Draper Projection Screens
...a most comprehensive range of projector screen solutions
Draper Inc. is one of the leaders in projection screen technology. Established in 1902 to make window shades for schools, Draper entered the projection screen market in 1957 with an inexpensive projection screen solution for classroom use.
Since then, a lot has changed with Draper product line. Draper screens have become one of the most sought-after projection screens thanks to their high quality, with an extensive range of projection screen products to cover all imaginable requirements―from presentation rooms to home entertainment.
To-day, Draper product line extends from standard tripod-mounted portable screens, manual, electric, and front and rear fixed-frame solutions, to various projector lifts that hide away your video projector when not in use.
In this article, we discuss some of the most popular Draper screen fabrics available for the Home Entertainment market.
Manual Draper Projection Screen with Auto Return and HC Grey fabric
Available from amazon.com
Draper Inc. offers one of the world's widest selections of projection screen arrays and projection fabrics.
Characterized by affordable projection screen options, Draper represent reliable, yet often innovative solutions to the different requirements arising in the home theater and home entertainment environment.
In fact, whatever your home theater constraints and requirements, ambient light conditions, projector technology, screen size, budget restrictions, etc., Draper projection screens offer a solution through a vast selection of home theater screen products and accessories. These range from ceiling recessed electric screens (including screens with ceiling closure), to fixed wall mounted, manual screens, and portable screens.
All Draper screens come complete with side black masking. In addition, electrically driven masks and drops are also available, while independently controlled screen and mask solutions are possible to change the screen format in accordance with the projected video image.
Furthermore, most Draper projection screens are available in a number of different projection screen fabrics and in various sizes, while in the case of electric driven solutions, Draper screens and masks are available in both 110-volt and 220-volt models.
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We have already stated that Draper projection screen arrays come in one of the most comprehensive ranges of screen surfaces available on the market. Luckily, to help in this process, Draper has come with an easy-to-use online projection screen selection wizard (link details given at the end of this article); this screen selection tool would help you pick the right screen surface for your video projector installation, room lighting and seating layout.
However, while online screen calculators such as found on the Draper website do help in picking up a most suitable surface for a specific projection environment, yet unless you have an understanding of the respective characteristics of the various projection surfaces, it would be difficult to ensure that you make the right choice. In particular, one has to keep in mind that these specially formulated projection screen fabrics come with different reflective and colorimetric values to cope with the different projection needs.
To help you in this selection process, we will discuss some of the most popular Draper projection screen fabrics for front projection as applicable to the home entertainment environment. While the details given below covers the most important screen materials available from Draper, please do not consider this information as exhaustive; rather, this is more of a way to help you introduce yourself to the extensive line of Draper projection screens.
Draper's present range of front projection screen fabrics for home entertainment fall under three main screen categories, OptiView free-handing Draper projection screens, OptiFlex tensioned screens, and ClearSound range of acoustically transparent projection screens. In total, these screen categories cover eighteen different screen surfaces, each designed to suit different applications, site constrains, and custom requirements.
Most of these screen fabrics come as PVC over a fiberglass base to help keep the surface flat and stable. The only exception is the range of tensioned screens, which make use of a flexible PVC fabric as with no backing support as the latter is not required in the case of tensioned screens.
Most surfaces also come as mildew resistant, flame retardant and washable with mild soap and water. The only exception hare are specialized surfaces such as the High Performance XS850E with its high contrast high ambient light rejection surface and Ecomatt XT700E PVC-free surface which can only be cleaned with a feather duster, and Radiant surfaces CH2700E and CT2900E for use in conditions of uncontrolled light, which can be cleaned only with a clean damp cloth.
Note: Though most Draper projection screen fabrics are washable, it is important to follow Draper cleaning instructions to ensure that you would not damage these screen surfaces; these instructions can be downloaded from one of the Draper reference links included at the end of this article.
Draper screens can be grouped into two main categories - Textile-Backed screen surfaces and 100% Vinyl screen fabrics.
Draper OptiView surfaces are self-supporting and do not require tensioning to lay flat.
Most make use of a tear-proof fiberglass textile backing over which an appropriate reflective surface is applied to cater for different ambient light conditions and video projector installations.
The fiberglass backing helps ensure the surface stability while maintaining a flat enough surface. The latter is aided by the weight of a metal dowel at the bottom of the screen.
This renders OptiView Draper projection screen surfaces extremely sturdy and suitable for use in a variety of projection settings, including single lens video projections as well as for data-graphics applications.
Note: As expressed elsewhere on the site, the viewing angle 'or half-gain' angle for a projection screen refers to the point at which the projected image brightness falls to half that at the center. Instead, the viewing cone refers to the total angle of view from either extreme end within which the image brightness is at least 50% that at the center, meaning that the viewing cone is equal to twice the half-gain viewing angle.
OptiView covers ten different screen surfaces; most important of these include:
Matt While XT1000E: This is a matt white PVC reflective surface laminated to tear-resistant woven fiberglass.
This matt white surface diffuses the projected light in all directions, so the image can be seen from any angle. It also provides accurate color and superior clarity. Recommended for use with all high light output projection devices but requires control of ambient light in the audience area for best results. This screen fabric is washable, flame and mildew resistant.
Gain 1.0; Viewing Cone: Flat response over any viewing angle
Contrast Grey XH800E: Originally referred to as High Contrast Grey, this is a gray textile backed surface with excellent resolution. The gray surface enhances the blacks of the projected image while still maintaining accurate whites and lighter colors. This screen surface performs well under ambient light condition.
High Contrast Grey has a lower screen gain of 0.8; this makes this Draper projection screen surface suitable for use very bright video projectors. It also has a flat response over its full viewing cone of 180 degrees. It is washable, flame and mildew resistant.
Gain 0.8; Viewing Cone: Flat response from any angle
High Performance XS850E: This Draper projection screen surface is designed for high performance video projection applications, delivering high contrast and very good color rendering at a relatively wide viewing cone.
It is a rather unique projection surface that provides the best optical qualities of both Matt White and Contrast Grey surfaces referred to above. This surface has also a superior ambient light rejection capability while supporting a full viewing cone of 180 degrees. This projection surface is not washable and can only be cleaned with a feather duster.
Gain 0.85; Viewing Cone: Flat response from any angle
Ecomatt XT700E: Ecomatt is an innovative screen surface made from 100% polyester yarn, meaning it is PVC-free, thus making it fully recyclable.
It supports great image projections with accurate color balance over a full 180° field of view. However, this screen surface requires more stringent control of ambient light than most of the rest of Draper projection screen lineup for best results.
Like Draper High Performance XS850E, Draper Ecomatt XT700E can only be cleaned with a feather duster.
Gain 0.7; Viewing Cone: Flat response from any angle
Glass Beaded CH3200E: This is a specially formulated retroreflective projection screen surface that incorporates micro-spherical glass beads embedded in surface to provide one of the brightest images, but only over a narrow viewing cone. The increased gain comes at some loss of clarity. Not for use with ceiling or floor mounted projectors. Recommended where ambient light cannot be adequately controlled.
This projection fabric is flame and mildew resistant, but it is not washable; it is available seamless in all standard sizes up to 10 feet high.
Gain 3.2 peak gain; Viewing cone: 26° degrees
Draper screens - AT1200: This Draper projection screen fabric represent an innovative and versatile acoustically transparent screen fabric. It has a similar gain performance to standard matt white and does not require tensioning for flatness. Its acoustical properties are comparable to the finest speaker grille cloth. It is also washable, and flame and mildew resistant; available in sizes up to 10 feet diagonal.
Gain 1.0; Viewing Cone: Flat response from any angle
The second category of projection screens surfaces for home entertainment from Draper is the range of 100% tensioned flexible PVC with no backing. Under this category, Draper offers motorized, crank-operated and permanently tensioned screens with built-in tensioning systems.
The main advantage of these Drapers screen solutions is that the surface is always stretched perfectly flat, resulting in better picture quality. Flatness is always desirable and highly recommended in video applications systems.
OptiFlex covers three different screen surfaces:
Matt White XT1000V: The perfect matt white diffusing surface with extremely broad light dispersion, spectral uniformity, and true color rendition. It is recommended for use with any type of projector in rooms where the light level can be reasonably controlled.
As with most Draper projection screen surfaces, the XT1000V is washable, flame and mildew resistant.
Gain 1; Viewing Cone: 180°
Grey XH600V: A gray front projection surface that provides greater contrast and black reproduction than standard surfaces, with a lower gain to handle today’s super-bright projectors. The gray color enhances color contrast and black levels in the projected image and also allows for more ambient light in the audience area than traditional surfaces. Originally referred to as HiDef Grey, the XH600V supports a wide viewing cone.
This Draper projection screen fabric is available on all tab-tensioned and permanently tensioned screens, and is washable, flame and mildew resistant.
Gain 0.6; Viewing Cone: 180°
Pearl White CH1900V: Originally referred to as M2500, this is a Matt white surface with pearlescent coating that supports excellent resolution, good color rendering and relatively high gain. It is mainly intended for data-graphics projectors producing up to 1000 ANSI lumens. M2500 tolerates a higher ambient light level than most Draper projection screen surfaces detailed in this article.
It is available on all permanently tensioned and tab-tensioned screens, is flame and mildew resistant but like the Glass Beaded Draper screen fabric, this is not washable.
Gain 1.9 peak gain; Viewing Cone: 78°
The third category of draper projection screens we would like to mention in this article refers to the range of ClearSound screens. These are acoustically transparent projection screens - hence the name.
Acoustic transparence is achieved either through the use of small invisible perforations in the projection surface, or through the use of a special weave in the screen fabric that creates small perforations in the screen projection surface. Perforations come either in standard or in microscopic sizes, the latter being important with today's 1080p HD projectors.
ClearSound projection screen surfaces can be mounted over a self-supporting array as well as tensioned.
In total, Draper provides five different screen fabrics in ClearSound finish, three being perforated PVC screens while two make use of a special weave based fabric as further detailed below. Worth taking note here that though PVC perforated projection screens have a higher tendency to produce moiré than weaved fabric, with correctly designed perforations, PVC perforated screens would still deliver great images from high definition 1080p video projectors without moiré artifacts.
ClearSound NanoPerf XT800V: This represents the ideal Draper projection screen surface for the home theater. It is the only one that comes with microscopic perforations, making it ideal for use with 1080p projections, delivering true color rendering, a screen gain of 1 and a viewing cone of 180 degrees.
ClearSound Perf XT900V and XT950E: These are both matt white surfaces with standard perforations having a gain of 1 and a viewing cone of 180 degrees. The only difference between the two being that the XT900V is made from flexible PVC fabric while the XT950E incorporates a stiff fiberglass base laminate with a matt white perforated surface.
ClearSound White Weave XT900E and Grey Weave XT600E: These two perforated screens make use of a specially woven blend of fiberglass and PVC to create the best acoustic transparency - one that is practically the same as that of speaker grilles while still supporting superb high definition image projections.
Buying Options for Draper Projection Screens
B&H PhotoVideo have one of the most extensive ranges of Draper screens, including Draper's most specialized arrays and projection screen accessories.
Draper screens are also available from amazon.com.
Links for Draper Projection Screens Downloadable Product Catalogs
and Surface Selector Tool:
- Full product catalog for Draper screens
- Draper AV Projector Screen solutions product catalog
- Draper Interactive Video Manual Screens Product Guide
- Cleaning instructions for Draper projection screens