How to Choose a Projector Screen
If you want to create a cinema experience in your own four walls, only a projector is an option. TVs are now wider than ever, but they can’t compete with the immersive experience offered by a quality projector.
Projectors now have a range of image quality enhancement features. Another factor that should not be overlooked is the importance of choosing the right projection screen.
So what makes the perfect projection screen and which screen is right for you?
Do you need a projector screen?
If you’ve never owned a projector before, you might be wondering if you really need a screen. The short answer to this question is no.
Provided you point a projector at a clean, white surface, you can see the image. Some people even choose to go without a screen because it saves space.
However, the downside to using a wall for your projector is image quality. Projector screens are perfectly white, flat and highly reflective. This maximizes the viewing experience by making the picture as bright as possible.
How to choose a projection screen
Projection screens are available in a variety of styles and sizes.
type of assembly
Before you buy a projector screen, you should think about how you want to mount it.
- Firmly: A fixed projection screen is attached directly to a wall. This is the most popular option, since the screen is as tense as possible and the sharpness of the image is improved. The downside of fixed screens is that they take up the entire wall even if you’re not looking at anything.
- Portable: Portable projection screens are typically attached to tripods. You take it out when you want to watch something and then fold it up when not in use. Portable screens are popular in schools and offices. They can also be used at home if you don’t like the idea of a fixed screen. However, the disadvantage of portable screens is that the picture quality is not as high.
- Retractable: Retractable projection screens are designed to be installed in a single location, but can be retracted when not in use. The picture quality is not as high as with a fixed screen due to the lack of tension. But many people accept that compromise in exchange for having a screen that doesn’t take up an entire wall. Many retractable screens are also designed to take up very little space when fully retracted.
The fabric gain of a projection screen refers to how much light it reflects. A fabric gain of 1.0 is considered standard, while a gain of 1.2 makes an image appear 20% brighter. The optimal fabric reinforcement depends on both your projector and the amount of ambient light in the room.
A fabric gain of 1.0 is considered ideal for most purposes.
If your projector is not particularly powerful, you should use a screen with a higher fabric reinforcement. It’s important to note, however, that higher fabric gain reduces viewing angles. It should therefore only be used if you specifically want a brighter image.
If you want to reduce reflections, you should use a lower fabric reinforcement. This makes them useful in rooms with too much ambient light. A low fabric gain screen is also useful for optimizing the contrast ratio and creating a darker image.
The aspect ratio of a projection screen is the ratio between the height and width.
16.9 is the most popular choice. It suits TV shows and most video games. It’s therefore ideal for general use, but when you want to watch a movie in widescreen, small black bars appear at the top and bottom.
If you bought a projector primarily for watching movies, consider a 2.4.1 aspect ratio instead. This is how movies are shot and is the aspect ratio typically found in movie theaters. The catch is that if you go for that ratio, everything else you look at will have black bars on the sides.
Projection screens are available in a variety of sizes. As with televisions, the screen size refers to the diagonal and is primarily between 90 and 150 inches. The right choice for you depends on both your personal preferences and the size of the space you use.
A popular method of determining the best screen size is painter’s tape. Simply choose a screen size that you think is appropriate, use painter’s tape to create the outline on your wall, and sit in the chair of your choice. After that, you should be able to determine whether or not that size is appropriate.
Projector screens are usually either white or gray.
If you intend to use your projector in a room with very little ambient light, you should opt for an all-white screen. This provides the ideal surface to produce accurate color and is exactly what you get at the cinema. The problem with white canvases is that the color can appear washed out when used in less dark rooms.
If you plan to use your projector in a brighter room, consider a shade of gray instead. Gray screens tend to be less susceptible to interference from ambient light, producing darker blacks and more accurate colors in brighter rooms.
Get the most out of your projector
Projector screens are not complicated products to buy. Unlike projectors, which have a plethora of different functions, a screen is nothing more than a reflective surface. Despite this fact, a wrong screen can prevent you from getting the most out of your home theater.
While almost any screen is better than using your wall, it’s important to get the right gain and color to match the amount of ambient light in your room. You should also take the time to choose an aspect ratio and size that suits your personal preferences.