Home theaters used to be a thing of the wealthy. But with the best home theater projector screens, you can have the high quality movie experience on any budget.
As such, more people are installing man caves and investing in home theater systems as they look to upgrade their in-house entertainment possibilities.
But, while the newest TV screens are impressive, nothing beats watching the latest movies via projector. And to get the most out of a home projector system, you’ll need a dedicated screen. Here we reveal the best home theater projector screen options out there, with a range of choices for all different budgets and preferences.
Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Projector Screen
Before we get into the best projector screens, it’s important that you know what factors to consider before selecting the best choice for you.
Size is the number one consideration when selecting a projector screen. The most popular sizes are in the 100-120-inch range. This size screen offers a good fit for most rooms, while being big enough to provide an authentic cinematic experience.
But, when it comes to choosing the best screen for your home theater, you need to consider the height and width of the space, as well as the viewing distance.
Don’t go too big on the screen if limited space in your home theater means you’re right up close to the picture. Make that mistake and you’ll have to turn your head to take in different parts of the screen when a new character starts talking.
The aspect ratio you go for depends on the type of content you want to watch. Most screens have an aspect ratio of 16:9, which is ideal for watching a variety of content, including sports, video games and TV shows.
But, if all you want to do is watch movies, it could be wise to go with a cinemascope aspect ratio of 2.40:1. This aspect ratio will ensure you get the best possible HD image for a true home theater experience.
The ‘gain’ measures the brightness of the image reflected back off of a projector screen’s surface. As such, gain indicates the reflectivity of the screen surface. The industry standard gain is 1.0, with higher gains such as 1.5 offering a brighter picture.
The downside is, higher gains provide a smaller viewing angle. If you’ve got a couple of massage chairs right in front of the screen, great. But anyone sitting outside of the optimum viewing area wouldn’t enjoy the same screen brightness.
The best gain for your home theater also depends on the amount of ambient light in the room, as well as the lumen level of your specific projector. As such, you need to consider audience configuration, your room’s lighting conditions and your projector specifications to select the best gain for your needs.
7 Best Home Theater Projector Screens
Now you have a better idea of what size and type of screen you’re looking for, here are some of the best projector screen options on the market today.
Thanks to the wide variety of choice at the lower end of the price spectrum, it’s easy to find the best home theater projector screen under 500 USD. In fact, many top models come in at much less than that, so a smaller budget won’t mean that you have to skimp on great design and detailing.
Step forward the Silver Ticket 4K Ultra projector screen, our top pick overall.
While the reasonable price is a huge plus point, this projector screen offers a picture quality comparable to screens 10 times its price. And, its superb tension design keeps the screen from wrinkling, guaranteeing an excellent picture.
The black velvet border on the screen helps to absorb stray projector light and improve your viewing experience. And the 160-degree viewing angle and 1.1 gain makes watching movies easier, even when there’s ambient light.
Also, while this screen is 100 inches and has an aspect ratio of 16:9, you can get the same model from 92 inches to 200 inches, and with different aspect ratios.
Best Budget Option:
No matter how tight your budget, there’s no excuse for projecting your movies onto the wall. Especially not when you can get this Best Choice Manual Pull Down Screen for such a great price.
This super economical option offers surprisingly quality images and is easy to install, easy to clean, and provides the large angle viewing that it promises. It’s also easy to pull down whenever you want to use it and is smooth and easy to retract.
One downside is the 1:1 aspect ratio, meaning it’s far squarer than the standard 16:9 aspect ratio screen. This means you’ll lose some screen space when watching HDTV.
Also, the corners of the screen can be prone to wrinkling and the screen isn’t compatible with high-end projection equipment. But, at that price, you can’t really argue!
Best Picture Quality:
For those of you who prioritize picture quality above all else, the Elite Screens Sable Frame screen is your best choice.
The CineWhite matte white material of the screen offers a far superior picture quality than the price tag would have you believe. Reviewers compare this screen to having a 100-inch LED TV thanks to the total lack of perceived texture.
It’s also 4K and HD ready, offers excellent black and white contrast, true color rendition and broad light dispersion. In short, you’re guaranteed top-class picture quality within a viewing angle of up to 180 degrees whatever format you choose.
And, while some reviewers mention that it’s not as easy to install as our top pick, the Silver Ticket 4K, others say the set-up is pretty straight forward as long as you have a friend to help.
Best for Large Rooms:
If you want to go large and have a generous budget, this Elite Screen 180-inch model is the biggest and best home theater projector screens under 2000 USD.
As well as a mammoth total viewing space of 88.3 inches by 156.9 inches, the 180-degree viewing angle means all your guests will enjoy a high-quality picture. Plus, the full black backing surface prevents light penetration from behind.
The screen comes with an infrared remote and detachable three-way wall switch to control the silent motorized retractable display. Plus, you have the option of wall or ceiling installation, as well as an optional in-ceiling trim kit for hidden installation.
Yes, the price tag is high, but the size, quality and features of this screen offer an unbeatable cinematic experience for any room big enough to handle it.
Best for Small Rooms:
This 84-inch Elite Screens model is ideal for anyone with limited space or a short viewing distance in their home theater. The screen is more than capable of handling both Active 3D and 4K Ultra HD quality, and its excellent design ensures no creases, curling or wrinkles.
The 160-degree viewing angle screen is easy to set up while the 1:1 gain is ideal for a bright, clear picture for all viewers. The full black backing surface eliminates any light penetration, and the black velvet aluminum frame absorbs stray projector light to provide excellent viewing focus.
Also, the display is both flame and mildew resistant, making the screen a safe and durable choice for any small room.
Best for Minimizing Ambient Light:
If you’re looking for the best home theater projector screens under 1000 USD the Elite Screen Aeon CineGrey is an excellent choice, especially if you don’t have blackout blinds in your home theater.
This screen comes in various sizes but the 110-inch model is ideal for most homes and has the incredible ability of rejecting ambient light. This means you only have to close the curtains and turn down the lights to enjoy a crisp, clear picture with no danger of stray ambient light sneaking in.
One downside is that the grey screen doesn’t look as attractive as a white screen when it’s not in use. But, this screen’s ability to take any type of image, from 4K to 3D, as well as the LED backlight, more than make up for that disadvantage.
Best Standing Screen:
For a good-quality screen that you can use outdoors as well as inside the home, this Visual Apex Projector Screen is our final pick.
Thanks to its easy set-up and storage, it’s also ideal for setting up a home theater in a multi-functional living space. But it does come with wall mounts as well as a stand if you do decide to hang it up.
The 144-inch matte white screen has a standard 16:9 aspect ratio, 1:1 gain, and a 160-degree viewing angle. It also offers good color uniformity and brightness, although it comes folded so you will have to bear with some initial creasing. But, all in all, this is a great choice for those of you who require an easily portable screen.
Benjamin is a gadgeteer and homebody who loves writing about the latest smart home technology. He is particularly interested in covering smart home products that automate (or make more efficient) mundane tasks that every home owner and apartment dweller face on a daily basis.