Why size and format matters in selecting your projection screen

Ever wondered how to figure out what size projection screen you need in your conference room, classroom, church sanctuary, auditorium or banquet hall?

With a few simple calculations you can pick the right screen size to install or rent for your next event to ensure that everyone in the audience can see and read the projected image clearly. The two key factors you’ll need are:

  1. The dimensions of the Audience Area – how many seats across and deep
  2. The format of material being projected

Once you know this, you can calculate the ideal screen height, based upon a fraction of the distance between the screen and the furthest seat.

  • Moving video projection – 1/6
  • Charts and data – 1/4
  • Complex graphics – 1/2
  • HDTV and widescreen projection – 1/3

For example, in a conference room where the furthest seat from the screen is 16’ and the primary use of the screen is to show presentations, charts and graphs, a 48” high screen is ideal. (16’ x 1/4″ = 4’)

Screens also come in different dimensions (aspect ratios), with the width determined by the height of the screen and the projection format. Standard formats include:

  • Square – 1:1 ratio, generally used for data presentations and overhead projectors
  • Video Format – 4:3 width to height ratio, ideal if you’ll be viewing in full screen and widescreen formats (examples are NTSC video or 1024 x 768 PC displays)
  • HDTV – 16:9 width to height ratio, the standard format for widescreen ad HDTV (examples are 1080P and 720i)

When you’re ready to buy or rent your next projection screen, or need one designed and installed as part of a larger AV solution, AVR’s highly-accredited team is ready to assist you.

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