Nothing beats the jaw-dropping excitement of watching movies and sports events on a big screen. However, the large screen TV presents a big constraint in form of maximum screen size. That’s where the projector systems can deliver truly life-sized entertainment.
But remember, a high-quality projector alone won’t suffice. Consequently, choosing the right screen for your projector becomes important. That leads to the question, how do you get it right and ensure you create a super-fun entertainment experience at home each time with crisp, stunning images?
To help you understand more about this key part of your toolkit in your home entertainment, this Projector Screen Buying Guide.
Consider The Material Of The Projection Screen
The material of a projection screen enhances the visual quality to a great extent. The focal point in projection screens is the gain, texture and colour. There are several types of projection screen materials like matte finish front projection screen, silver projection screen and acoustically transparent screen.
Grey/Silver Projection Screen
Acoustically transparent screen
Matte white screens have 1.0 gain, and they create the best image in dark rooms
|These have a lower gain of 1.0 and are used when required to deliver darker images
Woven and perforated screens are the two types of the acoustically transparent screens
These are commonly used in cinemas, at home for watching films and also for gaming
|These are commonly used in extremely bright rooms or big auditoriums, meeting rooms and convention centres with poorly controlled light
Woven projector screens allow sound to pass through while blocking light from passing through the screen
|They deliver bright colours and nicely balanced contrast
|They are good for projecting 3D images and work fabulously well with high-lumen projectors with low contrast
|Made of a very strong material with thousands of very small perforated holes ensuring there is no double image effect
Choose The Right Gain Level
Gain is the amount of light reflected off the screen back at the viewer. Higher gain means more light is going to be reflected thereby rendering a brighter picture. However, when gain goes up, viewing angles go lower.
The amount and position of viewers and seating help in selecting the gain level. Most home theatre screens are low gain and carry ratings in the range of 1.0 to 1.3 gain, adequate for most applications.
Select The Screen Texture Type - Smooth Or Gritty
Two basic types of textures in the projection screens are smooth and gritty.
For projectors with up to 1080p resolution, a smooth projection texture should be just fine. For 4K projectors, it is recommended to select a screen that is grittier as it can pack a hefty punch with higher details and depth in terms of image quality.
Pick The Screen Colour
The screen colour has a huge impact on the contrast of the image quality. A white screen generally displays brighter pictures, however, contrast levels between the light and dark hues can suffer. White screens are suitable for projectors that do not deliver higher brightness.
The other colour commonly seen in projection screens is Grey. They can handle darker tones or hues, however, there is a trade-off in image brightness. For grey screens, a projector with higher brightness is preferred.
One of the best benefits of Grey screens is their Ambient Light rejecting capabilities - making them perform better even in daytime usage where natural light is superbly abundant. There are also perforated texture screens with micro-holes that facilitate easy placement of speakers behind the screen for optimal localization of sound.
Factor In The Size Of The Screen
What comes very close in the scheme of parameters while buying a projector screen, is the size of the screen. The size of the room is a significant factor in deciding the projection screen size. Ensure to measure the length of the room. Don’t simply buy the biggest screen your wall and budget can accommodate. Also, closely factor in the distance between the seating position and the screen.
Type Of The Screen - Fixed Or Retractable
There are two types of the screen - fixed or retractable to choose from. A fixed screen is mounted on the wall and stays in place similar to a TV or a painting. A retractable screen can hide or roll away when not in use. Retractable screens can either be manually pulled down or some variants even have a motorised auto mechanism.
However, the motorised screens are more expensive. Many motorised screens can also be automated with some projectors or smart home automation suites.
Key Rules To Remember For Different Projector Resolutions
- For a 1080p projector, the viewing distance should be one and half times the diagonal screen size. For e.g., If you are using a 120” screen, the projector should be roughly 15ft away.
- For a 4K projector, the viewing distance should be one time the diagonal screen size. This means the projector can be 10ft away for a 120” screen.
- The shape and size of your room will largely dictate the choice of the projector screen.
A word on the most overlooked factors people miss out on while hitting the buy button
Often, there are aspects that get side-stepped while considering the projector screens. The throw of the projector or the height or placement of the projector.
Besides, people tend to give a miss to the idea of investing in thicker curtains in rooms with excessive natural light conditions for daytime watching. It is also worthwhile to check out screens that have a black border outside the projection area for better contrast, depth perception and edge separation.
Hopefully, this blog will make the process of choosing and buying a projection screen a little easier for you. If you still need more assistance, feel free to get in touch with Ooberpad’s experienced, knowledgeable, and helpful team that will answer all your queries and help you choose the right projector and screen for your home theatre system, while catering to your specific needs.