If you are building a home theater, you will likely require a large screen. Although a TV with a large screen could do, there are better solutions out there. One of these solutions is a projector screen. However, choosing a projection screen can be a challenge for some people. With that in mind, here is some information about projector screens to get you started:
Most projection screens are made of vinyl/fiberglass material coated with a reflective substance. For example, there are projection screens made of fiberglass core material with PVC coating. You may also come across perforated and woven screens. Such screens could be flexible (foldable/rollable) or rigid.
Choosing the Right Projector Screen Size
Projector screens come in a wide range of sizes, from the ultra large screens used for outdoor viewing to the small screens used for indoor viewing. In general, your home’s wall height plays a big role in determining what you can buy. As such, you should measure the size of your home theater walls. The walls of a standard room measure about eight to nine feet from the floor to the ceiling and about 10 to 12 feet wide. However, these measurements are simply a rough guide since they are not standard across the board. That said, here are some guidelines to help you choose the right screen size for your needs:
- If you would like to install a screen that can handle complex graphics, make sure its height is about ½ the distance from the furthest observation point/seat.
- If you would like to install a HDTV widescreen, buy a screen whose height is at least 1/3 the distance from the furthest seat.
- If you would like to view PAL/NTSC videos and images, go for a screen whose height is about 1/6 the distance from the furthest observation point.
- Business people and executives who would like to view charts should install a screen whose height is at least ¼ the distance from the furthest seat.
In most cases, screen width is not a big issue. This is because the height of a screen usually determines its width.
There are various ways of mounting a projection screen. To start with, you could go for a wall mounted screen, which is ideal for a home theater. Secondly, one can install a pull down/up screen or even mount it inside a dropped ceiling. After use, you can roll it up/down to disappear from view. This type of screen is usually made of flexible material like fabric. The ideal place to install such a screen is in a room where space is an issue. It is important to note that pull down screens can be either motorized or nonmotorized. Thirdly, you can mount a projector screen on an object such as a car or business store window for advertising purposes.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Projector Screen
When buying a screen for your home theater or conference room, there are factors that you should consider carefully. One important factor is gain, which refers to the amount of light a screen surface can reflect compared to Lambertian (uniform reflecting) surface. A higher gain typically translates to a better image quality. Other important factors to consider include image brightness and contrast as well as screen geometry and optics.
In summary, when shopping for a projection screen, you should choose one that suits your needs and the dimensions of the room where you will install it. In terms of mounting options, you would be able to mount your projection screen on a wall, inside a drop ceiling, on a vehicle, or business premises window, just to mention a few areas.