Q : How do you overcome the disadvantages of a whiteboard projection screen?

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How do you overcome the disadvantages of a whiteboard projection screen?

Projections can be Obscured
Projections can be obscured by people sitting in front of the projection source. Direct presentation screens, although more expensive, feed the presentation directly from the source-such as a laptop or desktop computer-into the screen, with no projection required.

A: Although direct presentation screens are great products, they come at an exponentially high cost when compared to whiteboard projection screens. This means it is unrealistic for most organizations to acquire them in any significant number. In regards to the problem with obscured images, this can easily be resolved by replacing a standard projector with a short-throw variant. Although standard projectors have been the mainstay of classroom presentations for a long time, the older classroom projectors are being quickly replaced by the new “short-throw” projectors. Short throw projectors are literally inches from the material allowing teachers and trainers to give presentations without “shadowing” the image. This next-generation product has been widely available to the general consumer for about the last 5-years and recent competition between the various projector manufacturers has led to great strides in its refinement as well as plummeting sales prices. Today, they are widely available to the general consumer at prices comparable to that of standard projectors.

Storage Space
Whiteboard projection screens require a lot of storage space or take up a lot of wall space if mounted on a wall. Pull-down projection screens, which mount in an extremely small space on the wall, take a lot less storage space.

A: Taking up wall space is a moot point since virtually all conference rooms, training facilities and classrooms already have open space allocated for the purpose of large format presentations with either a wall or free-standing mount. A good whiteboard-projection screen is made for the purpose of taking up as much or as little space as needed per the requirements of the training facility staff. Elite’s lines of Versawhite (“whiteboard” projection screen) material is made as either a wall covering (Insta-DE, Insta-DE2 & Insta-DEM) or as a hard-backed magnetic whiteboard/projection screen (WhiteBoardScreen™ Universal). A big selling point to Elite’s whiteboard/projection screen products is its space-saving dual-purpose design. This has made the Versawhite material sought after by educators who actually see the “pull-down” or “roll-up” projection screens an superfluous.

Sizing Issues and Setup
Fixed-size screens that don’t roll down from a wall often don’t match up to the height of the projection. They are frequently too high or too short, and the projection source has to be adjusted to accommodate the screen. Pull-down screens can be mounted high on the wall and can be sized big enough to pull all the way to the floor, saving time when setting up the projection.

A: Although the variable height settings of “pull-down” projection screens are convenient, most integrators naturally install the overhead projectors to align perfectly with the presentation board since it is already set at the ideal ocular viewing level for the class. Whiteboard projection screens are designed to replace this writing surface entirely or cover it completely. Either way, the screen is certainly going to be perfectly aligned with how the projector was properly installed. Pull-down screens work great with tabletop-standing projectors, but manual adjusting for a perfectly formatted image will need to be done regardless of whatever projection screen is used.

Damage to the Screen
If a whiteboard projection screen is set up permanently, people can be tempted to draw on it, particularly in a school setting with young children. Drawings done in many types of ink are extremely difficult to clean off. Roll-down screens can be set at a height that limits access.

A: Although sharp edges and non-“dry erase” pens can inflict irreparable damage to a whiteboard, they can do just as much damage to a regular hanging projection screen. Actually, a whiteboard projection screen is much more durable  than a standard projection screen is. One method to repair such a mishap comes in the form of Elite’s various pliable Versawhite materials which can be used to cover over damaged areas or the damage can be removed and replaced altogether. If something like this happens to a pull-down projection screen, the only option is to buy another one.

Health Dangers
Many health officials have protested the use of whiteboard projection screens in schools, claiming that the projection beam can damage students’ retinas. Some students and teachers have reported feeling dizzy or dazed after looking at the projection beam or board. Direct presentation screens, which don’t require a projector, minimize the potential danger.

A: Here, the whiteboard presents a clear advantage. First of all, regular whiteboards are not designed to handle projection and produce glaring “hotspots” that can be harmful to the human eye over a prolonged period of time. The Versawhite (whiteboard/projection screen) material creates uniform diffusion so that the image is as soothing to the eyes as it would be on a regular theater screen.  Second of all, when not in use for projected presentations, the Versawhite material is a fully functional whiteboard writing surface. Lastly, all of Elite’s Versawhite whiteboard/projection screens are GREENGUARD certified to not produce harmful indoor emissions that can be created by the synthetic compounds which regular projection screens and even whiteboards may be made of. Elite’s products carry both the standard GREENGUARD and the GREENGUARD Children & Schools certificates for indoor air quality. This means that Elite’s whiteboard-projection is not only a more effective solution but it is focused on preserving the health and safety of students and trainees as well.