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Understanding the Basics of Projection Screens

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

How to select the right projection screen material

The world of projection can be confusing at times. We’re here to shine some light on it (no pun intended). Here are answers to common questions you’ve asked us about selecting the right projection screen material. For the novice, consider some of the more basic info below. For the more technically advanced looking to buy a projection screen, take a look at Technical Information on Projection Surfaces

Projection Resources: Projection Glossary: Terms That Everyone Should Know Learn what Ambient Light and Hot Spot mean as well as other basic terms

When To Use Each of 54 Different Types of Projection Screens  Also includes the specifications you'll want to know before buying

What influences good projection results? Projection is very subjective. Results are based on a balance of: 1. Screen Materials 2. Ambient Light 3. Brightness of the Projector

What’s the difference between Front & Rear Projection? The difference between Front and Rear Projection is where the projector is related to the audience and screen. If the projector is IN FRONT of the screen, you’re viewing a Front Projection. If the projector is BEHIND the screen, you’re viewing a Rear Projection.

Which side of the projection materials should face the projector? Why? Keep the matte side of the material towards the audience for both Front Projection and Rear Projection applications. This helps maximize diffusion and minimize hot spotting.

Why is ambient light important when you choose projection materials? The more ambient light there is in a space, the brighter the projector has to be and/or the darker the projection surface needs to be in order to increase the perceived contrast ratio. Ambient light is any light in the viewing room created by a source other than the projector or screen (daylight, overhead lighting, etc.). Ambient light reflects off the screen and washes out the image. 

How do different types of content (text, video, etc.) influence choosing the material for the screen? Text that needs to be read and understood requires a high quality screen and projector. The image has to be crisp and easy to read. Video and image projection can have a lower quality screen and projector and still get good results. 

What is the viewing angle? The viewing angle, or viewing cone, is the maximum angle at which a display can be viewed with acceptable visual performance. The image may seem garbled, poorly saturated, of poor contrast, blurry or too faint outside the stated viewing angle range. Some projection materials have wide viewing angles while others have narrower viewing angles. 


If you need a custom made projection screen give us a call at 800-223-1624. Rose Brand offers a large selection of projection materials including Rose Brand Premium Projection Screens: Series 100 and Series 200, Projection Fabrics, Screen Goo Projection Screen Paint, and Rosco Projection Screens.

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