A front projection screen is a screen that displays an image projected from a piece of equipment, such as a film, slide or digital media projector, in front of the screen. As such, a front projection screen usually allows very little or no light to pass through, as its job is to reflect that light. Most traditional projector screens are made for front-side projection.
The front projection screen is typically the method used for giving presentations and in theaters, be they public cinemas or home theaters. This requires have a project somewhere in front of the television screen. For home theater purposes, the projector is usually located hanging down from the ceiling on a projector mount. Business presentations may have the projector on a table or stand, or coming down from the ceiling.
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Depending on the setup, the screen may be a permanent fixture and incapable of being moved easily, or may be a portable front projection screen. If it is portable, the screen will often include a tripod stand for use in places where it may not be able to be hung up. Other types of screens will be retractable, able to be lowered or raised as needed.
There may be other options available for a retractable front projection screen as well. For example, some may be able to be raised or lowered by hand, much like a window shade on a roller. In other cases, the screen may be raised or lowered automatically.
Sometimes, because of other things in front of the screen, a front projection screen is impractical. The other main category of projection screens is the rear projection screen. As its name would suggest, this type of screen utilizes equipment that projects from behind it. As such, the material has to allow light to pass through.
When most think of standard movie screens, the front projection screen is what comes to mind. The vast majority of theaters in the world use the front projection system for displaying motion pictures. In addition, it is a common way to display slide shows and other such presentations.
While front projection screens in homes used to be something of a rarity, they are becoming more commonplace. Now, projectors capable of displaying images in high definition are competing with HDTV units, such as plasma and LCD television sets. While flat screen televisions have their advantages, a front projection screen truly brings the theater experience into the home.