You finally made the choice to buy a projector and a projection screen for your home so that you can see TV and movies almost life size. Now the big decision is where to put it. You would love to have a dedicated home theater but the kids are still living at home and your dream theater is still a bedroom.
You prowl through the house trying to imagine where you can hang a screen and a projector. â€œNot in my living room, you don’t,” shouts your wife. You could convert the garage into a theater, but where would you put the snow blower, lawn mower, golf clubs and your wife’s washer and dryer. You sure don’t want to bring that subject up.
Your possibilities are slowly diminishing. Actually, the only room left is the family room or out on the porch. As you walk into the family room, you spot your son playing computer games and your daughter sewing away on the Singer you gave her for Christmas last year. Every light in the room is on. How could you ever place a front projection system in this room?
You had your heart set on a 100″ diagonal screen so that you can be right there when the sports action happens. You were hoping to watch the latest James Bond shoot’em up, or was it the James Bond girls that you wanted to watch life size.
The screen would fit perfectly over the bar and could be seen from any place in the room. You only had to hide that black velvet painting of Elvis in the garage. Yes, that is the perfect spot for the screen.
The next day you drive down to your closest electronics store and buy a gray screen because the clerk told you that by lowering the black levels of the projected video image, this surface creates a more film like image. What you weren’t told was that the room had to be totally dark or the â€œfilm-like image” would be nearly impossible to see.
What you really need is a new screen technology from a little known company, Accuon Corporation. The high-tech engineers at Accuon come with optic design credentials, including the design of Hubble II, infrared radar and CT-scanners.
Accuon has a new, patented screen technology that is based on pure optics. There is no color pigment in the screen material. You learned in science class â€¦when your weren’t asleep â€¦ that white light is a combination of all colors and black is the absence of all colors. Therefore, a projection screen should reflect light in its natural state and should not be affected by color in the screen’s substrate. The Accuon screen either reflects or diffuses light without using any color pigment.
Because this technology either reflects or diffuses light, there is minimum coloration or intensity degradation in the process. Since a higher reflection produces a higher gain, and higher diffusion produces better contrast, this technology provides the ultimate in color reproduction and improved contrast. When you view video (or video games) the image jumps out at you very much life-like.
There are many types of screen surfaces on the market. The industry standard is matte-white. This surface has a broad light dispersion, but can only be used when the ambient light is controllable. The gray surface is very popular in the home theater market. Proponents of this surface claim that a gray screen improves contrast. Because the screen is darker than white, you have the illusion of higher contrast, but while the blacks look darker the whites appear dim and true white cannot be reproduced.
Another popular screen material is glass-beaded. It is brighter than matte-white but it has a narrower viewing angle. There is also a loss of clarity. This screen is not recommended for ceiling mounted projectors. You shouldn’t be fooled by claims of high-gain. Light gain does not take place. Gain is merely the relative brightness of the screen. The â€œgain” is dependent on the reflectivity of the screen and the diffusion of light.
The biggest problem in using front projection for the home market is ambient light. When ambient light hits a standard projection screen, the image is â€œwashed out.” Because the Accuon screen diffuses ambient light, a video image has the appearance of a plasma screen or rear-projection TV. Now you can leave all of the lights on and still enjoy a movie on a large screen. This has never before been possible.
How is this possible, you ask? Pure optical technology uses the same polycarbonate material used in camera lenses. The top layer is comprised of thousands of crystal clear diffusers. This is what causes the viewer to see projected images clearly without being â€œwashed out” by ambient room light.
Because of its lens quality, this layer has 99% translucency and is hard as glass. This unique surface is scratch resistant, heat resistant, never deforms or ages. It comes with a lifetime warranty. No other screen on the market has such a lasting warranty. Because of this, you can now take the screen out on your porch or set it up by the pool.
Beneath this layer is Accuon’s proprietary Pure Optical Coating technology. Other screens will alter the color of the image to some degree. This screen uses no pigment, just 100% micro spheres. Some of the spheres diffuse the incoming image and some reflect the image. Because of this, the projected image is one hundred percent faithful to the original images captured by the camera.
The combination of both layers provides the best gain and highest contrast in the industry, while maintaining absolute fidelity to its original color.
All projection screens come in various formats, such as 16:9 and 4:3. Movies and HDTV (high-definition television) are 16:9 and basic television is 4:3. Eventually, even television will be 16:9. Many of the old VHS tapes were made in 4:3 format because we viewed them on the television. All most all of the new DVD’s are shown in widescreen or 16:9 format.
Bigger is better, or so they say. Before you select that giant screen, be sure to measure the intended space. You may have a hard time fitting a screen that is 87″ wide into a 60″ space. You also need to check out the projector that you intend to use. Different brands have different focal lengths for their lens. Make sure that you have sufficient distance from the screen so that the projected image will fill your screen.
Projector technology has advanced greatly in the last few years while screen technology has basically remained unchanged. Now the use of pure optics is changing the way that we look at movies.
You think, â€œWow!” But how much is this going to cost me? A 100″ diagonal screen carries a MSRP of $1,599.00. How much does a 100″ plasma cost? You’d have to mortgage your house. Now, kick back in your Lazy-Boy, put in that action DVD and enjoy yourself while the family does their own thing with all of the lights on.
Len Calderone is the Vice President of Sales at Accuon. For more information go to www.accuon.com or call (912) 884-4571.