature the last person to stand around talking about sports, my excitement is tinged with a bit of frustration, because there are probably only a handful of people within a 200 mile radius who share my excitement.
Travel a great distance, say to England or Australia, and then you will find people just as excited—actually more so.
Because I am excited about The Ashes.
While people in the two above-mentioned countries probably perked up their eyebrows a smidgeon when they read that last line, the majority of you probably just mumbled something along the lines of, “What?”
The Ashes is a series of cricket matches played every two years between England and Australia. (I’ll not get into the history of this storied rivalry here; I’ll leave it to you to Google it later.)
That sound you just heard is every Draper employee groaning and shaking their heads at the prospect of being on the receiving end of yet another story about the sport of cricket, which many people regard as slightly less entertaining than watching paint dry. But I hope you’ll stick with me for a while, because the real focus of this post isn’t just cricket; it’s also projection screens.
“What in the world,” I hope you are asking, “do projection screens and cricket have in common?”
They are both misunderstood. Some people think they are boring and old fashioned—not sexy enough.
Those people are wrong. That’s why I’m writing about projection screens and Ashes.
First, let’s take cricket.
Most people outside the traditional cricketing powers—England, India, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand, and West Indies, for example—see cricket as overly complicated, too drawn out, too slow, and too boring and lifeless. This is especially true among my fellow Americans. I think those folks are wrong. Let’s look at these one at a time, at least from my perspective as a relative latecomer to the game.
Complicated: Yes, cricket is complicated. There are lots of rules and ways to get out and fielding positions. But how complicated are the rules for football and baseball to a new fan? Like those sports, cricket gets more complicated the more questions you ask. But on a base level, to enjoy watching all you need to know is that there are two batters taking turns facing off against the bowler, trying to score runs while the bowler is trying to get them out.
Too drawn out: Test cricket—the top level of international competition—can take five days, and at the end the match could be a draw. Some other cricket takes up to four days. Sure that’s a long time. But if you watch golf you’re investing significant time as well. Plus there are now shorter forms of the game. One—called T20—takes about three hours to play.
Too slow: Again, this can be true of the longer form of the game. There can be long periods of not much happening followed by quick bursts of action. But the shorter forms—One Day and T20 cricket—are action packed, with lots of run scoring and quick play in the field.
Too boring and lifeless: Yes, it can seem that way in the longer form (see answers above). I personally love the longer game and find it neither of these. But T20 cricket is definitely exciting and full of life. There’s big hitting, crazy fans, fireworks and loud music, people leaping through the air to make one handed catches—oh, and did I mention they don’t wear gloves in the field? That’s right. They’re catching those hard cricket balls with their bare hands.
Projection screens—and two-piece projection in general—have also been the victims of some misunderstanding. Just like cricket, screens are seen by some as old technology, boring, not as convenient as flat panels, not as cheap as flat panels, and not as good as flat panels. Again, one at a time.
Old technology: Projection screens have definitely been around for a long time. But today’s projection screen technology is not that of your grandparents. Or even your parents. The past few years have seen many technological advances and changes in screens—many of them courtesy of Draper! TecVision much?
Boring: Boring? Boring is sitting a flat panel on a table or hanging it from the wall. There are so many effects you can create with two-piece projection, including things like projection mapping, shaped screens, edge blending, and huge images.
Not as convenient: What’s convenient about having that piece of hardware taking up valuable space all the time, and limiting the possible uses of a space? With projection screens you can hide the viewing surface away out of sight when not in use, thus creating a multi-use space.
Not as cheap: Wrong. There are screens available at almost any price point you want, and, especially as you get into very large image sizes, a projection screen can actually be the cheaper solution. With Draper’s Optically Seamless TecVision, very large screens are possible with such high performance levels that you can also save money on the projector.
Not as good: Again, today’s screen technology is not that of your parents. In the old days, everyone would just put up a matte white surface and that was mostly it. Today projection screens like Draper’s TecVision are formulated to work in specific environments and conditions, so a screen is “fine-tuned” to the room for optimum performance.
Hopefully, I’ve changed your mind—or, at least made you reconsider—about cricket and projection screens. With The Ashes series starting this week, you have a perfect opportunity to experience both. Get yourself a big TecVision screen, subscribe to whoever is providing coverage of this sporting spectacle of five Test matches of five days each, and see what all the fuss is about! Even though the series starts this week, you have time. The final match doesn’t begin until August 20th.
In the UK, visit www.draperinc.co.uk. In Australia, visit www.draperinc.com.au. Everywhere else, go to www.draperinc.com.