Which projector should I buy

Buying a screen and projector: You have to pay attention to this

Most viewers are satisfied with a large TV picture. But if you really love films, you should experience them as they are intended: as big cinema. Only on a screen does the full splendor of a hobbit, Lawrence of Arabia or the tension of an action or horror film unfold. But designing a good home theater requires thorough considerations and planning if you don't want to misinvest your money.

You might think that everything starts with the projector, but that's not true. The core of the considerations should be the canvas: its positioning and dimensions in relation to the room determine the effect. First you should think about the image size and format, then come the type and design.

Why does a cinema work so much better than a television? Because two things come together: It starts with our field of vision, i.e. the area that we see without moving our head. Here the physiognom differentiates between the active and the passive visual field. The active one has an angle of +/- 30 degrees from the central axis. Ideally, the screen fills at least this area, so the screen width depends crucially on the viewing distance.

Canvas: It's a question of format

The next consideration is the size of the canvas. The standard for practically everything from TV and most of the movies is 16: 9, i.e. an aspect ratio of 1.78: 1. There are a number of broader films in the cinema. The Hollywood standard format is 1.85: 1 and therefore only slightly wider than 16: 9. These films are usually simply trimmed for TV and Blu-ray. There are also real widescreen formats and their standard is 21: 9 or 2.35: 1. In big cinemas these are shown really more broadly than standard films.

Ideally, all formats have the same image height and only the width changes. Motifs remain the same size, but you can see more or less panorama. Since the cameramen take the broader picture into account, the relevant parts of the plot are also in the middle two thirds.

But because the image no longer only fills the active field of vision, but also the subconsciously perceived, wider passive field of vision, one feels more involved in the action. If the room is wide enough, consider this format if you love epic cinema. If you mainly watch football in large format or play games, 16: 9 is just right for you.

Canvas: material

Then it's the turn of the scarf. A high-contrast, color-fast and, above all, homogeneous image is desirable for good film reproduction. Therefore, projection screens with low gain below 1.5 and therefore diffuse reflection are the right choice. Only those who know from the outset that they want to look mostly with low light should choose a cloth with a gain higher than 1.5.

This throws - at the expense of the homogeneous illumination - the light of the projector mainly straight back and light incident from the side to the other side. Therefore, the contrast of the video increases in relation to the ambient brightness. If you want to watch TV in a room that is really bright with daylight, you should stick to a large device. Only in the high-end area are there a few gray cloths to increase contrast in low light.

A special case are acoustically transparent cloths made of fabric or perforated foil that allow sound to pass through. The "real" cinemas also use this and place the loudspeakers behind them, only then do picture and sound fit together seamlessly. This is also better in terms of sound than a normal cloth, which produces three to five square meters of treble reflection. Therefore, professionals even use acoustically transparent screens, even if the loudspeakers are not to be positioned behind them.

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