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How to Bring an Authentic Home Theater to Your Living Room (or beyond)

How to Bring an Authentic Home Theater to Your Living Room (or beyond)

Screen Innovations Has the Key to Unsurpassed Image Quality

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.

SEE MORE: Bring Immersive Sound to Your Home Theater

What Are ALR Screens?

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.

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Screen Innovations’ ALR Offerings

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:

  • Black Diamond: First released in 2008, this is the only ALR screen that can reject light coming from above, below and both sides. Its nine layers of optical filters allow it to reject up to 85% of a room’s ambient lighting while increasing contrast by 900%.
  • Slate: Able to reject up to 70% of ambient light, Slate offers a more flexible ALR alternative and is more economical. Slate screens can be up to 16-feet tall and come in three unique models:
    • Zero-G: This rollable screen hangs from cables to create a ‘levitating’ display. The cassette hangs out of sight and the cabling can be color matched to the environment to make them almost invisible. This combination is what makes the screen float in the middle of the wall or window area.
    • Zero Edge: Your style is unique. This screen comes with a variety of frame options ranging in size and color to better match your home’s interior design. From thin to color matched bezels and with optional LED backlighting, Zero Edge can create a slick statement piece whether the video is off or on.
    • Solo: The newest and most economical way to bring ALR into any space. Solo is a motorized, rechargeable battery powered screen that comes in a sleek cassette. The battery can last for two years or more in between charges and the mounting options are plenty. Mount it to glass, bring it outside, attach it to a wall. The choice is yours. And starting at under $2000, Solo is not only the easiest way to add an ALR screen to any room, it is also the least expensive.

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.

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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.

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