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BenQ Knowledge Center

Choosing Projector Screen Type, Size, Material, and More

The projection screen's size, material and type matter if you would like to have an amazing viewing experience.

Screen Style

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.

1. Fixed Screens

2. Retractable Screens

Screen Size

2. Aspect Ratio

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 Content formatted in 4:3 is standard in older TV shows and almost entirely out of use today, having been replaced by 16:9.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.

3. Projector Features

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.

Aspect Ratio
Screen Material Properties

One more essential thing to think about is screen material. Screen material has the potential to completely change image properties, so choose carefully.

1. Color

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.

2. Gain

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.

3. Acoustic Screens

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.

Acoustic Screens