Once you buy a projector, you’ll need to find a suitable projector screen that works best with your room size, ambient light, and projector luminosity, to optimize the picture quality for an enhanced visual experience.
The resources and information from this page, we hope these articles will help you make the best screen related decisions.
Check out our latest Projector Screen Reviews (or scroll down to the bottom of the page)
Choosing the Right Projector Screen
Ambient light, room size, and projector specifications, determine the type of projector screen that will work best for your needs. You can choose from a front projection screen - wall mounted or portable - to a fancy rear projection screen that manual or electric versions. If you are in a classroom, mounting the projector screen over the front whiteboard, would work best. A home theater system would also require mounting, however business projector systems are used for presentations, etc., that require more portability.
Tensioned or Non-tensioned Manual Projector Screens
These are common setups because they are the most inexpensive alternative. Manual projector screens pull down like a window shade when needed and flip back up between uses. Manufacturers have created tensioned models to enhance picture quality and solve the issue of bends and folds in non-tensioned screens. There is a manual screen case, Controlled Screen Return, that stops the projector screen from rolling back too quickly.
Article on Projector Screen Terminoloy:
Advice and factors in deciding which projector screen is right for you.
Types of Projector Screen Fabric
Let's define the two most important terms that screen fabric directly effects.
Screen gain is the measure of light reflectivity. A gain of 1.0 is the industry standard; 1.2 is 20% higher reflectivity.
Projector screen viewing angle is a measure of quality picture from the center of the screen to the far right and far left of the projection. Color distorts, and light dims, and a certain point on the angle on the viewing axis. Movie theaters are designed to give everyone the same picture quality no matter where they are seated.
Gray or White
High contrast gray screens mean that whites are less bright, and blacks are closer to actual black. Grey screens depend on sufficient projector luminosity, but reflect less room light than white screens which make them more effective in rooms with ambient light coming from other sources than the projector. There is an obvious advancement in picture quality from gray screens in rooms that are completely darkened.
As gain, or light reflectivity, increases, viewing angle decreases, so understanding the room your projector will be setup in is very important to determine the material your projector screen will be made out of.
For an in depth understand on the topics of touched on here, I've included the articles below:
Article on Projector Screen Quality
An intro to choosing a quality projector screen. Article by Stewart Filmscreen.
Article detailing the Types of Projector Screens:
Frames, Borders and Trim. Make sure you order the right projector screen. The right dimensions are just the beginning. This article will help you understand what many of your choices are.
Article on The Best Screen Material
Plain matte surface projector screens, high contrast screens (gray and white), and high contrast screens. Which will work best in your home theater?
How to choose the appropriate screen size?
There are three basic formats:
- Square - square screen are usually used for presentation and lower quality picture. 1:1 Ratio.
- Video Format - video format screens are a 4:3 ratio for standard television and computer monitor aspect ratio, and used for fullscreen and widescreen view.
- HDTV - HDTV screens have a 16:9 width to height ratio and are the only real option for optimal hi-definition picture quality for you home theater system.
Article on Screen Dimensions:
Here's how to compute height and width dimensions of a projector screen from the diagonal dimension, and how to calculate diagonal and height starting with projector screen width.
Buying your projector screen
Do not compromise on a screen after putting your investment in to the projector; this would be selling yourself short like buying an HDTV, without connecting the cable through HDMI.
Article on Buying a Projector Screen:
When ordering a projector screen, most screens are "special order". Get it right the first time to avoid large restocking fees. You'll want to remember to figure in the width of the frames, and other key factors, or you'll pay the price...
Being one of the leading projector review sites has it's perks. I've had the ability to review several of the best projector screens on the market. Information is great to have, but a lot of it is recycled without hands-on investigation. Below are the projector screens I've studied in detail and had the pleasure of using myself. Enjoy!
Carada Masquerade Masking System
No more letterbox: Enjoy the Masquerade, a fully motorized masking system. Use with Carada's, or almost anyone else's fixed screens!
Black Diamond Projector Screen Review
This projector screen is designed to work with in rooms with ambient light! Projector Reviews is offering an inside look at this great screen
Stewart Firehawk G3 Review
The G3 is the newest iteration of the lengendary Firehawk, high contrast screen. This high performance screen has been the "industry standard" for high contrast screens, and though expensive, is considered worth the price. (editor's note: I'm a bit biased - it is the screen I use in my larger home theater -art).
Gemmy Inflatable Outdoor Projector Screen
An extremely cool portable projector screen that can be used for outdoor events. An awesome innovation.
More Projector Screen Reviews
Epson ES1000 Portable Tabletop Screen - 02/05/2012 The Epson is a winner overall! Very portable, provides a great image, and comes at a low price... Nice!
Carada Masquerade CIH Motorized Masking System - 06/28/2011 The Masquerade eliminates visible letterboxing via motorized masking panels that slide in from the sides! Smooth performance, looks great!
Screen Innovations Black Diamond II 1.4 Projector Screen - 08/16/2010 A premium high contrast (yet bright) screen, ideal for rooms with hard to control ambient light. In some ways similar to the Firehawk, but very different in design, and different light rejection characteristics. Great against overhead lighting.
Elite Kestrel projector screen 6/10/10 This screen is a floor-riser - for those with limited space. This motorized screen can be placed behind, say, a dresser, sofa, or other furniture. Press the remote, and bingo, your screen rises up for viewing.
Visual Apex Vapex 106" Matte White Fixed Projector Screen - 11/03/2009 Not a full review, but I did take a good look, and put together this blog about the Vapex screen.
Stewart Filmscreen Firehawk G3 - 02/05/2007 I (Art) have been using a Firehawk screen for about 7 years I think. In 2007 I upgraded the Firehawk to the Firehawk G3 (thank you Stewart, for the free screen surface replacement). The Firehawk G3 (and it's SST variation) are pretty much the industry standard for high contrast gray surfaces.
Elite ezFrame Acoustic Pro 1080 projector screen. We decided to take a fresh look at Elite's newest acoustic projector screen, with it's substantially improved acoustic surface (compard to their similar older screen listed immediately below). Consider this a timely upgrade.
Elite Home2 Series Acoustic Screen
Not a bad first effort, but with some issues to be aware of. Extremely affordable.
Elite ezFrame High Contrast Grey Fixed wall projector screen
Carada: Criterion style, Brilliant White The Brilliant White, is an excellent, white surface, fixed wall projector screen, with a moderate price tag. It is the projector screen I use in my testing room for comparing projectors.
Screen Innovations: Visage Hi-Contrast Projector Screen
An ultra high contrast screen for bright ambient light situations - High contrast, and high price.
Elite Screens ezFrame - A very affordable, good quality fixed screen
Elite Screens - Home Series Motorized Projector Screen