How to choose projector screen? Best guide for every beginner.

Last updated by Nitish_Lakra on September 30, 2022

How to choose or select projector screen perfect buying guide?

After buying the great projector. It’s time to choose the best projector screen for your indoor and outdoor home theatre. Here I will help you in choosing the right projector screen. 

And let me clear you at the beginning of the article. There is no best screen. Here we are going to talk about the aspects.

And according to that. You can find the most relevant projector screen for your purpose.

We start talking about some basic aspects. You should look for it on any projector screen. And also, in the end, we go through some special things.

For some special requirement. Like an acoustic projector screen. Also ALR, CLR, and Ultra short throw screen.

And how far you should sit from the projector screen. And a lot more other things. Before that, we learn do you even need a projector screen. 

Read Also: 8 best ways or ideas to hide projector screen on various place.

Do you even need a projector screen?

If you have an imperfection-free white wall. Then you can project the movies. And you will get the watchable image on the white wall.

And if using the wall like the projector screen. Not enough for you. 

Then you can also paint your wall with special paint. This way will also get a good image quality on the DIY wall screen. If you love the image on the wall.

Then definitely you will appreciate the image on the professional screen.

Which gives you superior image quality on the screen. With a lot’s of other benefits like the CLR, ALR, Gain, and Acoustic transparent.

And also you can do rear projection with the real projector screen.

What should I look for when buying a projector screen?

So from here, we are going to talk about the aspects. With the help of that. You can find the most relevant projector screen for you. 

Aspect Ratio 

projector screen aspect ratio
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Let’s start with the aspect ratio. There are various aspect ratio options available. Like 16:9, 16:10, 4:3, 2.35:1, 1:1. But at present time.

Two aspects of ratios are most relevant in the present time. 16:9 and 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

Because these days you find the content most are formatted in the 16:9 or 2.35:1. So you have to choose the projector screen.

Which is most relevant according to your media room. Which type of content do you consume most.

If you have a dedicated home theatre room. And here you watch the movies most of the time.

Then it will be better to go with the 2.35:1. Because movies are formatted in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

If you watch the movies at 2.35:1. You will get all the things the director wants to show you. Complete cinematic experience. 

Or if you like to watch the HDTV content on the projector. And I like to play video games by connecting PS4 to the projector.

Then a 16:9 aspect ratio is best for you. So you can get most things from your content. 

If you choose the wrong projector screen aspect ratio. Then you have to face the black bar on the top or the bottom of the screen.

To resolve this issue you have to do the black masking. At the top or bottom of the projector screen.

Projector screen aspect ratio. You can also choose based on the height of your wall height.

If your wall height is short then you should go with the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

If you have a wall with a good height. Then you should choose a 16:9 aspect ratio projector screen. This is optional.


different type of projector screen color

When it’s time to choose the projector screen colour. There are two most famous colours: white and grey. And when you have to pick between them.

Then there is one object that makes a clear difference between them: ambient light

If you are planning to use the projector screen. In the place where there is ambient light. Which can affect the projected image contrast. And the image will look faded. 

Or you have the budget projector. Which can’t provide you with a good sharp image. Then it will be better to go with the grey color of the projector screen.

Which doesn’t let the image fade in the presence of the ambient light. 

But there is also some downside of the grey projector screen. You won’t get great colour. You may face some muddy or greyish texture in your image. 

If you plan to use the projector screen in the dedicated room. Where there is no ambient light.

And you want a more colour-accurate and bright image than the grey colour. 

Then a white color projector screen is a great option for you. Because in the dedicated room. In the absence of ambient light. A white color projector screen.

Provides you with the best bright image and a more colour-accurate image on the screen.

I want to learn more about the difference between the white and grey projector screen. Then you should read this article on the grey vs white projector screen.

There is also another good article. We have a black vs white projector screen. You can check out this too.


different type of projector screen size

Screen size could be a personal preference. And space you have available on the wall. So you can fit the projector screen easily on the wall. And the projector you have. 

First, if you already own the projector (If not then read this projector buying guide). Then project some images on the wall.

So you can take the diagonal size of the image. And can decide the diagonal size of the image on the wall. 

And the next things depend on the projector you have. Check the throw distance of your projector.

Throw distance is the distance from the projector that can create a big image like 100 inches or 120 inches. 

If you have a big room. Then you can go with the long throw projector. Which you put 16 to 18 feet away from the projector screen. And it will provide you with a big image.

If you have a small room. Then to get the big image on the screen. You have to use the short throw or ultra-short throw image. 

I hope you get the point to use the big projector screen. It depends on your projector and the room size. And you have blank space on the wall.

If you want to more about calculating the screen size. You can read this article on how you can measure the projector screen size.


There are almost seventeen types of projector screens available. But inside the home, there are two main types of projector screens people use.

And they are recommended. One fixed frame screen. And another one is to pull down the projector screen. 

And in the pull-down projector screen. You will get two types of pull-down projector screens. Manual pull-down projector screen. And the motorized projector screen.

In the manual pull-down projector screen. You have to pull the projector screen to open the full projector screen. While in the motorized projector screen.

It will be automatic. You have connected the projector screen with the power source. And press the remote button. Your screen material will automatically come down. 

To power up the motorized projector screen. You can power up it by connecting it with the power outlet of your home.

Or you can use the 12v trigger port in the projector. Which will automatically power up your motorized projector screen.

When the projector will be powered on. And yes there are another two types of pull-down projector screens. Tab tensioned and Non-Tab Tensioned projector screen. 

Projector screens without tab-tensioned. Rely on the rigidity of the screen material for being a wrinkle-free projector screen.

While in the tab-tensioned projector screen. There is wire, which helps the screen material to open and close the projector screen.

And don’t let the wrinkle build on the projector screen material. Pull-down projector screens are useful.

When you are going to set up your projector in the room. Where people are continuously going in and out. 

And there is a chance they will hurt the projector screen. For this type of place automatic or manual pull-down projector screen is perfect.

Your pull-down projector screen. Can be hung from the wall and the ceiling. 

If you want to mount the pull-down projector from the ceiling. Then you can read this article on mounting the pull-down projector from the ceiling.

Ok, that is enough for the automatic and manual pull-down projector screen. Let’s know something about the fixed frame projector screen.

As a fixed frame projector screen. By name, it says there is a fixed frame used. In all fixed frame projector screens.

The screen material is applied over the frame. The frame could be made of wood or steel. 

You can hang up the projector screen from the wall or ceiling. If you want to hang from the ceiling read our informative article.

Where I have explained how you can hang the fixed frame screen with different ceiling types. Slop and normal.


There are three types of gain you will get from the projector screen. Gain on the projector screen will be lower, medium, and higher.

Lower will consider below 1.0. Medium will consider 1.0. And higher will be considered as a greater number than the 1.0.

If you are going to use the projector screen in the dedicated room. Then neutral gain point 1.0 will be good to go with. Because 1.0 gains a projector screen.

Will reflect the same amount of light. You will be projected by the projector on the screen. 

And if you are planning to use the projector screen in the presence of ambient light. Then it will be better to go with the higher gain number.

Because of the bigger gain of your projector screen. A large amount of light will be projected towards you. And in the presence of ambient light. 

This will give you a good-quality image. On the screen. So what about the negative gain projector screen? Or the gain lower than the 1.0.

When will this type of projector screen be used?

A lower gain projector screen will also be used in the darkroom. Because it’s a light reflection in the negative.

So there is no point to use this type of projector screen in the presence of light.

The number of gains is also affected by the ambient light. Like which colour you choose grey or white. Affected by the ambient light. 

Screen Texture

If you want to use the 4k content or the projector on the screen. Your projector screen should be completely smooth. So you won’t see any imperfection in the projected image.

This instruction is for those people going to use the DIY wall projection screen. For the projection make sure you make your wall completely smooth. 

And apply the paint over the wall. If you are wondering which is the best paint for the DIY wall projection screen.

And how you can make the wall smooth and apply the screen paint over the wall. For that go through this article.

You will understand everything about the DIY wall and the DIY wall paint. For an expert opinion, you can check out the below video.

When should you go with the acoustic transparent screen? 

When you want to hide the speakers behind the projector screen. Because when you are using a projector screen has an aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

This type of projector screen’s vertical length is big. So there are chances. When you have to hang the three speakers (Left, Right, and Middle). 

Where you will mount the speakers. On the left, right, and in the middle of the projector screen. Top or bottom. With this speaker setup.

You might get less sound. And it does not feel perfect. 

Or you plan to get the projector and screen set up like the movie theatre. In which commercial movie theatre. Where speakers are behind the projector screen. 

If you have this type of situation and you want to apply the acoustic projector screen. To get the commercial movie theatre to look.

Then you can use an acoustic projector screen in your movie theatre. 

Basically in the acoustic projector screen. There is a tiny hole in the projector screen material. So the sound can easily pass through the screen material.

When you are using the acoustic screen.

Make sure the holes in the projector screen are tiny than pixel size. So you won’t get the moire patterns on the screen.

This is the reason why most acoustic projector screens are made for the Ultra HD 4k projector. 

As long as you are using the acoustic projector screen. You don’t need to worry about the sound. So take a look at how you can assemble the speakers and the projector screen. 

There are two options. On how you can install the screen and the speakers. First, you can install the speakers on the wall.

And after that, you can install the screen over the projector screen. Or first, install the acoustic projector screen. Then install the speakers between the projector screen. 

Now, this way you will get the commercial movie experience at home.

Do you need an ALR, CLR, and Ultra short throw screen? 

Do you need the ALR and CLR projector screen? You should ask yourself after observing the situation. Where you are going to use the projector and screen.

If that place has ambient light then. You should buy the ALR and CLR projector screen.

This type of light rejection projector screen. Are made by the multiple layers of the optical material. Which reflects the projected light towards the viewer. And cancel the other ambient light.

And the result is you get a bright, colourful, and good contrast image in the presence of ambient light. This type of light rejection projector screen.

Are useful. When you are planning to use the projector in the presence of ambient light.

But there is a downfall also present for the light rejection light projector screen. This type of projector screen is very pricey.

And don’t expect that. You will do the projection in the daylight outside

And you will get a crisp image.

If you want to use the ultra-short-throw projector. Then you should check the description of the projector manufacturer.

Is that a projector screen that can handle the ultra-short-throw?

Because of the ultra-short-throw projector. Special projector screens are available. And these projectors can easily handle the ultra-short throw projection screen.

And from the near give you the big projected image. 

If you choose the wrong projector screen. Which can’t handle ultra-short throw projection. The wrong projector screen will alter the image on the screen.

And ruin the watching movie on the screen. 

You don’t want this thing. So check your projector screen description. Before you buy the screen for your projector.

What about the rear projector screen?

Rear projector screens are usually used in big stage events. Where lots of ambient light is present. To cancel the ambient light.

And also using the rear projector screen in the home theatre is not making any sense.

Because you will need the space for two objects. On the front people will sit. And the projector screen you have to adjust. The distance between the projector and screen. 

That’s why you will need a bigger space. When you are using the rear projector screen. While the scenario is different from the normal projector screen.

You will need less space than the rear projector screen. If you want to learn more about front and rear projection.

You will find informative this article on front projection vs rear projection.

In short, you use the rear projector in a large venue. And for the normal, you should use the front projector screen.

How far should you sit from the projector screen?

This very subjective question. But I have one instruction you can follow and get the optimal viewing distance. For that calculator the diagonal size of your projector screen.

When you get the exact diagonal size of your screen. Like 100 inches. Multiply that with the 1.5. The result will be 150”. Now convert this inch value in the feet.

You will get the distance where you should sit from the projector screen.

Remember this is subjective. So you get the viewing distance after calculation. And you find that distance measurement is not optimal for you.

Then you can adjust the distance. Don’t hesitate to do that.

But make sure you are sitting in the distance. You don’t need to move your head continuously to watch a movie.

It will be very frustrating and you may feel pain in your head and neck.

How to choose an outdoor projector screen?

When you are choosing the projector screen for the outdoors. You should pay attention to two things: stability and tension.

You should check that you are going to use the projector that can handle the winds. And it is stable.

And how you can make it more stable. So the wind won’t blow your projector screen. And your screen doesn’t wave like a flag.

And how tensioned your projector screen material. So you get the smooth flat projector screen.

There are various types of projector screens available. Like Retractable, Folded, Tripods, and Inflatable. 

If you are a homeowner. And you have a little patio outside your home. A retractable projector screen is a good option for you.

You can easily install the screen. And enjoy the movie night with the family. 

Folded and Tripods are both types of projector screens that are best for the small movie night. Both have a great budget and temporary option. For you.

Easy to assemble the screen fabric over the metal frame. Manufacturers make it easier. By providing the manual for it.

If you plan on doing something big. And you are doing the big gathering of the people. Then the inflatable screen is a great option for you.

So there are many opinions on how to choose the outdoor projector screen.

How to make an ideal room for the projector screen?

If you want to make your home theatre room more professional. And want a better image. I will suggest you colour all your walls with a dark colour.

So the dark colour of the wall can observe all the ambient light and light reflection. If you have white or other lite colours on the wall.

You should change the colour of your wall from a lite colour to a dark colour. It will be one step towards the making of the professional home theatre room.

Is there any alternative of projector screen?

Yes, there is nine cheap projector screen alternative are available.

Like Blank walls, Bed Sheets, Wrapping paper, Roller Shades, Picture Backdrop, Projector screen Paints, Black Out Cloth, Tyvek and Spandex.

You can try one of them. For more information follow our dedicated article on what can I use as a projector screen.


It’s true if you invest in a good projector screen. You can use the projector screen for decades.

And in this time frame, you will change the projector many times. But not the screen. 

So it’s very important to choose the projector screen carefully. When you get your ideal projector screen.

Then you don’t need to worry for decades about the projector screen.

And after projector resolution and contrast. On the projector screen, it depends how great your image will look.

Because the projector screen is the final destination. Where projection light falls.

And while choosing the projector screen. The thing that most affects the selection process is ambient light.

See you next time…


Nitish Lakra is a writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the publishing industry. He has written for numerous publications on a variety of topics including home theatre and projector. Nitish is passionate about educating and informing readers through his writing and strives to provide accurate and engaging content. When he's not writing, Nitish is enjoying the pc games, movies or cooking. My YouTube: @nitishlakra My Instagram: @nitish__lakra


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