How to Select a Projector Screen Material

You’re ready to build the best projector screen on your block! You’ve come to the right place because it all starts with projector screen materials. At Carl’s Place, we have a vast selection of screen materials and sizes you need to provide a nice, flat texture and consistent color, even with ambient lighting and even when no other perfect surface is available. So let’s guide you through how to get the best screen for you.

SELECT THE RIGHT SCREEN TYPE

How do you plan to build your screen? You’ll want to answer that question before considering your ideal projector screen types (and ultimately selecting a projector screen). Use this article with installation options to help you decide. From there, you’ll know the kind of screen type you’re looking for (stretchy or stiff, a.k.a. flexible or not).

Stretchy screens (FlexiWhite, FlexiGray, Nano FlexiWhite, Nano FlexiGray, ALR, SilverScreen, SheerWeave, Blackout Cloth) easily stretch or staple over a frame or can also be folded for portable outdoor applications. They are great for portability and so are the top choice for backyards. Their availability in welded sizes also makes them a top choice in large venues. Stiff screens (ProWhite, ProGray, UltraGray, UltraWhite, UltraALR, ProSilver, UltraShortThrow, Gray Rear Film, White Rear Film) are perfect for roll down applications or glue-down applications. Note: stiff screens can also be stretched over a frame but are harder to get stretched perfectly flat. When done well, though, the results are fantastic!

CHOOSE THE APPROPRIATE SCREEN COLOR

Choose the right projector screen material for your application and environment.

Think about your environment. Will you be in dark controlled light like a movie theater or somewhere with low ambient light like lamps, stage lights, or even windows? This is the time for grey vs. white consideration. White is the perfect color for dark controlled light. Your contrast, color and image quality will truly shine. If you have some ambient light and want to maintain that same clarity, you’ll want to go with gray. Settle your internal white vs. gray material debate here.

The dusk/sunset consideration: if you’ll be using your screen outdoors and your only ambient light concern is 20 minutes of viewing time at dusk, go with white. If you will have ambient light throughout the movie (like nearby street lights or bright yard lights), even after the sun goes down, go with gray.

MAKE SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

When you have specific needs from your screen like acoustic transparency, short throw from your projector, edge blending, or a rear projection requirement, you need to select a material accordingly.

Rear projection: Because they are opaque and don’t allow light to pass through, our front-projection materials cannot be used for rear projection. For this, we have our gray and white rear projection screen materials.

Acoustic transparency: Our 7% perforated screens in Nano Acoustic FlexiWhite and Nano Acoustic FlexiGray offer perforations to hide your audio equipment behind the screen for an acoustically transparent screen fabric, and SheerWeave delivers similar transparency by using a woven fiber instead of perforations.

Golf impact screens: Be sure to select a screen specifically designed for impact. Carl’s Place offers three different levels of material based on the intended level of use and budget, in Standard, Preferred, and Premium.

Short throw/ edge blending: Works best with FlexiWhite or FlexiGray material. If they can be supported, our UltraWhite and UltraGray are also strong options. Note that ALR materials have the highest sheen and should be avoided because both of these applications are particularly sensitive to uneven brightness reflecting from the projector.

FIND YOUR IDEAL SCREEN SIZE

When considering how to choose a projector screen size, you first need to consider your ideal aspect ratio. Your ideal aspect ratio is likely 16:9 for a nice home theater projector that’s capable of 1080p or 4k resolution.

Overall, you want to size the screen to fit your environment and your audience. While projector screens allow you to go way bigger than a traditional screen, don’t go too big or your audience will be overwhelmed. For more on ideal aspect ratio and ideal screen size, read our article How to Select Your Ideal Screen Size.

Here at Carl’s Place, we can offer screens big enough for nearly any application, whether that’s a 100″ home theater screen or a 300″+ large venue screen.