• What about screen controls?

    Most electric screens require controls. All SI motorized products include 12 Volt trigger, IR Infra Red, and a wall switch standard. This eliminates the need to select a certain control type up front. All accessories are included in the box and are delivered with your screen purchase.

  • How much should I expect to pay?

    SI has a screen that will fit every budget. From the most advanced Black Diamond’s screen, to the new affordable Sensation line product, SI will have the best value for your needs.

  • What aspect ratio screen should I order – 2.35:1, 2.40:1, or 2.37:1?

    The fact is that there is an entire range of aspect ratios, mostly from 2.35:1 to 2.40, used by directors for major motion pictures. “2.35:1″ has caught on mostly because many of the earlier True Widescreen movies (as opposed to those made for smaller screen) were filmed in this ratio. “True Widescreen” is used to encompass the format realm of major motion pictures in an attempt to minimize confusion. However, “2.35:1″ is still strongly part of the vernacular for emerging home cinema so we use just as frequently.

    The direct answer is that we recommend a 2.40:1 screen and to set your system up so that 1.85 movies (in a constant height system) fill the top and bottom of your 2.40 screen. There are a lot of convoluted reasons for this, but basically using a 2.40:1 screen seems to be the most effective way of minimizing black bars (or strips) from the top and bottom of popular content short of having adjustable masking.

  • Do I want a curved projector screen?

    Curved screens do have some distinct advantages, especially in installations where the throw is very short (1.6 or less) and pincushion distortion becomes an issue. Note that most curved screens are actually “cylindrical” in that there is no curve up and down – only from left to right.

    Advantages of a curved screen:

    1. Curved screens help compensate the pincushion distortion that occurs when an expansion-based anamorphic lens is used because an inward-curving screen naturally produces a form of “barrel” distortion which can partially compensate for the “pincushion” from the lens. As you can imagine it can be complicated to determine how much curvature you need in the screen to compensate for how much distortion is in your short throw-ratio installation. But even in a general sense, the higher the throw ratio, the less noticeable the distortion, and therefore the less of a “need” for a curved screen.
    2. For some people a curved screen can bring you an even greater sense of immersion when watching movies. The slight curvature of the screen gives the impression of the image wrapping around you, involving you in the action to an even greater degree. The opposite view is that a flat screen is more like a window into the movie. Either viewpoint is valid and “best” is up to you.
    3. Curved screens can deliver a more uniformly illuminated image for centrally localized seating with less “hot-spotting” since light that would normally be reflected to the side is instead more effectively directed back to the seating area.
  • What movies are available in the True Widescreen 2.40:1 ratio?

    A quick check through your current DVD, Blu-ray or HD-DVD collection will probably reveal that the majority of movies you already own are in the 2.35:1 or greater ratio. Simply look on the back cover and you will probably see the “this movie is in letterbox format – the black bars at the top and bottom of your screen are normal” along with a “2.35:1″ or “2.40:1″ designation. Almost all of these films will work properly with a Panamorph lens system and compatible scaler / projector. This is also true of many high definition movies on TV, cable or satellite.

  • What about mounting my screen?

    This is an area of great concern. Screens are rarely lightweight. Large screens can easily weigh hundreds of pounds and require power lifts just to raise them to mounting position. Additionally, there may be structural considerations. Some applications can take advantage of newer screen technologies where the screen raises from the floor, rather than descending from the ceiling. This can minimize installation time and address otherwise costly installations resulting from height. This is especially true in churches. Mounting projectors is usually a much easier task than correctly mounting screens.

  • Do I need a manual or electric projction screen?

    This is really a question of the room environment. Most manual and electric screens are available with the same surface treatments. Electric projection screens give “wow” factor. But if you are going to leave the screen in the down position most of the time, either will work well. Keep in mind the size of the screen. The larger the screen, the more space a fixed screen will take up in your room. Electric screens can be hidden in the ceiling and have a stealth esthetic appeal.

  • What Screen Installation Type Do I Need?

    In commercial movie theaters, the screen is a reflective surface which may be either aluminized (for high contrast in moderate ambient light) or a white surface with small glass beads (for high brilliance under dark conditions). The screen also has hundreds of small, evenly spaced holes in order to allow the passage of air to and from the speakers and subwoofer which often are directly behind it.

    Rigid wall-mounted screens maintain their geometry perfectly just like the big movie screens, which makes them suitable for applications that demand exact reproduction of image geometry. Such screens are often used in home theaters , along with the pull-down screens.

    Pull-down screens (also known as Manual Wall Screens) are often used in spaces where a permanently installed screen would require too much space. These commonly use painted fabric that is rolled in the screen case when not used, making them less obtrusive when the screen is not in use.

    Electric screens can be wall mounted, ceiling mounted or ceiling recessed. These are often larger screens, though electric screens are available for home theater use as well. Electric screens are similar to pull-down screens, but instead of the screen being pulled down manually, an electric motor raises and lowers the screen. Electric screens are usually raised or lowered using either a remote control or wall-mounted switch, although some projectors are equipped with an interface that connects to the screen and automatically lowers the screen when the projector is switched on and raises it when the projector is switched off.

    Mobile screens usually use either a pull-down screen on a free stand, or pull up from a weighted base. These can be used when it is impossible or impractical to mount the screen to a wall or a ceiling.

    Both mobile and permanently installed pull-down screens may be of tensioned or not tensioned variety. Tensioned models attempt to keep the fabric flat and immobile, whereas the not tensioned models have the fabric of the screen hanging freely from their support structures. In the latter screens the fabric can rarely stay immobile if there are currents of air in the room, giving imperfections to the projected image.

    Specialty screens may not fall into any of these categories. These include non-solid screens, inflatable screens and others. See the respective articles for more information.

  • What other room conditions can affect my screen picture quality?

    Pay special attention to positioning screens with regard to HVAC vents. The airstream may cause the screen to wave, creating a distraction as areas of the screen move in and out of focus. This is primarily a consideration in drop down screens, and may be addressed by selecting a tab tensioned screen system.

  • Will the Panamorph UH480 lens work with “XYZ” projector?

    In all likelihood, yes. The Panamorph UH480 lens was designed with a very large aperture so that it would even accommodate projectors with very large lenses or beam spots. Having a large aperture also means that the UH480 will work through the entire zoom range of most projectors, which greatly eases installation concerns.

  • What movies are available in the True Widescreen 2.40:1 / 2.35:1 or greater ratio?

    A quick check through your current DVD, Blu-ray or HD-DVD collection will probably reveal that the majority of movies you already own are in the 2.35:1 or greater ratio. Simply look on the back cover and you will probably see the “this movie is in letterbox format – the black bars at the top and bottom of your screen are normal” along with a “2.35:1,” “2.39:1″ or “2.40:1″ designation. Almost all of these films will work properly with a Panamorph lens system and compatible scaler / projector. This is also true of many high definition movies on TV, cable or satellite.

    What do I need in addition to a Panamorph lens system to make all of this work? Here is what you need to create a True Widescreen image in your home theater:

    1. A 16:9 home theater projector
    2. The proper scaling mode to create a vertically stretched anamorphic image, either built into the projector itself or in a separate component (most current projectors have this scaling built in, or if necessary a separate scaler can be installed by your Panamorph dealer).
    3. A projection screen with the proper aspect ratio (we recommend a 2.40:1 ratio screen)
    4. Source material – in other words, movies shot in the 2.35:1 or greater aspect ratio (over 70% of the top grossing movies of all time). These are available on DVD, Blu-ray, HD-DVD, or high definition TV, cable or satellite.
  • How Does The Panamorph Anamorphic Lens Work?

    For the best demonstration of how a Panamorph lens system delivers the full impact of major motion pictures into your home, please watch the Get The Picture video on our home page. For maximum impact, please make sure your “favorites” or “history” window is closed and go to full screen on your browser. On PCs this can be accomplished by simply hitting your F11 key.

  • What considerations should be made for ambient light and what can be done about it?

    While the brightness of today’s projectors overcome many adverse lighting conditions, picture quality does suffer as ambient light is flushed onto the screen. SI has engineered the most advance screen solutions to address ambient light. See the “Black Diamond Screen” video.

  • What is the lead time for my projector screen order?

    The lead time for manufacture of most screens is two to three weeks. SI maintains certain stock levels for quick ship. Ask an SI representative or reseller about our “Available Now” program.

  • What is SMTPE?

    The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), is the leading technical society for the motion imaging industry.

    SMPTE members are spread throughout 61 countries worldwide. As well, over 250 Sustaining (Corporate) Members belong to SMPTE, allowing networking and contacts to occur on a larger scale. Touching on every discipline, our members include engineers, technical directors, cameramen, editors, technicians, manufacturers, designers, educators, consultants and field users in networking, compression, encryption and more.

    SMPTE was founded in 1916 to advance theory and development in the motion imaging field. Today, SMPTE publishes ANSI-approved Standards, Recommended Practices, and Engineering Guidelines, along with the highly regarded SMPTE Journal and its peer-reviewed technical papers. SMPTE holds conferences and local Section meetings to bring people and ideas together, allowing for useful interaction and information exchange.

  • Do I need “advanced” projection screen technologies in a completely dark room?

    In a completely dark room your projector is its own worst enemy. What every color is on the image at any given time is reflected around the room, and then back into your image. Picture a red Ferrari on screen, the reds created by the projector are reflected all over the walls, floor, and ceiling with a standard screen material. The red light is then reflected back into the image creating a red color push. This issue persists with all colors emitted by the projector and constantly changes based on the image. Unless you have completely matte black walls, this is the case.

    Black Diamond significantly reduces the light scatter created by the projector, therefore reducing the constantly changing color shift.

    Lastly the room color itself makes a color shift. If your walls are painted burgundy, you will notice a burgundy color push in your image. Black Diamond allows your walls to be painted with more colorful options and does not require a matte finish vs. a gloss or eggshell finish. This is extremely exciting because 99% of all theater rooms we encounter do “not” have color neutral walls.

  • What projection screen surface is right for me?

    Use the SI “Screen Wizard” to find out what gain is right for your environment. SI’s Screen Wizard helps you select the correct screen material for your room lighting, projector specifications, screen format, and screen size. Each of these variables are computed by the wizard to help you achieve the ultimate picture quality according to (SMPTE) standards!

  • What does the gain a projection screen mean?

    Gain is achieved by using screen surface pigment and or textures to concentrate reflected light into the viewing cone. If you have a 2 gain screen on a 1000 lumen projector you will be reflecting 2000 lumens.

  • Screens as an optical element

    In an optimally configured system, projection screen surface and the real image plane are made to coincide. From an optical point of view, a screen is not needed for the image to form; screens are rather used to make an image visible.

  • Gray Screens

    A relatively recent attempt in improving the perceived image quality is the introduction of gray screens, which are more capable of darker tones than their white counterparts. A matte gray screen would have no advantage over a matte white screen in terms of contrast; contemporary gray screens are rather designed to have a gain factor similar to those of matte white screens, but a darker appearance. A darker (gray) screen reflects less light, of course – both light from the projector and ambient light. This decreases the luminance (brightness) of both the projected image and ambient light, so while the light areas of the projected image are dimmer, the dark areas are darker; white is less bright, but intended black is closer to actual black. Many screen manufacturers thus appropriately call their gray screens “high-contrast” models.

    In an optimal viewing room, the projection screen is reflective, whereas the surroundings are not. The ambient light level is related to the overall reflectivity of the screen, as well as that of the surroundings. In cases where the area of the screen is large compared to that of the surroundings, the screen’s contribution to the ambient light may dominate and the effect of the non-screen surfaces of the room may even be negligible. Some examples of this are planetariums and virtual-reality cubes featuring front-projection technology. Some planetaiums with dome-shaped projection screens have thus opted to paint the dome interior in gray, in order to reduce the degrading effect of inter-reflections when images of the sun are displayed simultaneously with images of dimmer objects.

    Gray screens are designed to rely on powerful image sources that are able to produce adequate levels of luminosity so that the white areas of the image still appear as white, taking advantage of the non-linear perception of brightness in the human eye. People may perceive a wide range of luminosities as “white”, as long as the visual clues present in the environment suggest such an interpretation. A gray screen may thus succeed almost as well in delivering a bright-looking image, or fail to do so in other circumstances.

    Compared to a white screen, a gray screen reflects less light to the room and less light from the room, making it increasingly effective in dealing with the light originating from the projector. Ambient light originating from other sources may reach the eye immediately after having reflected from the screen surface, giving no advantage over a white high-gain screen in terms of contrast ratio. The potential improvement from a gray screen may thus be best realized in a darkened room, where the only light is that of the projector.

  • Image brightness and contrast

    Apparent contrast in a projected image – the range of brightness – is dependent on the ambient light conditions, luminous power of the projector and the size of the image being projected. A larger screen size means less luminance (luminous power per unit solid angle per unit area) and thus less contrast in the presence of ambient light. Some light will always be created in the room when an image is projected, increasing the ambient light level and thus contributing to the degradation of picture quality. This effect can be lessened by decorating the room with dark colours. The real-room situation is different from the contrast ratios advertised by projector manufacturers, who record the light levels with projector on full black / full white, giving as high contrast ratios as possible.

    Manufacturers of home theater screens have attempted to resolve the issue of ambient light by introducing screen surfaces that direct more of the light back to the light source. The rationale behind this approach relies on having the image source placed near the audience, so that the audience will actually see the increased reflected light level on the screen.

    Highly reflective flat screens tend to suffer from hot spots , when part of the screen seems much more bright than the rest. This is a result of the high directionality (mirror-likeness) of such screens. Screens with high gain also have a narrower usable viewing angle , as the amount of reflected light rapidly decreases as the viewer moves away from front of such screen. Because of the said effect, these screens are also less vulnerable to ambient light coming from the sides of the screen, as well.

  • Screen geometry and optics

    Square-shaped screens used for overhead projectors sometimes double as projection screens for digital projectors in meeting rooms, where space is scarce and multiple screens can seem redundant. These screens have an aspect ratio of 1:1 by definition. Other popular aspect ratios include 4:3 and a widescreen ratio of 16:9, which are often used as dedicated data projection and home cinema use, respectively.

    Most image sources are designed to project a perfectly rectangular image on a flat screen. If the audience stays relatively close to the projector, a curved screen may be used instead without visible distortion in the image geometry. Viewers closer or farther away will see a pincushion or barrel distortion , and the curved nature of the screen will become apparent when viewed off-axis.

  • What does the half gain angle of a projector screen mean?

    The half gain angle is the area of the room for which the projected image produces the fullest spectrum view. This area is roughly in the shape of a cone with its point toward the center of the screen. Viewing cones are described by defining the degree radius formed by the outer limits of the cone. Higher gain reflective screens produce narrower viewing cones, while matte surfaces produce a broader viewing cone. Half gain angle is only 1/2 of the viewing cone. Multiply the half gain angle by two to get the total viewing cone.

    One of the most often quoted properties in a home theater screen is the gain. This is a measure of reflectivity of light compared to a screen coated with magnesium carbonate or titanium dioxide, when the measurement is taken for light targeted and reflected perpendicular to the screen. Titanium dioxide is a bright white colour, but greater gains can be accomplished with materials that reflect more of the light parallel to projection axis and less off-axis.

    Frequently quoted gain levels of various materials range from 0.8 of light grey matte screens to 2.5 of the more highly reflective glass bead screens, some manufacturers claiming even higher numbers for their products. Very high gain levels could be attained simply by using a mirror surface, although the audience would then just see a reflection of the projector, defeating the purpose of using a screen. Many screens with higher gain are simply semi-glossy, and so exhibit more mirror-like properties, namely a bright “hot spot” in the screen – an enlarged (and greatly blurred) reflection of the projector’s lens. Opinions differ as to when this “hot spotting” begins to be distracting, but most viewers do not notice differences as large as 30% in the image luminosity, unless presented with a test image and asked to look for variations in brightness. This is possible because humans have greater sensitivity to contrast in smaller details, but less so in luminosity variations as great as half of the screen. Other screens with higher gain are semi-retroreflective. Unlike mirrors, retroreflective surfaces reflect light back toward the source. Hot spotting is less of a problem with retroreflective high gain screens. Unfortunately, at the perpendicular direction used for gain measurement, mirror reflection and retroreflection are indistinguishable, and this has sown confusion about the behavior of high gain screens.

    A second common confusion about screen gain arises for grey colored screens. If a screen material looks grey on casual examination then it’s total reflectance is much less than 1. However, the grey screen can have measured gain of 1 or even much greater than 1. The geometric behavior of a grey screen is different from that of a white screen of identical gain. Therefore, since geometry is important in screen applications, screen materials should be at least specified by their gain and their total reflectance. Instead of total reflectance, “geometric gain” (equal to the gain divided by the total reflectance) can be the second specification.

    Curved screens can be made highly reflective without introducing any visible hot spots, if the curvature of the screen, placement of the projector and the seating arrangement are designed correctly. The object of this design is to have the screen reflect the projected light back to the audience, effectively making the entire screen a giant “hot spot”. If the angle of reflection is about the same across the screen, no distracting artifacts will be formed.

    Semi-specular high gain screen materials are suited to ceiling-mounted projector setups since the greatest intensity of light will be reflected downward toward the audience at an angle equal and opposite to the angle of incidence. However, for a viewer seated to one side of the audience the opposite side of the screen is much darkened for the same reason. Some structured screen materials are semi-specularly reflective in the vertical plane while more perfectly diffusely reflective in the horizontal plane to avoid this. Glass-bead screens exhibit a phenomenon of retroreflection ; the light is reflected more intensely back to its source than in any other direction. They work best for setups where the image source is placed in the same direction from the screen as the audience. With retroreflective screens, the screen center might be brighter than the screen periphery, a kind of hot spotting. This differs from semi-specular screens where the hot spot’s location varies depending on the viewer’s positoin in the audience. Retroreflective screens are seen as desirable due to the high image intensity they can produce with a given luminous flux from a projector.

  • What Size Projection Screen do I Need?

    The first step is to take some measurements. You’ll need the ceiling height, and the length and width of the room. Next, Determine the optimum screen size based on room dimensions, planned audience seating size and arrangement. The rule of thumb is to fit the screen to the audience – not to the projector.

    • Ideally, the first row of seats should be approximately two screen heights away.
    • The bottom of the screen should be a minimum of 3 feet above the audience floor, allowing those seated toward the rear of the audience to see the screen. This may require additional screen “drop” for ceiling hung screens.
  • What is a Projector Screen?

    The projection screen is at least as important as the projector, after all viewers watch the screen not the projector! A quality projector screen reproduces the image without losing quality, by maximizing the light coming from the projector and reflecting it so that everyone in the room can see and read the image clearly. Both the projector and projection screen need to match the size and purpose of the room. You need to take into account the reason the projector will be used and how much light there is in the room.

    Screens come in a number of aspect ratios. Square screens’ ratio aspect is 1:1, while video screens’ ratio aspect is 4:3. A wide screen has a ratio aspect of 16:9. When choosing the aspect ratio of your projector screen you must match it with the aspect ratio of your projector. A general rule of thumb is that 4:3 and 1:1 ratio screens best suit business presentations or television viewing. Screens that are 16:9 suit DVDs or “widescreen” broadcasts.

    The fabric of the screen is another important factor. Matte white diffusion screen fabric is generally suitable when light conditions can be controlled. Datalux is a type of fabric specifically designed when you need a wider viewing angle. It is particularly suitable when the projector is mounted on the ceiling. Retro-reflective fabric is best used when the projector is at table height and there is not a huge audience. Rear projection screens are much more expensive and are useful when you don’t want the projection unit to be visible.

    Manual projector screens are pull-down varieties that come in a range of styles and fabrics. Electric screens have a motor and can be raised and lowered using a wall electric switch or a remote control. Fixed screens are the perfect solution if you need the screen to be available all the time. Portable screens are flexible and range in style and size, from table top to wall-sized.

    A projection screen is an installation consisting of a surface and a support structure used for displaying a projected image for the view of an audience. Projection screens may be permanently installed as in a movie theater , painted on the wall , semi-permanent or mobile, as in a conference room or other non-dedicated viewing space. Uniformly white or grey screens are used almost exclusively as to avoid any discoloration to the image, while the most desired brightness of the screen depends on a number of variables, such as the ambient light level and the luminous power of the image source. Flat or curved screens may be used depending on the optics used to project the image and the desired geometrical accuracy of the image production, flat screens being the more common of the two. Screens can be further designed for front or back projection, the more common front projection systems having the image source situated on the same side of the screen as the audience.

    Different markets exist for screens targeted for use with digital projectors , movie projectors , overhead projectors and slide projectors , although the basic idea for each of them is very much the same: front projection screens work on diffusely reflecting the light projected on to them, whereas back projection screens work by diffusely transmitting the light through them.

  • DIY Projection Screen?

    It is possible to build your own DIY “do it yourself” projector screen but to do it right you will spend more time and money then purchasing a screen from SI Screens. Much science goes into our screen technologies to maximize projector lumens, contrast, brightness, and resolution. Please read below for more information about SI’s front projection screens, rear projection screens, and motorized projector screens.

  • Why SI Projector Screens?

    SI is a technology based U.S. projection screen manufacturer focused on delivering “state-of-the-art” performance. Each screen meets extremely tight tolerances and must deliver the stunning visuals we require. SI’s products address constantly changing consumer demands for performance, value, and visual appeal-each strategically aligned with today’s projector trends.

    SI exist at the bleeding edge of projection screen technology. A key example of this is the new Black Diamond™ screen. Black Diamond enhances projector performance by creating the ultimate contrast (blacker black, whiter whites) and color accuracy (with added vibrant color delivery) in both light and dark environments. This exclusive SI technology will change the home theater landscape by delivering dramatically higher picture quality at sharply competitive prices. Try SI Screens new Screen Wizard to quickly determine which screen gain is right for your environment.

  • How to Clean your Projection Screen?

    One common question about projection is how to clean your projector screen.  It is very important that you follow your manufacturer’s screen cleaning instructions so you don’t damage image quality.

    Step One

    Determine what type of screen material you have. Screen Materials types: PVC, Fiberglass, Glass, Acrylic, Special Optic.

    Step Two

    Verify if your screen has a first surface coating or not–you can do this by softly wiping your hand across the surface feeling for any texture–you can also look for color irregularities.

    Step Three

    Clean your screen using the appropriate solution and cleaning cloth. (NOTE: the process significantly varies depending on your screen type.)

    PVC can be cleaned with any soft (microfiber preferred) cloth.  Mix a solution of 5% soap and 95% water.  You can rub the surface until the spot is removed.

    Fiberglass is a coated material and requires caution when cleaning.  If the spot is small, you can use a white paint marker to cover the spot with a small dot.  If you have a larger spot you can use a soft (microfiber preferred) cloth to lightly rub over the spot.  (NOTE: with all coated materials you can only rub so many times before damaging the projection screen coating—use caution.)

    Glass screens may or may not have a first surface coating on the front, if you determine there is no coating, simply clean with 25% Windex 75% water.  If the screen has an optical coating, consult your manufacturer’s instructions to determine the recommended cleaning process.  Optical coatings vary significantly and require the use of precise cleaning materials and methods.

    Acrylic screens (like glass) may or may not have a first surface coating; if you determine there is no coating, simply clean with 10% Windex 90% water.  If the screen has an optical coating, consult your manufacturer’s instructions to determine the recommended cleaning process.  Optical coatings vary significantly and require the use of precise cleaning materials and methods.

    Special Optic projector screens are very unique, and need to be cleaned according to manufacturer’s instructions.  These screen materials may incorporate different plastics, coatings, or textures on the first surface. Rubbing or using chemicals may damage the screen permanently, so consult your manufacturer for the cleaning procedures.

    For details on how to clean Screen Innovations projection screen products, call 512 832 6939
Have more questions?

Email us at: dealer@screeninnovations.com
Call us at: 512 832 6939