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General Screen Material FAQ’s Ambient Light Rejection Screen MaterialsAcoustically Transparent Screen MaterialRear Screen Material


General Screen Material FAQ’s

A: Yes, you can buy a screen material sample by clicking on the link below.


A: The three main criteria of comparison  Color balance/temperature, Brightness and Contrast. The screen’s ability to give neutrally balance is measured by a color temperature meter that seperates the various color intensities which are measured in Kelvins to ensure that a precise color balance or shift is recorded. Brightness is how well the screen reflects a projected image. A light meter is used to measure the intensity of light in 10nm increments. Contrast is the measured ratio between light and dark levels. It is also measured by a light meter or flash meter that can measure both light and dark levels and then calculate a ratio between the two.

A: The percent of gain difference between 1.0 and 1.1 is 10%. A gain of 10% brightness is gained from the projector’s lumens output.

Example : If a projector has 1000 lumens you’d gain 10% if the material gain is 1.1.

1000 x 1.1 = 1100

A: Some materials will experience minor shrinking while after being cut, stored and shipped. This shrinkage is normal and is due to the materials temperature adjustment. Your screen will require a taught stretching to cover a maximum size of 135″ diagonal, to help with achieving this maximum size it is recommended to do so in a room temperature set at 75°F +

A: Some materials are prone to minor non-permanent imprinting. This is normal and is due to the materials edge causing a minor bump while being rolled onto its tube for storage and shipping. This sometimes causes a minor line every 5″ to 8″ when rolled out, these lines should disappear once fully stretched and should not affect your viewing experience.

A: Upon the first time you lower the screen from its casing, the material may have a series of noticeable horizontal lines on its surface. These are known as memory lines. Memory lines are caused when the pliable projection material is rolled up and stored for the duration between its production and sale. For non-tensioned materials, you may also notice curling along the vertical edges of the screen. This is caused mainly by the material’s multiple layers contracting with a cold room temperature. Please try this easy method in order to reduce the memory lines and side curls.  After installation, leave the screen in the down position for a few days with the room temperature preferably above 75° F and then commence regular (up/down) usage as intended.  This allows the material to relax/stretch out and cure itself to your home environment. After a few days, the lines should diminish and the edge curling will relax so as not to negatively affect the projected image during its many years of its use.

*Important Note:  At the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recommended viewing distance of 3 times the image height of your screen, any line artifacts should no longer be visible.

A: Tension material provides a flatter screen surface and for better uniformity and even light distribution without waving or curving on the projection surface.  These problems could be caused by temperature variations in multiple layer materials.  Newer non-tensioned materials such as our MaxWhite® or MaxWhite® FG have greatly reduced occurrences of this flaw to the point of arguably matching its flatness in some cases. Some prefer non-tensioned due to aesthetics but tension still generally has superior flatness.

Black Backing is an important feature that prevents light penetration and increases reflectivity for sharper color reproduction.

Screen material selection will depend on various factors such as type of application, environment, and projector.  Please see the screen material selection guide for a better understanding of the materials we offer.

Screen Material Selection Guide 

A: All Elite Screens projection materials with the exception of the StarBright™ 7 and the StarBright™ 4 can be cleaned with mild soap and water using a soft terry cloth.  For stain removals try using GooGone.

  • StarBright™ 7 material is to be cleaned with a very soft cloth and mild soap and water.  Do not rub the viewing surface or permanent damage will occur.
  • StarbBright™ 4 (WhiteBoardScreen™) is cleaned with the included spray bottle and the high density eraser.  For deep cleaning, we recommend using a low alcohol product and wiping it off with the high density eraser.

Please see our Screen Material Care Sheet for selected materials. And specific Care Sheets for the CineGrey 5D® and CineGrey 3D® materials.

A: Elite Screens’ MaxWhite® and MaxWhite® FG are excellent screen materials for front projection presentations. The materials have a multi-layer weave and textured surface coating that offer perfect diffusion uniformity, color reproduction, and black and white contrast. Both have a 1.1 gain that allows for 180° viewing angles (90° left and right) and are black-backed which avoids light penetration. They are also easy to clean, mildew resistant, and GreenGuard® Gold UL 2818 certified. MaxWhite® B on the other hand, while maintaining the wide 180 degree viewing angle, has a unity 1.0 Gain that reflects 100% projector light as opposed to 1.1 Gain (110%).  It is also formulated to be utilized in our most commonly used front projection screens.  This allows more flexibility in our offerings of cost-effective products for mass production.

The key difference between the MaxWhite®/MaxWhite® B and MaxWhite® FG is that the MaxWhite® FG has a fiber glass backing. This is beneficial as the embedded fiber glass improves rigidity which results in a more stiff material. Thus, the MaxWhite® FG provides the flattest possible surface a non-tensioned screen can offer. Additionally, the fiber glass backing eliminates any side curling non-tensioned materials are susceptible to, especially under cold temperatures. Lastly, the MaxWhite® FG is also flame retardant and complies with NFPA 701 Standards.

A:  Elite’s MaxWhite FG® and Spectra White FG are very comparable as they both are self-supporting matte white front projection screen surfaces with fiberglass backing. Having a fiberglass backing is beneficial as the embedded fiber glass improves rigidity which results in a more stiff material. Thus, the fiberglass backing provides the flattest possible surface a non-tensioned screen can offer. Additionally, the fiber glass backing eliminates any side curling non-tensioned materials are susceptible to, especially under cold temperatures.

Both the MaxWhite FG® and SpectraWhite FG will provide an excellent quality image in light controlled environments. The main difference between the materials is that the MaxWhite FG® utilizes a more neutral white material for better white levels. Both the Spectra White FG and MaxWhite FG® have viewing angles of 180° (90° left and right). The wide diffusion uniformity on both the materials maintain luminance levels throughout the entire surface.

A:  Active 3D– All of Elite Screens’ materials are compatible with active 3D projectors.  The system utilized by Active 3D projector setups does result in an overall loss in brightness however. When 3D mode is activated on a projector, up to 50% of the lumen output is lost. The image brightness is further diminished as the viewer is required to use dark tint glasses.  If the majority of viewing will be done in Active 3D, Elite Screens recommends a higher gain screen materials such as, CineGrey 3D® and CineGrey 5D®, to help offset lumen loss.

The following is a list of all Active 3D compatible Elite Screens materials:

  • AirBright 3D2
  • AcousticPro UHD
  • AcousticPro A1080P3
  • AcousticPro A1080P2
  • CineGrey
  • CineGrey 3D®
  • CineGrey 5D®
  • CineWhite®
  • DynaWhite
  • DynaBrite
  • MaxWhite® B
  • MaxWhite®
  • MaxWhite® FiberGlass (FG)
  • VersaWhite
  • PowerGain
  • SilkWhite
  • SpectraWhite FiberGlass (FG)
  • StarBright™ 4
  • StarBright CLR®
  • WraithVeil
  • WraithVeil2

Passive 3D– In addition to being compatible with Active 3D, Elite Screens’ CineGrey 3D® and  CineGrey 5D® materials are also Passive 3D compatible.  The benefits of Passive 3D polarized silver projection screens are that they increase the brightness of projected 3D images while allowing them to maximize retention of polarization levels. Lastly, its diffusion layer enhances contrast. Although passive 3D imaging can arguably be performed on other projection materials, the polarized silver materials optimize overall 3D performance with the best results.

The following is a list of all Passive 3D compatible Elite Screens materials:

  • CineGrey 3D®
  • CineGrey 5D®

Ambient Light Rejection Screen Materials

A: The CineGrey is a matte grey painted projector surface. It is ideal for older projectors that have a lot of brightness but not so much on adjustable contrast levels. The Cinegrey 3D® is a specialized material that is ambient light rejecting. This means you get superb dynamic range in color and black levels in either a light or dark room.

Screen Material Comparison (Click Here)

A: Matte grey was an earlier effort by projection screen manufacturers to enhance projector performance when projectors had limited performance ranges in need of a little help.  Matte grey materials added a darker shade to projected images that would enhance black levels to a degree.  The down side is that a projector with a high lumens output and interior light control was required. The next generation materials we offer now are CineGrey 3D / CineGrey 5D. The CineGray materials are ambient light rejecting. This means that the new materials will give you flat panel display brightness even with high levels of interior lighting. The old matte grey materials are washed out by interior lighting. Also, the Cinegrey series of ALR  and ceiling light rejecting (CLR) screen materials give reference grade quality that is world class certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) for its professional grade abilities to provide accurate color rendition, contrast, and black/white dynamic range. The CineGrey 3D® has a wider diffusion range while the CineGrey 5D® is brighter. Comparing either CineGrey 3D/5D materials to the old matte grey is like comparing a couple of souped-up Ford Mustangs to a Model T.

A: Our CineWhite® material is an excellent screen material that is highly recommended when you have either a really high output (+3000 lumens projector) and/or are able to control the light in your media room (i.e. a dedicated home theater).  However, under conditions when a lower output projector, uncontrolled ambient light, or  light colored walls and/or ceiling, the CineGrey 5D® has four key features that result in a better overall viewing experience.

Video review of the CineGrey 5D® by AV expert Andrew Robinson

  1. The CineGrey 5D® material has an ambient light rejecting surface. The material has an angular reflective material that incorporates a diffusion layer over a highly reflective surface.  This causes direct light from the projector to reflect squarely into the viewer’s field of vision while the outer contrast layer enhances image quality while absorbing indirect ambient light.
  2. The CineGrey 5D® contains elements of a silver screen despite its dark appearance. These both work to enhance the contrast ratio and color reproduction in either a well lit or a dark room. With most standard white materials, the image will become washed out when ambient light is present. The ambient light reflecting properties allow the CineGrey 5D® to maintain the image quality even under conditions where there is a high amount of light. In light controlled rooms, there are still certain reflective surfaces that may interact with the projected image such as the colors of the walls/ceiling. The grey/silver properties of the CineGrey 5D® reduce the impact the reflective surfaces, such as light colored walls and ceiling, have on the screen image. Although a white surface is recommended in completely controlled designs, the difference in grayscale between the CineGrey 5D® and CineWhite® surfaces are so slight that they may not be noticeable to most human eyes.
  3. The CineGrey 5D® is a 1.5 gain screen material that improves the image quality when active 3D projectors are used. There is approximately 50% loss of brightness when 3D is activated and there is even more brightness (aka lumens) being lost when the tinted shutter glasses are worn. The 1.5 gain of the CineGrey 5D® reflects the image at 1.5 times the original brightness of magnesium carbonate which is the standard industry control for creating a 1.0 gain white projection screen.
  4. The CineGrey 5® is also a polarized material that allows for true 1080P 3D content when using a passive 3D projection system (i.e. dual projectors with an AFlex5D passive 3D video processor). The CineWhite® material is not polarized and thus the only 3D content that can be displayed on that surface must be from an Active 3D projector. In general, passive 3D is easier on the eyes as the viewer is able to see the image with both eyes at the same time rather than the left/right split that occurs during Active 3D.

A:  Elite Screens CineGrey 5D® is a color neutral smooth surface with sparkling elements to increase screen gain in an ambient light room environment. These special characteristics incorporates a diffusion layer over a highly reflective surface which scatters ambient light while improving picture performance with a brighter image.

The projector itself, however also plays a big part in creating a hot spot.  Projectors highest brightness levels are focused in the center, and only about 70% to 80% in the corners.  In other words, the uniformity itself is not spread entirely even across the screen, thus creating a brighter spot in the center area.

To combat this, we recommend the following.

  1. Reduce the projector’s light output by choosing an economy mode
  2. Install the projector further away from the screen, minimum of 1.5 x the image width
  3. Go with a lower gain screen

A: Although matte white materials such as CineWhite® are ideal for environments where room lighting can be controlled, the image is easily washed out by ambient light. Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) materials such as the CineGrey 5D®  are suitable for environments where there are high levels of indirect (ambient) light. This material trades off on the wide diffusion uniformity of white materials in favor of a brighter (angular reflective) image. Elite’s CineGrey 5D® incorporates a diffusion layer over a highly reflective surface which scatters ambient light while improving picture performance with a brighter image. This includes color neutrality with enhanced black levels and improvement over Active 3D presentations.

Andrew Robinson, an industry expert, shared his thoughts with Elite Screens about the performance of the CineGrey 5D® ALR material, “…of all the features, the one that gets me and really speaks the most is the fact that the CineGrey 5D® material from Elite Screens is the most cost effective ambient light solution on the market today. This is why I use it and this is why I recommend that you check it out for yourself. Because, at the end of the day, we all want performance but we also want incredible value  and these are two things that the CineGrey 5D® delivers in spades.” 

Andrew Robinson’s endorsement of the CineGrey 5D®

A:  The ambient light rejecting properties of the CineGrey 3D®/5D® make the materials incompatible with short throw and ultra-short throw projectors. The recommended minimum projector throw distance for these materials is 1.5 times the viewing image width. There are two main reasons behind this:

  1.  The CineGrey 3D®/5D® are high gain and angular reflective screen materials. These types of materials require proper projector and screen alignment as hot-spotting may occur if not set up correctly.
  2.  Due to the CineGrey 3D®/5D® materials being angular reflective, the angle of incidence from short-throw and ultra short-throw will be too close to the material and the viewer will not experience the optimal projector/screen performance. The material will treat the projector’s light as ambient light and thus it will reflect it in the wrong direction.

A: In addition to the sticker labeled “Back Side” placed along the edge of the material, the backside will be slightly shinier and has material folded outward.

A: *Disclaimer:  As great as ambient light rejecting screen technologies are, there are still certain laws of physics that define what should and should not be done with a specialty material such as this.

Main Answer:  Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) projector screens are specially formatted to reject the majority of off-axis lighting from the top, bottom, and side angles.
However if a strong light source is hitting the ALR material at roughly the same angle as the projector does, it will wash out the image.
There is an easy solution.  I strongly recommend light blocking curtains or blackout shades to shield your room and to rely on the interior lighting that ALR screens work with.

The CineGrey 5D® and CineGrey 3D® is great for dark room environment also, but we must understand its limitations.

First of all, both materials have narrow viewing angles.  So if you wish to have a wide seating arrangement after 80 degrees, you will notice a drop in brightness.

Second, because they are higher gain screens they reflect more projector brightness.  This may tire your eyes, so we recommend using a less brighter mode if your projector has a such setting.

If that is not a problem, then these materials will work.  And the best thing is, because they are angular reflective material, the projector’s light will not diffuse in all directions like a matte white material.  Meaning that they will not scatter the projector’s light and create side lighting. Thus, eliminating the need to absorb it with black velvet or paint a room really dark.

Third, because both of these materials are made with a neutral gray substrate, the color balance and temperature will be exceptional.  The dark gray also enhances contrast and great color saturation.

A: A brighter projector (higher lumens) will help with image brightness but it does not help with color contrast or black levels.  Since the projected image performance is important here, a contrast-enhancing material such as CineGrey 5D® is essential.  White materials will reflect all of the light in the room; the projected light, indoor lighting, and sunlight through windows and doorways, everything.  Because of this, the ambient lighting will still spoil image performance even with a bright projector.  Ambient light rejecting (ALR) screens such as CineGrey 5D® filter out indirect light allowing your projected image to be what your audience will see instead of the extra glare.  In addition to that, the screen’s filter layers enhance black levels and color contrast.  This means that shadows, textures and slight variations in color shading in the projected image can be easily seen.  Without an ALR material, such detail and clarity will not be visible. As you can see from the photos below, a bright projector does not enhance contrast.

Acoustically Transparent Screen Material

A: All acoustically transparent materials on the market today are light enough in thickness to allow sound to penetrate it with low-level attenuation (decrease in sound quality) but normally come at the cost of having considerable light loss as well. Elite’s AcousticPro 1080P3 acoustically transparent (AT) material is an exception to this rule.  It has an astonishingly fine (.01mm) micro-perforated texture that allows sound to breathe through the fabric with minimal attenuation. At the same time, it allows the video aspects of the material to perform on the same level as a typical matte-white (non-acoustic) material does. The ultra-fine perforations of the AcousticPro 1080P3 “AT” material allows it to be used with high resolution (4096×2160 pixel ratio)  projectors. A special reflective compound coats the surface of Elite’s 1080P acoustic material to compensate for light penetration by reflecting the brightness of the projected image. All these features come together to form a product with superior acoustic transparency that has just 1% light loss while presenting a neutral color temperature (6500°-7000° Kelvin). This is equivalent and in some cases, even surpassing in video performance to a standard matte white non-acoustic projection screen.

A: projection screen mounted flush against the wall over a properly installed in-wall speaker will have a sufficient distance by itself. There will generally be about a 1” total distance between the speaker’s dust cap (depending on make/model) and the screen with a 5mm (.2”) spacing between an in-wall speaker’s grill and the AT screen material itself.

A: With few exceptions, acoustically transparent projection screens are flush-mounted to the wall directly in front of the speakers but never in direct contact with them. The distance between the acoustic screen material and the speaker should be a minimum of about 5mm to several inches. A speaker’s voice coil vibrates in the process of producing sound. If the driver(contains voice coil) is in direct contract with your screen material, your picture will vibrate along with the sound creating poor picture quality.

A: The AcousticPro UHD performs at its best in a light controlled environment, not in a room that will have ambient light. The material is a fabric with a special weave pattern for projection use. It is suggested to go with our standard CineWhite® material if a matte white screen is needed. Or better yet, our very best CineGrey 3D® or CineGrey 5D® material will perform better with a higher gain and Angular-Reflective front projection with ambient light rejecting technology.

Rear Screen Material

A: While one may project images on the front of the surface of the Insta-RP/Insta-RP2…the quality of the reflected image may not perform equally, and therefore reduce the overall fidelity of the picture .

A: The minimum lens throw ratio is 0.2 x image width. Yes,  all projectors with minimum 0.2 lens throw ratio are all compatible with the Insta-RP/Insta-RP2.

A: Yes, the Insta-DE, DE 2, DE 2a, and DE 2af can be cut to size.  It is strongly recommended to use a long ruler and a sharp blade such as an exacto/utility knife or a precision cutter tool to make a smooth precise cut. Make sure the blade is new.