Projector screens are like most other home theater equipment. There are tons of different options to choose from, and it’s not easy deciding on one. You should know the room dimensions, where it will be placed, and what type of projector you will be using before purchasing a projector screen. This will save you money in the long run, I promise.
Best Fixed Frame Projector Screen
My top recommendation for a great quality screen is a fixed frame 100″ projector screen by Silver Ticket Products (on Amazon). I honestly wish projector screens like this were being made when we first built our home theater.
We made our frame from scratch, using wood (cut to length), a dark black carpet material to wrap the pieces of wood, and a stand-alone white screen. It was a total pain in the rear end making sure that everything fit exactly as needed. And you know what? It was still way more expensive than this screen. The different fixed frame screens by this silver ticket products come with 6 separate pieces that assemble together to make the frame. The frame has mechanisms on the back to properly stretch the screen across the entire area with no wrinkles. It also has adjustable top and bottom mounting brackets to ensure the screen is securely attached to the wall. Check out this assembly video posted by an Amazon customer, it shows step by step how this screen is assembled, and it is incredibly simple!
This specific projector screen is a white material that is 100″ diagonally with a gain of 1.1. A 1.1 gain means that the light projected onto the screen is reflected back 1.1x brighter than the original light source. So, as long as your projector has a decent lumen count, this will be no issue at all. This screen has a very wide viewing angle of 160 degrees. The frame is 2 and 3/8 inches wide and wrapped in a black velvet material that absorbs excess light very well. It’s truly an incredible difference between a plain white wall or a bed sheet.
Materials and Sizes Available
Silver Ticket Products makes various aspect ratios and sizes for this exact type of fixed frame set up. The sizes are made as small as 92″ diagonally and as large as 175″ diagonally. They also have different screen materials available.
- White – recommended for almost all home theater setups.
- Silver – suggested for rooms that are not completely dark and contain different ambient light sources. This material provides a gain of 1.5.
- Woven Acoustic – This material allows for sounds to pass through the screen without any decibel loss. We’ve used materials like this in the past, and they look outstanding and allow the added benefit of hiding speakers behind your screen. We actually have a woven acoustic screen in our living room, that has left, right, and center channel speakers hidden behind it. Note: this material has a 3 1/4″ wide frame.
- Grey – Very similar to white, but with a gain of 1.0.
- High Contrast Grey – You would use a high contrast grey if your projector has a lower contrast ratio. The darker black colors will actually show better on this material vs a white material. The gain of .95 means that you will need a projector with a higher lumen count because some of the light will be absorbed by the screen.
Choose the screen size and material based upon the projector that you have. For most everyone, a white screen material will be more than adequate for your needs!
Check out other products made by Silver Ticket Products. They make some amazing home theater and home entertainment equipment!
Fixed Frame vs Motorized or Manual Projector Screens
I usually suggest fixed frame projector screens to anyone wanting a permanent home theater set up, and these work just fine for 3D projectors as well (we explain why in our guide). There are certain situations where a motorized or manual projector screen is a great option! Some people may not want an 80″ to 120″ projector screen permanently attached their wall. Depending on the screen you have, it may not be the most attractive thing to have hanging on a wall at all times. If the projector screen is not in a dedicated home theater room then it’s nice to be able to easily hide or remove the screen. This is where a motorized or manual projector screen comes in handy.
Recommended Motorized Screen
A motorized projector screen is a long tube that contains a rolled-up screen that can be lowered and raised via an internal electric motor. The motorized screen I recommend is the Elite Screens Spectrum Series, 100″ Motorized Projector Screen.
The screen itself is very similar to other standard white screens. The screen material is very high quality and has a gain of 1.1. They claim its viewing angle is 180 degrees, I don’t believe this is correct, but it’s not really an issue for home use.
What’s different about this unit is that the circuit board is contained within the enclosure. Most other motorized screens have bulky wires at the end of one of the end caps, with a large wall control that contains the circuit board. But this unit has the circuit board contained within the enclosure. You simply connect power and the other accessories (wall control, rf receiver, etc.) This means you can very easily run the cables through a wall, so you don’t have cables dangling down from the tube.
This product comes with an IR remote control and a low profile 3-way wall control. Additionally, you can connect a 12v trigger to lower and raise the screen whenever the projector is powered on or off.
There aren’t many complaints about the tension or tightness of the screen. If the tension of the screen is not correct on all sides, the screen can have a wavy look to it. You definitely don’t want this, but it’s a legitimate concern with all motorized screens. Shipping damage is also something you should be aware of. All motorized and manual projector screens ship pre-built and a very long tube like this can easily be damaged in shipping. This isn’t the company’s fault, it’s just luck of the draw really.
Recommended Manual Pull Down Screen
If you are old fashioned and want manually pull the screen down or want to save a buck, then check out the VIVO 100″ Manual Pull Down Projector Screen. This is a very cheap option for a projector screen. The quality of the material isn’t as good as the other screens mentioned, but it’s still exceptional.
This is a great option for an outdoor setup where the screen will be exposed to the environment a little. It’s also a good option for a makeshift home theater room. However, for a home theater room, I would suggest a fixed frame or motorized screen. It will add a nice effect to the room and make it more visually appealing. But if you don’t mind the look of an old-timey pull-down screen, then definitely go with this one!