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Everything You Need to Know about Projection Screens for Schools

Posted on 10/20/2020 7:00:00 PM by Da-Lite Team

Finding the right projection screen solution for K-12 and higher education spaces can be daunting with so many options. We thought putting all our favorite picks and resources on one page would be helpful. Going too fast? Still not sure how to even begin selecting a screen given a room's size, lighting, and other challenges? Visit our Screen and Surface Selection Tools page for resources galore. 

Still here? Good. There’s a lot to get through, so we’re just going to dive into K-12 first. 

Our Top K-12 Projection Screens 

IDEA screen surface in a classroom.

Our favorite electric screen solution for K-12 is the Contour® Electrol®. Down when you need it, tucked away when you don’t. The Contour Electrol is ridiculously easy to mount to the ceiling or wall and comes in a variety of finishes. 

Want an electric motorized screen option without having to re-route power or altering a historical building? We have a battery motor option for the Tensioned Designer Contour Electrol. The standard battery motor is available for sizes up to 110” diagonal in 16:9 format or 113” in 16:10 format. The battery lasts over 200 cycles and charges via micro USB port and comes with wireless remote. With no wiring to deal with, this solution can be rolled out across sites quickly. 

Our third solution for the K-12 crowd is our IDEA™ Screen, a surface that can be used as a touch screen for interactive projectors as well as a whiteboard with dry-erase markers. Hot-spot free under projection and rigid enough to ensure a superior interactive experience, IDEA screens are also magnetic. 

For a cost-effective solution, look to the Model C with CSR, a manual wall- or ceiling-mounted screen for larger rooms with a controlled screen return that ensures a quiet, controlled return to the case. 

For more K-12 ideas, including whole room diagrams using solutions from across Legrand | AV, check out our AV Solutions for K-12 Learning Spaces guide

Our Top Higher Education Solutions 


Campuses are already discovering new projection needs with the switch to distance learning or hybrid learning. Help keep students in the back of the room on the same page with solutions big enough to see all the details. 

For higher ed, we strongly recommend tensioned electric screens to provide perfectly flat surfaces for a superior high-resolution experience. They can also tuck away when not in use. A tensioned screen will keep the projection surface under constant vertical and horizontal tensioning. The new TruGuide™ Electric Screen Tensioning System keeps the surface flat and prevents waves, edge-curling and ripples that can degrade image quality. Learn more about maximizing image quality here

The Tensioned Advantage® ceiling recessed electric screen series comes with ceiling trim in place. The two-stage installation allows the screen case to be installed during the rough-in construction stage, followed by the screen surface during the finishing stage. 

The Tensioned Contour Electrol offers simple installation and a variety of finishes to make it a seamless addition to any room. 

Choosing the product is only part of the equation. We need to talk about high resolution screen surfaces. Make sure you get the most out of your projector with high-resolution surfaces that feature a smooth surface free of microscopic peaks and valleys. This ensures every pixel of 4K, 8K and even 16K resolution (yeah, we’re ready for that!) remain completely intact and visible to the viewer. 

As we forge ahead towards an era of 8K and 16K resolution, there is a way to ensure you will remain satisfied with image quality for years to come. When choosing the latest and greatest high-resolution projector, the best way to guarantee return on investment is pairing it with a projection surface designed to enhance the image as much as the projector.  

Learn more about lost pixels here

Da-Lite high-resolution surfaces, like HD Progressive ensure an even distribution of projected light for ideal image uniformity. The projected light will look evenly bright on any area of the projection screen to create a well-illuminated and detailed image for the audience. We also test and color measure each surface to preserve the true color of the projector.  New to picking screen surfaces? We have a handy decision tree you can download.

See our HD Progressive Screen Surfaces here: 

Looking to manage the screens remotely on a wired network? Our new RS-232 Interface is an adapter for low voltage controls used on Da-Lite motorized screens and projector lifts. This RS-232 Interface allows wired remote control of a screen or lift. The Ethernet Adapter for the RS-232 allows the freedom of wired remote control through a TCP/IP connection. The Ethernet Adapter supports the suite of RS -232 commands developed under the RS-232 Interface and allows those commands to be issued by an Ethernet enabled computer or third-party controller. 

Worried about product longevity? We’ve got your back with our 5-Year Warranty. Read more here

Like K-12, higher ed campuses can benefit from an IDEA Screen, or consider the IDEA Panoramic for larger rooms with multiple projectors or need for writeable space. Its thin frame ensures minimum interference and maximum surface area for interactivity with ultra short throw projectors. 

What are some other good options? 

If you need a screen fast, consider the Tensioned DescenderPro. It’s our ceiling recessed screen that’s stocked and available to ship immediately. The compact housing is up to 1/3 smaller than similar electric screens for easy installation in tight spaces. 

Campuses can preserve the architectural aesthetics of impressive spaces with Wireline™ Advantage®. It uses thin steel cables up to 29 feet instead of black drop to lower the screen to an appropriate viewing height for an aesthetically pleasing presentation. 

For always ready projection, the Cinema Contour® fixed frame screen features a wider, more substantial frame as well as the latest projection surface for 4K and Ultra HD. The black frame enhances contrast. 

As they say, you don’t have to take our word for it. Take a look at these case studies for real-world applications of Da-Lite.   

Find more fall-ready solutions for your campus here

Or take the AV Campus Tour to see what’s trending from all our brands at Legrand | AV.   

One last note about your options with Da-Lite. Many places of learning are converting underutilized building spaces to accommodate large groups while remaining socially distant. Large projection screens allow visual content to be viewed from anywhere in the room while ensuring a great AV experience for all. Check it out

CARES Act Impact on Education Funding and AV  


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has gone a long way in improving the quality of life for many Americans during a global pandemic, providing stability in the wake of COVID-19. But the government assistance extends beyond helping people like you and me, it’s also being used to help the education sector navigate this difficult time.  

Over $14 billion has been earmarked for education facilities during the ongoing global pandemic from the CARES Act. Like many government programs, there are rules for specific uses, and it can be difficult to understand what exactly any of it means. Which facilities have received funds? Do these funds have to be used in a certain way? What role does AV equipment have for facilities receiving funds from the CARES Act? Continue reading as we examine what the CARES Act means for the education sector.  

Click here to continue reading as we examine what the CARES Act means for the education sector.