Watching movies at home is a very popular pastime these days, especially during the quarantine. More people are investing in their own home theaters with versatile and modern home cinema projectors. For anyone that wants a real cinema experience in their own home, the best way to achieve this feeling is to find a suitable projector and screen for their home.
Most people pay more attention to the projector’s quality when considering a home cinema and not as much to the projector screen that also plays a vital role in the movie’s presentation. It’s important to remember that if you have a projector without a projector screen, your picture quality will be subpar and you are wasting the benefits of a high-quality machine.
You can’t just show a movie on your wall, even if it has a spotless and crisp white appearance because any imperfection will be very obvious. When you do choose a projector screen, you will need to decide between a freestanding or wall-mounted screen as well as its aspect ratio and size. The screen can also be motorized or manual.
No matter what your budget is, it is possible to find a high-quality screen that will complete your home theatre setup. With this large screen that can fill your entire wall, you will be able to not only watch movies but also watch the game or even play video games.
However, it can be challenging to find the best projector screen for your needs. Here are a few tips and reviews to help you find the best projector screen for your home theatre needs.
What types of projector screens are there?
Fixed frame screens
A fixed frame screen stretches material over its thick metal frame, which is covered in a black velour that creates a black border that frames the screen. With this border, your perceived contrast of the image is improved. As you set up the projector, it’s not always possible to ensure that the image fills the screen exactly, so when a little part of the image falls onto the frame, the material in the black border is able to absorb it.
Typically, fixed frame screens come with very thin frames that measure a ½-inch or less. These screens will give you the largest size images and also look similar to a large flat-screen TV.
Fixed frame screens can either come preassembled and are ready to mount onto your wall as well as an unassembled screen that you will need to assemble using a few basic tools.
For anyone that would love a projector screen in their home for movie nights, but not have to store it or see it the rest of the time, the best option is a motorized screen. This type of screen will roll up into a metal case that is either mounted on the ceiling or the wall. The long case holds the built-in electric motor that is powerful enough to lower and raise the screen noiselessly when you press a button.
The motorized screen installation is a bit more involved than fixed frame screens since it requires a power supply for the motor. And most of the motorized screens will also require a trigger input that tells the screen when to lower when the projector is turned on. This trigger also needs a low-voltage connection from the screen to the projector.
Typically a motorized screen is referred to as a non-tensioned screen, which means that the screen surface is hanging freely from the long metal case it is housed in. however, this means that the non-tensions screen will also experience imperfections, ripples, and waviness.
With a tensioned screen, you get a system of tabs and cables that provide constant tension to the surface of the screen providing a more uniform and flatter surface. A tensioned screen is the highest performing retractable screen type and has the closest image quality to a good-quality fixed frame screen.
Typically found in offices and schools, a manual projector screen is also the most affordable and easiest to install. Using a roller and spring mechanism, the screen pulls down from inside a case and unrolls into the screen as you pull. It is very similar to a regular window shade.
You won’t find screen coatings and materials that will be the same quality as that of a motorized screen with a roller projector screen. However, you will get an image that has a smoother look than if you just projected the image onto your wall.
A tripod can be a little bulkier and harder to assemble than other screens. Depending on the quality of the screen, a tripod screen can reproduce images with crisp detail, and you should not be able to see through it.
These screens come in a range of sizes with larger screens used for showing movies. Just remember that the larger the screen is, the harder it is to set up and carry, plus you’ll need to make sure you have space to store it.
A tripod screen also needs to be sturdy as these types of screens are known for tipping or blowing over. Always look for a tripod screen that uses a heavy-duty screen and wide-set tripod legs to help improve its sturdiness.
The best part of a tripod screen is how easy they are to take to different locations like your backyard or on vacation. Lighter weight materials make the stand easier to carry, so look for aluminum stands to make portability easier. Tripod screens that come with a carrying bag also make portability a lot less work.
Our Recommended Projector Screens
Elite Screens Spectrum 2
The Elite Screens Spectrum2 is a 110-inch projector with a 12-inch drop and all steel housing. This is an easy to install projector with an end bracket that works with a ceiling or wall mounting with the included hardware. You can also buy separate hardware if you want to install it with a suspension mount.
Available in either black or white housing options, the Elite Screens Spectrum2 offers either a 16:10, 4:3, or 16:9 aspect rations in either sound transparent or matte white screen material options. This plug-and-play projector comes with an IR remote that you can easily control with its three-way wall switch. It also features projector synchronization through the 5 to 12-volt trigger that is included with purchase.
The perfect solution for someone looking for a high-quality projection screen at an affordable price, the Elite Screens Spectrum 2 floating mount brackets that allow for easy alignment. There is an optional remote-control kit that you can purchase separately.
The Elite Screens Spectrum2 features a 180-degree wide viewing angle and one gain. It is HDR, Active 3D, and 4K Ultra ready, and black masking borders that help to enhance the picture contrast. And the black backing helps to prevent light loss and penetration.Buy on Amazon
Elite Screens Aeon Series
This 120-inch projection screen features a 16:9 aspect ratio and includes wall mount brackets that ensure a centered and secure installation. With a 1.3 gain, this Active 3D and 4K Ultra HD projection ready unit feature a lightweight and easy to assemble split aluminum frame. The Elite Screens Aeon Series is also an easy to clean projector screen that wipes off easily with water and soap.
This fixed frame projection screen uses the Elite Screens EDGE FREE technology. With the EDGE FREE design, you get a screen that resembles a large-sized flat panel TV. The Elite Screens Aeon Series features ultra-thin trim that further enhances the projector’s overall appearance.
Offering a smaller footprint, the Elite Screens Aeon Series maximizes the unit’s viewing area. With a 180-degree viewing angle, you get an impressive and impactful presentation. The fixed frame is sleek and offers fully tension projection screens that are borderless and feature a 1.3 gain.
The Elite Screens Aeon Series offers wide diffusion uniformity that allows you to enjoy a bright and clear picture from any angle. It is compatible with standard, short, and ultra-short “long” throw projectors. It is also ISF Certified for black and contrast levels.Buy on Amazon
Akia Screens Projector Screen
The Akia Screens Projector Screen is a retractable ceiling or wall mount projection screen that can be used as a home theater or for office use. This 104-inch projector screen comes with a motorized electric remote that offers a controlled drop-down feature. This 4:3 HD format aspect ratio projector has a 1.1 gain and a multi-layer weave as well as a viewing angle that is180 degrees wide.
This projector screen has a completely black back that features a textured surface. the Akia Screens Projector Screen is both Active 3D and 4K Ultra HD Projection Ready. Easy to clean and set up, this screen comes completely assembled and plug and play-ready.
Equipped with durable housing, the Akia Screens Projector Screen is easy to install thanks to the included installation kit. This mildew-resistant screen comes with a long-distance radio frequency remote, and the tubular motor offers fast speeds and operation. And the synchronous motor provides low power consumption and quiet operation.
The included sturdy and durable aluminum black case is capable of suspended ceiling installation while the black=masking borders offer increased picture contrast. The black material also increases brightness while eliminating light penetration and provides a sharp and clear presentation without the loss of projected light.Buy on Amazon
TaoTronics Projector Screen
Equipped with a stand, the TaoTronics Projector Screen has a wrinkle-free design that is easy to clean and comes with a carrying bag. This screen features a 160-degree viewing angle and a 1.1 gain. This is a premium PVC matte projector screen that prevents yellow staining.
With a quick two-minute setup, the TaeTronics Projector Screen only has a few steps to set it up and doesn’t require any screws. The wider viewing angle provides a less reflective and clearer screen, so you won’t need to sit right in front of the screen to see it. The included stable tripod stand also fits easily into the carrying case for storage or transport.
Offering a versatile viewing experience, the TaeTronics is ideal for outdoor movie screenings, churches, weddings, offices, schools, or home use. It can also be used for displays and PowerPoint presentations. The height of the projector is adjustable up to 110-inches and offers a 4:3 aspect ratio display.Buy on Amazon
VIVO Diagonal Projector Screen
Featuring a durable metal casing, the Vivo Diagonal Projector Screen can be installed on either the ceiling or the wall and is ideal for business or home use. With a crisp viewing angle up to 120 degrees, this projector screen includes a matte white surface that diffuses light in any direction. The screen material has a 1.1 gain and a standard black backing that eliminates any light penetration.
With a four-side black border, you get enhanced picture contrast. The Vivo Diagonal Projector Screen is also universally compatible with the majority of DLP, LED, or LCD projectors on the market. This is a manual projector screen that is affordable and easy to use.
Perfect for personal or professional use, this projector can be used in classrooms, home theaters, and businesses. The Vivo Diagonal Projector Screen is a high-quality screen that allows for smooth transitioning into your preferred screen height.
With a wide viewing angle, you can prevent hot-spotting while providing outstanding clarity and image reproduction from all angles. The Vivo Diagonal Projector Screen is made with black backing and a high-quality multilayer matte that is simple to clean with water and mild soap.Buy on Amazon
What is a projector screen made of?
Made of either vinyl or treated textile, projection screens come in either a white color or different shades of gray. The surfaces are infused with glass beads and various levels of light gain. The gray color of the screen helps the projector balance colors while creating a deep and dark black color on the screen.
What are the advantages of a projector screen?
There are several advantages of having a projector with a customized screen size being one of the biggest. Unlike a TV, you can adjust the screen on a projected image to be larger or smaller depending on your preferences. Having a projector screen will allow you to create whatever sized image you want, which is also helping in promoting eye comfort for those that need images and words larger in order to read easily.
Some projector screens are also portable, which gives you more options as to where you use them. It is always fun to go outside and watch a movie in the backyard.
What are the disadvantages of a projector screen?
The main disadvantage of a projector screen is its semi-permanent design. Many screens are mounted to a wall or ceiling making them impossible to use somewhere else in your home or your backyard. It can also be a bit of a pain if you move frequently to have to remove and then install it again.
And depending on the projector screen you purchase, maintenance and storage can also be an issue. If you have a screen that is not mounted all the time, you will need to make sure you have the room to store it when it’s not in use.