Video projection technology has really come into its own over these past several years. TV screen sizes have grown to 80 inches and larger but so have their prices. More often than not, the choice for home theaters is still video projection. And with the picture quality so amazing, why not?
But lets consider the homeowner who decides he wants to retrofit his existing home with large-screen format TV viewing. A typical floor plan doesn't include a spacious but windowless room which could accommodate a home theater. So the homeowner wants to use their family room for large-format TV viewing. In that case, the most typical set-up will be installing a drop-down projection screen. You'll have a few factors to consider in making your choice of projectors and screens. Here's where you need your professional A/V installer on-board.
Briefly, factors to consider are: (1) screen placement in relation to seating; (2) screen size in relation to room dimensions; and (3) the amount of both fixed and ambient lighting which might reduce picture clarity. There are other factors, to be sure, not the least of which will be the kind of sound dynamics the homeowner wants to achieve. But for this discussion, we're just considering the viewing aspect.
The first two factors are simply a matter of ratios and proportions. But the third factor--balancing the brilliance of the picture with existing room lighting--is the main dance. The balance to strike is between a projector with proper luminosity and a screen with the optimum reflection surface.
Check out the photo included here comparing two screens in action. You'll notice this demonstration includes a renegade light source bleeding onto the left side of the projection field. The image on the upper screen really gets lost on that side because its reflecting that light back to the viewer. Not so with the lower screen. Also, its quite evident the upper screen offers less contrast overall than the lower screen. The blacks appear more gray in the upper screen. Lesson learned: the issue is not lamp strength of the projector but rather screen surface material. Click here for a brief video demonstration of the difference between screen surfaces.