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Screen gain is how much light the screen will reflect back to the viewer. Home theater screens with higher screen gain will actually give the appearance of a brighter image.
For example: a High Power Screen with a 2.3 gain will take an 800 lumen projector and make it appear as if it is actually 1,840 lumens. Sounds perfect, right? Don't get too excited yet.
It is important to know that when you increase the gain of the screen, you also decrease the viewing angle. This means that the more you cross a 45 degree angle, the darker the image will get. Depending on how your home theater projector and home theater seating area is arranged, you could get a brilliant video image or lackluster one.
There are some screens on the market that actually have a screen gain less than 1.0. A screen that has a gain of less than 1.0 is called a High Contrast Fabric screen. These screens are great for darkening up the contrast ratio (or black levels) to give a more cinematic effect.