Public spaces, multi-purpose areas and large venues can offer real challenges to a projection system – not least because of ambient light issues and a typical need for wide viewing angles.

One thing this type of installation does not need is a standard 1.0 gain matt white projection screen surface.

White screens aren’t a good choice for rooms with ambient light conditions; they’re very diffusive and spread light in a very wide pattern.

Unfortunately, white screens do this with both projection light and room ambient light, so both types of light then compete at the viewer’s eyes.

Just going grey isn’t necessarily the answer. Not all grey screens are ambient light rejecting.

Some grey screens do improve contrast thanks to their black tints, but only help a little.

They are still mostly diffusive surfaces and don’t ‘reject’ or ‘reflect’ off-axis ambient light away from the audience.

That’s why Draper recommends an ambient light-rejecting screen.

According to the manufacturer, the best ambient light rejecting materials are darker grey to help image contrast and are more angular reflective than diffusive.

That means these vinyl-based materials use reflective components to reflect off-axis ambient light away at the same angle that it hits the surface – essentially bouncing it away from the audience.

There is such a thing as going too far, even in rejecting ambient light.

Materials that are the most ambient light rejecting are so reflective that hot spotting and narrow viewing cones can be issues.

When these conditions occur there are some ambient light rejecting materials available with a good balance of angular reflectance and diffusion that can be used.

Grey tints do reduce gain in most ambient light rejecting materials and can muddy bright colors, but a brighter projector or better light control will address this issue, says Draper.

Meanwhile, Draper offers grey TecVision solutions for high ambient light situations. TecVision MS1000X Grey has an on-axis gain of 1.0 and is certified by the Imaging Science Foundation for color accuracy.

ISF-certified TecVision XH900X Grey provides high contrast at a gain of 0.9 on-axis and has a wider viewing cone than MS1000X, also resisting moderate to high ambient light.

How do you know which material to use in your situation?

Draper offers a free, online calculator called the ‘Projection Planner’ to calculate system brightness and contrast, which users must register for.

“Without a tool like this, you are guessing at image quality,” says Draper.

More from Draper

What ISF Certification of Draper Viewing Surfaces Means

Draper Granted ISF Certification For TecVision XH900X


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