Projector screen size – bigger is better, right?

Given the option you always want the BIGGEST screen
you can find for projecting onto…. or do you?…

Is there such a thing as too big a projection
screen?

Surely if you have the budget and the
space onstage, a huge screen gives the maximum visual
impact.

Well, no, not really. Here’s
why not:

As you increase screen area,
your projector has to spread its limited lumens over a larger area, and the
resulting image gets dimmer and dimmer. Assuming that you actually want the
audience to see what you are projecting, it’s worth sticking to a reasonable
size for your given projector
brightness.

Some rules of thumb might
be:

less than 1500 lumens, front
project – stick to around 8 ft x 6ft

less
than 3000 lumens, front project – stick to around 10ft x 7.5
ft

more than 5000 lumens – do what you like,
as you are obviously NOT a VLOBLIVE techie, and have far too much budget to play
with.

The figures for back project in a
theatre or other controlled lighting environment would be a bit
better.

I have done 10 x 7.5 backproject with
a 1500 lumens projector and got off with it, but only in a virtual
blackout.

Consider adding MORE screens
rather than BIGGER screens, if you really need the
coverage.

In addition there is an
aesthetic issue here too. Too big a screen can be very distracting for the
audience, as it starts dominating their field of view, and it stops enhancing
the live action and becomes the action itself. Your audience may as well be
watching TV!!

Remember too that screen
size has to be matched to the venue. A 10 x 7.5 screen may seen HUGE in a small
hall, but in a 3000 seat auditorium it isn’t that big.

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