A lot of things are meant to go together. Bed and pillow, spoon and fork, pen and paper, quill and parchment – there are plenty of things that could only be enjoyed as a pair.
For the purposes of home entertainment, the main example that comes to mind is a home theater projector. Without a projector screen it would be almost useless. And just the same, a screen without a projector questions its own existence.
By now you have probably researched about how to pick out your very own home theater projector. Perhaps you’ve grown accustomed to the complicated process of choosing one. And maybe you have grown confident that since you’ve figured out how to choose the right projector, picking out a projector screen would be a piece of cake.
If you think of these screens as nothing more than a piece of cloth designed to be struck with beams of light, then you are right, it would be simple. But the truth is, projector screens are not just simple pieces of cloth. Did you know that it choosing the right one can be just as complicated as buying the perfect projector?
You may be thinking: how can a projector screen get complicated? Just thinking about its purpose makes it seem so easy. But the way it does that job is determined by several factors, most of which we will discuss in this article.Picking the right projector screen is similar to asking yourself why a regular white bed sheet won’t do the job properly. Not even a white wall will give you the same service that a projector screen can.
On this guide, we will show you all the makings of a good screen, so that you can pick one out from the store all by yourself. Let us begin discussing this deceivingly confusing item and how it will make your home theater experience even more of a treat.
Now before we go into the more specific details regarding the projector screen, we will first introduce you to the two basic types that you will usually find in the market. Screens usually come in either fixed or retractable forms. The names are basically self-explanatory, but like anything else involving home entertainment, there is more to it than just what we see.
As you may have already figured out, fixed projector screens stay on the wall where you put them the first time. It remains in place for as long as you keep it there, as it is held by a solid frame. This said frame stretches the screen material, usually with the use of snaps or through a hook-and-loop system.
The main reason people choose this kind of screen is because it is relatively cheaper than its retractable counterpart. And while it can save you a couple of bucks down the road, there are more advantages offered by this type of projector screen that is not given by the other.
First of all, the fact that it is fixed to your wall means it is hassle-free and easy to use. Simply turn your projector on and you are ready to go. Who doesn’t like this kind of convenience?
Also, since the fixed screen doesn’t roll up and down, it maintains a tight surface that provides a smoother image. In terms of home entertainment, quality is everything. So if your screen gets even a little bit crumpled, you are definitely going to notice it.
Another benefit is that you don’t have to use electricity on it, therefore helping you reduce your energy costs. The fact that you don’t need to get power to it makes the installation process even easier.Simply put, once you pop one of these onto your wall, you will never want to take it off. This is perfect for households that have an entire room dedicated to a home theater.
Some recommended fixed screen brands are Elite Screens, Monoprice, Sima, and Carada.In terms of choosing a fixed frame, people usually go for the thick ones, about 3 to 4 inches around it.There is also a reason frames are colored black, and if you really want to know, it’s because black helps focus your eyes on the bright image in the center, therefore improving the contrast.
A retractable projector screen raises and lowers the screen material into a case on a roller. This is the perfect solution for households that don’t have a dedicated home theater. If you like watching TV and don’t want to install a fixed screen, you can buy a retractable one and place it over your TV, so that when you don’t feel like watching the programs you can always pull down your screen and project a movie onto it.
When selecting a retractable, you must choose between the different mounting options: do you want it mounted onto a wall, or to the ceiling? Either one will do a decent job.
One helpful tip is to check a certain screen for the word ‘tab tensioned’ before buying it. This means that the screen remains tight and stretched out even after several rolls up and down. The tensioning process keeps the screen area flat, for your viewing pleasure.
Lastly, you should choose between the multiple types of retractable models depending on what your needs are, and what your budget will allow.
A manual screen is obviously the most affordable kind, but you have to pull it down and push it back up after every use. There are other types, all of which are a bit more automated and convenient than the manual one. This includes wall switch, radio frequency, and low-voltage trigger, among others.
Upon choosing being fixed and retractable, the next thing you need to consider is the size of the screen you want.Of course, everyone wants a big screen that will cover your entire wall, but that doesn’t mean it’s highly recommended that you buy one like that.
The most popular screen sizes are between 100 to 120 inches diagonal, but before you dive into this screen size, you must also think about whether it will fit your wall. If your wall is high and wide enough to welcome a big screen, then you are free to get one.
A bit of warning though, a large screen can overwhelm your eyes if your seat is too close to it. Factor in your seating distance from the screen, as well as the capacity of your projector before going large on the projector screen.
When it comes to screen shapes, there are only two aspect ratios to choose from: 16×9 or 2.40:1.The difference is that 16×9 screens are better for TV shows and video games, while the 2.40:1 aspect ratio is more suitable for movies. The latter provides a widescreen experience that allows you to enjoy large images.
Screen Material and Color
There are many different materials that projector screens may come in, but most of them are colored white because it reflects sufficient light especially when you are in a dark room. Keep in mind, however, that there are also black screens that can serve well for home theater rooms that are well-lit, and cannot be darkened on demand.
Who knew projector screens could be so complicated? It’s certainly more effective than a white wall when it comes to receiving beams of light from your projector, so you might as well take the time to pick the right one that will suit your needs.
To conclude, if you are on a tight budget or if you have an entire room dedicated for home theater, then a fixed one will do the job right for you. If you are not so committed on home entertainment, then a retractable one should suffice.
Before buying a screen, make sure it is not too big and not too small. Take into consideration the actual place where you’ll put the screen.Making all the right decisions will eventually lead to a more relaxing viewing experience for you and your entire family.