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TOPIC: Screens

Screens 08 May 2001 16:21 #1594

  • Simfilms
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What is the "gain" number on most indoor
theatre screens? Are most matte white?

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Re: Screens 09 May 2001 09:03 #1595

  • John Pytlak
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There is probably a mix of matte white and gain screens. Matte white (gain=1) screens should always be installed on a flat frame. Gain screens need to be curved for proper light distribution, especially in a wider auditorium (per SMPTE Recommended Practice RP 98).

One way to tell if you have a matte or gain screen is to project "open gate" white light onto the screen, and hold up a new sheet of 90+ brightness copy paper next to the screen. A good matte white screen will reflect about the same light as the paper, regardless of the viewing angle. A gain screen will tend to be brighter than the sheet of paper when viewed straight-on, but dimmer when viewed at an angle. The reason for this is that a matte screen reflects light back in all directions, whereas a gain screen is directional, acting somewhat like a mirror.

If the gain screen is twice as bright as the paper "head on", it has a gain of about 2. Most "pearl" gain screens have a gain greater than 1 but less than 2. "Silver" or "Spectral" gain screens have a gain much greater than 2, but are VERY directional, and should be restricted to narrow auditoriums or 3D polarized projection only.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
EI Worldwide Technical Services
Research Labs, Building 69
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: 716-477-5325 Cell: 716-781-4036 Fax: 716-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion

[This message has been edited by John Pytlak (edited May 09, 2001).]
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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