1. Size Of The Screen
Most people will know the biggest screen is the way to go and that is all they will have heard. It is important to not only find a ‘big’ screen, but to ensure it jives with seating arrangements, dimensions, and the type of projector being used. It is certainly appropriate to go for a big screen, but be willing to move down if other requirements don’t fit as needed. The best place to begin would be to go with a screen that is around 100-120 inches and then move down from there. This is usually the best fit. For some, if you are going for a smaller option even the 72 inch option is going to be more than effective as a solution.
2. Shape Of The Screen
This is another term for ‘Aspect Ratio’. What this looks at is the width-to-height ration for the screen. Some come in HDTV (16-9), TV Format (4:3), or Square (1:1). Most of the square screen options are only going to be found with business offices and classrooms. For all widescreen content, you have to go with the other two options as they are better fits in general.
3. Curvature Of The Screen
Most of those who are entering the world of home theater will understand how curved TVs are now making a path into the industry. The same approach is used by projector manufacturers. The goal of the curved projector screen is to make it easier to view from all angles rather than having to sit front on and not being able to move at all. This makes it balanced from all viewing angles as desired. This is why the fixed-frame design is the way to go for such curvature. This can be expensive however compared to other options you are going to have. Most of the newer projectors are now taking a look at these screens for perfect results and product an aspect ratio of 2:40:1. Going with an old projector and having this screen does not make sense.
Black bars that appear on the screen are not going to be pleasing and has to do with aspect ratio. It can be frustrating having to see how black bars come up because the screen does not fit the content’s picture size. These bars can indicate the aspect ratio is indeed off and has to be corrected. Masking is used as a way for those bars to be taken out and be replaced with a black frame that is put in. This makes it look like the bars are not even there. Masking is definitely the way to go for those who hate those bars.
The screen has to make sense from a sound perspective as the whole point of watching is to have great, surround sound like in the theaters. A transparent screen will provide this, but you might not like the overall brightness that is on offer from the image that is coming in. The woven material might distract you from the image that is being displayed due to tiny holes that are present. This is why you are going to need to turn up the volume from time to time to ensure this does not ruin overall performance.
The screens are going to be made out of various materials and this has to be kept in mind as well moving forward. You are going to need to take a look at the different gain and color options as that is going to have a role to play. The genearl option is to go with ‘matte white’ as that is what most screens are going to be made of. There are black, silver, and grey screens, but those are better for brighter rooms. What does ‘gain’ mean you may wonder? It is the brightness on the screen after it reflects. The average gain ration is 1.0. This is where the gain ration should be. When the gain ration increases, you will need a low light option that is going to be handle such settings. A higher gain ratio can help to produce detailed images on the screen.
7. 3D Screens For The Projector
If the projector is able to bring forward 3D content and does support it, getting the right screen is going to improve the results even more. This is a special screen that is made for such purposes only.
8. Tab Tensioning
When the retractable screens don’t stay smooth, it hampers quality. Tab tensioning is done to ensure this does not happen with yours. The screens that don’t have this tensioning in place are the ones that are always going to be curling together and that can be frustrating for those who are watching. When there are larger screens in place such as anything over 120 inches, it can take a toll on viewers as they will curl and fold. It is essential to have the tensioning done to support the screen or it is going to fall apart and/or will be a waste of your money.
9. Motorized vs Manual
People like to go with the manual screen as it is easier to use and you are just going to have to pull it down to get it to work. This can be frustrating for some who don’t want to go up to the screen and pull it down every time. A motorized screen is not going to require this as it will go down on its own. It is all about what you want, but the motorized screen is going to be easier on the physical end. Once you go with the motorized option, you are generally not going to want to go with the manual choice. For those who don’t want to go with a motorized option, it might be better to go with a fixed frame screen instead. It does require more cleaning though.
If you are going to be putting up the screen, you are going to have to mount it to the wall and/or ceiling. For those who are going to be constructing their home theater from the ground up, it will be best to have the ceiling recessed for this very purpose. For all retractable screens, it is going to take metal mounts to be put in place with springs in order to make it easier to ‘retract’. There are brake controllers that can be used in order to make it easier to mount. Anything that is going to make it easier on you is a must.