What can I use for a projector screen? When it comes to the projector screen, you will find a lot of options to projector your favorite content. One of the best things about a projector is that it offers complete versatility in projection, and you can almost pair it with anything for showcasing content. Ranging from a blank wall, sheet to projector pain and high-quality screen, you will have many options for usage.
However, every option has its own qualities and entirely depends upon your requirement which you want to use. Not all options will offer you superb image quality, so you have to be careful about your visual requirement. You should remember that a top-end projector screen is quite expensive, but you will definitely need it if you are using a high-resolution projector.
Another remarkable fact about projector screens is that they are available in every price range so you will find a screen in your budget. Nowadays, you can easily create a DIY projector screen depending upon your budget and space availability. For your convenience, we have come up with various options that you can use for a projector screen.
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Different Type of Projector Screen You Can Use
Bought a new projector but confused about which screen to use? Here is a list of different type of screens you can use;
Blank wall is probably the easiest and low-cost option that you can use as a projector screen. You just need ample wall space, preferably with white color, to project your movies. Textures or designs in the wall space might ruin the projection, and it will also alter the visuals. Having a smoother wall will allow the projected light to be reflected in your eye and give you a proper view.
The best part of this option is that you won’t set it up, and it won’t cost you a penny. However, the major downgrade you will face is deterioration in quality and loss of sharpness. Moreover, you might face difficulty in viewing certain parts of a dark scene as the wall color can’t reflect back the incoming light.
Since the arrival of a projector in the consumer market, many people have used white or any clean sheet as a projector screen. It is a cheaper alternative than a standard projector screen and is readily available at home. A great thing about a clean sheet is that you can easily use it everywhere as you just have to hang it. However, setting up is the trickiest part, and you need to put something like cardboard as back support. You can use other light color sheets as a screen, but white serves as the most plausible option. Check out our tutorial on how to make a projector screen with a sheet.
However, wrinkles, creases, and movement in the sheet can ruin the overall projection quality. Many people have reported that the images aren’t bright, and you might get a faded view without high lumens support. A significant disadvantage of a white sheet for the projector is that you need to use a thick material and also consider the thread count to get a proper projection.
Projector Screen Paint
Beside wall and white sheet as a projector screen, projector screen paint serves as a great choice at an affordable rate. Not only does it let you turn anything into a high-quality screen, but it also treats you with excellent visual quality. The images remain sharp, and they are almost similar to that of a standard projector screen. You can use it on walls, cardboard, plastic surfaces, or any suitable broad areas. It might look like regular paint, but they are mainly designed for creating makeshift projector screens.
Importantly, they come in a wide variety of colors and glosses so that you won’t be limited to certain choices. However, it would be best to use a glossy finish with white or gray color as they offer the best light reflection. While considering the color, you should assess the ambient light in your room. They might cost similar to a standard projector screen but give you a wide area for projection. The major disadvantage of this option is that it takes enormous time to set up, and you can’t shift it anywhere else.
A wrapping paper might seem like an unusual option for a projector screen, but it is a fantastic choice for a home projector screen. Most of the wrapping papers come with a white side with a glossy and smooth surface, and you can use them for projecting content.
You just have to use thick wrapping paper and stick it to a wooden frame or piece of cardboard. The customization facility it offers makes it an excellent choice for users who want a versatile projector backdrop. However, the main problem with wrapping is that they are fragile and they can easily tear after some time. Moreover, if you don’t paste it correctly, then you might find wrinkles or rips on the paper, which will eventually ruin the whole output.
Since they are prone to water damages, then you can’t use them outdoors and only use them inside your home in a safe manner. We know they are slightly tricky to handle, but you can’t overlook the affordability and acceptable image quality they offer.
If you are wondering about how to make your own projector screen, then you can utilize the option available at your home. You can use window shade as your projector screen sheet, and they will get the job done without needing you to invest in a dedicated screen. The best thing about this screen type is that they can double as a blockage for all the ambient light coming through the window.
They will keep the room dark and give you decent visual quality. You need to use a grey or white shade as a screen, but you shouldn’t expect a high-quality output. You can even black shades as it will also serve as a good option.
However, you need to make sure the window shade should completely cover the window; otherwise, light bleeding would ruin the whole output. The price of window shade might be higher than other options but serves as a multipurpose option. It will give you privacy when you are not using it.
Do you have large decorative picture frames in your home? If yes, you will be delighted to hear that you can even use it as a projector screen. The backdrops of most of the images are broad, and they tend to stay white. Moreover, they have a non-reflective surface, and the edges adequately treated so there is minimal light that can shine through the backdrop.
The paper tends to be of high quality, so you can have decent video quality while projecting content. The best part is that you can move it anywhere in the house and hang it as per your need.
If you are searching about how to make a projector screen with a sheet on the internet, then we can suggest you get a blackout fabric. It might not be the best material, but it can serve as an excellent choice for a projector screen sheet. You can opt for various DIY projects using this material as they are thick and won’t tear easily.
An interesting fact about this material is that you can spread it tightly against the frame and the fabric will remain stretched without any kind of crease on the surface. Since the back of the fabric has a thick foam so light cannot pass through. You can expect it to provide you a decent visual experience and that too at an affordable rate.
Now let’s move to some dedicated screen for high-quality viewing;
Wall Projector Screens
When it comes to projector screen ideas, especially for standard units, a wall projector screen serves as the common choice. These screens are mostly made up of high-quality material and also get high gain with a minimal crease. It is primarily for home theater rooms, and they are permanently installed on the wall. They don’t do any damage to the wall as they come with a fixed frame, and the screen is hung on that frame.
Most of the screens come with a fixed position, while some of them come with a retractable, and they offer great flexibility. This kind of screen comes in a varied price range so it won’t be a problem for you to own. However, the quality of the screen material and frame varies according to the price, so we recommend you for a screen that is value for money. The main disadvantage of this screen is that they are quite challenging to install, and you will need ample wall space to put them. Plus, you will be limited to specific screen size, and you won’t be able to go beyond the maximum limit.
Ceiling screen is another popular choice that is preferred by users who don’t have the flexibility to mount the screen on the wall. By the name, you can guess that the frame is mounted on the wall, and the screen hangs from the frame. Almost every ceiling projector screen comes with a retractable screen, making it easy for users to fold them when not in use. Most importantly, the retractable option comes in both electronic and manual options so that you have complete ease of use.
Since they are retracted and folded safely inside an enclosure, the chance of any crease or wrinkles is minimum. This screen is widely preferred in both homes and offices as they also add to the overall décor. Not only do they come in a wide variety, but they are present in almost all price ranges. The only disadvantage is their setup, and you will need a particular type of ceiling housing for installation. Many people face difficulty in extending the ceiling screen while using a manual system.
Tripod projector is a portable screen type that you can use in a home entertainment or office presentation. They are incredibly dynamic when it comes to placement, and you can carry them everywhere for placement. They come in two parts where one part contains the retractable screen, and the other part contains the tripod. The setup might look large, but they are relatively lightweight, and you won’t have a problem transporting them from one place to another. However, the size is quite large, so that it might be a bit of inconvenience for some users.
The chance of damage is quite low, and you will hardly get wear and tear even after regular usage. Setting them up won’t give you any hard time, and it will take you a few minutes to get a large screen. Another reason that many people prefer is that they are cost-efficient and readily available in the market. But the main down point is that they don’t offer an excellent picture quality and the clarity of the images is not up to the mark.
If you are planning to use your newly bought projector for mostly outdoor usage, then you should consider getting an outdoor projector screen. These screens are designed specifically for outdoor usage and come with high gain. Some models get an ambient light rejecting facility, which allows the screen to project a clean and detailed visual without getting affected by ambient light.
The best thing is that they come in a wide variety of sizes so you can easily choose the one that fits your requirement. Plus, the materials are designed to withstand humidity, snow, rain, and other weather changes, so the chance of any damage is quite low. Some outdoor screens are permanent, while some can be folded and stored in the closet. You can even make a DIY outdoor screen, but the quality of those screens is quite bad. The price range doesn’t differ much, and most of the model falls under a mid-price range.
Inflatable Projector Screen
Inflatable screen is another great choice when it comes to getting stunning image quality in the outdoors. Whether you want to organize a large presentation in the auditorium or movie sessions in your backyard, an inflatable screen can be a great choice. By the name, you can guess that you can set up the screen by inflating it with the help of an inflater within a few minutes.
It is an excellent alternative to large tripod screens that are difficult to carry and set up in any open locations. Importantly, it is suitable for users who can’t opt for a permanent screen and want something that can be folded after use. The visual quality varies from model to model as some offer theater-like image quality while others offer standard visuals. However, you can stay assured that you won’t be treated with awful image quality like you get with white sheets. However, the only negative with this screen type is that you need to carry an inflater every time you plan to set up the screen.
Floor Rising Screen
Floor rising screens are unique projector screens that are easy to set up and offer an excellent image output. They might not be popular as other models, but they can serve as a convenient alternative to floor standing or ceiling mount screens. This screen type is slightly different from others, and they are exceptionally lightweight than standing screens. Importantly, they are more straightforward and take less time when it comes to setup.
It comes with a single long bar from where you will take out the screen without requiring any separate assembly for stretching the screen. The bar comes with attached feet, and you just have to twist the feet so that they can stand firmly. The screen is attached to a spring roller, and it serves as the central backbone for the screen. They come in various sizes, so you won’t have a problem finding the appropriate size for your needs.
If you are thinking about a cheap projector screen alternative, then this screen definitely needs your attention. The quality of the screens offered by various brands is really great, and you can surely enjoy high-quality visuals without compromising on details. Unfortunately, they offer great visuals only when they are used inside the home and won’t give you the same quality when used outside.
When you are getting a projector, you would expect it to treat you with a great visual experience. A dedicated projector is the best option to get such a visual experience, but they come with an expensive price tag. However, there are some DIY screens that also serve as a great option and won’t disappoint you with visuals.
So if you are asking yourself, “what can I use for a projector screen?” we can say through our article we have highlighted some of the best projector screens that you can use with your newly purchased projector. All of them fall in different price ranges so that budget won’t be a problem.
My name is Henry Larson and I have been associated with research and development of projectors throughout my professional career. I used all my experience and expertise to create this blog so that I can guide people to get the best projector of their choice. For any further assistance, you can get in touch with me through email or comments.