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Sizing a projection screen

to the room

Choosing the correct projection screen is of great

importance. The purpose of the projection screen

is twofold: to display the visual information without

loss of image quality and to direct the projected

light towards the audience. Both requirements

must be satisfied in order to ensure optimum

perception of the projected image. If you want

everyone in the room to see what is on the screen,

make sure you use the right size projection screen.

This is necessary to ensure everyone can see the

detail of the projection. The use of high resolution

projectors in most applications creates quality

images with great detail. This higher resolution

also implies smaller font text and images which

has its effect on the correct choice of projection

screen size. The InfoComm International standard

therefore recommends the following rules to

determine the correct size of the projection screen:

Room depth

Diagonal size

Distance screen to

last row

Screen height

4:3 VIDEO aspect ratio

To calculate the correct dimension for a 4:3 aspect ratio, you can use

the following rule. The height of a screen should be 1/6 of the

distance from the screen to the last row of viewers.

16:10 WIDE and 16:9 HDTV aspect ratios

You can calculate the diagonal of the projection screen that will

match your situation by dividing the room depth by two.

Distance screen to

last row

Screen height

2.35:1 CINEMASCOPE aspect ratio

To calculate the correct dimension for a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, you can

use the following rule. The height of a screen should be 1/4 of the

distance from the screen to the last row of viewers.

You should also consider

Take the ceiling height into account in your calculation as

this is often a limiting factor.

For professional and educational applications the distance

between the floor and the viewing area of a projection

screen should be approximately 125 cm to make sure

those sitting in the rear of the audience can see the

projection. Depending on the height of the ceiling, this may

require additional black drop if the projection screen is

ceiling mounted. For home entertainment applications this

distance should be between 60 and 90 cm.

For professional and educational applications the first row

of seats should be approximately 1.5 screen heights away.

For home entertainment applications the first row of seats

should be approximately 2 screen heights away

Always consider the most demanding usage of your

projection when determining the size Although a flat panel

display may seem a good option for a smaller size

presentation area, in most cases these are actually too

small. If the rules of thumb are applied often a larger

projection screen should be specified to make sure the

audience can see the necessary level of detail comfortably.