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Projectors are one of the most space-efficient, inexpensive ways to enjoy home theater movies, TV and sports games. But even if you’re already equipped with one of the best projectors, you still aren’t getting the best possible theater experience. The key? A great projector screen.
The best projector screens offer two attractive benefits over a blank wall or sheet. Firstly, they massively upgrade image quality. Projector screens are designed to absorb and reflect the perfect amount of light, providing a clear, bright image and color representation that honors the cinematographer. Secondly, projector screens are easier to set up (and store when not in use) eliminating the need for a large blank space on the wall. This means you can quickly turn small living rooms or dens into a real home theater.
What Are the Best Projector Screens?
To help find the right projector screen for your needs, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites. We’ve also compiled some key features that separate the best projector screens from the good.
Brightness: A projector screen’s ability to reflect light is measured in gain. For most purposes, a gain of about 1.1 is optimal, as this maintains dark blacks while providing a bright image. Some high-end projectors boast higher gain (maybe 1.5) while maintaining correct colors, but this higher gain can lessen the screen’s viewing angle (see below).
Viewing Angle: If you want a large audience to enjoy your projector screen, you’ll need one with a wide viewing angle (perhaps around 160 to 180 degrees). However, if the audience in your home theater is usually small and/or your room is deep and narrow, a narrower viewing angle is fine and usually accompanies better image quality.
Size: Part of the fun with projectors is the massive viewing size. Projector screens typically range from about 100 inches to 150 inches, with most users going for 100-inch or 120-inch screens. Check your projector’s maximum projection size, and measure your room to figure out what’s best.
Setup: Unlike TVs, projector screens can be rolled up or folded and tucked away when not in use. Once you’re ready to watch, setup should be as easy as possible. Some projector screens require a frame assembly, but others can be attached to the ceiling and quickly lowered for use.
1. Elite Screens VMAX2 Projector Screen
Elite Screens is the crème de la crème of projector screens, consistently ranked as number one by techies and cinephiles alike. This VMax2 is a great all-around option from the high-end brand, with versatile specs and a range of sizes.
The screen features a balanced gain of 1.1 for a bright, clear picture, plus an incredible 180-degree viewing angle for large audiences. The screen is also very easy to set up and use thanks to a motorized casing that can be mounted on a wall or the ceiling.
2. Silver Ticket Projector Screen
This projector screen from Silver Ticket is, deservedly, a popular option among movie fans. It’s straightforward and comes in a wide range of sizes from 92 inches to 200 inches, to fit any size room. The brightness is just right with a gain of 1.1 and the 160-degree viewing angle is very respectable.
The Silver Ticket screen is made of stretchy white vinyl that can be rolled up or folded without creasing for easy storage. Setup does require a bit more time as you’ll need to assemble the frame, but Silver Ticket has made this quite easy with helpful instructions and videos.
3. Elite Screens ezFrame
Elite Screens’s ezFrame is another worthy pick from the premium brand. This one offers better image quality than the VMax2 with ambient light rejection and a gain of 1.5 for TV-like brightness. This means you can use the ezFrame like a normal TV (albeit a massive TV) during the daytime. In short, it’s just about the best picture quality you’ll find. However, the downside is that the 1.5 gain narrows the viewing angle to just 80 degrees. This won’t be a problem for deep, home theater-type rooms, but it’s not ideal for wider living areas and a scattered audience.