How to Choose A Projector Screen, Select The Best Projector Screen


How to Choose A Projector Screen

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.

How to Choose A Projector Screen

The Different Types

The two most common screen types are fixed frame screens and retractable screens.

1 Fixed frame screens

How to Choose A Projector Screen

  • 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

How to Choose A Projector Screen

  • 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.

Screen sizes

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

How to Choose A Projector Screen

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, 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.

How to Choose A Projector Screen

Different Types of Screen Material

1 Gain

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

Negative gain

  • improved contrast

  • Ambient light rejection


  • dimmer than the neutral screen
How to Choose A Projector Screen

2 Color


most brightness

Usually represent the most accurate image

How to Choose A Projector Screen


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

How to Choose A Projector Screen

3 Texture

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.

How to Choose A Projector 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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I love to position speakers behind the screen, it feels like I'm in the theater, really fabulous!
Do you have some good projection screen recommendations? I don't know much about them. I have a friend who bought a VIVIDSTORM screen and he said the quality is very good. Have you heard of them?