To meet a better effect of the picture and better experience, many people may consider buying a screen for their projectors. But how to choose a perfect projector screen may seem to be a hard problem.
You can use a projector on the wall without a screen as long as you have a perfectly flat wall that's free of imperfections. However, an actual screen will be superior to a wall in nearly every situation. So here’s a guide for you to select the best projection screen.
The Different Types
The two most common screen types are fixed frame screens and retractable screens.
1 Fixed frame screens
- Work better in a dedicated home theater
- Complete flat surface since the screen material is stretched tightly around the frame
- most fixed frame screens have a black felt border that absorbs light from the projector which makes it much easier to get the projector perfectly aimed at the screen
2 Retractable screens
- can be motorized or pulled down manually
- good for a room that does not have much space for a large screen
- tensioned or non-tensioned
Projector screens can either be front projection or rear projection, and rear projection screens require more space, but it is good somewhere with a lot of ambient light.
1 Aspect Ratio
choose an aspect ratio first and then measure your wall to make sure it can fit
popular aspect ratios
16x9 (HDTV format)
perfect for watching TV shows and sports since most TV content is 16x9
best for watching movies since most movies are shot in widescreen formats
2 Throw distance
Throw refers to the distance that your projector needs to be from the screen in order to project a certain size image, so you need to choose the screen and projector deliberately
3 Brightness of Your Projector
One of the most important things to choose a screen is the brightness of your projector. Because the bigger the screen the dimmer the image will be.
Here I recommend the projection calculator tool for you on projectorcentral.com, you can just enter your projector model, then it will display the exact calculation of the screen and the distance from the projector to the screen.
Different Types of Screen Material
Gain refers to the amount of light that is reflected off the screen and back to the viewer.
Fool Lambers x Screen’s Gain= Image Luminance
So the higher the gain the brighter the image, but is higher gain better?
High gain screens
- make the image brighter
part of the screen usually the middle looks brighter than the remainder of the screen
Might have a narrow viewing angle
- improved contrast
- Ambient light rejection
dimmer than the neutral screen
Usually represent the most accurate image
Improve contrast and black levels especially with budget projectors
So which one do you choose? If you're on a budget, a gray screen will help since most budget projectors benefit from better contrast and black levels
The screen texture depends on the type of features you need on the screen.
For example, if you’re using a 4K projector, make sure the screen material is perfectly smooth.
If you are going to put speakers behind the screen, you may need an acoustically transparent screen that allows sound to come through the material, just like you are in a movie theater!
If you put the screen in a room with a lot of ambient light, you will need an ambient light rejecting or alr screen.
To sum up, in order to choose a projector screen, you need to decide the size, color, texture, and type of the screen. There’s no standard of what kind of screen is the best, it all depends on your need.
I bet you have some ideas in mind about choosing a suitable projector screen! What is the most important factor for you? Please let me know.
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