Screen Research Acoustically Transparent Materials

So why do we have three different acoustically transparent materials available from Screen Research? They all do the same thing right?

Well broadly speaking yes; they are all designed to reflect the light back from the projector into the room and at the same time allow the audio from the loudspeakers to pass through the screen into the room.

When we start to look at how the different materials are made, it quickly becomes apparent that the level of performance that the offer vary greatly.

If we look at the entry level SolidPix Sonic, we see that the screen surface is made up of small holes punctured into the solid material. These holes are punctured in a uniform pattern.

The benefit of SolidPix Sonic is the low price point, it is designed to be used on smaller, more budget conscious systems.

The draw backs are that the small punctured holes allow light to pass through the material, reducing the amount of light that is reflected back to the viewer. This light loss is around 10%, which is why as standard, this material has a gain of 0.9, compared to the 1.0 that ClearPix 2 and ClearPix 4K have.

There is also a chance of moiré effect when the fixed pixel grid that makes up a projected image, lines up with the holes punctured into the screen material.

If we look at the measured audio graph, we see that SolidPix Sonic (as is typical with most micro perforated materials) loses around 4.75dB of the speakers output as it passes through the screen.

SolidPix Sonic

If we compare the more expensive ClearPix 2 screen surface to SolidPix Sonic, we can see they are completely different materials. Rather than starting with a solid material and adding holes, ClearPix 2 is an entirely woven material. This woven structure has several key advantages when compared to the micro perforated materials.

1). 3% light loss which means the image will look brighter and with better contrast than the micro perforated material. The non-uniform structure also means that we have great resistance to moiré effect, even on the smallest of screens.

2). Much improved audio performance. As the measurements show, only 1.5dB audio loss which was the best measured performance for this type of screen.

ClearPix 2

Now we move to the new Reference standard; ClearPix 4K. Again, it is a woven screen with the same benefits of ClearPix 2 but now the weave structure is even finer which has two key benefits.

The first is that the finer weave means we can support higher than 1080P resolution (4K and beyond) and have even greater resistance to moiré effect.

The second is near-invisibility to the speakers behind the screen. With just 0.75dB loss, it drops below the magic 1dB level which means that the change is barely perceptible by the human ear.

ClearPix 4K

In our next article we shall look at high gain screens and also the use of grey material.