One may need a projector screen for a number of reasons. Any presentation will look better on a high-quality screen. And if you want to create a cozy holiday cinema at home, it becomes a crucial part of the whole experience. Ease of installation and use, a proper size, a proper type, a proper curve if any…lots of questions, right?
To make it easier to choose the right thing on the first try, we’ve created this buyer’s guide with 5 TOP options for different purposes. And if you want to learn everything about projector screens, proceed to the actual guide section, where we’re explaining the types, sizes, and purposes.
Ready to choose the top screen for your projector?
1. SUNCOO 15ft Inflatable Movie Screen – Best Outdoor Option
Easy Handling and Setup
Although it provides a 12ft viewing area, the screen is relatively light, only 22lbs. It’s highly portable and doesn’t take a lot of space when folded. The item is also easy to install; the blower comes in the package. It’s very quiet and won’t distract you from watching movies.
The screen canvas is made from silk and has velcro parts that can be easily removed when needed. The frame is black to enhance the brightness of the image. It’s made from a tougher fabric – Oxford cloth. This increases the longevity of the item. The frame is easily cleaned with a wet cloth.
The screen offers both front and rear projection, and there are no seams in the middle of the screen. This improves the experience and provides a sharper image without distortions.
This is a great portable screen made especially for cozy picnics and movie nights. Nowadays, home movie nights are more valuable than ever, and this screen will provide a true cinema experience.
The one con is frequent reports of tears near the blower. If you happen to have such an issue, contact the company as soon as possible. They are very responsive and will provide a replacement in the shortest time.
2. Elite Screens VMAX2 Your Best Option Overall
This is an electric large 135” diagonal screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio and an exclusive screen material called MaxWhite FG.
Exclusive Screen Material
The MaxWhite FG screen has a back cover made from black fiberglass for a brighter image. You can view in 3D, as well as 4K Ultra HD. It resists mildew, stains, and is very easy to clean with soapy water and a soft cloth. The material is GreenGuard certified, which means it’s not harmful to the environment.
Great Tech Characteristics
With 1.1 gain, the screen provides a 180-degree viewing angle due to the specially designed textured white surface. There are also remotes for this screen included: IR (infrared) and RF (radio frequency) ones. The power consumption is very low, and the work is quiet.
You can mount this gigantic multifunctional screen on the wall or ceiling, depending on what’s more convenient. The metal case is very sturdy, as well as the screen itself. Its fiberglass backing is pitch black, not allowing the light to penetrate it.
The manufacturer provides a 2-year warranty.
Some buyers say it’s enough, and there are no problems with the quality of the image or materials. Others say that issues start appearing after the warranty expires. But it’s not the concerning part. The company or any other service center won’t repair such screens.
3. Silver Ticket Products STR Series – Best Option for Home Use
It provides a diagonal viewing area of 110” and is great for 16:9 resolution videos.
An adequate gain of 1.1 in combination with a wide 160-degree viewing angle provides opportunities for viewing in Full HD, 4K, 8K, as well as Active 3D. This screen is suitable both for home cinemas and gaming corners. You can benefit from it using ultra-short, short, and long-throw projectors.
The frame is made from beveled aluminum and has a cover from black velvet. This material absorbs light very well, providing a sharp picture on the white screen.
The tension screen is easy to install using rods included in the package. Due to the tension technology, there are no wrinkles on the canvas, which also means a smooth picture with no distortions.
There’s a detailed instruction in the manual, so even if you find it difficult to install the screen at first, with the instructions, it won’t be hard at all.
Before you choose a size, make a measurement by projecting an image on the wall where the screen will be. If you don’t know how, there’s a video with instructions from the manufacturer. It’s also worth mentioning that in the package, some details are very small, so it’s advised to store them away from children because of a choking hazard.
The light-absorbing frame does its work very well! The installation isn’t difficult, but it might take 50 to 90 minutes the first time, with unpacking and all.
4. Pyle Portable Projector Screen Top Portable Choice
The portable design of the screen is very convenient:
- The stand is very lightweight;
- The screen is retractable, which makes it easier to operate when you need to set a presentation quickly;
- It’s easy to set up, suitable for use at the home, office, or any other setting;
- Although it’s lightweight, the screen is quite durable, and the stand is sturdy;
- The canvas is resistant to mildew and heavy stains;
- It’s also fire-retardant;
- To improve image focus, there are black borders on all sides of this white screen.
You can put the item on any flat surface, which makes it an even more versatile option. A
nother good thing is that the screen works just as well inside and outside.
The auto-lock feature helps a lot when you want to alter the scale. It rolls in and out in mere seconds, contributing to the convenience of use.
This is an easy-to-use option, great for people who travel a lot, as it’s very light compared to the other screens on the list. The item is affordable yet provides a bright image on a matte white screen. The only con is that the screen isn’t always perfectly flat due to the nature of the construction. There might be a bubble in the middle. However, this is a problem with most retractable screens.
5. NIERBO 300 Inches With HD Materials
High-Quality HD Materials
The materials of this screen are impressive:
- Canvas material provides HD view, combining a relatively high gain (1.6) and a wide viewing angle (160°);
- The material is very durable and thick, can be folded like a piece of clothing;
- It has no odor, becoming one of the most environment-friendly options;
- The canvas is washable (hand-wash) and iron-friendly (only low temperature);
- The metal eyelets provide lots of easy installation opportunities. Install the screen on hooks and loops, nails, ropes, etc.;
- Due to double the thickness of regular low-cost screens, the canvas provides a higher absorbance rate.
Use the screen indoors or outdoors. It fits perfectly in 11ft-13ft and larger rooms. The item is foldable and highly portable. NEIRBO screen has an aspect ratio of 16:9, allowing for a cinema experience in the comfort of your living room.
A lot of people choose not to iron the screen but to stretch it evenly and tightly to remove all the deformations the washing may inflict. This makes it easy to maintain. The company is very responsive, as well. If there’s any problem with the item, its installation, or use, you can contact customer service via email. The team will reply within 24 hours.
The one slight drawback is that the screen comes folded and may have wrinkles as you unpack it. After tightening, give it a day or two to flatten out.
Projector Screen Buyer’s Guide. Things to Consider When Choosing the Right One
The types of projector screens are plenty. Choosing one for your needs might take some time while you’re looking for necessary features to find the ultimate combo. To save you a little of that time, we’re going to walk you through the types and features of projector screens. By the end of the article, you’ll be able to find the proper option by briefly looking through the types and numbers in the description.
This is a 10-minute read, maybe less, but it will save you at least an hour of looking for the info online. Ready?
Projector Screen Types
First of all, ask yourself what functionality you need from the screen. Will it be stationary in your cinema room? Or maybe you want a portable one to carry for presentations? What surface will you mount the thing on, ceiling or wall?
This will narrow the choices very much.
If you need a screen that is retractable, choose between electric or manual retraction. Electric will be much more convenient if the motor is good, but such options usually cost more. A manual pull-down screen will need more moves from you, but they are cheaper, and you won’t worry about the motor.
There are also fixed frame screens. These are good for permanent use.
More portable solutions include:
- Floor rising;
- Tripod screens.
These are easier to install and are usually very mobile.
This is a universal option for homes, offices, auditoriums, even outdoor cinemas. Usually, you should give the new, highly light reflective layer 24 hours to cure. However, if the matter is urgent, the screen can be used immediately. Just make sure nothing touches it.
Projector Screen Fabric
More often than not, people opt for fabric-type, not the paint. This is due to the ability to move and remove the screen, which a paint-type screen cannot provide. The choice of fabric depends on:
- The type of screen;
- Frequency of use;
- The lighting and acoustics;
- The viewing angle, etc.
The name of the fabric isn’t the most important thing for a buyer, but its properties are. The first things to consider are:
- The brightness of your screen;
- Viewing angle of the material.
These are correlated because more gain gives a smaller viewing angle and vice versa. Let’s find out more about these two features and other things you should know.
Gain means how reflective the surface is. The standard gain is 1, which means the brightness of the actual projection equals the brightness that you see. If the gain is lower, it means the image comes out faded, which isn’t that bad for rooms with low lighting. If the feature is higher than 1, this means you’ll get a brighter image as a result, which is a great choice for lighter rooms.
This feature describes the angle from the center of the screen at which you can still clearly see the image. Many screens reflect light perpendicularly, providing the best view if you’re seated in front of the screen’s center. Others help dissipate some of the light in other directions, lowering gain but increasing the viewing angle.
While these are two of the most important factors, there are others:
- Fabric color. The color determines the contract of the image you will see. White is the brightest, but the darker tones may seem a bit washed out. It’s still a standard, but if the darker tones are a priority, there are also grey screens. Grey screens, nevertheless, require more powerful projectors to sustain the whiter shades.
- Acoustic transparency. This feature allows for the sound to pass through the screen. This is important if you want to put speakers behind it. The perforated type has small holes sound waves can pass through that don’t distort the image and are barely visible if you’re at a viewing distance.
The name of the fabric isn’t that important. Manufacturers tend to create exclusive combinations of the woven canvas, fiberglass, PVC, and other materials.
Projector Screen Size
Another thing to consider is the size and aspect ratio of your future screen. Your choice should depend on the formats of viewing you usually use, as well as the power and functionality of the projector itself. The most commonly used aspect ratios (sizes) are:
- HDTV 16:9 format. This is the widest format, which offers the best aspect ratio. This is the HDTV format, but it also requires a powerful projector. The highest quality of the image is usually delivered through such screens. There are even wider screens, but they aren’t widely available.
- Widescreen 16:10 format. This is a special format that is becoming more and more popular nowadays. It may be difficult to match it with a projector as it needs a native WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution. You should get such a screen only if using the Widescreen PC format more often than the others. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money.
- 35:1 cinema screen format. This is a good format if you’re trying to create a real cinema at home. We don’t mean a mini cinema but a full-size cinema. The screens aren’t widely available unless you’re opening a real cinema. For a regular home, such screens will be too large and expensive.
- 4:3 standard video format. The 4:3 ratio is the standard TV one. If projecting from a TV or a computer screen, this format might be the best for you. When switching many times between widescreen and fullscreen watching, this standard format is a good option.
- Square 1:1 format. This is a square screen with available variations. These are usually bought by people who do a lot of presentations with projectors that are mounted on the ceiling. You can watch movies on such screens as well, but the image will be smaller due to the difference in the canvas size and the screen you’re projecting from.
Invest Your Time in Getting a Proper Screen
Technologies are always developing. A lot of companies combine materials to create HD screens that allow watching in 3D, as well as other improved features. There are more things to come, but for now, decide what you need from the screen.