Slide and Sound Corporation
Your Source for Professional Audio Visual Systems

Selecting the right screen

Slide & Sound is an authorized Da-Lite dealer. 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, call us at 503-615-0402.

Four Steps to Selecting the Right Screen

  1. 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.
  2. 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. Da-Lite recommends the following formula for determining screen size:
    * 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.
  3. Select the appropriate format for your projection application. Common formats are as follows:

    Common Applications Aspect Ration
    Width/Height
    NTSC Video 1.33
    PAL Video 1.33
    HDTV Video 1.78
    Letterbox Video 1.85
    Cinemascope 2.35
    35 MM Filmstrip 1.32
    2x2 Standard 35MM Double-Frame Slides 1.50
    SXGA 1.25

  4. Choose the screen surface that best suits your projection and viewing requirements. For your convenience, below we have listed descriptions and performance characteristics for each front and rear screen surface. If the screen will be used for multiple projection methods, choose the screen surface that meets the requirements of the lesser performing projection method.

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) SXGA (1.25)
Video Format Video Format Video Format Video Format
Diagonal/1.667 = Height Diagonal x 0.49091 = Height Diagonal x 0.4762 = Height Diagonal x 0.625 = Height
Height x 1.33 = Width Diagonal x 0.87247 = Width Diagonal x 0.88 = Width Diagonal x 0.78125 = Width
Width/1.33 = Height Height x 2.0395 = Diagonal Height x 2.10 = Diagonal Height x 1.60 = Diagonal
Height x 1.667 = Diagonal Width x 1.14585 = Diagonal Width x 1.135 = Diagonal Width x 1.28 = Diagonal
  Height x 1.78 = Width Height x 1.85 = Width Height x 1.25 = Width
  Width x 0.561837 = Height Width x 0.5405 = 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.

Note: Tensioned electric screens are standard with 12" black drop at the top in all sizes except for 200" diagonal which is standard with 4" black drop.

Front Projection Screen Surfaces

Matte White

The most versatile screen surface and the premier choice when ambient light is controllable. It evenly distributes light over a wide viewing area while colors remain bright and life-like, with no shifts in hue. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 60°
Gain: 1.0

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. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 50°
Gain: 1.1

Video Spectra™ 1.5

Especially designed for demanding video and overhead LCD projection applications where a balance of higher gain and greater viewing angle is required. The special pearlescent surface may be cleaned with mild soap and water. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 35°
Gain: 1.5

Silver Matte

A uniquely designed screen surface with a specifically designed silver finish. This surface is perfect for situations where a silver surface is necessary for a polarized 3-D projection. The matte finish of this surface successfully rejects ambient light. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 30°
Gain: 1.3

Glass Beaded

This surface has the ability to achieve a higher gain by reflecting more of the projected image back along the projection axis. Glass beads impregnated into the screen's surface provide additional reflectance. This attribute creates an unparalleled screen surface that reproduces vibrant life-like color at moderate viewing angles. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 30°
Gain: 2.5

High Power

A technological breakthrough, combines the reflectivity of a glass beaded surface with the ability to clean the surface when required. Its smooth surface offers the highest gain of all types of screen surfaces with moderate viewing angle. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 25°
Gain: 2.8

Da-Mat™

A smooth, white, vinyl finish surface for precise image reproduction. Provides an exceptionally wide angle of view with little loss of resolution. It is a highly flexible unsupported vinyl fabric and may be folded or rolled. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 60°
Gain: 1.0

High Contrast Da-Mat™

A smooth, gray, vinyl finish surface for high output LCD and DLP projectors. This surface improves the perceived contrast by lowering black levels. It is a flexible unsupported vinyl fabric and may be folded or rolled. Available on all models offered with the Da-Mat™ surface. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 45°
Gain: 0.8

Cinema Vision

A unique unsupported vinyl surface that offers a bright, uniform image with no color shift no matter at what angle you view the image. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 45°
Gain: 1.3

High Contrast Cinema Vision

A smooth, gray, vinyl finish surface for moderate output DLP projectors. This surface improves the perceived contrast by lowering black levels while offering moderate gain. It is a flexible unsupported vinyl fabric and may be folded or rolled. Available on all models offered with the Cinema Vision surface. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 50°
Gain: 1.1

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

Pearlescent

This surface utilizes an unsupported vinyl creating a very smooth Pearlescent coating that provides high reflectivity and brilliance without loss of image quality or resolution. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 40°
Gain: 1.5

Silver Vision

This screen surface is uniquely designed with a specially formulated silver finish. This surface is perfect for situations where a silver finish is necessary for polarized 3-D projection. The silver finish of this surface successfully rejects ambient light. It is a highly flexible fabric that must be tensioned. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 25°
Gain: 1.5

Audio Vision

This acoustically transparent front projection screen allows for the center channel speaker to be placed directly behind the screen while still transmitting the full range and brilliance of an original soundtrack with maximum clarity. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 50°
Gain: 1.0

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

Rear Projection Screen Surfaces

Video Vision

A special coating process generates a screen ideal for video projection under controlled light conditions. Offers an exceptionally wide field of view so each audience member will observe a uniform, bright, sharp image with no color shift. Imaging Science Foundation approved. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant..

Viewing Angle: 55°
Gain: 1.0

DA-180

A neutral gray screen offering an on-axis gain of 1.8, the DA-180 is a coating well suited for applications whose viewing angles are not large but which can benefit from moderate screen gain. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 30°
Gain: 1.8

DA-230

An excellent choice where a balance between gain and viewing angle is needed. Ideal for situations with a high level of ambient light. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 25°
Gain: 2.3

Data Vision

An optical coating which is dark in appearance and produces a unity gain screen ideal for data projection. The special coating successfully rejects ambient light and maintains a high contrast level. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 24°
Gain: 1.0

Polacoat Ultra

Combines your choice of a Polacoat diffusion coating and a Fresnel lens for the ideal single image display. This design offers the best center to edge uniformity obtainable. Available in sizes up to 125" diagonal. Gain and viewing angle depend on the Polacoat diffusion coating selected. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle:
Gain:

Da-View

Profiled Type Display Screen
Offers a bright image at a relatively wide field of view perfect for single image display. This screen is a single element double profile cast acrylic with a back surface comprising a Fresnal lens and the front surface exhibiting an array of lenticulations. Fresnel grooves have a pitch of .5mm and the lenticulations have a .28 mm pitch. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 32°
Gain: 3.5

Wide Angle

Profiled Type Display Screen
This screen is a single element double profile cast acrylic with a back surface comprising a Fresnal lens and the front surface exhibiting an array of lenticulations. Fresnel grooves have a pitch of .19mm and the lenticulations have a .25 mm pitch. Offers a bright image at a relatively wide field of view perfect for single image display. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 32°
Gain: 3.5

Giant Screen

Profiled Type Display Screens
This screen is a single element optical system with two active lens surfaces. The back surface is a Fresnel lens with a pitch of .5 mm and the front surface is a lenticulation array with a pitch of 0.8 mm. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 21°
Gain: 3.0

Graphics Screen

Profiled Type Display Screen
This screen is a double element system with four active lens surfaces. The rear element includes a Fresnal lens towards the front surface. The front element consists of a lenticular lens array. The front side has a unique wide angle lenticular array with a pitch of .33 mm. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 32°
Gain: 3.5

Black Bead

The Black Bead screen provides super high contrast, extended resolution images for the most demanding multi-media, HDTV and computer display applications. The Black Bead screen provides for exceptionally vivid images in even the worst ambient lightening conditions with a very wide viewing angle.

Viewing Angle: 50°
Gain: 1.0

Da-Tex™

Flexible Fabric Screen:

A translucent, neutral gray vinyl surface that offers high transmission and low reflectance values for optimal viewing. It yields excellent color rendition, image contrast and a wide viewing angle. Suitable for all types of rear projection. Ideally suited for both lace and grommet and snap button type screens. Material needs to be tensioned. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 30°
Gain: 1.8

High Contrast Da-Tex™

High Contrast Da-Tex™ is a unity gain rear projection surface with a specially designed dark gray tint and is formulated to provide lower black levels for today's high output projectors. This surface features optical characteristics similar to rigid rear projection screens. Ideally suited for both lace and grommet and snap button screens used in portable applications. Surface requires tensioning due to its flexible nature.

Viewing Angle: 40°
Gain: 1.0

Dual Vision

Flexible Fabric Screen
A unity gain flexible projection fabric capable of both front and rear projection. The surface is ideal for video projection under controlled light conditions. With an exceptionally wide viewing cone, each seat in the audience will observe a uniform, bright, sharp image with no color shift. Surface needs to be tensioned. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 50°
Gain: 1.0

DA-100

A neutral gray screen that provides contrast, uniformity and color rendition ideally suited for high resolution applications. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 35°
Gain: 1.0

DA-150

A neutral gray screen well suited for multi-image displays where bend angles from some images may be severe. It makes a good choice for audiences with a wide seating arrangement. Screen surface can be cleaned with mild soap and water. Flame retardant and mildew resistant.

Viewing Angle: 32°
Gain: 1.5

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