Projection solutions add functionality to nearly any venue, by offering image sizes that are much larger than can be achieved with a flat panel display. For projectors to be an effective, high contrast solution in media rooms, presentation rooms and other mid to high ambient light venues, striking a perfect balance between projector lumens and screen performance is vital. In simple terms, employing front or rear projection screens that preserve image black level is a critical factor for projection success in ambient light environments. Black level (or contrast enhancing) screen materials are available from a number of leading screen manufacturers.
Although the technology employed varies, the goal is always the same – to produce an on-screen black level that is actually lower than the ambient light level in the viewing room. DP has evaluated two screen materials, one for front projection, the other for rear projection, which, when illuminated with appropriate projector lumens, deliver uncanny imaging performance in mid to high ambient light venues.
For front projection, DP has performed testing with the DNP Supernova front projection screen (.8 gain) and has defined the following rule of thumb: 2000 lumens of projector light output produces great looking images on 16 square feet of Supernova screen material in typical media room / presentation room ambient lighting. More specifically, 2000 lumens on 16 square feet of screen material equates to 125 Foot Candles, before screen gain is taken into account.
Put another way, for typical ambient light environments:
• A 2500 lumen projector (M-Vision, dVision, HIGHlite Cine HC class projectors) will produce great imagery on a 6' x 3.375' Supernova screen.
• A 4500 lumen projector (dVision, HIGHlite class, TITAN single lamp class projectors) will produce great imagery on a 8' x 4.5' Supernova screen.
• A 7000 lumen projector (E-Vision, HIGHlite 660, TITAN class projectors) will produce great imagery on a 10' x 5.625' Supernova screen.
• A 10,000 lumen projector (TITAN Dual class) will produce great imagery on a 12' x 6.75' Supernova screen.
• A 16,000 lumen projector (TITAN Quad class) will produce great imagery on a 14' x 8.875' Supernova screen.
Although the above is just a rule of thumb based on our in-house testing, we believe it provides a very good guideline for front projection, using Supernova screen material, in a typical media room environment. In this case, "typical" is defined as a room with multiple sources of indirect artificial lighting, but no direct sunlight pouring into the room.
For Media Rooms or presentation environments that can accommodate rear projection, we have seen absolutely stunning results achieved with StarGlas 60 and StarGlas 100 by Stewart Filmscreen. Indeed, when illuminated by adequate projector lumens, a 10' wide sheet of StarGlas can look like the brightest and biggest plasma you have ever seen – with amazingly deep black levels - even in a very brightly lit room. The dark and very robust StarGlas screen surface can be used in nearly any environment, both indoors and out, and provides so much black level enhancement the projected image seems nearly impervious to significant levels of ambient light. We suggest applying high lumen per square foot calculations, similar to the rules described above, to achieve bright and vibrant imagery with exceptionally rich color saturation and magnificent contrast.
In a media room, presentation room, or other mid to high ambient light venue, projection adds value by enabling image sizes far beyond what any flat panel can provide. When paired with a Supernova screen for front projection, or a StarGlas screen for rear projection, DP's product line can accommodate large to massive image sizes capable of excelling in typical ambient lighting. Without a doubt, contrast-enhancing screen materials from other manufacturers will also provide great performance. To reiterate, "typical" ambient lighting is defined as multiple sources of indirect artificial lighting, but no direct sunlight pouring into the room.
For additional application information and ideas, feel free to contact DP's Applications Support Team at either 770-420-1350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.