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FAQ - Screens

Browse Projection Screens

Electric | Manual | Portable | Fixed | Rear Projection | Fast Fold Screens

Da-Lite offers a wide array of screens each with a choice of projection surfaces. Selecting the right combination to meet your needs is important for optimum results.

The following offer guidelines for selecting a screen that suits your application. Although these recommendations will work in most situations, each must be looked at not as a strict rule, but rather as a guideline for determining your actual needs based on your own situation.
For additional help in selecting screens, contact Da-Lite for the free publication "Selecting Front Projection Screens for Today's Presentation Media Applications". Of course, your Da-Lite Sales Partner is also happy to assist you.

Four Steps to Selecting the Right Screen
Screen Size | Screen Format | Screen Surface | Screen Type |
  1. 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. :
  2. Da-Lite recommends the following formula for determining screen size for commercial and educational applications.
    • Screen height should be approximately equal to 1/6 the distance from the screen to the last row of seats, allowing text to be read and detail to be seen in the projected image. Ideally, the first row of seats should be approximately two screen heights away.
    • The bottom of the screen should be a minimum of 4 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.
    Da-Lite recommends the following formula for determining screen size for home theater applications:
    • Screen height should be approximately equal to 1/4 the distance from the screen to the last row of seats. Ideally, the first row of seats should be approximately two screen heights away.
    • The bottom of the screen should be a minimum of 2 feet above the audience floor. This may require additional screen "drop" for ceiling hung screens.
  3. Select the appropriate format for your projection application. Common formats are as follows:
  4. Common Applications Aspect Ratio
    Width/Height
    NTSC Video 1.33:1
    PAL Video 1.33:1
    Wide Format 1.60:1
    HDTV Video 1.78:1
    Letterbox Video 1.85:1
    35 MM Filmstrip 1.32:1
    2x2 Standard 35MM Double-Frame Slides 1.50:1
    Super XGA Computer 1.25:1
    Cinemascope 2.35:1

  5. Choose the screen surface that best suits your projection and viewing requirements. For your convenience, links for front and rear surfaces can be found at the top of this page. If the screen will be used for multiple projection methods, choose the screen surface that meets the requirements of the lesser performing projection method.
  6. Pick the type of screen that best suits your particular needs. For example, choose from front projection screens in either portable, wall or ceiling mounted models in either manual or electric versions or rear projection screens. Generally, if your projection application is permanent, then wall and ceiling screens are your best choice. If, however, you find your needs require moving the screen to different locations then a portable screen is a better alternative.

How to Calculate a Custom Screen Size

Use the following formulas to calculate a custom size. The formulas will assist you in finding the viewing area only.

NTSC (1.33) HDTV (1.78) Letterbox (1.85)
Video Format Video Format Video Format
Diagonal/1.667 = Height Diagonal x 0.49091 = Height Diagonal x 0.4762 = Height
Height x 1.33 = Width Diagonal x 0.87247 = Width Diagonal x 0.88 = Width
Width/1.33 = Height Height x 2.0395 = Diagonal Height x 2.10 = Diagonal
Height x 1.667 = Diagonal Width x 1.14585 = Diagonal Width x 1.135 = Diagonal
  Height x 1.78 = Width Height x 1.85 = Width
  Width x 0.561837 = Height Width x 0.5405 = Height
 
Cinemascope (2.35) 16:10 Wide (1.60) SXGA (1.25)
Video Format Video Format Video Format
Diagonal x 0.3916 = Height Diagonal x 0.530 = Height Diagonal x 0.625 = Height
Diagonal x 0.9209 = Width Diagonal x 0.848 = Width Diagonal x 0.78125 = Width
Height x 2.554 = Diagonal Height x 1.887 = Diagonal Height x 1.60 = Diagonal
Width x 1.0868 = Diagonal Width x 1.1.79 = Diagonal Width x 1.28 = Diagonal
Height x 2.35 = Width Height x 1.6 = Width Height x 1.25 = Width
Width x 0.4255 = Height Width x 0.625 = Height Width x 0.80 = Height

Screen Size Conversion Chart

Use the following chart to convert an existing NTSC video format screen size to either an HDTV or Letterbox format size.

Calculated using existing height

NTSC (1.33) Viewing Area HDTV (1.78) Viewing Area Letterbox (1.85) Viewing Area
H x W H x W H x W
43" x 57" 43" x 77" 43" x 80"
50" x 67" 50" x 89" 50" x 92.5"
57" x 77" 57" x 102" 57" x 105"
60" x 80" 60" x 107" 60" x 111"
69" x 92" 69" x 123" 69" x 128"
87" x 116" 87" x 155" 87" x 161"
105" x 140" 105" x 187" 105" x 194"

Calculated using existing width

NTSC (1.33) Viewing Area HDTV (1.78) Viewing Area Letterbox (1.85) Viewing Area
H x W H x W H x W
43" x 57" 32" x 57" 31" x 57"
50" x 67" 38" x 67" 36" x 67"
57" x 77" 43" x 77" 42" x 77"
60" x 80" 45" x 80" 43" x 80"
69" x 92" 52" x 92" 50" x 92"
87" x 116" 65" x 116" 63" x 116"
105" x 140" 79" x 140" 76" x 140"

Screen Borders and Drop

Black masking borders are standard on most Da-Lite front projection screens at no extra charge. Borders enhance the perceived brightness of an image on a screen. The human eye perceives the image to have more contrast and a sharper picture with brighter colors. Borders also allow the projected image to "bleed-off" the screen for professional appearing presentations.

Drop is also available on most Da-Lite wall, ceiling and electric screens. Drop is extra fabric added to the top or bottom of the screen to adjust the screen surface to within normal viewing heights. Drop can be specified in either black or white.


Front Projection Screen Surfaces

HD Progressive 0.6

Formulated with an extremely wide viewing angle and excellent white field uniformity, the HD Progressive 0.6 screen fabric is ideal for applications where projector brightness and screen size require low gain. The light grey surface offers true color reproduction and excellent depth of modulation. Endorsed by Joe Kane Productions, HD Progressive 0.6 was formulated specifically for ultra high definition projection devices.

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HD Progressive 0.9

A JKP endorsed projection screen material, HD Progressive 0.9 is formulated to produce true color and white field uniformity. With a 0.9 gain and an extraordinarily wide half angle of 85 degrees, this screen fabric offers excellent depth of modulation for even the most demanding high definition projection devices.

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified

HD Progressive 1.1

HD Progressive 1.1 is ideal for applications that require a small increase in gain due to screen size and projector brightness. This white surface produces true color and white field uniformity while offering excellent depth of modulation. With a generous half angle of 85°, HD Progressive 1.1 is an excellent choice for large audiences. Endorsed by Joe Kane Productions, HD Progressive 1.1 was formulated for high resolution projectors.

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Da-Mat®

Da-Mat® features a smooth, white surface for precise image reproduction and provides an exceptionally wide angle of view with little loss of resolution. It is a highly flexible fabric. Da-Mat® is a great choice for situations with controlled ambient light and where a wide viewing angle is necessary. Available with or without black backing depending on screen model. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 60° Gain: 1.0

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High Contrast Da-Mat®

With a special gray surface, this screen material is designed for use with today's high output LCD, DLP and D-ILA projectors. By lowering the black levels of the projected video image, this surface creates a more film-like image and is a good choice when video is the main source of projected information. This screen surface is best used when there is good control of ambient lighting and a moderately wide viewing angle is desired. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 45° Gain: 0.8

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified

Cinema Vision

A unique fabric that offers a bright, uniform image with no color shift at any viewing angle. This surface is designed to provide a higher amount of brightness for lower out put projector types. Its increased reflectivity will help enhance the image brightness in situations where a low level of ambient light is present. This surface is a good choice when producing video images. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 45° Gain: 1.3

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified

High Contrast Cinema Vision

Designed for today’s moderate output DLP and LCD projectors, this screen surface is a great choice when video images are the main source of information being projected and where ambient lighting is moderately controlled. With its specially designed gray base surface and a reflective top surface, this screen material is able to provide very good black levels without sacrificing the white level output. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 50° Gain: 1.1

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified

Pearlescent

Pearlescent offers a higher amount of reflectivity and brilliance without loss of image quality or resolution and is designed for use in applications where moderate viewing angles are required. This surface is a good choice when producing video images with a lower output projector and where there is a high amount of ambient light present. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 40° Gain: 1.5

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HD Progressive 1.1 Perf

Designed for applications where a more realistic soundstage is desired, this fabric allows for the installation of speakers to be placed behind the surface. With virtually no sound loss and excellent image quality, this fabric provides the same optical characteristics as the HD Progressive 1.1 screen surface with specially designed perforations to allow sound to pass through the material.

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Audio Vision

Designed for applications where a more realistic soundstage is desired, this fabric allows for the installation of speakers to be placed behind the surface. With virtually no sound loss and good image quality, this fabric provides the same optical characteristics as the Da-Mat® surface with specially designed perforations to allow sound to pass through the screen material. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 60° Gain: 1.0

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified

High Contrast Audio Vision

With the same optical characteristics as the High Contrast Da-Mat® material, this surface is designed to provide the viewer with a more realistic soundstage by placing speakers behind the screen and allowing the sound to be transmitted through the material. This screen surface is best used when there is good control of ambient lighting and a moderately wide viewing angle is desired. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 45° Gain: 0.8

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified

High Contrast Cinema Perf

With the same optical characteristics as High Contrast Cinema Vision, this surface is perforated to allow placement of a center channel speaker behind the screen surface while allowing the sound to transmit through the material. Ideal for use in environments with moderate control of ambient light. Screen surface can be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 50° Gain: 1.1

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified

3D Virtual Grey

Designed specifically for passive 3D front projection systems, 3D Virtual Grey is a flexible projection fabric that retains 99 percent of polarized light. Other characteristics include the ability to maintain high extinction values, virtually eliminate ghosting or crosstalk common with stereoscopic 3D projection and excellent image contrast. 3D Virtual Grey offers a 1.85 gain, which is compatible with low levels of ambient light.

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified

Matte White

The most versatile and uniform screen surface for front projection when ambient light is controllable. It enables unlimited viewing angles and perfect uniformity while giving precise definition and reproduction of color or black and white. Screen surface is washable with mild soap and water, flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 60° Gain: 1.0

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified

High Contrast Matte White

Designed for moderate output DLP and LCD projectors, this screen surface is a great choice when video images are the main source of information being projected and where ambient light is moderately controlled. With its specially designed gray base material and reflective top surface, this screen material is able to provide very good black levels without sacrificing the white level output. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 50° Gain: 1.1

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified

Video Spectra 1.5

This screen surface is specially designed with a reflective coating, which provides an increased amount of brightness with a moderately reduced viewing angle. The increased gain of this surface makes it suitable for environments where ambient lighting is uncontrollable and a projector with moderate light output is utilized. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 35° Gain: 1.5

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Silver Lite 2.5

A multi-purpose front projection surface that is optimized for passive linear and circular 3D applications and is also an excellent 2D screen material. For passive 3D applications, the silver surface maintains 99.3% of polarized light and the 2.5 gain of the material compensates for the light lost in the polarization filtering process. The polarization retention and high extinction ratio eliminate the ghosting or crosstalk common with stereoscopic 3D projection. For 2D projection, the gain and high contrast characteristics of the material make it perfect for projection in high ambient light conditions or for use with a low output projector. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 25° Gain: 2.5

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High Power®

This screen surface provides the reflectivity and optical characteristics of a traditional glass beaded surface with the ability to clean the surface when necessary. Its smooth textured surface provides the highest gain of all front projection screen surfaces with little loss of resolution. The moderate viewing angle and its ability to reflect light back along the projection axis make this surface the best choice for situations where there is a moderate amount of ambient light and the projector is placed on a table-top or in the same horizontal viewing plane as the audience. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 30° Gain: 2.4

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High Contrast High Power®

This revolutionary screen surface provides a unique combination of high gain along with contrast enhancement due to its grey base and highly reflective top surface. The result is a screen surface with moderate viewing angles and the ability to reflect light back towards the source. These characteristics make this surface an excellent choice for environments with a moderate amount of ambient light and a projector which is placed on a table top or in the same horizontal viewing plane as the audience. Flame retardant and mildew resistant. Viewing Angle: 20° Gain: 2.4

GREENGUARD® and GREENGUARD® Children and Schools Certified