Please help me choose a projection screen.
January 24, 2012 6:45 AM   Subscribe

I need to buy a projector screen, and I need some advice. Specifics are inside.

Here are the specifics:

- I need to replace a cheap one that is 8' by 8' and hung on a wall.

- This is for front projection.

- It is being used in a room with a lot of ambient.

- It is very important to me that I get the best color saturation possible.

- I have about $500 to spend.

Any recommendations you can make would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your help.
posted by 4ster to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Response by poster: a lot of ambient light, that is.
posted by 4ster at 6:50 AM on January 24, 2012

I'm guessing this is for home theater. However, there's a bunch of questions you'll need to figure out: For instance, what projector do you have? Do you know the aspect ratio? Your last screen had a square ratio, most images are either close to that (1.33:1, usually for SD) or rectangular (1.78:1, usually for HDTV and movies). Do you you know the approximate diagonal screen size you want?

When you've got all that info, there's several places to try. Da-Lite is well-known and has a huge selection but can be expensive. Monoprice is more affordable, but has a very limited selection. You may want to check out the screens section at AVS Forum for more advice.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:12 AM on January 24, 2012

We had lots of luck painting a screen. Take a look at AVSforums for the details. I believe we started with a couple layers of gray primer with sanding after each application then a couple of layers of a color call called "Silver Screen". I believe it was all Behr paint from Home Depot.

This clearly isn't perfect, but I'm not sure you will get a high quality screen for $500. Ours was almost double the size you are looking for, so the cost for a high quality screen was outrageous.

The color with the wall after calibration is excellent. The performance in day light isn't great, but that is more a property of the projector we're using...
posted by NoDef at 7:14 AM on January 24, 2012

Draper makes good screens. You want a screen with high reflectivity (or "gain"), if you have a lot of ambient light.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:14 AM on January 24, 2012

Response by poster: This (PDF) is what Dalite suggests, but I'm not sure about which is the best for dealing with the ambient light.
posted by 4ster at 7:58 AM on January 24, 2012

I'd recommend looking at guides on for great ideas. I'm using a homemade screen using white blackout cloth as the surface - the gain measures at something like 1.3 or 1.4, it's completely opaque, and if you shop around you can get a fairly large swath of it for crazy cheap (mine is 10'x7' or so, obtained for around 40 bucks). At that point just a bit of home handiwork and 50 bucks or so in Home Despot supplies will get you a perfectly great screen, and for waaaaaaay less than a prefab of the same size.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:21 AM on January 24, 2012

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