How to Install a Projection Screen the Right Way

Dave Rodgers is on a mission to ensure owners of video projection systems, and professionals who set up these systems, get it right. As marketing manager for Garden Grove, California-based Elite Screens, he travels the world promoting the virtues of bringing the movie theater home or, as he likes to say, the larger-than-life experience that only a huge video projection screen can deliver.

For Rodgers, watching movies on a home theater projection screen is a “sensual” experience he likens to drinking fine wine. “Think about your senses,” he explains. “Your body actually produces dopamine when your senses are pleased. You don’t drink wine like water; you savor it. And you don’t hold your wineglass by the bowl or rim. You hold the base or stem so that there are no unsightly fingerprints on the glass and your fingertips don’t warm the vintage beyond its optimal tasting temperature.”

Urging owners of projection screens to think in the same terms, Rodgers says the larger-than-life experience a 100-plus-inch canvas conveys is not entirely about seeing the film. “It’s not even entirely about seeing the film with superb dynamic range, optimal color saturation, and D65 color temperature. The physical comfort of your body while watching a film should be equally as important as the picture quality itself.”

To further his mission of ensuring maximum enjoyment from video projection setups, Rodgers offers three tips on how to properly mount any projection screen and suggests watching Elite’s video tutorial on the subject.

1. Mount your screen at the right height. A properly mounted screen will enhance comfort by minimizing neck and eye fatigue and prevent perceived visual distortion. The image will appear natural just as your eyes see things in real life.

2. Make sure your head is comfortably level. When seated, the average person’s eyes are between 42 and 50 inches from the floor. A safe “sweet spot” assumes an average height of 48 inches, which should work for everyone.

3. Make sure your eyes are properly aligned with the screen. Your seated eye level should align with the imaginary boundary line between the top two thirds and bottom one third of the screen. You’ll experience the greatest comfort and minimize the amount of eye, head, and neck movement needed to make sure you see everything that’s happening on screen.

“The performance of your AV gear may be essential to your quest for the ultimate residential audio-visual experience but never forget ergonomics,” Rodgers says. “You wouldn’t enjoy your wine while sitting on an asphalt road so don’t punish your body with an improperly mounted screen. Do it right and enjoy it all.”

Dave Rodgers is a guest writer for numerous publications and marketing manager for Elite Screens Inc., with 20-years of experience in the AV and wireless communications industries. Rodgers has made numerous television, radio, and editorial appearances providing installers and do-it-yourselfers with advice on creating larger-than-life video projection systems.

jnemesh's picture

So the next time you contemplate putting a TV over your fireplace...DONT!