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General Screen Recommendations

Posted on July 11, 2009 by Art Feierman

I suspect that people won't be buying a projector screen to use with the projector. Rather, they will project onto a white or near white wall. It's been a long time since I've seen one, but mini-screens do exist, including those that retract into a tube. I've seen such small screens in sizes from about 16" diagonal. They can be opened up, and set on a table. By the way, I recommend finding a mini-tripod for setting up the projector. Those weigh only a few ounces and are typically less than 6 inches long.

If you are going to get a screen, I'd suggest a high gain screen if possible. That will help with ambient light, and provide some extra brightness. Some mini-screens come in high gain surfaces. One example is the Da-Lite Presenter screen shown here. It is 40" diagonal, sells for around $199, and has a particularly bright surface.

For a lot less money (around $50), Draper makes a 25" diagonal tabletop screen for pico projectors. I can't say that I've actually seen one, but here's an image I found.

With the advent of these pico projectors, look for a wide array of small, portable screens to be available shortly.

Also however, I suspect we will see some fancy screen technology to help out the brightness of these projectors. In the mid to late '90's when projectors were typically 300 - 700 lumens, and the LCD projectors used a different polarization scheme internally, there were some rigid flat screens with exceptional contrast, that allowed those projectors to project, say, a 60" diagonal image under full lighting and still look great. If those are compatible with the pico projector technology (so far DLP or LCoS), they might make a comeback, but in smaller sizes. I could picture a fold over consisting of four 9x12 panels, that when all opened up, would make for a bright 30 inch screen. Ya never know.

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