The whole point of having a home theatre is having a big picture. Certainly, there are huge TVs, but their dimensions still pale in comparison to exceptional projection screens. It’s the experience that matters in a home cinema – and the bigger the picture is – the more engaging, dynamic, immersive, and memorable the viewing experience. A projection screen brings movies to life, making a space like no other. The unparalleled images and cinematic presentation are why you’ll find only projection screens, not TVs, in both commercial cinemas and home cinemas.
“With a projection screen you’re not selling technology; you’re selling an experience,” says Ryan Gustafson, CEO at Screen Innovations.
Plus, once you get past 120 inches in diagonal screen dimension, pound for pound a complete projection system is typically less expensive than a huge TV—making it a no-brainer for budget-conscious customers. A projection setup also contributes to integrators’ bottom line, as profit margins of commoditised TVs continue to dwindle. Also, transporting and installing a projection screen won’t eat up manpower. It ships rolled up for easy delivery and transport, and is lightweight enough for easy handling and installation. However, a TV of the same size is significantly heavier and cumbersome, requiring an entire crew to lift, carry, and install it.
Entertaining a large group is easy with a projection screen; there’s no such thing as a bad seat. Everyone has a great view of the image when it’s presented on a screen that stretches across the entire front wall. People can mingle and grab a drink at the back bar without losing view of the screen. Depending on the size of the audience, it’s difficult to achieve the same level of entertainment enjoyment from a smaller TV.
A projection screen evokes a feeling of escapism—which many shelter-and-home families crave as the pandemic persists. Resembling the screen at a commercial cinema, a home cinema projection screen transcends reality, turning any room into a special destination where viewers can become truly immersed in a movie. What once was a space barely used becomes a room frequented and a valuable addition to the real estate. And with so much content at our fingertips, the same screen that takes you to the movies, can transport you to exotic destinations, an interactive fitness studio, and virtual gaming sessions. Engaging content combined with larger-than-life images creates a window into different worlds – promoting relaxation, health, and wellness.
A big-screen TV mounts to the wall or sits on a TV stand. It’s a pretty cut-and-dry installation. Once it’s in position, you’re left with a big, dark rectangle amid the room décor. However, a projection screen can be affixed to the wall, suspended from the ceiling, motorised to lower from the ceiling, or framed by elegant draperies. You’re able to choose a mounting and design approach that best suits the room’s style while imparting a sense of drama and excitement.
With a wide assortment of designs, you can get creative with a home cinema installation. Speakers can be hidden behind acoustically transparent screens; large, uncovered windows can serve as a backdrop for ambient light rejecting screens; coloured bezels can complement the room décor.
While it’s certainly a popular option to construct a dedicated screening room around a front-projection system, it’s by no means your only option. The combination of high-output projectors, retractable screens, and proper lighting control allows you to integrate a front-projection system into virtually any space. When paired with an ultra-short-throw projector, for example, even small rooms are candidates for large projection screens.
When new TV technologies are introduced, the only way you can upgrade is to buy a completely new display. Not so with a projection system. The screen or the projector can be easily swapped or updated to stay on-trend. For example, should you move into a new home, you can trade up to an acoustically transparent or motorised screen, and use the projector you already own. When you’re ready to invest in a higher resolution projector, you can keep the screen and relegate the old projector to an outdoor entertainment area.
A projection screen is the cornerstone of a home cinema. It sets the tone while providing a perfect inroad to other technologies. To your customers, it suddenly makes sense to incorporate lighting control, colour-changing LEDs, motorised window treatments, a customised remote control, a high-end media player, special theatre seating, and other accoutrements. Try convincing clients to add these technologies to a family room with a big-screen TV—you’ll probably get some push back. But in a dedicated cinema with a projection screen, it makes perfect sense.