Choosing the video projection screen p.2/2

Video projection screen size and format

Now that you know all the crucial elements necessary to choose the most adapted to your needs video projection screen, let’s talk about the perfect screen size and format. A good-quality projection screen outlasts many video projector generations - it’s the key element of your screening room. That’s why it’s essential to make the right choice. Many websites tackle the question of the ideal video projection screen’s dimensions. We believe it’s impossible provide one number, relevant to any user. Everyone’s preferences and tastes are different.

Projection screen format

Before we discuss different screen sizes, let’s think about the content you enjoy. For, it’s the content that determines the perfect format of your video projection screen. The format, or the video projection screen ratio depicts the length to height proportion. The 16:9 ratio means that the screen is 16 units of measure long and 9 units of measure high. Some use the 1.78:1 name which represents the 169 fraction.

3 formats are used in Home Theaters: 16:9, 2.39:1 (called CinemaScope, also known as 2.40:1) and finally 4:3.

16:9 is most used because it’s the HD TV default format. All the programs that you watch, TV series and sport events are broadcast in this very format. Contrary to what is commonly believed, the format used in movie theaters isn’t 16:9 but 2.39:1 - CinemaScope. In this format the screened image is less high than in 16:9. When talking about the screens, you usually identify them by their length. Thus, in 16:9 format, the image is much higher than in CinemaScope of the same length. That’s why we rarely recommend 2.39:1 format, even if it seems very tempting. Here’s why:

We discourage you from purchasing the 2.39:1 screen unless you plan watching only movies (filmed in CinemaScope, yet, some of them come out in 16:9). 16:9 is much more appropriate for a Home Theater system.

Another benefit? Home Cinema video projectors (with some exceptions) use the 16:9 ratio by default.

Video projection screen dimensions

Now that the the video projection screen formats have no secrets to you, let’s move on to the dimensions. You can find a lot of info about the screen-spectator distance to screen-size ratio online. This method is truly scientific but in fact it takes into account only viewer’s comfort regarding the image resolution and not the real movie theater experience that a movie freak is trying to find in his/her living room. *

Firstly, it’s important to define your personal preferences. Just like your favorite seat in the movie theater, you’ll build your Home Theater depending on your “perfect spot”.

Big video projection screen (for those who enjoy the front seats)

If you tend to seat very close to the screen in the movie theater, the couch-to-screen distance shouldn’t exceed 1.2 times the screen length. Thus, for the 350cm (138’) distance between the spectator and the screen, max. 290cm (115’) long screen is suitable. However, take some time to think because choosing a screen too big might literally cost you a constant headache and a waste of money.

We recommend the limit of 1.35x screen length to spectator-screen ratio. In this case the appropriate screen is 260cm (102’) long (for 350(138’)1,35 = 259cm(102’)).

Medium-size video projection screen (for those seated in the middle)

If you’re often seated in the middle of the movie theater the screen length should be around 1.5 times shorter than the spectator-screen distance. When you’re 350cm (138’) away from the screen, choose the 230cm (90’) screen (350(138’)1,5 = 233cm(90’))

Small video projection screen (for the back-seat lovers)

Finally, if you feel most comfortable at the back, the 1.75x screen length to spectator-screen distance ratio is the best option with the 200cm(79’) long screen .

To sum up, when the video projection screen to spectator distance is around 350cm(138’), the screen should be 200(79’), 230(90’) or 260cm(102’) long. In order to apply this data in your Home Theater system, you only need to divide the screen distance by 1.2 to 1.75 variable, depending on your favorite seat in the movie theater.

Video projection screen position

How high you’re setting up your video projection is very important. When it’s too height or too low you can get a stiff neck. To avoid this side effect, make sure that the center of the screen is at eye level. In order to avoid any projected image distortion, double-check if your screen has the Blackdrop - the black superior border that helps you adjust the image. All AV Concept Product screens have 35cm (14’) blackdrops. No need to use the maths, just remember that the bottom of the image should be between 40(15’) to 60cm(24’) above the floor.

Here you go. You now have all the necessary information that’ll help you transform your living room into Home Theater. You understand that choosing a video projection screen requires some thinking and planning. As already mentioned, the projection screen is the first noticeable element of your Home Theater system. Thus, it’s important to take into consideration all the factors that have a direct impact on the final result. If you’re interested in a recessed video projection screen and you wish any assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help!