Projection Screens Shopping Guide
The projection screen is an essential component of a home theater setup, as its quality determines the consistency of image and color rendering. Multiple factors should be taken into account when buying a projection screen, including the size, aspect ratio, material, and the type of mounting on the wall. Moreover, buyers should also consider the room configuration and the type of images they want to project. This guide will help you get the best projection screen for your needs.
Types of Projection Screens
The first thing to decide when buying a projection screen is the installation type. You can choose a fixed projection screen, an electric projector screen, a manual pull-down projector screen, or a folding frame projection screen.
Fixed Projection Screen
Those looking for a setup to use for multimedia entertainment, a projection screen with a fixed frame is a good option. Suitable for installation on a wall or ceiling, this type of projection screen looks more or less like a television screen and provides exceptional image quality. There is no need to wrap them up, and the projected image never suffers from any kind of distortion.
Electric Projection Screen
Often large in size, this type of projection screen is suitable for use in classrooms, conference rooms, and even home theaters if you have the space. Electric projector screens can be easily controlled with a wall switch or a remote control. You can choose between a floor mounted and ceiling recessed projection screen with electric controls. Floor mounted models often have a plug-and-play design, whereas ceiling recessed ones generally require assistance from a professional electrician for installation.
Manual Pull-Down Projection Screen
Manual pull-down projector screens are generally more affordable than electric ones, being easier to install as well. These projection screens are available in multiple forms, including tripods, folding frame screens, and tabletop projection screens.
Folding Frame Projection Screen
Folding frame projectors come in multiple sizes and their main advantage is that you can fold them completely for easy storage. They are also easy to transport, being a suitable choice for classrooms.
Size of the Screen
When choosing the size of a projection screen, take into account the way you want to use your projector and the distance you sit. For fixed screens, consider the size of the wall as well. Popular screen sizes are between 100 and 120 inches, as they provide a cinematic experience while fitting in most rooms. A 120-inch 16 x 9 aspect screen measures about 59 inches in height and 105 inches in width, so take into account the distance from the viewer and the viewing angle.
Projection screens usually come in a couple of standard formats, with the most common of them being square, HDTV, and video format. Square format screens have a 1:1 ratio and are a good option for overhead projectors and data presentations. If you want to switch frequently between full screen and widescreen viewing, opt for a 4:3 ratio video format projection screen. HDTV projection screens are ideal for home theater settings, and they come with a 16:9 ratio.
All projection screens have a gain, a term that refers to the amount of light the screen reflects. Even though it might be tempting to just go for the highest gain possible, the truth is that this may not always produce the best results. For example, a lower gain is likely to produce a better picture in a light-controlled room, whereas a higher gain would be a good option for a narrow room or a low-lumen projector. A popular option is to choose a gain between 1.0 and 1.3.
Contrary to popular belief, screen projectors are not always white, and choosing the right color has to do with the brightness of the room. A white screen is a good choice for a completely white room, but for rooms that get more ambient lighting, a screen with a silver color may be a better option. Reviewers mention screen materials such as Draper’s XS850E and Stewart Filmscreen’s Firehawk as excellent options for those looking for silver-colored projection screens. Black projection screens exist as well and they are suitable for those rooms that get lots of light. For example, the Screen Innovations’ Black Diamond projection screen produces excellent results even in a fully-lit room.
Regular projectors with 3D capabilities do not require a special type of projection screen to enjoy 3D images, but if you own a dual-projection system for 3D, look for a screen made from a special material that achieves the 3D effect by retaining polarization. Examples of such screens that receive good rates from reviewers include Stewart Silver 5D, Mocomtech, or Elite Screens AirBright 3D2.
Best Projector Screens to Purchase
Investing in a high-quality screen can provide you with countless hours of enjoyment. Have a look at some of the best projector screens available on the market, and click on the links below to navigate through the selection available on BestSales.
Best Choice Products Home Movie Projector Screen
Suitable for both home theaters and business setting, the Best Choice Products Home Movie Projector Screen is easy to setup and rolls away so you can store it with ease. Reviews praise this 119-inch screen for the quality of images and ease of installation and use.
Da-Lite Cosmopolitan Electrol Projector Screen
Recommended by many reviewers for its large display surface and smooth transitions between display and storage, the Da-Lite Cosmopolitan Electrol projector screen installs on both wall and ceiling mounts. The screen comes equipped with a 120-volt motor that rolls and unrolls the canvas easily and without too much noise.
Epson Duet Ultra-Portable Projector Screen
An extendable screen size that suits both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios and enhanced portability make the Epson Duet ultra-portable projector screen a perfect choice for those looking for ultimate versatility in their screen. This Epson projection screen comes with a carrying case for safe storage.
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