At Infocomm Da-Lite was demonstrating their Parallax high contrast front projection screens. There are two members of the Parallax family, the Parallax 0.8 and the Parallax UST 0.45.
These are structured screens designed for short-throw and ultra-short throw projectors mounted below the screen. The screens have structure and microlayers that block and absorb light. Light that comes from below, i.e. from the projector, is reflected into the audience space while light that comes from above, i.e. ceiling lights, is absorbed.
Da-Lite says the Parallax series is glare and speckle free and I didn’t see any hot spots, glare or speckle in the demos at Infocomm. The area the screens were set up in had pretty high ambient light and Da-Lite had added extra lights, just to make sure. Still the image had quite good contrast – higher than you would expect for a front projection system. The Da-Lite representative had a flashlight to demonstrate the rejection of light by the screen, as shown in the image.
The “0.8” in the Parallax 0.8 model number stands for the gain of the screen. The audience space for the screen is ±17° vertically and ±85° horizontally. This screen has been shipping for about 30 days in a variety of aspect ratios and sizes. The largest size for a Parallax 0.8 16:9 screen is 305 cm diagonal (120”). For 16:10 and 2.35:1 screens the largest available diagonals are 277 cm (109”) and 376 cm (148”) respectively. These all represent about a 150 cm (59”) screen height, apparently the limit of their manufacturing process.
If your application can’t tolerate the narrow viewing angle of the Parallax 0.8, the Parallax UST 0.45 may be for you. This screen has a viewing angle of ±55° vertically and ±80° horizontally. This screen is expected to start shipping in Q3.
Da-Lite was also showing its UTB Contour frame for its screens. UTB stands for “ultra-thin bezel, which in turn means a ¼” (6.3 mm) wide frame around the screen area. The product is targeted at home theater installations and comes in 16:9 and 2.35:1 aspect ratios. It is available in high-gloss black, acid etched black and acid etched silver finishes. The UTB Frame is shipping now for Da-Lite’s conventional front projection screen materials and is expected to be available for the Parallax series of screens in about 90 days. – Matthew Brennesholtz