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DNP Intros High Contrast Screens

San Diego — DNP Electronics America is entering the U.S. market with a new line of projection screens for front projectors for use in bright environments.

Called SuperNova, the company said the screen can deliver up to 10 times higher contrast and two times brighter images than standard front-projection screens currently on the market.

DNP has set its retail sights in the United States on both the home installer market, which caters to home theater enthusiasts, and to high-end consumer electronics retailers such as Good Guys and Magnolia Audio Video.

As for consumers in the home, “We are trying to get [them] out of a dedicated [home entertainment] room into the living room,” said Henrik Mikkelsen, sales manager from DNP Electronics America, a division of Japan-based Dai Nippon Printing Group. This is especially true of the wives, said Mikkelsen, who he feels prefer to do their viewing in the comfort of a more brightly lit living room, rather than the pitch dark home theater, which he said is more the domain of the household males.

The front projection unit hits the 15:1 contrast ratio barrier. The fixed SuperNova screens will be shipping in September in 45-inch, 60-inch, 72-inch, 84-inch and 100-inch versions for the 4:3 format, and up to 120-inch screens for the 16:9 format. Motorized roll-up versions, which should account for about 80 percent of the market, will be available at a later date, and will retail for higher price points.

Suggested retails for the fixed screen will range from $879 for a 45-inch, up to $4,169 for the 120-inch size. Mikkelsen said the most typical size for home sales should be 84 inches at $1,900 suggested retail. Screens are compatible with all standard projectors.

According to DNP, conventional front screens are traditionally associated with curtains and window blinds and dark meeting rooms. They reflect ambient light as much as the projector’s light, creating poor contrast levels. This can result in eye strain and low audience concentration, said DNP.

The SuperNova, however, with contrast levels exceeding 20:1, allows viewing to achieve maximum effect in broad daylight and in an ergonomically designed environment. Due to a built-in optical contrast enhancement filter, the SuperNova screen can provide extremely good image contrast and black levels, even at high ambient light levels, said the company.