If you’ve bought a projector, you’re on your way to an authentic silver screen experience. But you may have forgotten something when you first ordered your projector: a projector screen.
Projector screens are the trick to getting crisp, high-definition images from your projector. In this projector screen buying guide, you’ll learn the importance of picking the right screen, how you can install them, and factors to consider when making your final choice.
The Complete Projector Screen Buying Guide
Projector screens come in a vast range of styles, sizes, colors, and materials, giving you plenty to consider when you’re looking to buy one. If you want the most bang for your buck, you need to pick a screen that complements your projector and works in your space.
That’s why we’ve put together this in-depth projector screen buying guide. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the different types of projector screens and how to choose the perfect one for you. But first, let’s discuss why a screen matters in the first place.
You Already Have a Projector. Why Invest in a Projector Screen?
Many people assume that a good projector is all they need. But a projector is only half of the story when it comes to projecting high-quality videos and images. Even the best projector will fail to provide a sharp, accurate picture if you use it on a random wall.
Investing in a quality projector screen is worthwhile because it gives you complete control over your viewing experience. The benefits of using a projector screen include:
Picture Quality Is Usually Better on a Screen
If you’re not using a projector screen, you’re probably using the nearest empty wall. That can seriously impact the quality of the picture. Walls are often textured or uneven, which affects the image quality. Large lumps and bumps in the wall will obviously distort part of the image, but even lightly textured drywall will reduce the image’s resolution.
Anything other than a perfectly flat surface will throw off your projector’s image, making it look fuzzy or muddy. Projector screens provide the smooth surface you need to get the best picture from your projector.
Colors Are Easy on the Eyes
Projector screens also improve the color of your projector’s image. Projecting an image on anything other than a white surface will reduce the accuracy of the colors and potentially make the image hard to look at. But even a white wall may distort color if it’s too reflective or if it has blue or yellow undertones.
You can avoid this distortion entirely by using a projector screen because they’re designed to display colors accurately, without muddling them. You can even opt for a light gray screen instead of white to keep bright images from hurting your eyes.
Clear Borders Provide a Perfect Video Frame
A projector screen provides a better frame for your videos. Simply projecting a movie on the nearest wall leads to visual distractions. The image may seem to bleed into its surroundings, and it can be hard to focus on the film instead of other items on the wall.
Projector screens, on the other hand, frame the video perfectly. They offset the projection from its surroundings. This makes focusing on your favorite films easier without getting distracted by light overshoot.
You Have More Control Over Image Size and Lighting
For true film enthusiasts, one of the best aspects of investing in a projector screen is the ability to control details like lighting, aspect ratio, and image size. You can shop for a screen that fits your space and preferences, whether you want something relatively small for cozy indoor movie nights or a larger outdoor screen for big events.
Similarly, you can work with the screen to control how bright the image is. Screens make it easy to control the gain or brightness level, so you can turn it up in brighter conditions or turn it down at night. This helps you avoid faded or blown-out images, so you see the image the way the director intended.
The Different Types of Screens
There are many different projector screen options available today. Each of these projector screen types has unique benefits and drawbacks. If you want to find the perfect screen for your needs, this projector screen buying guide explains the various styles and how to choose a projector screen that works for you.
A fixed-frame screen is a permanent option designed to be set up once and left open. They’re built with frames that hold the screen rigid. This prevents wrinkles from forming on the screen but also makes it more difficult to move and store.
Stationary fixed-frame screens are ideal for permanent installations, such as home movie theaters or lecture halls. There are also fixed-frame screens available on stands. These options often work like portable whiteboards, so they can be wheeled off to the side when not in use. They work best for locations that have plenty of storage space.
If you have a location where you can leave your screen set up indefinitely, these screens are low-maintenance and practical. However, they may be a little unwieldy if you’re short on storage space or open walls.
- Wall Mounted Fixed Frame Projection Screen (Overall Size 63.625" Tall x 109.25" Wide) (Viewing Area 120" Diagonal x 58.875" Tall x 104.5" Wide) No option for Legs or Stands with this product. Recommended for projectors with Native 16:9 Resolution
- 1.1 Gain White screen surface with an exceptionally wide viewing angle at 160 degrees with no resolution loss at any viewing angle. Works great with Long, Short and Ultra Short Throw projectors. The standard white material is not acoustically transparent.
- 2 3/8" heavy duty beveled aluminum frame wrapped in light-absorbing black velvet material for a beautifully crisp viewing image; Enjoy beautiful movies, pictures, and games in FULL HD, 4K / 8K and Active 3D
- Quick and easy assembly with tensioning rod system ensures that you can bring cinema-quality entertainment to your home in just a few minutes. Secure top and bottom mounting brackets that allow horizontal adjustment
- Before purchasing, project an image on wall to determine the size works for the projector and watch the step by step instructional video listed.
Retractable screens can be rolled up into a casing on the wall or ceiling. Unlike a fixed-frame screen, these projector screen types can disappear entirely when not in use. That makes them an excellent solution for mixed-use spaces.
However, retractable screens come with certain challenges. They often require careful installation to ensure they work correctly and are perfectly level. Some require electrical connections to function as well. Nevertheless, if you have limited storage space in a mixed-used room like your living room, a conference room, or a classroom, a retractable screen may be a good option.
- HUGE MANUAL PROJECTOR SCREEN: Our 100 inch projector screen easily pulls down and is built with a high quality matte white screen provides 16: 9 aspect ratio, 1. 2 gain and an exceptionally wide viewing angle at 150 degrees with no resolution loss at any viewing angle. The projection screen is easy to clean with water.
- SMOOTH AUTO-LOCKING MECHANISM: Portable projector screen is equipped with a convenient auto-locking mechanism. You can easily reach the height you want, roll it up and save space. Great for indoor and outdoor use.
- PREMIUM PVC MATERIAL: Made with heavy-duty black PVC backing material that can eliminate light penetration to maintain a crisp and bold picture. The projection screen is easy to clean with water to keep it dust-free and bright for your images.
- ENHANCED IMAGE QUALITY: This outdoor/indoor projector screen supports 3D, 1080P, 4K and full HD image. Helps to keep 3D effects more vivid, stereoscopic and enhances the action of a film. Feels like you are part of the movie : -)
- QUICK AND EASY INSTALLATION: Our light projector screen allows flexible positioning, easy setup, and fast assembly. Can be mounted to the wall and ceiling. These two mounting installation methods meet your needs, which can keep screen stable and bring a better viewing experience
Electric Projection Screen
Electric projection screens are automated in some way. For example, some retractable screens are also electric because they use a motor to raise and lower the screen on command. Similarly, inflatable projection screens require electricity to power the inflation pump.
An electric projection screen is often simpler to use than a manual screen. You can use a remote control to raise or lower the screen instead of putting it together yourself. As long as you have a way to power it, an electric projection screen can be a convenient and efficient option.
- 🔥【Size and Aspect Ratio】- 4:3 aspect ratio, 120” Diagonal Screen Size (93.7 X 69.7 in), Carton Size: 106.7 x 5.1 x 4.9in, Product Weight: 24lbs You can stop the motorized projector screen before it's all the way down to use as a smaller 16:9 screen
- 🔥【Motor System】- Energy efficient, quiet (<42dB) motor that enhances longevity. Control system: long distance radio frequency remote & wall mountable control panel
- 🔥【4 Layer Premium PVC Matte Projector Screen】- Featuring 160°viewing angle and 1.2 gain. 4 layer black backed screen which eliminates light penetration and produces top quality color reproduction. This projector screen is easy to wipe and clean with soap and water
- 🔥【Fast Installation & Easy Cleaning】- Arrives fully assembled, plug and play ready. This motorized projector screen is suitable for both wall mounting and ceiling mounting
- 🔥【Customer Satisfaction】- Ideal choice for home theater movie, education, conference room presentation, outdoor movie and more. In addition, we provide friendly customer service. If there is any question please feel free to contact with us
Portable Projector Screen
A portable projector screen is designed to be easy to move. There are several mobile projector screen types, including:
- Collapsible-frame screens: These screens have jointed frames that can be folded up when not in use. The screen is usually retractable, so it can be rolled up in a casing for easy storage.
- Inflatable screens: These screens have a frame that’s inflated by a motor, and the pressurized frame pulls the screen tight. When not in use, they are deflated and folded up into a carrying case.
- Wheeled fixed-frame screens: These frames don’t collapse, but they can be rolled from room to room like a portable whiteboard.
The most crucial detail of all of these projector screen options is that they’re designed for easy transport. That makes them a good choice if you want to use your projector in multiple places, like outside, at a friend’s house, or just in a different room of your home.
Portable screens are also typically easy to store. Since these screens are intended for transport, they’re usually small and can be collapsed to easily fit in your closet or the trunk of your car. However, they’re also more likely to wrinkle or break during setup and takedown than a more permanent alternative, like a ceiling-mounted retractable screen.
- ▶【Easy to Set UP】JWSIT 120 inch projector screen with stand is ready for quick set-up in a few minutes. Just press the metal snaps around the portable frame to quickly fasten the projector screen to the one-piece frame flatly, detachable legs can be assembled easily with no tools required.
- ▶【Excellent Projection Display】1.1 Gian, Active 3D and 4K Ultra HD, decent size 16:9 aspect ratio, 160 degrees wide viewing angle, the outdoor movie screen is designed for providing sharp and high-resolution images, enriched colors, and supreme watching experience from the different viewing positions. Projector screen with stand, perfect for home theater, schools, offices, weddings, the church; can be used for PowerPoint presentations and other displays
- ▶【Convenient to Carry】JWSIT projector screen outdoor is made of lightweight but sturdy aluminum, the portable projector screen frame can be easily transported anywhere with included soft padded carrying bag and be well protected. The 120" outdoor movie screen folds super compactly than most 4K HD projector screens, making it easy to travel for family trips, camping, backyard movie night, etc.
- ▶【Stable Stand Wrinkle Free Screen 】Premium PVC Matte makes the projector screen wrinkle-free and easy to clean. And the frame is durable for freestanding in light wind for outdoor use. The Stability-Ensure Kit is included: 4 ground stakes, 2 rigging cords, and 2 support rings. You won't have to worry about the frame or legs bending or breaking in the wind.
- ▶【100% WORRY-FREE ORDER】JWSIT movie screens for projectors outdoor cover a 1-year manufacturer warranty, 100% satisfaction, and Lifetime Technical Support. Just purchase outdoor screens for movies freely! Any doubt or assistance please feel free to contact us.
- EASY SET-UP: The inflatable movie screen is easy for just one person to set up and no need other tools, finish in less than 10 minutes. The package included White Screen, Support Frame, High Power Blower, Carry Bag, Tethers and Stake. (NOTE: The blower need to remain on to keep inflated. Please ZIP UP the zipper before inflating.)
- FRONT/REAR PROJECTION: This inflatable projector screen is upgraded to front and rear projection, 160°wide viewing Angle, 16:9 screen ratio, high color reduction. A lot of outdoor movie screens are only setup for front or rear projection, this one gives you both options which is greatly flexibility, you can see clear pictures on any side.
- HIGH POWER QUIET BLOWER: This outdoor movie screen includes a high power 110v 180w blower included can blow up this movie screen in 2 minutes, unlike other built-in low-power blower that can't support the frame to inflate. And the blower was so hardly noticeable once the movie started, bring you an immersive movie-watching experience.
- PORTABLE MOVIE THEATER: This amazing, huge outdoor projector screen comes with a convenient storage bag that allows you to carry your inflatable movie screen wherever you want. This portable projector screen is lightweight enough to take it with you in every relevant occasion for impressive projections.
- EASY MAINTENANCE: It's black frame was made of 210D oxford cloth which is durable and does not fade. The white screen is removable for easy cleaning and safe storage. Thus, it is really convenient to clean it. What's more, it support wash by machine. (It is recommended that the screen and frame be stored separately to prevent the white screen from getting dirty)
- 【Wall-mounted Projector Screen】WEMAX ALR Screen needs to be installed manually, please follow the video installation guide on the product page to install it, which can complete the screen installation better and faster
- 【Screen installation steps overview】First, join the long side of the aluminum frame, then join the short side with the long side. Lay the screen flat, press the aluminum frame onto it, and align with the four corner marks. Thread thin iron rods through the screen sides, use spring hooks to fix the corners, then use the remaining hooks to fix the entire screen. The screen needs to be placed according to the orientation marks on the top and bottom of the screen
- 【Ultra Short Throw Projector Screen】WEMAX ALR screen is only compatible with Ultra Short Throw (UST) projectors. WEMAX ALR Material improves color saturation, and the multi-Layer optical structures eliminates light penetration
- 【Ambient Light Rejecting Projection Material】WEMAX ALR screen is certified for Accurate Color Reproduction. 4K/8K Ultra HD, Active 3D Ready is ideal for any environments. Prefect for Sports Bars, Game Rooms, Workshop, or any outdoor/indoor entertainment applications
- 【Premium Sleek Fixed Frame Design】100-inch Diagonal, 49-inch H x 87.2-inch W Viewing Size, 16:9 HD Aspect Ratio with a fixed premium aluminum Frame. Overall Assembled Size: 49.8-inch H x 88-inch W x 0.98-inch D
Inflatable projector screens are some of the most popular options for outdoor use. These screens are connected to airtight frames that act like heavy-duty balloons. When the frame is inflated, it pulls the screen tight and holds it upright. The entire screen and frame can be folded up in a carrying case for transport when deflated.
These screens are one of the most popular projector screen options for their simplicity and durability. They’re easily the largest portable screens because the screen itself is designed to be folded up. That means it’s significantly easier to transport a large inflatable screen than it is to move a portable retractable screen and frame.
They’re also popular outdoor screens because of their durability. Good inflatable screens are made of materials that won’t get damaged by a bit of rain or wind. That makes them perfect for outdoor parties and movie nights. The one drawback is that these screens aren’t a great option for indoor use because the frames are bulky.
Rear Projection Screen
Rear projector screens allow you to place the projector behind the screen while viewing the image from the front, putting you and the projector on opposite sides of the screen. To accomplish this, the screens are partially transparent.
A rear projection screen can provide clear images in a room even when the lights are on. These options are also typically more compact than front projection screens because they don’t need much space in front to present a clear image.
Keep in mind that these require you to have a projector that’s rear-projection compatible. If you have a compatible projector, this is one of the best projector screen types for tight or bright spaces.
- ✅ Bigger Screen Size than Similar Products - The Screen Size is 13 feet by 8 feet with an aspect ratio of 16:9. Bigger than most competitors selling blow up projector screen for outdoor movies
- ✅ Front and Back Projection Capabilities - Stunning Front & Rear Projection Material Accommodates Placement of the Projector Behind or in Front of the Screen Allowing for Greater Flexibility
- ✅ Less 5 Minutes to Setup - This Outdoor Movie Screen Has the Quietest and Most Powerful Blower On the Market - No Screws or Tools Needed - Everything is Included Inside the Box
- ✅ Quick 5 Minutes to Store - Unzip the Zipper Located in the Black Frame and in a few Minutes it Will Deflate and be Ready to get Stored Inside a Convenient Included Storage Bag - The Black Frame can be Wiped Clean With any Cloth, While the White Screen is Held on by Velcro and it's Fully Detachable and Easy to Clean
- ✅ Awesome Inflatable Projector Screen for Outside - Bring your Family and Friends Together for a Night of endless Fun in your Backyard, Great for tailgates and camping adventures
A manual screen is an alternative to electric screens. These screens must be set up and taken down by hand instead of relying on motors to handle the work. They may fold up or roll up or be simple fixed-frame screens you set up once and leave out.
Manual screens take extra effort on your part, but they don’t require electricity to work. That makes them more flexible, especially for outdoor use. A portable manual screen can be a great companion to a battery-powered projector. You can use manual outdoor screens to project movies, even if you don’t have an outlet nearby, as long as your projector can run on battery power.
The Mounting Options for Projector Screens
There are several ways to mount certain styles of projector screens. Portable, manual, electric, and rear-projection screens come in a range of mounting styles to suit different situations. If you’re considering one of these solutions, you’ll need to choose one of the projector screen mounting options below.
Ceiling-mounted projector screens are attached to the ceiling of the room in which they are installed. These screens are typically intended for permanent use. They come in two styles:
- Recessed screens that are installed within the ceiling itself: These screens work best when installed as the room is built; otherwise, installing them may require significant renovation.
- Hung screens: These are housed in a casing attached to the ceiling and hang down into the room. These screens are easier to install after the fact without having to cut significant holes in the ceiling.
Most ceiling-mounted projector screens are retractable, rolling up into their casing when not in use. They also usually rely on electricity since they use motors to roll up the screen.
- 【GET THE RIGHT SCREEN】: 120-inch Diagonal, 58.9-inch H x 104.6-inch W Viewing Size, 16:9 HD Format Aspect Ratio with a 8-inch Black Masking Drop in a White Finish Case/Housing. Overall Product Dimension: 73.5-inch H x 114.7-inch W
- 【SHARP & CLEAR IMAGERY】: Screen Material: MaxWhite FG, 1.1 Gain. Fiberglass-backed, 180 degree wide viewing angle, fully black backed front projection screen with textured surface. 4K Ultra HD and Active 3D Projection Ready.
- 【UPGRADED FEATURES】: Concealed In-Ceiling Recessed or Ceiling Mount Front Projection Screen with Swift Operating Tubular Motor, Designed for Commercial and Residential Installations. Safe and Secure with NFPA 701 Flame Retardant, GreenGuard Gold Certified
- WHAT YOU WILL GET】: Includes Full In-Ceiling Installation Kit, Infrared (IR) & Radio frequency (RF) Remotes, 3-Way Wall Switch, Integrated RJ45 Port and 5-12 volt trigger
- 【100% WORRY-FREE SERVICES】: 2-Year / 3-Year ENR-G, Manufactures Warranty by Elite Screens if purchased NEW, an ISO9001 manufacturer since 2004 and Lifetime Tech Support by Email, Web Chat or Toll Free Phone Call by Elite's Professional Service Team.
A wall-mounted projector screen may be retractable or fixed-frame. Fixed-frame screens are permanently attached to the wall, like a stationary whiteboard. Retractable screens come with housings that stick out from the wall, allowing the screen to descend without scraping on anything.
Both solutions work well in rooms that aren’t suitable for ceiling-mounted screens. Fixed-frame wall-mounted screens work better for permanent use, whereas retractable wall-mounted screens provide more flexibility.
- 【TENSIONED PROJECTION SCREEN & EASY CLEANING】- ISF Certified CINEWHITE UHD-B Front Projection Screen Material, with 1.3 Gain for a Vivid Viewing Experience from Any Angle. Full Lambertian diffuser – no half gain drop. easy to clean with soap and water ; 120-inch Diagonal, 16:9 Aspect Ratio. View Size: 58.8" H x 104.6" W.
- 【BLACK VELVET STURDY FRAME】- Fixed projector screen designed with 2.75" lightweight aluminum frame with dense black velvet finish made to absorb projector overshoot while increases picture contrast for a polished theater like experience. Sturdy aluminum frame covered in black velvet enhances overall appearance.
- 【ULTRA HIGH DEFINITION & WIDE VIEWING SIZE】- HDR projector screen compatible with 4K / 8K Ultra HD and Active 3D Projection and HDR Ready. Outstanding picture quality at any viewing angle with no compromise in resolution or brightness. Features 180 degree viewing angle. The CineWhite UHD-B projection material is ISF certified for superior color reproduction with no color shift.
- 【EASY ASSEMBLE】- Easily sets up via the tensioned rod and spring system - Comes with everything you need including the sliding wall brackets, drywall anchors, and screws. Easy set up projector screen! Split-frame design facilitates lower shipping costs without sacrificing quality. 2 Year Manufactures Warranty by ISO9001 manufacturer since 2004 and Lifetime Tech Support by Email, Web Chat or Toll Free Phone Call by U.S Based Professional Service Team.
- 【WIDE COMPATIBILITY】- TV projector screen compatible with Standard, Short Throw, UHD/HD projectors. Don’t limit yourself to one projector. It works well with standard, short-throw and ultra short-throw projectors. Recommended for rooms with controlled lightning. Perfect choice for movie projector screen!
A floor-mounted projector screen is supported by a frame that rests on the ground. These screens are more portable than wall- or ceiling-mounted alternatives because the structure is usually not attached to the floor permanently. These options are typically manual and fixed-frame and may come with wheels to make it easy to roll the screen from room to room.
- SIZE: This projector Screen is 102-inch Diagonal, 50-inch H x 88.9-inch W Viewing Size; 16:9 HD Format Aspect Ratio. Overall Extended Size: 97.2-inch H x 97.2-inch W with Black Metal Housing. Compatible with ultra/short, and standard (long) throw projectors.
- ISF CERTIFIED: CineWhite ISF Certified for accurate color reproduction 8K / 4K Ultra HD and Active 3D Ready FRONT Projection Screen Material featuring a wide 180° Viewing Angle and 1.1 Gain. Fully Black Backed, Easy to Clean Surface. Compatible with Ultra HD/HD projectors.
- Free-standing projector screen with remote control system, rises and lowers the projection material by our industrial grade motorized precision "scissor-backed" cross spring risers.
- Built-in Infrared and Radio Frequency receivers. Includes Radio Frequency (RF) and Infrared remote controls. 12v trigger synchronizes the screen’s UP/DOWN operation with the projector’s power cycle.
- 【MANUFACTURES WARRANTY】- Manufactures Warranty by an ISO9001 manufacturer since 2004 and Lifetime Tech Support by Email, Web Chat or Toll-Free Phone Call by U.S Based Akia Screens Professional Service Team.
Folding or Truss-Projected
A folding or truss-projected screen is the most portable alternative of all. These options are also supported by a frame that rests on the ground. But they’re designed to be folded up when not in use. Most of these screens are manual, although some may have motorized casings to release and roll up the screen.
- ▶【New choice projector screen for UST Laser projectors】The screen material with special optical sawtooth structure and the light-rejecting filter to give a stunning performance in CEILING AMBIENT LIGHT. because the UST ALR material use a special optical serrated structure and a light suppression fitter; so the projected light will be effectively reflected to the viewer, and the ceiling light will be blocked or absorbed;(Not Compatible for the projector suspended installed!）
- ▶【The perfect visual effect 】The Screen size:120-inch Diagonal:16:9 Aspect Ratio;Standard View Area :104.57"Wx58.82"H;G.W.(Ibs):72.75;Screen Material: ULTRA-SHORT THROW AMBIENT LIGHT REJECTING; 0.6 Gain for a Vivid Viewing Experience from 170 Degrees；97% ALR Resistance;Projector Throw Type: ONLY compatible for ULTRA-SHORT THROW LASER PROJECTOR;Support 8K/4K Resolution Ultra HD & Active 3D Ready; Offer 110V voltage;Anti-light direction: The light above the screen;
- ▶【Eye Protection feature & A fit for any room: 】Feast your eyes on awe-inspiring visuals with deeper colors；Projectors are able to produce much larger images, which put less strain on your eyes. In addition to this, projectors reflect light while TVs emit it. Reflected light is easier on your eyes, keeping your eyes comfortable without the added strain created by emitted light. you can enjoy a cinematic experience from the comfort of your own theater!
- ▶【Fast easy to Set UP & Space-saving Design】Plug in the power cord to achieve the installation in 1 minute! ; No screws necessary;Change any indoor viewing place with your mood! Electric Pop-up/Floor Rising series projector screen is a collection of premium retractable electric screens that VIVIDSTORM Unique Wire Tension Technology. Flatness like glass surface. and extend upward from the floor. when the screen is not used, just close it which makes it unobtrusive；
- ▶【First Class Customer Service 】A ISO9001 manufacturer since 2004. 2 years Manufacture Warranty. You no longer need a pitch black room to get a good image；Enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows anywhere in your home, day or night.Provide size 72-120inch, please choose the right screen according to your own space!or Please contact us, we will give you the good advice!
The Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Screen
Now that you know more about the sheer variety of different projector screen styles available, you can start thinking about what projector screen types work for you. The best way to make an informed decision is to determine which features matter most to your viewing experience.
The most important factor for many people is price. Projector screens are available at many different price points. Although there are certainly luxury screens available, there are also many affordable options for people on a budget.
You should also consider the cost of professional installation in your price expectations. Certain permanent projector screens benefit from having an expert install them. For example, ceiling-mounted retractable screens should often be professionally installed to ensure they function correctly. Keep these extra costs in mind to avoid going over budget.
The size of a projector screen dictates much of what you can do with it. When deciding how large of a screen you want, consider details like:
- The capabilities of your projector: Not every projector is designed to fill a giant screen. Check your projector’s manual to make sure you understand what screen sizes it handles best.
- The size of the space: Obviously, your projector screen’s measurements should fit within the area where you’ll use it. You should also measure the distance between the projector and the screen’s future location to ensure the projector can focus correctly.
- Whether the screen needs to be transported: Many large screens aren’t designed for easy transport. A smaller screen is more likely to fit in your car if you want to take your projector on the go.
Screen Materials and Construction Details
There are several different materials used to make projector screens, depending on their intended use. You’ll be choosing between:
- Acoustically transparent fabrics: These fabrics have tiny holes that are invisible from the intended viewing distance. That prevents them from generating strange sound reflections. This is what professional movie theater screens are made of, and it’s also typically what high-quality retractable screens use. That makes this material ideal for home theaters because it supports the intended viewing experience of most movies.
- Flat panels: Some fixed-frame screens use flat, solid panels painted with special projector screen paint. They’re durable and won’t wrinkle, but they can reflect sound. A flat panel screen is excellent for permanent installation on a wall in classrooms or lecture halls, where the sound experience is less important.
- Vinyl: Outdoor screens are typically made with vinyl, which is durable and water resistant. Inflatable screens in particular rely on flexible vinyl to allow the screen to be bundled up into the carrying case when not in use.
Surface Color and Color Accuracy of Images
There are three primary colors you’ll find for projector screens: white, gray, and black. White screens are the most common as they easily display accurate colors. However, colors are more likely to seem washed out on a white screen.
That’s why some people prefer a black or gray screen. Gray screens will still display accurate colors but don’t wash out as easily. They’re also easier on the eyes in dark rooms. Similarly, black screens keep the colors accurate without hurting your eyes, but they can make dark scenes hard to see.
Screen Frame Construction, Materials, and Color
Screen frames should also be considered when making your decision. So, choose the construction style you want. Do you want something portable and collapsible? A permanent ceiling-mounted screen? A fixed-frame wall-mounted one? Once you’ve answered this question, you can think about aesthetics.
Frames come in a wide variety of colors and materials. You can find everything from standard silver aluminum frames to matte black steel to clean white plastic. Once you know what construction type you want, you can decide what materials and colors work for your space.
Viewing Angles and Screen Gain
Next, consider where you want to use your screen and the conditions of the spaces it’ll be in. This will determine how much gain you want.
” Screen gain” is the amount of light your screen reflects. High-gain screens reflect a lot of light, which makes them brighter even in rooms with lots of ambient light. However, they tend to reflect light narrowly, which means that people looking at the screen from an angle don’t have a great viewing experience.
Meanwhile, screens with low gain measurements look better from many different viewing angles. They don’t stand up to ambient light as well, but more people can see them with less effort in dark rooms.
Mounting Brackets and Tension
If you’re installing a permanent projector screen, consider the structural elements of the intended space. Projector screens need to be kept very flat to provide the best image. That means that mounting brackets may put a lot of pressure on your walls to maintain the necessary tension in the screen. Triple-check that your walls can withstand the weight and stress of the screen before buying one.
Assembly and Installation Process
Some screens can be set up with nothing but a screwdriver in 15 minutes, whereas others require professional installation. In general, portable and fixed-frame screens are easiest to install on your own, and recessed ceiling screen installation will most likely require professional help.
Make sure you understand a screen’s assembly and installation process before buying it. You can also learn how to install a retractable projector screen if you want to take on a DIY project.
Find the Screen That Complements Your Projector
This projector screen buying guide has outlined what makes projector screens essential and what to consider when you’ve decided to buy one. No two projector screens are identical. With a bit of research, you can find a screen that complements your projector and fits your space.