It’s been a while since I’ve written about one of our Friday training sessions, so today, I’ll get back on track. This morning, we met with a rep from Vutec, a well-known projection screen manufacturer that’s right in our neighborhood. About a year and a half ago, I got to take a very interesting tour of their manufacturing facility (it’s like being inside an episode of “How It’s Made”), but this morning we focused less on the process and instead took a more detailed look at their projection screen styles and fabrics.
They offer a lot of very cool options, among them an acoustically-tranparent screen material that lets you hide your speakers behind your screen, with no decrease in sound quality. But my favorite product from this morning’s meeting was the SilverStar™ Projection Screen, a rigid (read: non-fabric) screen that utilizes some very unique technology developed right at Vutec.
SilverStar™ screens have a high gain (6.0), which means that they give you a nice, bright picture with excellent contrast, even in rooms with a lot of ambient light. While high-gain screens make for a terrific projected image, many of them have one not-so-small problem: their “viewing cones” are smaller than low and medium-gain screens. “Viewing cone” refers to how wide an angle you can view a screen at and still be able to see the projected images. For example, many low-gain screens have a 180° viewing cone, meaning that you could be positioned at a 180° angle to the screen and still be able to see a clear picture. The thing is that, in most cases, the higher the screen gain is, the narrower the viewing cone becomes, so you need to sit as close to the center as possible to get the best picture. It’s a trade-off.
But not with Vutec’s SilverStar™ screens. Vutec developed a silver-based material that provides multiple optical layers, so you actually get the sharp, bright picture of a 6.0 high-gain screen, with the wide viewing angle of the lower gains. You can get the best picture possible, but still have lots of flexibility in seating options, which comes in handy when you want to watch a movie with more than 2 or 4 people in the room.
It’s the best of both worlds.