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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Do You Need a Projector Screen In Your Home Theater?

Before buying your first projector, you should have a general idea of where it’ll go. You’ll need to have ample space on your wall, as well as easy access to a power outlet. With that settled, you’ll also need to decide if you want to get a screen. Projector screens don’t have to be super expensive, but before spending any amount of money, it’s worth deciding if you need one.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Projector Screen

The biggest advantage of buying a projector screen is that it gives you more control than you’d get with a bare wall. A perfectly smooth wall is great, but any minor imperfections could harm your projected image.

The color of your wall will be the biggest factor. If you own your home, this is less of an issue, but renters may be stuck with a wall color that would make a projected image look too dark or too bright.

Even if you have a perfectly smooth, white wall, you still might want to get a projector screen. Most screens have a black border around them, which helps frame your movies and TV shows. A screen also gives you a bit more control over how much light gets reflected: a screen with a matte coating will have a much easier time of keeping ambient light from ruining your image.

But a screen is at least somewhat permanent. A couple of months ago, I moved some stuff around so my projected image could be a bit larger than it was. Because I project onto a bare wall, I was able to realign my projector and be on my merry way. If I used a screen, I’d have to purchase a larger screen, take down the smaller screen to mount the larger one, and then find a home for the smaller one. Those aren’t impossible tasks, and I’m not going to move my projector to a new spot super often. But it’s nice to know I have more flexibility to try different arrangements since I don’t have to worry about moving a giant frame around.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Projecting Onto a Bare Wall

The main appeal of just projecting on a bare wall is that you don’t have to shell out any money for a screen. Basic projector screens aren’t too pricey—especially compared to the price of the projector itself. But you’ll want to get a more expensive screen to make sure your image is color corrected and have some of the ambient light absorbed. And a good quality screen can add a few hundred dollars to your home theater project.  

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