What you Should Know Before You Buy a Home Theater Projection Screen

Find out what you need to know before you buy a projection screen for your home theater.

We know you want a huge screen in your home theater and you want it to be really awesome, so to make sure you get exactly what you want, we brought you an article that tells you what you should know before you buy a home theater projection screen. 

“If you’re looking to create a media experience that rivals the one you get at your local Cineplex, a projection screen is the way to go.“Here’s a look at key features to consider when you’re shopping for projection screens.”

Motorization, Masking

“Fixed screens work well in dedicated theater rooms where it’s fine to keep a big portion of your wall covered at all times.”

“For multipurpose rooms, consider a retractable screen that disappears when it’s not in use, perhaps revealing a flat screen TV. Screens can retract from the ceiling, floor, wall or furniture.”

“Three important considerations when selecting a motor for your screen are maintenance/longevity, loudness of the mechanism and ease of integration.”


“Motorized screens are fairly easy to automate because they are usually in one of two states: completely up or completely down.

“Side-to-side masking solutions can be more complicated to automate. A specialist can program your system to automatically mask your screen according to the content being played. The mask will stretch out for ultra-widescreen movies, glide inwards for boxier shows, and possibly close all the way when the theater empties.”

Screen Material

“A matte white screen is typically the best choice for dark environments. In rooms where ambient light is a factor, a gray screen can be used to preserve contrast.”

“For the most realistic surround-sound experience, place the center speaker(s) behind the screen. This configuration requires an acoustically transparent screen that allows sound to penetrate the fabric via tiny perforations. Ideally, the speaker(s) should be placed about 12 inches behind the screen.”

“An important characteristic of a screen is its gain, which measures how light reflects off the surface. In simple terms, a higher gain equates to a brighter image; however, a high-gain screen (above 1.3 or so) may limit the viewing angle and create sometimes an inconsistent quality across the entire screen.”

Screen Size

“Consider these two things when specifying the size of the screen: the resolution of the image and its distance from the viewing area. The higher the resolution, the closer you can sit; the closer you sit, the smaller the screen should be.”

“Some home theater experts also use a rule of thumb based on the horizontal measure of the screen, suggesting that the distance between the screen and the seating should be about 1.2 times the width of the screen.”

Screen Features

“A rear-projection system can be an excellent alternative when a room is too bright or the space simply cannot support a front-facing projector for whatever reason. Make sure you select a specially formulated screen for this application.”

“Larger and wider images have spawned a new class of screens for home theaters: curved screens. Because of the curvature, more of the light reflects into the seating area, rather than the walls of the theater. “

“For screen maintenance, brush the surface softly with a clean, soft-bristled brush to remove any loose dirt or dust. Do not vacuum or use sharp instruments. For tougher spots, try a non-moisturizing/non-oily detergent (diluted to 20% strength), water, and a cellulose sponge.”

Pricing a Screen

“Typically, the price of a video screen depends on the size of the surface, the quality of the screen material, motorization and a handful of other features.”

Screen Size

Naturally, the price of the screen increases with its size. A 92-inch fixed screen that is suitable for a home theater might retail for about $1,000 and a 110-inch piece might sell for about $1,500. Decent Internet brands and more mainstream screens might cost half that amount, and premium providers can easily double the amount.”


“Make sure your motorized screen has side supports to keep the surface taut. Adding motorization to a good screen can range from $500 to $2,500 depending on the quality, longevity, automation features and loudness of the motor, as well as special accommodations to the screen itself. “

I see all kinds of beautiful home theater rooms like this and the main thing homeowners always say is how much planning went into it. How much research and information they had to find to make sure they got the best products for the best prices. We hope you found this article helpful for learning what you should know before you buy a home theater projection screen.

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