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The projection screen material best for you depends on your projector, physical space, projection method, lighting environment, and other factors. Always choose the material that will be best for the majority of your viewing. For example, don’t base your buying decision solely on price or solely on the gain.
Generally speaking, select a white material for a dark viewing environment like a movie theater. If there is any light in the viewing environment that will be competing with the projector; use a light gray material for low light or a dark gray material for moderate light.
With that said, here are some popular uses for each material.
- FlexiWhite, FlexiGray are the top-selling options for a wooden fixed frame or portable kit where the screen is pulled tight and evenly in all four directions
- ALR is the top-selling option for a wooden fixed frame where the screen is pulled tight and evenly in all four directions, but is not portable
- Ultra-White, Ultra-Gray and Ultra-ALR are the best options for designing your own roll down mechanism or stapling directly onto drywall (Max height: UW 98″, UG 86″ and UALR 90″)
- ProWhite or ProGray are best when designing your own roll down mechanism or stapling directly onto drywall and you need a screen taller than Ultra (max height of 126-inches)
- Rear Projection in White or Gray are the only options for placing the projector behind the screen. It must have the words Rear Projection in the product title
- Blackout Cloth is the best for an entry-level screen when the screen is pulled tight and evenly in all four directions
- Nano Acoustic Flexi is the best option for placing your speakers behind the screen where the screen is pulled tight and evenly in all four directions
- SheerWeave is best when designing your own roll down mechanism or stapling directly onto drywall and you have placed speakers behind the screen
- SilverScreen: for passive 3D and a wooden frame, or portable kit where the screen is pulled tight and evenly in all four directions (2 projectors)
- ProSilver: for passive 3D and a roll down mechanism or stapling directly onto drywall (2 projectors)
- FlexiWhite, FlexiGray, Ultra-White, Ultra-Gray, Ultra-ALR, ProWhite, ProGray, Nano Acoustic FlexiWhite, Nano Acoustic FlexiGray, Micro Acoustic FlexiWhite, ProSilver, Ultra-Short Throw: The gray or white side faces the audience. The back is black.
- ALR: The matte finish side faces the audience. The side with the sheen is the back.
- White Rear Projection: The matte finish side faces the audience. Project onto the shiny side. Quick Look
- If you use White Rear Projection Film for front-projection, the matte finish should remain facing the audience.
- Gray Rear Projection: The matte finish side faces the audience. Project onto the shiny side. Quick Look
- Blackout Cloth: The side with a smoother rubber coating faces the audience. Quick Look
- SheerWeave: You can use either side. There is no discernible difference.
- SilverScreen: The grainy side faces the audience. Quick Look
Generally speaking, we recommend using white projector screen materials for dark environments and gray projector screen materials for environments with ambient light. The darker you can get your viewing environment the better the results. It is unlikely you will need gray if you have a dark viewing environment. Gray provides additional contrast when you have ambient light competing with your projector.
Ambient light is any light that exists in your viewing environment. It may be indoor light fixtures or street lights, etc. If you have a dark room where the lights can be turned off we call this controlled light versus dealing with a street lamp, for example, which you may not have control over. An example of a dark viewing environment is a movie theater, an example of low light might be a small light coming from the next room, moderate ambient light would be a light on in the same room as your screen and high ambient light might be from a window or door.
Unfortunately, none of our materials are meant for full sunlight.
Dusk/Sunset: If your only ambient light concern is 20 minutes of viewing time at dusk, go with white. If you will experience ambient light throughout the entire movie, even after the sun goes down, go with gray.
All of our projector screen materials are compatible with HD projection, though your projector, of course, will need to be capable of projecting a native HD resolution. That said, materials with little to no texture can provide the sharpest possible picture for your high-definition and 4K projected images.
Pro and Ultra-ALR are specialized products for everyday usage, HD & 4K Ultra HD in a dark to a moderately lit environment. It also works for both active 3D and with two passive 3D projectors when ambient light is controlled.
SilverScreen and ProSilver are specialized products for Passive 3D movie viewing and is the best solution for Passive 3D (Passive 3D Glasses). It is highly reflective and not necessarily meant for everyday usage – although we have had some people use it that way – it is not our recommendation. Every day, Non-passive 3D SilverScreen users may experience hotspots when paired with a bright projector. Passive 3D requires two passive 3D projectors.
Our other materials are not usually recommended for 3D usage – it may be possible in some cases, but you will get more pop from the materials mentioned above.
The best projection screen material right for you depends on your projector, physical space, projection method, lighting environment, frame, and other factors. Instead of asking which material is the best, ask yourself which material is best for my specific needs. For example, don’t base your buying decision solely on price or solely on the gain. Buying a more expensive material that is not compatible with your projector, frame or lighting environment will not produce the desired results.
No, sorry it cannot. Front projection screen materials are opaque. The image will not show through the screen.
Yes! Carl’s White Rear Projection Film works great for both rear and front, dual-sided projection! It also offers a wider viewing angle and fewer chances for any hotspots due to its semi-transparency. White Rear Projection Film works best in a dark viewing environment.
In short, Gray Rear Projection Film can but it is not its specialty. Our Gray Rear Projection Film is translucent and may work for front-projection; however, compared to an opaque front-projection screen, it will not be nearly as bright. Used in a rear-projection set-up environment, though, it will rival any front-projection set-up. If you do use Gray Rear Projection Film for both front and rear projection; use a smaller seating viewing angle and make sure there is no light behind the screen as it will show through. Gray Rear Projection Film works best in low ambient light situations.
Yes! Carl’s Gray Rear Projection Film and White Rear Projection Film are perfect for most AtmosFX Virtual Halloween or Virtual Santa Window Projections. Safely run your projector from inside your home and project through your window or door, using our translucent gray or semi-translucent white projection screen. They work great with Standard and HD Projection Videos.
- For photographic DVDs, our Rear Projection Material is best when stretched tight
- For shadow/silhouette DVDs, hang the screen loosely over your window or door like a window curtain
Unlike static window clings, a Carl’s Rear Projection Screen can be used year-round as an indoor/outdoor movie screen.
These materials are not clear and may not be compatible with any holographic illusions requiring a clear surface. Please note, these projection screens do NOT have an adhesive backing and are NOT a static window cling. You can find AtmosFX virtual projections, such as Jack-O’-Lantern Jamboree, here on Amazon.
No, sorry Carl’s Projector Screen Materials do not have an adhesive backing, nor are they a static window cling.
Yes definitely! Carl’s Blackout Cloth is manufactured to provide a crisp, clear projected image and is available in much larger sizes than fabric stores offer. Fabric store material is often used as a backing material for window curtains. Since the material doesn’t show behind the curtain, some imperfections in the rubber coating are acceptable. These imperfections in the rubber coating may drastically impair your image, especially in brighter scenes. You may also experience hotspots, due to these imperfections, where a portion of the screen is just a bright white spot. However, Carl’s Blackout Cloth is coated with multiple consistent high-quality layers of thin reflective rubber which will provide accurate color and clarity in a dark viewing environment.
Yes! Our Blackout Cloth will block out light from your window. Several of our customers have used Blackout Cloth to greatly reduce ambient light in their viewing environment.
Here at Carl’s Place, we use the word Remnant and/or Clearance item interchangeably.
Disclaimer: Carl’s Place remnants/clearance items have slight blemishes, stubborn folds, are lightly soiled, have backward grommets, are an uncommon size or come in an opened box but should generally be OK for projection.
- Remnants/Clearance items are sold as is.
- Remnants/Clearance items are not flawless.
- Remnants/Clearance items are not returnable for refund.
- All sales are final, no returns.
All clearance items are pre-packaged for shipping so unfortunately, we are unable to indicate the exact defect on any specific item. We can tell you the flaw or defect will be visible, and we would never sell anything in poor condition. Remnants/Clearance items are priced in such a way that most customers will be happy with the purchase, including the defect, at the discounted price. However, since clearance items are non-returnable, if a visible defect is going to bother you then you may want to consider a brand-new product which is guaranteed to be flawless. Remnants/Clearance items are Not flawless.
Generally speaking, if you are looking at a product that has “(x) Sizes” in the product title it has never been used but has a manufacturing defect of some kind. If the product title lists only one specific size, this is usually a gently used return from a customer.
Remnants/Clearance items are sold as is. They are not customizable. Unless specified, this item ships folded in a box and cannot be rolled. Prices are good while supplies last. Remnants/Clearance items are not returnable for refund. All sales are final, no returns.
Please note, we strongly encourage international customers to consider brand new items due to international shipping costs on Remnants and Clearance items.
Our movie screen materials will NOT withstand the impact of a golf ball.
Golf Simulator Enclosure Information
Aspect ratio simply refers to the shape of the image being projected. When the ratio of the projector, image, and screen match the image fills the entire screen and you will not see black masking bars.
An aspect ratio of 4:3 has the shape of a CRT TV, and a 16:9 has the shape of a flat screen TV. The 16:10 is an aspect ratio mostly used for computer displays and tablet computers. These days it’s somewhat uncommon for projection, but with some effort it should be possible to find a projector capable of this ratio.
For some customers, the projected image is secondary while the safety of the surrounding area is the priority. Selecting a size where the aspect ratio is non-standard, so that it fits your space, is also an option. Just be aware the image will not fill the entire screen if you are using it for projection and the black masking bars will be visible.
The 1:1 is a square and is not a standard aspect ratio for projectors, but may work if space is limited, although it increases the chances of seeing black bars and you will likely have to adjust the settings on your computer. Adjusting the settings on your computer may be difficult for most customers unless you are very technically savvy.
The optimum screen size for a given seating area is a largely subjective choice, but we like to follow recommendations made by a few organizations like THX and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. For more information visit Wiki’s-Optimum HDTV viewing distance. In our brief opinion, measure the distance from the screen to your optimum seat, divide by three, and that’s the best height for a screen.
The max height, for a seamless screen, varies by material. Width is not an issue.
Max Height of 126-inches:
- Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR)
- White Rear Projection
- Gray Rear Projection
Max Height of 110-inches:
- Blackout Cloth
Max Height of 98-inches:
Max Height of 90-inches:
Max Height of 86-inches:
- Nano Acoustic FlexiWhite
- Nano Acoustic FlexiGray
Designers and DIY enthusiasts alike can choose from multiple sizes and prices perfect for any custom-look, space, and budget. Keep in mind, the size you order is the size you will receive. If you plan to wrap the material around the frame and staple it on the back of your frame you may need to order a slightly larger cut of material or build your frame slightly smaller than the cut of fabric you decide to purchase. If you plan to use the non-wrap technique and staple the material to the front of your frame, to use the fabric cut to the fullest, consider buying Black Felt Tape to cover your staples and give yourself a professional-looking, contrast-boosting border (sold separately).
Our projection screen materials do not expand or grow in size, like say a Spandex material would.
Gain is a measurement of the reflectivity of any screen or projection surface. Learn more at projectorcentral.com/projector_screens_gain
Why don’t rear projection materials show a gain measurement?
In our opinion, Rear Projection screens do not have a gain since the light passes through the material instead of reflecting from the screen and back to the viewer.
Care and Use Information
Remove the material from the shipping package immediately upon receipt and allow the fabric to relax for a day or so before installing. If you choose a product that ships folded in a box or if you leave your screen in long-term storage, you will see fold marks when the material is first pulled out of the box, as any textile will have.
The absolute best way to remove folds is to use tension-mounting. When a screen is pulled tight (or bungeed) evenly around the screen we call this tensioned (like an artist canvas, drum or trampoline). Once installed and the proper tension has been applied evenly all the way around the screen, the folds should pull out nicely. Fold marks can be a good indicator you have applied the proper amount of tension during installation.
However, Blackout Cloth Only can be ironed at the lowest setting and only on the back. Please use care so you do not melt the reflective coating. We do NOT recommend using an iron on any other materials, except Blackout Cloth. Do Not use steam on the front smooth rubbery coating side of Blackout Cloth or you risk melting the reflective coating. Use extreme caution when using steam on the back of Blackout Cloth. Do Not use steam on any other type of material as it will melt PVC based screens.
You can use a hairdryer at the lowest setting and only on the back of our PVC based materials, such as; Ambient Light Rejecting, FlexiWhite, FlexiGray, Acoustic FlexiWhite, Gray & White Rear Projection Film, and SilverScreen. Do Not hold the hairdryer too close to the screen. Again, use extreme care not to melt the reflective coating and do Not use steam.
Keep in mind, select materials have the option to ship rolled on a tube for an additional fee if you prefer to avoid fold marks. In the DIY market, there is a wide range of comfort levels, skill sets, and abilities. If you are at all concerned about folds and wrinkles you may want to consider ordering your material rolled, when available.
Shipping carriers require we staple (not just tape) end caps in the tubes to secure its contents. Be sure to remove the staples before extracting your material from a tube. Removing staples from the end of the tube, that will be opened, will ensure your material does not get scratched, ripped or damaged by the staples.
Unfortunately, Carl’s Place cannot be held responsible for damage to or resulting from screens that are not cared for responsibly. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – do your best to set-up, use and store your screen in a safe, clean and dry environment.
Yes, you can lightly spot clean your screen with water and a soft rag or sponge. Mild dish soap can be used in small areas with a light touch. Please use care so you do not injure the reflective coating and always test in a very small area first.
As a last resort, you can try a small amount of alcohol or mineral spirits on all PVC materials; NOT on Blackout Cloth or SheerWeave. Using a Q-tip, in a small area, with a light touch and test it in a very small area first. Gently wipe the spot dry using the dry end of the Q-tip, do not soak or allow cleaners to dry on the screen.
Do NOT use abrasives, steam clean, dry clean or place in a washing machine. Unfortunately, Carl’s Place cannot be held responsible for damage to or resulting from screens that are not cleaned and cared for responsibly. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – do your best to set-up, use and store your screen in a safe, clean and dry environment.
Always make sure your screen is completely clean and dry before storing to avoid spots, mold or mildew. Most raw materials can be stored folded or rolled. However, UltraWhite 4K, Ambient Light Rejecting, ProGray, ProWhite, ProSilver, Short Throw and SheerWeave must never be folded, roll these three materials on a tube for safe storage.
If you have a portable Finished Edge Screen and you plan to repeatedly fold and unfold your screen, do so loosely. Long-term storage and tight folds may take a few days to relax. We do not recommend rolling a finished edge screen with vinyl edges and grommets or you risk indenting the screen with each grommet. At the risk of repeating ourselves, fold the screen loosely, making sure it is clean and dry before storing.
Unfortunately, Carl’s Place cannot be held responsible for damage to or resulting from screens that are not stored responsibly. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – do your best to set-up, use and store your screen in a safe, clean and dry environment.
We are sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, we do not have repair kits at this time. Depending on the type of material you purchased, you can try a heavy-duty tape or a fabric patch on the back of small rips. However, this may only be a short-term fix. If you decide to order a replacement screen, please call or email us with your original order information and we would be happy to offer you a small discount on your replacement.
We have some great projector recommendations. See our Top Golf Simulator Projectors for 2021.
If you are a beginner, start with this article:
See Our How to in 3 Easy Steps:
Carl's Place Information
All Carl’s Place products can be purchased online here at carlofet.com. We do not currently have any other authorized dealers or retail stores at this time, our products are only available through Carl’s Place.
If you are one of our many happy and satisfied customers and you would like to share your pictures; email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep in mind your images may be posted on the internet; it’s best to avoid sharing images of your children, addresses, phone numbers, etc. All imagery should be family-friendly and appropriate for business use. Images which are grainy, blurry or contain inappropriate content may not get posted. By sending us your photographs you are agreeing we may use your image(s) on our website and/or any marketing material. Please review the following guidelines:
- The image must be a minimum of 864×480 pixels
- The image must be 3MB or less
- The image must be horizontal
- Blank screen preferred
- Or email us a link to your YouTube video
Most often buying the next default size up is the most cost-effective. After you have the material adhered to your wooden frame simply trim off any excess material with a sharp scissors, utility knife or rotary cutter (such as those used by quilters). Your frame will be your straight edge.
If you plan to buy 20 feet or more consider our bulk by-the-foot product here.
However, if a custom size is needed, contact us with the following information:
- The desired projector screen material
- The cut size/outer dimensions in inches and
- City, state/province, country & postal code for a shipping quote
In an effort to keep prices low for all our valued customers, Carl’s Place reserves the right to charge up to a 50% restocking fee on exchanges, returns, or cancellations on a welded seam, customized screens and/or completed large volume orders. All screens must be returned in new condition and shipping fees, if applicable, are non-refundable.
How-To and How-Not-To Tips
A fixed-frame projector screen is often made of wood and is permanently mounted to the wall.
View our how to build a DIY projector screen page here.
You have asked an excellent question. Please see our how to page here.
Yes. Fresh-cut wood contains water. The loss or gain of moisture content can cause bowing or twisting in the wood. Most warping takes place as fresh-cut wood (or “green wood”) dries, but the potential for movement remains after the lumber is brought into your viewing environment or possibly even after your frame has been built. If you purchase fresh-cut wood, we recommend allowing your wood to acclimate to the room/viewing environment for 7-10 days before building your frame. Building your frame without allowing the wood to acclimate may cause a beautifully stretched screen to later sag as the wood contracts.
If you purchased a stiff material, such as Ultra-White, Ultra-Gray, Ultra-ALR, ProWhite, ProGray, ProSilver, or SheerWeave do NOT try to wrap the fabric. Bending or folding these fabrics may cause permanent damage.
Stapling our Projector Screen Materials to the front of your frame is usually easier than trying to wrap the fabric and still obtain the necessary tension. With that said, it is not impossible – it just takes extra care, time and attention. If you decide to try this be very careful not to rip your fabric on the frame’s edges. Unfortunately, Carl’s Place cannot be held responsible for damage to or resulting from screens that are not installed using our recommended guidelines.
We usually recommend tension-mounting most materials for a flat, clear, crisp image by using our the technique found on our How-To page, which depicts stapling the fabric to the front of your frame and then using our Black Felt Tape to cover the staples and give yourself a professional-looking border.
Yes! Simply trim off the excess material after you have the material adhered to your wooden frame with a sharp scissors, utility knife or rotary cutter (such as those used by quilters). Your frame will be your straight edge.
Occasionally customers ask if they can glue the projector screen materials to a wall or frame or if there is an adhesive that can be used. Our concerns are: (1) wrinkles, air pockets, puckering or bumps (2) will it stick or start to come unglued over time (3) will the glue bleed through the material (4) will the adhesive cause the fabric to yellow over time and (5) damaging the wall or window. For these reasons, we do not usually recommend using glue. However, if you do choose to give glue a try please use extreme caution and test it on a sample first. Order a Sample Pack
When a screen is pulled tight evenly around the screen, we call this tensioned (tight like an artist canvas, drum or trampoline). Tensioning provides a flat screen for even light distribution and reduces image waving on the surface. FlexiWhite, FlexiGray, Ambient Light Rejecting, Gray & White Rear Projection Film, Blackout Cloth, Nano Acoustic FlexiWhite, and SilverScreen work best under tension. We recommend stretching raw material over a wooden frame or using our 6″ Black Ball Bungees with our Finished Edge Screens, Hanging & Standing Kits.
If you choose a product that ships folded in a box you will see fold marks when the material is first pulled out of the box, as any textile will have. Remove your screen material from the shipping package immediately upon receipt and allow the fabric to relax for a day or so before installing. Then use tension mounting to pull out any remaining folds and wrinkles.
Occasionally we get questions about curved frames, often from customers looking to build a flight simulator. If you are building a curved frame we are happy to make a custom size screen for you, if our default sizes will not work for your needs. We also have two sites we recommend for flight simulator builders. Visit cockpitbuilders.com and mycockpit.org for information and ideas on building a curved frame. Unfortunately, we do not currently sell curved frames or offer curved frame building instructions.
We’re sorry, we do not currently sell:
- Screen Paint
- Roll Down Mechanisms
- Motorized Rollers
- Curved Frames
- Adhesive-Backed Material
- Static Window Cling Material
- Truss Systems
- 3D Glasses
- Black Diamond™ by Screen Innovations
- Green Screens
*Unfortunately we don’t sell projectors but, we highly recommend projectorcentral.com.
Volume discounts may be available for those buying in bulk. Contact us regarding your large volume project requirements.
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