Projector Screen Options: From Traditional to Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR)

November 24, 2023
Projector Screen Options: From Traditional to Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR)
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A projector is an essential component in creating a truly cinematic home entertainment experience with the best possible video quality.

However, it is just one of the components in the multi-element projection system. It’s not enough to just invest in a top of the line projector, also important is selecting a proper projection screen.

For the Uninitiated, What’s a Projector Screen?

The projection screen is a special reflective fabric (natural or synthetic), flat and smooth, where the images of the projectors must be displayed, ensuring a better visibility in the reproduction of these images.

That’s why looking at various projector screen options is of paramount importance.

A Common Question: Can’t I keep Projecting on a Wall? 

You may continue projecting on a wall. But using a projector on a wall can have several limitations, including ambient light. 

Projectors work best in dark or dimly lit environments. Even a small amount of ambient light can impact the image quality and brightness, making it difficult to see the projected image.

Depending on how demanding you are and if you want to get the most out of your projector, along with what functionality you aim for, you might need a projection screen.

Also Read: All You Need to Know About Projector Screens Sizes, Types and Setup

A Quick Look at the Types of Projector Screens

Types of Projector Screens

Image credit - Elite Screens

1) Ambient Light Rejecting Screen (ALR Screen)

An ambient light rejecting projector screen is also commonly referred to as an ambient light suppression projector screen.

Ambient light rejecting screens selectively reflect more of the projector's light back to the viewer, re-integrating the ambient lighting, so that it doesn't interfere too much with the image quality. As a result you get a brighter and vivid picture.

ALR projector screens are best-fit for rooms where it is difficult to control the amount of ambient light, at the same time though ALR screens tend not to support projectors and ambient lights hitting the screen in the same direction.

Remember, traditional light projection screens rely on specular reflection, which causes problems with glare and the so-called spotlight effect.

To counteract these issues, ambient light rejecting screens feature enhanced anti-glare (AG) properties which diffuse reflection to remove spotlighting.

Similar to these are CLR screens. The CLR screen is basically the same as the ALR, the key difference to note is that it exclusively rejects the light that comes from above (from the ceiling).

2) Electric Projection Screens

Operated by remote control, they have a sleek, elegant design and the single location provides convenient storage.

An electric projector screen is best for those who want the convenience of a large projector screen and have a large, semi-permanent area to dedicate to the screen. Electric projector screens can be mounted into the floor, wall or ceiling.

3) Manual Projector Screens

An alternative for those looking for a less expensive projector screen. These projection screens have a pulley at the bottom of the screen, which allows the operator to manually pull the screen up and down.

They have a controlled return feature so that the screen's can't be rolled up too quickly, which could cause damage to the screen. Similar to electric projector screens, these can be wall-mounted, ceiling-mounted or ceiling recessed-mounted.

However, these screens are much lighter than electric screens, since there are no motors attached. Also, since there is no risk of the motor breaking or wear and tear, they are easy to maintain.

4) Tripod Projector Screens

A portable projector screen is one of the most popular types of projector screens, as they don't limit the operator to one location.

Of these portable projector screens, a tripod projector screen is the most popular. A Tripod Projector Screen comes in two parts: the screen itself and the tripod stand that holds the screen up. They are lightweight and fold down into an easy to carry case.

5) Fixed Frame Screens

These belong to the most elite category of all projector screens. Although they can be used for commercial purposes, these screens are mostly found in the most impressive, premium home theaters.

These screens cannot be rolled up and down and are a permanent fixture in the room.

Also Read: The 7 best materials to use for creating your Outdoor Projection Screen

Our Top Recommendations for Projector screens

1) Elite Daywalker Series Projector screen

Elite Daywalker Series Projector screen

Image credit - Elite Screens

DayWalker Series is an ALR fixed frame projector screen that leverages Elite’s Edge Free technology. The global design shares a resemblance to a giant-size flat panel TV display. The DW comprises an ultra-thin trim as a set-up option to further enhance the overall appearance.

2) Elite Aeon CineGrey 3D Fixed Frame Projection Screen 

Elite Aeon CineGrey 3D Fixed Frame Projection Screen

Image credit - Elite Screens

Elite’s Aeon CineGrey 3D front projection screen with ambient light rejection is formulated for environments with minimal control over room lighting. Elite’s innovative edge-free design makes this fixed frame projection screen stylishly sleek for an exciting home theatre experience.

The lightweight and easy to assemble split-frame along with a fully tensioned screen surface delivers a stunning viewing experience.

Elite’s CineGrey 3D projection screen material is specially designed to enhance picture brightness, colour fidelity, and improved contrast levels. Accurate colour representation along with 4K Ultra HD (UHD), Active 3D, and HDR support ensures that Elite’s 92” fixed frame projection screen is ready for the next-generation of high-performance video in home theatres.

3) Elite Aeon CineGrey 5D Fixed Frame Projection Screen

Elite Aeon CineGrey 5D Fixed Frame

Image credit - Elite Screens

The Aeon CineGrey 5D® is a ceiling ambient light rejecting fixed frame screen with an EDGE FREE® design for a minimalistic appearance.

The CineGrey 5D® front projection material is the optimal solution for rooms that have little or no control over incidental light. It is the best fit for family rooms as well as lecture halls, boardrooms, sports bars, training facilities and other business environments.

CineGrey 5D is superior to traditional white or gray materials in its ability to maintain a sharp, bright image irrespective of ambient light. The angular reflective material incorporates a diffusion layer over a high reflective surface.

This causes direct light from the projector to reflect squarely into the viewer’s field of vision while the outer contrast layer boosts image quality while absorbing indirect ambient light.

4) Elite Saker Tab Tension for UST (Ultra Short Throw Projectors)

Elite Saker Tab Tension for UST

Image credit - Elite Screens

Elite Saker Tab Tension MaxWhite® FG Electric Motorized 16:9 Projection Screen incorporates a tab-tension system with MaxWhite Fiberglass material to maintain flatness all across the projection surface. Standard features comprises a wireless 5-12 volt trigger, IR/RF remote control package, and a detachable manual keypad switch.


We hope that this round-up offers an informative breakdown for the projector screen options available.

As discussed, there are many types of projection screens to choose from, just check which one best fits your budget and which will provide you with the best image. Our experts are here to help you choose the best one that fits your bill!

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