Projectors and Screens

A motorized screen in the living room.

Bringing the cinema experience to your home is an exciting proposition, but raises a lot of important decisions you should consider.  Where will the projector live?  Will it be out in the open, tucked in a custom made soffit, or attached to a motorized arm?  What kind of projector should you get, what kind of film screen, and should that be out in the open or hidden when not in use? Well, you get the idea.  We’d like to talk about some of the most popular options and weigh in with the pros and cons of each one.Projector LocationJVC ProjectorHidden Projectors are aesthetically attractive and certainly have the cool factor going for them. Many home theater owners enjoy the convenience of using their remote to dim the lights and lower their motorized projector and film screen from the ceiling. Hidden projectors and screens are remarkable for seamlessly transforming a traditional living room into a complete home theater.When Projectors are installed out in the open, it makes for a quicker install and negates the need for a special ventilation system. Being out in the open also allows for easy to access for repairs and minor upgrades.Another consideration when thinking about location is the viewing distance of your seating in comparison to your screen size.  For more info Check out our Optimal Screen Distance and Height Chart.

Types of Projectors

Single Chip Projectors – Start with a source of light (lamp) and split the light into three beams. Each beam passes through its own LCD panel. The LCD panels each have hundreds of thousands of tiny pixels, the higher the resolution, the more pixels. Data determines whether light is allowed to pass through each one.   Single chip projectors offer a great value, but can be perceived  as overly saturated and can sometimes display what is know as the rainbow  effect.Three Chip Projectors –  3 chip projectors  are a system where a white light passes through a prism that divides the light into red, green and blue. The colored light is reflected from the  DMD (Digital Micromirror Device) and passes through the lens to project an ultra rich image.  Three chip projectors come at a premium price, but have an  ultra sharp image without the rainbow effect or heavy saturation.

Screen Options

When choosing a screen for a projector, there are additional considerations to factor in like ambient lighting, viewing angles, and space.   For example, environments with a high level of ambient light might benefit from a gray screen to enhance the black levels.  Manufacturers like Stewart Filmscreens offer a wide range of high quality screens that are designed to meet the needs of any theater room setup.Many customers enjoy the ease of having a motorized screen lower from the ceiling when the time comes to throw in a movie.  This provides the most flexibility in terms of location and a popular way to turn a traditional living room into a home theater without affecting the décor.As you can see there are many things to consider when purchasing a projector for your home.  If you have any questions or would like to learn more about projectors please feel free to call our office at (415) 456-7000, send me an email or visit our website today.

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