As high-quality projectors have become more affordable in recent years, they've begun expanding beyond traditional private home theaters. Many households have replaced the flat screens in their living rooms and family rooms with projector and screen combinations, knowing these offer more size and design options.
Despite this change of scenery, many people still rely on traditional matte screens that reflect light uniformly in all directions. These screens are less expensive and can work for light-controlled home theaters, but not multi-purpose rooms. In cases with a lot of ambient light—coming from windows, glass decorations, ceiling fixtures, or even white walls—these will often result in washed out images.
To see genuinely high-quality images, you should instead be using ALR screens as part of your home theater design. In this blog, we'll explain how ALR screens work and showcase some of our favorite ones.
ALR screens can better deal with ambient lighting by only reflecting light back at certain angles. Since they are purpose built to handle the light better, they also cause less eye discomfort than traditional white screens.
These screens use special film with multiple layers to provide different levels of absorption and reflection. This film makes it easier to filter out unwanted light and reflect it back at only the correct angle. This advanced film structure will reflect the image from the projector while absorbing most ambient lighting coming from the room.
The fact that this ALR material can filter out light does more than merely keep the image from washing out. With a quality projector, it results in better brightness and dynamic range than most flat screen TVs, so you see more natural and vibrant colors. It can also better serve the added detail involved in 4K Ultra HD content.
Projector placement is also crucial when using ARLs since you need to ensure light from the screens is reflected back directly at the viewer.
Even with ALRs, any light coming from the same direction as the projector could wash out your image. Remember to avoid placing your projector near any source of ambient lighting. So placing an ALR screen in front of a window is perfectly fine, but not directly opposite a window.
The frontrunner in ALR technology has been Texas-based Screen Innovations. Their Slate and Black Diamond models are ideal for situations with a lot of ambient lighting. Below we showcase some of the standout benefits of both options:
You don’t need to lock yourself in a dark room to enjoy your favorite movies. With Screen Innovations’ ALR screens you can transform any room into the ultimate TV or movie watching environment.
Want to find out which screen is the best fit for your space? Reach out to one of our home theater experts by calling 713-933-0606 or filling out our online contact form.