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How to Choose the Right Projection Screen for Your Office Space

August 24, 2023
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In today’s modern workspaces, projection screens play a vital role in facilitating effective communication and collaboration. A seamless visual experience during presentations and team interactions is essential to convey information accurately and engage your audience.

As businesses seek improved ways to convey information, the significance of clear and engaging visual experiences during presentations and collaborations has grown. A projection screen isn’t merely a display surface; it’s a canvas that transforms ideas into impactful messages. Let’s take a look at what you should consider to choose the right projection screen.

Understanding Your Space

Before looking into the types of projection screens you can choose from, it’s crucial to evaluate your space. Consider the size of the room, the arrangement of seating, and the lighting conditions. The dimensions of the space directly influence the size of the projection screen you should opt for. A screen that’s too small might not reach everyone in the room, while one that’s too large could be overwhelming. Additionally, ambient lighting plays a significant role in image clarity. Assess whether the room can be darkened adequately or if there’s a need for a screen with higher “gain” to counteract lighting challenges.

Understanding the unique characteristics of the space, along with knowing how the projector will be used, will help you determine which screen is the right choice.

Different Types of Projection Screens

Projection screens come in various types, each with its own set of advantages. Projection screens can be hidden away until needed, permanently fixed to one position, or even portable so they can move from room to room with easy setup and breakdown. Let’s take a look at the key differences.

A Ropewalker Projection Screen from Draper

Electric Projection Screens

Electric projection screens feature a motorized retractable surface that can keep the screen out of view when not in use, and easily lower the screen to the perfect viewing position with the press of a button. The motor and housing for the projection screen can usually be mounted to either the wall or ceiling, and come in a variety of ways to match or complement the aesthetics of any conference room or working space.

For large rooms, an electric projection screen like the Draper Ropewalker can be used. The Ropewalker holds the projection screen in a ceiling-recessed box. When the projection screen is needed, the Ropewalker can lower the screen by up to 34 feet. The ropewalker is ideal for extra large venues such as ballrooms, gymnasiums, and houses of worship.

A fixed projection screen installed in a university classroom visible to everyone in the class

Fixed Projection Screens

While electric projection screens can be hidden while not in use, fixed projection screens remain on display at all times. These screens are either wall mounted or flown from the ceiling and are available in all shapes and sizes. The Profile+ Fixed Project Screen from Draper has the option for a borderless screen for an optically seamless framing system, or a small bezel trim if a flat panel look is preferred.

FocalPoint portable projection screen from Draper

Portable Projection Screens

If you need more flexibility than either the electric or fixed projection screens can provide, then you should consider a portable screen. Portable projection screens are designed to be set up and broken down repeatedly, allowing you to use them in multiple locations if needed or bring them on the road.

The Draper FocalPoint® Portable Folding Screens are a perfect choice for ultimate flexibility. This system allows you to combine the frame pieces in different orientations so that you can create different-sized viewing formats during each setup. The FocalPoint was designed to handle repeated setups and breakdowns and be used in a variety of situations.

Consider the Screen Material

You’ll also need to think about the material that your projector screen will be made of, as this can have a huge impact on the viewing experience. There are three main things to consider when it comes to screen material: screen gain, color, and texture.

Screen Gain

Screen gain is the amount of light that a screen reflects back at viewers. Typically screens come with three different types of gain.

  • Standard Gain – Light is reflected by the screen evenly in all directions. This is ideal for rooms with wide viewing areas.
  • Negative Gain – Some of the light is absorbed by the screen, which can help with rooms that have some ambient light or when using a high-lumen projector.
  • High Gain – These screens reflect more light back, which can help increase visibility in brighter rooms. However, the viewing area is much more narrow with high-gain screens.

Screen Color

Projection screens come in several different colors, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • White – The most common screen color is white. A white screen is fantastic for situations where the lighting is ideal, allowing for the ability to display vivid colors.
  • Gray – Gray screens can help increase the contrast and get deeper black levels from your projector, even in rooms with a lot of ambient light.
  • Black – Instead of reflecting light, black screens work by absorbing light. This allows black screens to display better colors and can even work in the daylight, but viewers must be in front of the screen to get the full experience. Anyone towards the sides of the room won’t be able to see as well.

A 21:9 aspect ratio screen showing Front Row from Microsoft Teams Rooms

What Aspect Ratio Should You Choose?

The aspect ratio is the proportion between a projection screen’s width and height. The standard 16:9 and 16:10 ratios have been the norm for years, but a newer option gaining traction is the 21:9 aspect ratio.

The 21:9 format, with its wider canvas, offers several benefits. Movie fans love the wider format because it is really close to matching the SCOPE format (2.39:1 aspect ratio) commonly used in blockbuster films. Gamers also prefer the wider format for a better field of vision. But 21:9 isn’t just for movies and video games.

Microsoft Teams has recently started to promote the 21:9 aspect ratio for use with the Front Row format in Microsoft Teams Rooms (MTR). Front Row has all of the participants in the meeting displayed horizontally below the main content, which allows for a more natural eye-level experience for attendees. This format does work with traditional 16:9 displays but works best with the 21:9 aspect ratio.

Need Help Choosing the Right Projection Screen?

There are a lot of options to consider when choosing the right projection screen for your space. Luckily, there are tools available online that can help you narrow down what properties you should look for. And if you get overwhelmed or run into a question you can’t find the answer to, reach out to your Mainline Marketing representative for Florida or Puerto Rico. We’re happy to explain what to look for in a projection screen and provide some options that will work best for you and your budget.

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This post was written by Mainline Marketing