CES 2006: Watching a Supernova

Sometimes a little rejection is a good thing. And sometimes a lot is even better! While traipsing around the various mammoth exhibit halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center, I passed the DNP exhibit. DNP is Dai Nippon Printing, and is one of the leading makers of display screens for front projectors. I got a chance to see their Supernova screen in person.

The screen is different from most in that it rejects ambient light coming from above or below the screen. This means that a table light below or a ceiling light above will have little effect on the image. Light coming straight at the screen — as from a projector — is reflected back to the viewer. According to DNP, the effect is images that are twice as bright, with 10 times the contrast of a typical screen. And they’re easy to install.

The net effect is that they make a front projector a more appealing choice for home entertainment. You don’t have to darken the room in order to get a good looking image. It’s not a perfect solution, as it does not reject ambient light from the sides, so afternoon sunlight streaming in from a window will still cause problems. But if you’re willing to pull the shades, it gives you new options for setting up a really large display, up to 120″ diagonal in a wide screen format.