Why buy a screen? It’s a question we’re asked often. Many persons mistakenly think that a straightforward painted white wall or an ordinary white bed sheet can do the job aswell. While you will dsicover an image of sorts with either of the options it’ll be one where detail, contrast and colour fidelity are heavily compromised.

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Last updated on May 17, 2022 7:01 pm

Conventional paint on a wall isn’t made to reflect light within an even way and, regardless of how smooth the plaster on the top, the light will be scattered. A sheet is merely as bad, adding too little flatness compared to that sorry set of failings. There’s no two ways about any of it, if you need an authentic cinema experience you’ll desire a proper screen, and that applies to when you use a patio projector too!

Don’t worry, they don’t must be massively expensive. Decent options begin from below £100 with premium offerings just above the grand mark. While we’re not discussing insignificant sums of money, in the context of the projector home cinema system, those outlays are reasonable.

The first thing you should decide is what size you want the screen to be. This is determined by just how much space you have, but typical sizes have a tendency to be between 96 – 120 inches (measured diagonally). Domestic TV screens could be getting bigger constantly nonetheless they don’t compare to the scale of the image you’ll arrive here.


While it’s tempting to achieve the biggest screen which will easily fit into the available space, just ensure that it’s possible to start to see the bottom edge of the screen out of every seating position. Also, don’t get a size so large you need to move your eyes to start to see the whole of the screen. It’s a distressing feeling comparable to sitting in the first row of seats in a cinema.

A projector’s throw ratio determines what lengths it should be put from the screen
Choosing the right-sized screen
It’s important to make certain your projector will fill the screen from its intended position. You should use the unit’s throw ratio information to discern this. Just divide the length between your projector and screen by the throw ratio and you’ll get the image width. It’s vital that you remember that it’s image width not the diagonal.

Image width x Throw ratio = Distance from screen

So, when you have a screen that’s 2.6m wide and a projector with a throw ratio of just one 1.3 you will have to put the projector 3.38m from the screen.

In addition to the size of screen, consider the sort. Do you want a set model that sits on your own wall or a roll-up option which can be hidden away after use? The answer will depend on if the room is a multi-use space. If so, hiding the screen away makes a whole lot of sense. In a dedicated home cinema room the fixed option may be the way to go, as the screen is always ready for viewing and adequately tensioned to make sure a smooth, flat work surface for the projector’s image. In addition, it doesn’t need capacity to operate any motors.

As the fashion with TVs dictates a minimal border is ideal, we advise against carrying that to projector screens. It’s better to get yourself a fixed screen with a comparatively wide frame. The frame ought to be covered with black light absorbing material, in order that any portion of the projector image that falls onto it isn’t reflected. This signifies that millimetre perfect alignment of the projector’s image isn’t required and in addition that your picture is properly framed, helping it standout.

A thicker border around the screen supports picture contrast
Just how much gain do I want?
There are other activities to consider about projector screens. Some options will be white, you’ll also find grey and even black variants. These darker choices are designed for use in more brightly-lit rooms.

Another factor is screen gain. Consider the specifications of any screen and you will see a gain figure. An increase of just one 1.0 signifies that the screen reflects all of the light that shines onto it, while higher numbers ensures that the image on the screen is brighter when viewed from straight ahead but its image suffers when viewed from wider viewing angles.

Higher gain screens seem sensible in brighter rooms but may also suffer issues with ‘hot spotting’ where in fact the middle of the screen can look brighter compared to the edges or is suffering from glare. In case you have a projector that doesn’t render blacks perfectly or a darker room, it’s really worth considering a screen with an increase below 1.0. This will make things darker and optimize the results you get. If your projector has enough light output, the increased loss of reflected light my not be a concern, therefore the gains will be worthwhile.

If your screen is put before your centre speaker make certain it is manufactured from perforated material. The holes allow acoustic output from the speaker go through the screen easier, so keeping soundtracks sounding good.

Lastly, the very best projectors have a restricted light output and so are designed for use in darkened rooms. Make an effort to keep your room as dark as possible to increase the contrast and colour integrity of the image you see.