There is often much talk about the different projectors in the market. Above all, now with high definition, we care a lot about the maximum output resolution it supports and the capabilities to send audio to A / V repeaters. But we always leave a detail in the background that is just as important as buying a good projector: the projection screen.

The quality that we can obtain with a projector is closely related to the quality of the screen. Let’s see what we have to take into account when buying our projection screen.

World cup in a projector screen at Berlin

Buy a projection screen, don’t go for wall or white sheets

There are many users who spend a large amount of money on a quality projector and then decide to the use a white wide wall of their living room to project the beam. That’s not correct! The wall cannot be an alternative to a projector screen. That doesn’t even matter how white and smooth it is. It can never be the ideal place to project an image, especially if you want to enjoy the cinema at home. Likewise, the white sheets. Also, they cannot be the projection screen too even though they are made of Indian silk.

The projection screens are made with materials that make the light does not bounce so that the image quality remains what we expect.

Within the types of screens, we can find two models

  1. Fixed
  2. Portable

The installation of the fixed screens is the simplest and most economical. Through a rigid structure that we install on the wall, we will obtain a fixed space that will allow us to keep the surface of the screen totally taut. Ideal for rooms where the projector will be fixed and no need to move.

If on the other hand, if you want to travel with the projector than, the option of a portable screen is also viable. These screens are usually foldable. The first option is the most frequent and through a blind-like support it allows us to pick up or unfold the screen.

Types of a screen according to the fabric

Although all the screens may seem same as a white fabric, the truth is that there are some differences. The most important factors that you should give consider when buying a screen are gain, brightness, and acoustic transparency. There are other important aspects but we will leave them for later.

The gain of a screen is a value that defines the performance of it. When the light of the projector is reflected on the screen in all directions, it is said that the screen has zero gain. Having no gain the angle of vision is greater and no matter where we are located, the quality and brightness levels will be identical.

As the gain increases, the brightness will be concentrated in the center of the screen and only the viewers in front of the screen will appreciate a better quality and brightness in the image.

If our projector does not have enough light power better a screen with greater gain although this will force us to have the viewers as focused as possible. If, on the other hand, the performance of the projector is good in terms of lumens, a smaller gain is better.

At home, where we are supposed to be able to control the light of the room, the ideal would be again between 1.0 or 1.8.

The brightness of a screen is obtained with the following formula

LUX = screen gain value * ((Projector light output, ANSI Lumen) / (Surface area of the screen))

The brightness, measured in LUX, will give us the contrast ratio of the image. The idea is to get as much contrast as possible between the projection screen and the back wall to ensure a quality image and not that whitish image that many of us have surely seen when using a projector for presentations.

For normal light conditions, a value between 100 and 400 LUX is considered optimal. Bearing in mind that in the room where we mount our projector we can control the light, reaching 100 LUX is simple. But if you, want to watch a cinema in your backyard, you should go for a good outdoor projector with 300-700 LUX.

Finally, if we are going to place the speakers behind the screen we will have to take into account that it is transparent to the sound. This means that the screen will be micro-perforated to let the sound pass between them. Normally, it is not much problem and we can solve this by placing the speakers on the side and under the screen but placing them behind will give us a more intense effect.

Aspect ratio and the location of the projector and screen

This is something obvious today. The aspect ratio of the screen should be 16: 9 which is the widescreen format. As for the location of the project and screen, for me, the ideal configuration is to place the projector on the ceiling.

First, place the screen and once placed in its final position place and adjust the projector. The projector remains at the height of the top line of the screen, as reflected in the image. Now it only remains to enjoy the seventh art.