So you bought a brand new projector and you’re looking for the best projector screen. I was recently in the same situation, and after many long hours of research tests, I narrowed down some of my favourite projector screens.
Before we begin, it’s important to clarify a couple of points. For starters, cinema-grade projector screens don’t need to be very expensive. There are plenty of affordable projector screens on the market, some of which we’ll mention later on.
Best Projector Screens:
After extensive research, here are some of what I consider to be the best projector screens:
1 - HENZIN Projector Screen 100 Inch 16:9 HD 4K Portable
Notable Feature: Best for DIY Home Theaters
The HENZIN 100 inch projector screen is perfect for home theater enthusiasts. It’s very light and portable, weighing a total of 726 grams, and comes with a convenient storage sleeve.
What you need to know is this screen does not include the mount, it’s a plain screen with holes on the edges for ropes, nails, hooks, and other accessories. Hooks and adhesive stickers are included in the box.
The projector screen is made from a thick 100% anti-crease polyester material. The manufacturer claims that the material is two times thicker than regular projector screens, which offers clearer and more vibrate images.
Another point worth mentioning is the screen is washable; soak it in soap and water and gently rub to remove dirt and blemishes. Overall, a very well-rounded projector screen.
2 - Portable Projector Screen with 16:9 HD 4K Screen
Selling Point: Portable, Great for Gaming
Here we have another 100-inch diagonal projector screen that is quite similar to the one above, a plain projector screen with eyelet holes for custom installation.
It’s made from polyester and rated as anti-crease. They even mention you should hang the projector for a couple of days to remove the creases that occurring during shipping or from being stored for long periods of time.
The main difference with this product and the earlier one is this one includes more items in the package; 16 hooks, 5-meter ropes, and a storage bag. The ropes can come in handy as you can run them through each of the eyelets to hold the projector in place.
It’s very light and portable, weighing only 780 grams. If you’re looking for a simple projector screen that you can install as you please, then this portable projector is worth checking out.
3 - Luxburg® 80" 186x104 cm
Best for Permanent Home Theaters & Storage Space
Here’s a more permanent projector screen solution. This projector screen has a built-in automatic roller powered by an electric motor, which means it can lower and raise at the press of a button. You can control the screen with both an RF remote control or manual control. It rolls up and down nicely with no creases or twists – a great space-saver!
Bear in mind, installation is required, and, to secure the projector screen in place, you’ll most likely have to drill hooks into either the ceiling or wall. As I said, it’s a more permanent solution, and it’s great for home theatres.
As for the screen, you can choose from a wide variety of styles, sizes, and materials at check-out, I recommend Matt White because the images are more vivid. The rear of the sheet is black and opaque, designed to make images pop. In short, a really nice and modern electric projector screen, and surprisingly budget-friendly too.
4 - Celexon Portable, Light and Mobile Projector Tripod Screen
Best for Indoors; Movies or Presentations
Here we have a decent portable projector screen with a lightweight tripod stand. I recommend this for quick home use but not for outdoors because a light breeze can easily twist the screen or knock it down. It’s essentially a sail. For indoor use, it’s great though.
On that note, very little assembly is required, and you don’t need to drill or make holes in any walls or ceilings. Once again, you can select a variety of sizes, the one I recommend is 177 x 100 cm.
The material used is fibreglass fabric with a black opaque background. Overall, if you want a nice lightweight projector screen and standing mount, then this one is worth a look. The stand is adjustable too. Recommended for indoor use.
5 - KHOMO GEAR Huge Inflatable Theater Projector Screen for Outdoor
Best for Outdoors & Camping Trips
Here we have a slightly different style of a projector screen, an inflatable home theatre projector screen. On the surface, when fully inflated, this product will look like a kid’s bouncing castle. While quite large (187 inches) the inflatable projector screen is easy to install.
You simply use the include electric air pump and watch the screen inflate. The style is great for outdoors because it includes ropes and pegs to nail into the ground and keep it firmly in place. While not the most budget-friendly, it’s has a very large screen area and it’s perfect for camps and other outdoor adventures. The package includes an electric pump, ropes, pegs, and a carrier bag. Perfect for outdoors!
What to Look for When Buying a Projector Screen
There are a lot of technical factors that you need to consider when it comes to buying a projector screen, and it can be confusing figuring out which ones to focus on. Besides that, there are also viewing distance, size, and screen ratio factors. We’ll run through some of the most important features to keep an eye out for in the next sections.
Can You Use a Projector Without a Screen?
You can use a projector without a screen but the image won’t be as clear because projector screens are made with a special reflective material that helps make the image appear brighter. Using a proper projector screen is much better because the projection will be brighter, images clearer, and smudges or marks won’t stand out as much as they do on plain walls.
Granted, the image will be visible, and depending on your projector’s brightness and how dark it is in your home, a plain white wall could be sufficient for casual use. Regardless, I recommend using a professional projector screen.
What is the Best Projector Screen Ratio?
The best aspect ratio for a projector screen is 16:9 because most media is formatted to that aspect ratio, including video games, TV shows, and movies. 1080p is the most common resolution for media today and it works best with a 16:9 display screen. I recommend looking for projectors that have at least a 16:9 aspect ratio.
What is the Best Projector Screen Size?
The best projector screen size is in the 100-120 inch range, at least for home theaters. Before you buy a screen, I suggest measuring the area you plan to install it and see how far your couch or viewing area is from it. Here’s a quick chart that might help you:
- 100-inch: Ideal viewing distance of 3m
- 110-inch: Best viewing distance of 3.3m
- 120-inch: Optimal viewing distance of 3.6m
The rule is not set in stone, but it’s a handy formula for easy viewing distance calculations.
Portable or Fixed Projector Screens?
These two projector screen styles have their individual benefits. Portable screens are great for outdoor viewings or camping tips while fixed projector screens are best for indoors. Consider what you plan to use the projector screen for and that will make it easier to decide which style is ideal for you. It doesn’t hurt having both styles!
Projector Screen Materials:
As you might have noticed, projector screens can be made from a wide variety of materials. Honestly, in most cases, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference from a budget-friendly screen and one that’s professional-grade.
Needless to say, I recommend investing a bit more in a quality screen material because it will last much longer. A couple of materials you can consider are blackout cloth, tarpaulin, and vinyl. Make sure the rear has a solid black background. Most cinemas use blackout cloth, but that’s not usually found in pre-made projector screens, it’s mostly for DIY home theatres (which is an option you can explore).
Buying a projector screen can seem daunting but it doesn’t have to be. As long as you buy one that matches the ideal projection size of your projector, everything should fall into place. You will have to adjust a number of settings and maybe move some furniture around but at the end of the day, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Image credit:”projector screen” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by arj03