There are two main styles or core designs of screens: fixed and retractable. The one that suits your needs best depends mostly on the room you intend to use for your projector. Also, retractable screens tend to cost more than fixed ones, which might be a crucial factor to keep in mind.
Projector screens come in at least three different aspect ratios: 4:3, 16:9, and 2:35:1. Content formatted in 4:3 is standard in older TV shows and almost entirely out of use today, having been replaced by 16:9. However, if you want to feel like you’re at the movie theater, anamorphic 2.35:1 is the best choice.
While we’re discussing how to choose a screen, you obviously should think about the many ways your projector will interact with whatever display you choose. Pay close attention to projector specs, in particular throw distance, brightness, aspect ratio support, and naturally resolution.
One more essential thing to think about is screen material. Screen material has the potential to completely change image properties, so choose carefully.
While the classic projection screen comes in white, you can get surfaces in a variety of colors for different applications. However, since we’re focusing on projection for home entertainment in this article, a white screen would serve you best.
Select screens have added effects applied to them to artificially boost brightness and support supposedly more emphatic HDR. However, this often has the downside of reduced viewing angles and hot spotting, whereby brightness isn’t even and certain parts of the image look unnaturally bright. We recommend neutrally-applied screen coating without a gain boost. With modern HDR-enabled projectors those fixes no longer have any tangible benefit.
Typically, screens utilize a consistent fabric-like material to best block and reflect light. As such, they also block sound and thus require speakers be placed beside them or otherwise elsewhere in the room. Acoustic screens employ a mesh weave that attempts to balance reflectivity with sound transparency, or acoustic passthrough. In simpler terms, these screens try to provide a good image while allowing sound waves to pass through them so that you can save space by placing speakers directly behind the screen. Be advised your experience may vary greatly depending on acoustic screen build quality. To play it safe, we recommend purchasing a conventional fabric display.