Silver screen

Silver screen

A silver screen, also known as a silver lenticular screen, is a type of projection screen that was popular in the early years of the motion picture industry, and is still used in projecting 3-D films.

The term silver screen originated in reference to the actual silver content embedded in the material that made up the screen's highly reflective surface. While actual silver screens are no longer commonly used, the term silver screen has passed into popular usage as a metonymy for Hollywood and the movies.


Silver lenticular (vertically ridged) screens, which are made from a tightly woven fabric, either natural, such as silk or a synthetic fiber, were excellent for use with low-power projector lamp heads and the monochromatic images that were a staple of early projected images. Other silver screens are made by taking normal matte sheets and adhering silver dust to them. The effect is the same.

Silver screens, however, provide narrower horizontal/vertical viewing angles compared to their more modern counterparts because of their inability to completely disperse light. In addition, a single projection source tends to over-saturate the center of the screen and leave the peripheries darker, depending on where you are sitting and how well adjusted the lamp head is, a phenomenon known as "hot-spotting." Due to these limitations and the continued innovation of screen materials, the use of silver screens in the general motion picture exhibition industry has generally been phased out.

Use in 3-D projection

Silver lenticular screens, while no longer employed as the standard for motion picture projection, remain in use as they are ideally suited for modern 3-D film polarized projection. As silver is highly reflective, rather than refractive, it is the only material that is suited for keeping two polarized light signals segregated. Additionally, the nature of polarized 3-D projection often requires the projector itself to be projecting for only one eye or the other at any given time, and the overall image is consequently half as bright as if it were being normally projected. Silver lenticular screens help compensate by reflecting more light back than a "modern" screen would—the same purpose they originally served in the early days of motion pictures.

Other screen types

Each of these screen types continues to enjoy widespread popularity for both home and business applications:

* Pearlescent screen:Similar to a silver screen, this screen has narrow viewing angles and a higher gain (the measure of reflected light), but it does suffer from color-shifts to red and a tendency to hot spot.
* Glass-beaded screen:This screen type also has a higher gain; however, the nature of its construction results in a significant loss of viewing angles and a marked loss of resolution since glass-beaded screens are retro-reflective, that is, their reflection is directed back to the light source. Additionally, the glass-beaded screen can become physically unstable since the beads can shift, break or break off, resulting in noticeable dark spots. Popular in the amateur market, as smaller screens are better suited for this invention.
* Gray screen:Also known as a "high contrast screen", because its purpose is to boost contrast on projectors in viewing rooms that are not entirely dark, as the gray screen absorbs ambient light that strikes it better than a white screen does. In so doing the black level on the screen is maintained. Mostly used with digital projectors in non-commercial settings.
* Matte white screen:This screen provides the widest viewing angles while producing no glare and no hot spotting. These characteristics have made it the most common variety of screen currently produced and has allowed it to become the entertainment industry's standard.

External links

* [ TMP Mediagroup - Rental and fabrication of Silverscreens - Special 3D Solutions, Deutschland (Weltweit)]

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