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  1. What to choose: a TV or a projector? What is better: a projector or a TV?
  2. Projector screen: cheap or costly?
  3. Distance to the screen, audience seating position and dimensions of the screen
  4. Space characteristics
  5. Screen aspect ratio. 4:3? 16:9? Other?
  6. Front projection or rear projection?
  7. Types of projection screens
  8. Permanent (fixed) projection screens
  9. Pull down projection screens
  10. Portable projection screens
  11. Screen material
  12. Gain of the image
  13. Brightness and contrast
  14. Room lighting

What to choose: a TV or a projector? What is better: a projector or a TV?

Having trouble choosing an inexpensive projector, screen or home cinema? Let's be honest - good things are never cheap. Want to watch videos on a big 2 meters diagonal screen? And ideally it should not cost 10 000 Euro? Then You need a projector and a projection screen. Want to watch a high quality image and not a blurry video on a white sheet? Then You need to choose a projector and a projection screen wisely. In case I have disappointed You and You have decided that You no longer want a real home cinema, then at least I do hope that I have managed to encourage You to start searching for a TV of Your dreams. 

What to choose: a TV or a projector   What is better: a projector or a TV

For those of You who still want to choose the best projector, best screen and create the best home cinema we dedicate the following short notes. We hope that these notes will make Your dream of a big screen and home cinema come true.

Let me just mention in advance that in creating a home cinema, just like in any other serious endeavor, there are no half-solved problems: good projector - bad screen, good screen - unfit space etc. We as professionals will tell You what You should pay attention to leaving other details completely to Your own desire. We are suppliers of professional coverage for projection screens for different surfaces, so the main information will be namely about choosing a professional HD, 3D and even 4K projection screen. From time to time the information will be updated, so You are always welcome to have a glimpse!


In the following notes we will tell You what You need to know before buying a screen for Your home cinema. The same conditions apply to video projection in any exterior as well as in public areas. When choosing, buying and assembling the projector for Your home cinema You need to know that choosing the right projection screen is as important as the projector itself. As You may know, projection screens come in various sizes, are made of distinctive materials and cost, therefore, differently.

Projector screen: cheap or costly?

Cheaper lower quality projection screens are very susceptible to spoilage: various deformations, mechanism break downs, fading from sunlight, cloth tearing apart. Another frequent and very noticeable defect - dust and dirt on the surface. This happens mostly due to natural conditions and/or some sort of a misuse. The structure of cheap low quality projection screens' surface reminds that of a sponge, which quickly absorbs dirt and dust. Even if Your projector is very bright and features good contrast, but the screen is damaged by waves or faded due to UV light, then You can not expect a bright and high quality image.

Of course, there are worse cases such as video projection on a sheet, a poorly painted plywood or a negligently whitewashed wall. The quality of such image will be simply awful. Why buy a high quality projector if everything is so bad? We can reassure and remind You that everything is relative. That is why those who have tried professional screen painted with Paint on Screen do not return to low quality unprofessional screens.  

Any projection screen goal is to collect all the light transmitted by the projector and to scatter it evenly over the entire screen surface. This process should occur at each point of the projection screen. The critical angle of projection relative to the screen and the critical viewing angle at which the viewer observes a sufficiently bright image depends on the quality of dispersion. A lot of modern projectors feature a function that allows light beam concentration to the middle of the screen. For example, in Epson this function is called Super resolution, other producers, however, provide a different name. A professional screen from Paint on Screen projects even a very concentrated beam of light scattering it skillfully across a large area of the screen without leaving pale corners.

projection screen surface



cheap professional projector screen


  Distance to the screen, audience seating position and dimensions of the screen

The distance from projector to screen and the type of the lens determines how large an image can be projected from this distance as well as the quality of it. The ideal distance directly impacts the position of the audience relative to the projection screen. Projectors have different lens characteristics. User manuals usually include specific diagrams and charts that show what size and what image quality will be produced. Well-recognized producers that care about their reputation should provide this type of information on their corporate websites. Some links to the most popular sources will be provided later on this website so that You could read some more information before purchasing a projector and a projection screen.

Space characteristics

Before buying a projector and a projection screen it is always a good idea to take a look at the room where You would like to place a projector in. Is the room big enough to place a screen on the wall? Evaluate ambient lights in the selected room such as windows, french doors as well as other factors that might prevent the room from being dark enough for the projection.

All the information You need to know about selecting the right room and calculating the right size of a projection screen You can find here.

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 Screen aspect ratio. 4:3? 16:9? Other?

Because of the popularity of widescreen DVD, video projection is now also moving towards the 16:9 aspect ratio. Therefore, we recommend choosing the 16:9 option. This format incorporates widescreen display and can also be configured to project a 4:3 image beautifully. However, a 4:3 design makes a widescreen programming display too small and unnaturally cramped. It is important to consider that an absolute majority of modern video projectors with a 16:9 native aspect ratio image can be configured to display a 4:3 aspect ratio image without any difficulties. One of the main Paint on Screen advantages is the ability to use it for any possible image format.  

Screen aspect ratio 4:3 16:9   projection screen aspect ratio

Front projection or rear projection?

Projectors can be used to project an image from either the rear or the front of the screen. Front projection work on the principle of scattering reflection, in which the projector and the audience are on one side of the screen. This is the most common projection and the easiest to install. In rear projection a light beam is captured while passing through the screen and is scattered from the other side of the projector. Projector should be setup behind the screen. It is advisable to install such projection type only in very large rooms, where the distance between the projector and the screen is not an issue. Unfortunately, special screens for rear projection are very expensive not to mention that usually there is not enough space for such projections, so we will not talk about them further. 

 Types of projection screens

The type of projection screen that will work best in Your conditions depends on the viewing angle, the amount of ambient light and the distance from projector to the screen. In most cases the screens are flat, but sometimes they can be concave. Usually projection screens are uniformly white, gray or even black color. The color of the professional screen directly depends on the conditions which were mentioned above: the selected projector, lighting of the room, viewing angle and so on. Screen paint Paint for Screen is unique as it offers solutions for different types of conditions and video projections.  


Permanent (fixed) projection screens

There are several options to install a projection screen. If You are planning to always use a specific room as a home theatre then You can dedicate one wall to the construction of the screen permanently. In this case it is important to install curtains in front of the screen in order to protect the surface when it is not being used. This type of installation is also the most expensive. Paint on screen offers solutions that are not afraid of sunlight, can not be damaged by UV light and have no framing constructions that are so hard to setup and for which You would have to drill the wall. All these features make Paint for Screen different from traditional permanent projection screens.

 Permanent fixed projection screen    how install projection screen


Pull down projection screens

This type of projection screen allows more flexibility in usage and provides more space for other purposes: flowers, pictures, etc. A pull down screen can be mounted on a wall and can be pulled down when being used and raised up into a protective housing when not being used. Pull down screens can be mounted on a wall or ceiling. It is not a bad option when You need to have both a screen and a painting on the wall, for example. It is important to know that such mounting requires drilling. If the screen is automatic then it requires electric wire.

Real professional screens weigh a lot and most people are afraid of mounting them at home. But most importantly semi-professional or professional pull down projection screens tend to deform forming "waves" and distort the image. This process is caused by the UV light, pulling down and r




ng the screen frequently, inadequately chosen load that pulls the screen down and also some mounting or assembling mistakes.

 choose Pull down projection screen



choose professional projector screen 



Portable projection screens

Portable screens are the cheapest option. In my opinion, the only advantage of such screen is that it is possible to install it easily in different spaces. There are, however, a lot of disadvantages: inconvenience of adjustment, ill-fitting combination of screen and projector, small sizes and, usually, a very poor quality of the projected image. 


Screen material

Projection screens are made to reflect as much light as possible in order to produce the brightest image imaginable. In order to reach the best results, screens are made of different materials. The type of screen material determines the Screen Gain and brightness as well as viewing angle characteristics. Further we will provide some examples and main characteristics of various types of materials used by some projection screens producers.


Gain of the image

Screen Gain is one of the most important features of a projection screen. Screen Gain is a number that shows a ratio of the light that is reflected from the screen to the light reflected from a standard white board (screen gain of which is commonly referred to as 1). A standard or ideal surface is the screen with a surface covered with magnesium oxide or titanium dioxide.

In practice, however, a white board with a matte surface made of vinyl and fiberglass. A lot of screens with a high screen gain are not matte, but almost glossy. However, this typically creates mainly specular properties: light spots. These are sparkling reflections from the lens of the projector very much enlarged by the lens. If the stains are large enough and not too bright, the effect may be unnoticed: the human eye is more sensitive to small details contrasts than to a change in light of the projected image as a whole. It is believed that the higher the gain of the image the brighter the image appears to the audience.

Although it is true, brightness is not everything. Do you know the feeling of sore eyes after looking at the Sun, computer or TV screen for too long? Have You noticed that even the most colorful movies shown in cinemas are not as bright as those shown on the TV and are by far not as damaging to the eyes? Remember Your visits to the cinema? Sometimes the image on the screen seems too soft which makes You want to pump up the brightness. That is why it cannot be stressed enough - the most important thing in video projection is choosing the right components that compliment each other. Our projection screen paint Paint On Screen is individually selected for each project, that is why the result is always perfect.


Brightness and contrast

Usually visible brightness and contrast of the screen are set according to the power of light beam source projector, the size of the screen and the external level of lighting. Do You know that a human eye perceives brightness logarithmically? So, when a human tells an object is two times brighter than another, in reality it is six times as bright. It is important to know that brightness per square unit as well as contrast diminish as the projection screen gets larger if external lighting remains the same.

Reflected light from walls and ceiling of the room always creates some sort of a light background that causes deterioration of image quality, while direct sunlight can make the image virtually invisible. We as professionals in video projection need to know what kind of equipment and in what surrounding You are planning to use a projector. Every screen is unique and we want You to watch the best possible image in given conditions.


Room lighting

Illumination (E) is measured in lux . Background for night lighting is almost zero (0,2 lx), indoors during daytime 100 lx, for a cloudy day 1000 lx, for sunlight at noon 100,000 lx. The projector must provide illumination of the screen, far greater than the background lighting for the image to be natural. One of the main characteristics of the projector - light output (I) is measured in lumens and ANSI related to the brightness of the screen : E = I / S, where S - area of the screen. For right choice of the projector or the system You need to know the conditions under which the system will operate as well as screen sizes.

On this and many other topics we will write later. Until next time!