Have you ever dreamed of having a home theater with a massive screen but didn’t want a bulky projector screen taking up valuable wall space? Well, we have good news for you. Hidden projector screens are becoming increasingly popular, providing a solution that allows you to enjoy a cinematic viewing experience without sacrificing your living space.
You can use a motorized projector with an enclosure to retract and hide a projector screen. If you want to hide the enclosure as well, installing it into an existing soffit or drop ceiling, or installing a soffit to hide it, is another option. You can mount screens flush with the ceiling, too.
If you’re looking to create a sleek and modern home theater, a hidden projector screen is an excellent option to consider. Let’s look at best ways to hide a projector, and along the way we’ll give you our recommendation on the best hidden projector option we recommend. Let’s get started!
The Appeal of Hidden Projector Screens
We’ve looked before at the comparison of a retractable vs. fixed projector screen, and hidden projector screens like the Elite Screens Evanesce B, 120″ 16:9, Recessed In-Ceiling Electric Projector Screen (on Amazon) are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners who want to create a minimalist aesthetic in their home entertainment spaces. By concealing the projector screen in the wall or ceiling, the room can have a clean and uncluttered appearance. This is especially beneficial for those who want to use their media room for other purposes, such as a home office or gym.
In addition to the aesthetic benefits, hidden projector screens also provide a surprise factor and a wow effect when entertaining guests. The screen can be concealed until it is time to start the movie or show, creating a sense of anticipation and excitement. This is especially true for those who have a home cinema and want to create a true theater experience for their guests.
Practicality is another benefit of hidden projector screens. By utilizing space more efficiently, homeowners can create a larger screen size without taking up valuable floor space. This is especially beneficial for those with smaller media rooms or living spaces. Additionally, the screen can be easily raised or lowered with the push of a button or a remote control, making it a convenient and practical addition to any home entertainment setup.
But how do you actually add one of these to your setup? Well, you have several…perhaps too many options!
How To Incorporating A Hidden Projector Screen In Your Home Theater
When it comes to incorporating hidden projector screens into various spaces, there are several ways to go about it. These options are in order of easier to more difficult to install! Starting with adding a simple motorized screen.
Pro Tip: A motorized, retractable projector screen will allow you to hide the projector, but the projector box will be visible. This is enough for some people, but hiding the actual enclosure is the next big step.
How To Install A Simple Motorized Projector Screen
These screens, like the one we linked above, are mounted within a box already. Most motorized screens will already have an enclosure.
So, if all you want is the screen to disappear, then all you have to do is buy one of these, measure where it needs to go relateive to the projector, and mount it to the wall. The box won’t be hidden, but the projector screen will be when you roll it up. This is the easiest DIY solution, requiring no additional work to your ceiling.
How To Hide a Projector Screen In A Soffit, Coffered, or Drop Ceiling
If you have a soffit, coffered, or drop ceiling in your space, you can typically use it to hide your projector screen. This involves installing the screen in a recessed area in the ceiling. When not in use, the screen is hidden in the ceiling and when in use, it drops down into view. This option is great for spaces where you want the screen to be hidden but don’t want to go to the trouble of installing an in-ceiling screen.
If you already have a deep coffer or soffit running around the room, as long as its deep enough for your projector box, it can technically hide it for you.
But there’s work involved: you’ll have to do all the measuring and box install from the last section, as well as making cuts to the wood already in your ceiling that will need to be managed on the other side of this: probably with repainting, sanding, etc. If you’re comfortable with this, have at it! Otherwise, stick with the “easy” hidden option above.
If you don’t already have a soffit, you should know that a common tactic is to install a single soffit that’s as wide as your entire wall, and then using the portion of it that you need to hide the projector box. This allows the whole soffit (when painted) to blend in with the wall and ceiling and achieve a sleek, hidden look. That tactic is discussed more in forums here, but it’s pretty simple.
How To Hide A Projector Screen Flush With The Ceiling
Leveling up our tactics some, the option for hiding a projector screen flush with a ceiling is another project you can try to tackle. This involves installing the box with the projector above the ceiling, in the attic. This is much more of a project, and is better for new installs.
That said, some people may only have this option. Your ceiling may be low enough that even a projector box is going to end up dropping the projection screen too low, in which case flush-mounting into your ceiling would be the only option.
Very Rare: Floor-Rising Projection Screens
While you can technically find floor-rising projector screens, or rig them up yourself, you should know this is a very exotic solution, and you’ll probably be building something custom for yourself. Try to incorporate the screen into an entertainment system, so there is a logical base for the projector to hide into when it’s away.
Choosing the Right Hidden Projector Screen
When it comes to choosing a hidden projector screen, there are a few factors to consider. While we stand by our recommendation of the Elite Screens Evanesce B (on Amazon), in this section, we’ll cover two important considerations you should take into account when shopping for your own: projector screen size and fabric.
Projector Screen Size
The size of the screen should be determined by the size of the room and the distance between the projector and the screen. A larger room will require a larger screen, while a smaller room will require a smaller screen.
It’s also important to consider the aspect ratio of the screen. The most common aspect ratios are 16:9 and 4:3. The 16:9 aspect ratio is ideal for watching movies and TV shows, while the 4:3 aspect ratio is better suited for presentations and slideshows.
There are a variety of fabrics available, each with their own unique characteristics. Some fabrics are designed to enhance image quality, while others are designed to be more durable. We actually have a whole post diving deeper into the best fabric for a projector screen here.
One popular fabric for projector screens is white matte fabric. This fabric is designed to reflect light evenly, resulting in a clear and bright image. Another popular fabric is grey matte fabric, which is designed to enhance contrast and black levels.
It’s also important to consider the price of the fabric. While some fabrics can be quite expensive, there are also more affordable options available.
So Long Screen!
When it comes to creating a cinema experience in your home theater, a projector screen is a must-have. However, traditional projector screens can be bulky, take up a lot of space, and can be an eyesore when not in use. That’s where hidden projector screens come in. With a hidden projector screen, you can enjoy the benefits of a projector screen without sacrificing style or space!