How to Choose the Best Projection Screen?
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Top Best Projection Screen Based on Reviews and Price
Why You Need a Good Projection Screen?
Of course, you will get beautiful pictures mostly because of the projector. However, a projection screen plays a major role in making your slides beautiful and clear. In general, most people investing in a projector for the first time will often avoid investing in a screen. The reason is that they wish to save money and decide to project the slides on their walls. Naturally, a good quality screen will add to the cost of a projector setup. Nevertheless, it will play a major role in improving the quality of the picture. In turn, you will experience an overall enjoyment with the right projection screen.
You will come across screens made out of different materials. For instance, when you go for a vinyl screen, it will ensure a smooth-looking picture. Even, some manufacturers apply a special coating on the vinyl. This is done to change how the light of the projector is reflected back at viewers.
Now, with these things known, it becomes important to understand the points to consider in shopping for the right projection screen:
Top 7 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Projection Screen
1. Kind of Projector Screen
The basic thing to consider when selecting a projection screen is the kind of screen that will meet your requirements. You will come across different kinds of screens in the market. Some of them can be installed permanently, while others permit you to port them from a room or another. Even, you will come across screens that can be retracted and hidden when not in use. In general, any screen you buy will be brought under any of the following two main types and they are as follows:
Among the many types, permanent screens are the most familiar. As most people looking for projection screens for their home do not look for portability, they decide on a permanent screen as the right option for them. They come in different mounting styles and different sizes as well.
In case, you are a person preferring to move the projector from one room to another when required, you should consider buying a portable projection screen. They come with a couple of stabilizing feet or a tripod stand. For easy portability, you can retract these screens and can place them away. Even, you might come across portable floor rising projection screens. Some screens can be retracted in a heavy base that will act as the feet for stabilizing the screen.
2. Consider the Aspect Ratio
You might have heard about aspect ratio on your computer and television screens. When it comes to projection screens, the common aspect ratios are 16:9 and 4:3. It is nothing, but the ratio of the width of the screen to its height. But, when considering the aspect ratio, you should also remember about the native aspect ratio of your projector.
If you own an HD projector, the aspect ratio will be 16:9. This rule applies to 4K Projectors as well. Even, these projectors can have an aspect ratio of 17:9. When you take the case of HD-friendly WUXGA and WXGA multimedia projectors, the aspect ratio will be 16:10, while in the case of XGA projectors, it will be 4:3.
You can know the suitable aspect ratio to buy for your projection screen by looking at the highest native resolution suggested in your projector. When you know that resolution, you can use an online calculator to find the aspect ratio with which you will have to buy the screen.
3. Think About the Room
Just in case, you have decided to buy a permanent screen, you should never overlook the room in which you have planned to place the screen. All you have to do is to ensure that the room is of sufficient size to showcase a large image on the wall area in which you have planned to place the screen. Also, when considering the room, you will have to check for ambient light sources like French doors, windows and other factors that would prevent the room from getting dark enough for achieving a good video projection experience.
4. Consider the Screen Size
The size of the projection screen is yet another essential consideration. The most popular size when it comes to home cinema is between 100 and 120 inches. This measurement is generally made across the diagonal. It is done from the top-left-corner to the bottom-right-corner. This size range is generally ideal for most rooms. As it is big enough, it will provide your family with the best cinematic experience for sure. Also, this screen size will not strain most of the home cinema projectors available in the market.
Also, considering the size of the screen, the right placement is equally important. Make sure to place the screen at the eye-level and it should not be too high or low as these placements can strain your neck. The screen size should be selected in such a way that each person watching from any part of the room should find it easier to watch.
5. What is the Projection Screen’s Fabric?
Once you have decided on the type of projection screen to buy, you should also consider the fabric ideal. The reason is that varied screen fabrics can effectively handle varied environments and applications. The effectiveness of the fabric you select will rely on varied factors that include the media resolution used. The other factors that decide the effectiveness include the viewing angle of the audience, the acoustic and lighting conditions in the room and the resolution of the media used. You might feel it a complicated thing. But, when you understand the fabric of the screen, you can compare and choose the ideal fabric for your requirements. When deciding on the screen material, you should consider the following:
It is nothing, but the level of the light from the projector that is reflected back at the viewers. When the gain is higher, there will be more reflected light. In turn, you can see a brighter picture. Manufacturers of vinyl screens achieve different gain values by applying varied screen coatings to the base of the vinyl screen. But, the thing to remember here is that when there is an increase in the screen gain, there will be a decrease in the optimum viewing angle of the screen. When there is a high-gain screen, all viewers will have to sit more directly in front of the screen against sitting on the sides of the screen.
The color of the projection screen will decide the contrast of the projected image. Due to the brightness, white screens are always considered industry standards. For handling darker tones, gray screens are the better options. Even, gray screens are efficient in controlling the effect of ambient lighting as compared to white screens. Nevertheless, before opting for the gray screen, you will have to think about whether your projector is powerful to compensate for light and darker white colors.
If you plan to buy a 4K projection screen, screen texture is an essential consideration undoubtedly. Of course, even the most affordable pull-down projection screen will have a screen texture that is smooth. In turn, such a screen can provide excellent picture quality with HD video of up to 1080p. However, the smaller pixels of a real 4K projector and improved for 4K models need a screen material with a finer grit for showing all the depth and detail.
6. Are HD and 4K Essential to Consider?
Earlier, it was claimed that a screen is a screen irrespective of whatever you throw at it. However, years later, screen makers have discovered the HD and 4k-optimized surfaces. The reason is that it cannot be stated that a specific screen is ideally reflective as the quality of the surface will have an effect on the resolution of the picture. The unfortunate thing here is that at present there is no particular standard to measure the effect of screen material on its resolution. This makes it hard to differentiate the hype from the true improvement in performance.
7. Think Whether to Opt for a Perforated Screen
When you explore screen surface options, you will come across perforated screens. Perforations are nothing, but tiny holes. They are applied for enabling acoustic transparency. They will permit you to place the center and the front channel speakers behind the screen. You might come across this type of projection screen in fixed-frame screens in home theaters and even in movie theaters.
Wrapping It Up
Remember that your decision to invest in a projection screen is really good. But, careful consideration of the factors mentioned above will help you with the selection of the right screen.