Everyone likes to kick back, relax, and watch a movie or TV show at home. But if you've ever found that sometimes your regular TV just doesn’t cut it when the characters and action on-screen are larger than life, and you want a screen size that can accommodate them, that’s where projectors and projector screens come in.
As a rule, if you have a home projector, you really need a projector screen. We know using a blank wall can be tempting when you're in a hurry, but it's not a good idea. Typical home walls or sheets won't allow you to see the resolution, contrast, and color detail that you paid for. A screen is an ideal companion, and our first pick is the versatile, but we have several other choices for different situations.
If you're interested in watching an outdoor movie instead, we suggest heading over to our selection of the best outdoor projector screens.
100-inch Elite Screens ezFrame 2 Series
Best overall projector screen
- High-quality material
- Black velvet-coated frame
- Versatile size options
- 3D ready
Elite Screen's ezFrame series fixed-frame projection screen is a top choice for many, and we can see why. With 135 inches of total viewing space, the ezFrame's 16:9 aspect ratio provides a superb viewing experience for pretty much anything you can throw at it. The ezFrame offers a display that’s good for both 4K Ultra HD and Active 3D projection, should you have the projector to do it, and the moiré-free screen material offers color neutrality with its CineGrey color.
On the sound front, this AcousticPro transparent screen is designed to be suitable for both a hidden speaker or rear-speaker setup, which allows audio through the screen for a more lifelike experience. Framed screens like these may take a little extra installation work — and they are designed to be largely permanent — but it's one of the best-quality screens you can find and an excellent option for a permanent home or venue setup.
100-inch Silver Ticket Products STR Series 6
Best for easy setup
- Incredible variety of size options
- Heavy-duty aluminum frame
- Installation designed to be easy for newbies
- Limited color options
Another excellent framed projector screen, the Silver Ticket uses a 1:1 gain white screen material, which is often better for showing bright, vivid colors than gray or black screens, especially if you have a good handle on ambient light. This screen also has one of the best selection ranges we've seen, offering an incredible variety of sizes so you can pick the best option for your home theater space or the very special wall that you've chosen in your living room (just remember to place your projector properly for the image size). If you are working with a brighter room, you can also adjust the color to a darker shade to help improve contrast and more.
The frame itself is made of heavy-duty aluminum wrapped in black, so reflections won't be an issue. Silver Ticket Products offers instructional videos for installation via its tension rod system, so it's particularly easy for newcomers to understand how to set everything up. It's a great pick for nearly every kind of indoor projector.
120-inch Elite Screens Sable Frame 2 Series
Best for cinephiles
- Wide 180-degree viewing angle
- ISF certified for accurate color reproduction
- Excellent for commercial use
- No darker shades to choose from
While this Elite Screens model is also available in a variety of sizes, we chose a larger version this time to highlight this option for those who want a larger projection for a more cinematic experience. It also boasts a particularly wide 180-degree viewing angle for projector screens. The black-wrapped aluminum frame is sturdy, and the sliding wall brackets allow for small but important horizontal adjustments after installation.
This screen is an excellent pick for 4K or 8K content, is ISF certified for accurate color reproduction, and will look great nearly anywhere. Keep in mind that this particular model comes in CineWhite UHD-B for a realistic cinematic experience, and there aren't many darker shades to choose from, which could cause issues in a particularly bright-lit room if you're interested in vivid colors. Otherwise, this screen is at home anywhere.
120-inch Elite Screens Evanesce B
Best in-ceiling projector
- Beautiful recessed ceiling design
- 180-degree viewing angle
- Durable aluminum casing
- Design requires rigorous installation with ceiling room
This Elite Screens model is made from MaxWhite fiberglass for extra strength while staying lightweight, offering an excellent 180-degree viewing angle and uniform diffusion while producing extraordinary definition, natural color reproduction, and high levels of black and white contrast.
This is also a recessed model that stays out of the way until you need it, but the electric motor and remote controls make controlling it very easy, which is why we're also comfortable recommending a larger screen size for a truer cinematic experience. The screen is protected by an aluminum casing when not in use.
There's a small catch, however — this model is made specifically for in-ceiling installation, which means it'll take a little extra work and you'll need some clearance above your ceiling to have enough room. The results are spectacular, but if that sounds like a little bit too much work for you, we encourage you to explore other Evanesce models, which have a couple of different design options that all offer similar benefits.
The price tag for a projection screen can vary based on a few things, including size, screen material, motorized versus pull-down, inflatable, etc. Expect to pay several hundred dollars for a high-quality home screen.
What makes pull-down projector screens great is that they're very adjustable when it comes to height and the ways of installation. Most pull-down projectors can be installed on a wall or ceiling, although you will need enough room.
The simple answer is "yes." But using a projector without a screen will decrease the quality of the viewable image. A simple white wall will definitely provide a good surface for an image to be projected, but there are definitely some downsides to it. A wall does not reflect light nearly as well as a projector screen. You'll be giving up many of the benefits your home projector has.
That depends on several things. Whiter screens are designed for vivid, accurate colors. Black screens help with contrast and may be better choices in bright areas. Gray screens come in many shades and are somewhere in between. Always match your screen color with the room.
No. You will still have the texture of the wall, which can cause a variety of issues with picture quality.
That depends on your space and your home projector. Many are fans of 100-inch to 120-inch screens because they provide a cinematic experience, but you'll need the space for them.
Projectors are much more cost-effective, at least in terms of screen size for your dollar. You can get a decent HD projector and a 100-inch screen for under $1,000, whereas an 80-inch TV is going to cost you at least $1,500, if not much more. Want more information? Check out our article on the topic at Projectors versus TVs: Which is best for your home theater?
The darker the room, the better the picture quality. When it comes to contrast, a projector needs darkness to make an image that looks bold, not washed out. This is where a projector screen comes in handy, built with materials to help absorb light and improve colors.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding which projector is the best, including indoor versus outdoor, image quality, and many more factors, which is why we made a list of the top home projectors on the market to help you decide. If you're short on room, check our list of the best short-throw projectors, too.
A majority of modern smartphones and tablets can be connected to a projector wirelessly, and many projectors come with their own smart platforms with app access. You can also connect streaming boxes and sticks to a projector if they have the necessary HDMI inputs. It won't be a problem.
Basic projector screens aren't too pricey — especially compared to the price of the projector. 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. A quality screen can add a few hundred dollars to your home theater project.
Again, walls simply won't have the same results as a projector screen. Additionally, there are many types of "black" walls. A matte black wall would produce far better results than a glossy black wall, which would be horrible for a home projector.
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