Looking for the best projection screen to use with your video projector? In this guide we will help you to choose the best one, suggest some of the best available, and guide you to the best current prices.
With real cinemas shuttered and increased home screening options available, it’s no surprise that many film enthusiasts are beefing up their ‘home cinema’ offerings in terms of the biggest screens and latest tech – including home projectors.
But most users projector owners quickly realize that they’re not getting the best result in terms of well-defined picture colors and shadow detail when projecting onto a blank wall, or even bed sheet. A specialist projection screen provides a flatter and more reflective surface – and so a better overall image.
While some users may have the space for having just such a screen installed indoors, others may want something more portable – yet robust with it – for use in the garden, or occasionally transporting to another location, lockdown permitting.
As with anything else, budget is going to play a part in any screen purchase decision, while there are inevitably different sizes and shapes to take into account, along with whether you’re looking for a wall mounted, outdoor or even desktop screen. While those enthusiasts spending thousands on a projector may be seeking a top of the range screen, there will be just as many owners of an entry-level projector who will want a value for money option above all else.
With the above in mind and without further ado, we’re casting our net wide to seek out the best projection screens you can currently buy. All you need now is the popcorn and hot dog.
Best projection screens in 2021
This 120-inch diagonal, 16:9 aspect ratio screen plus lightweight silver aluminum frame with stainless steel components can be assembled in minutes without the need for extra tools, thereby providing your own freestanding indoor or outdoor ‘big screen’ viewing experience. The foldable ‘go anywhere’ canvas is stowed in a carrier bag when not in use for easy transportation – though, for obvious reasons, the makers advise against setting it up outdoors if it’s windy. A black backing is also included to prevent light penetration and enhance picture quality. Claimed as being mildew resistant and featuring a surface that can be wiped clean with soap, water and a wet cloth, the screen comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty for additional peace of mind. Other sizes including 90in, 100in and 135in are also available – as are versions with an old-school 4:3 aspect ratio.
A wind resistant stand with a polyester and spandex screen plus aluminum poles and fixtures is the centerpiece of this 100-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio viewer designed for the great outdoors. Supporting the options of both front and rear projection and offering a 160° wide viewing angle promising even brightness, it claims not to require any screws to assemble and handily all packs up into a carry bag for easy transportation. While the price being asked places it in the category of value for money, we were a little concerned about directions to pound nails into the base or balance it out with rocks for added stability, if needed. But on a calm, clear night this should be just the (cinema) ticket.
This novel design from Epson allows you to widen and shorten the width of the screen so that the white surface can perfectly accommodate 16:9 or 4:3 ratio videos – making a great choice for those who love classic TV series. This means that it has a screen size of 80in in widescreen mode, or 65in in standard format. Another neat trick is that this comes supplied with both a floor stand or a wall mount – allowing you to adapt this to a wider range of rooms. It is still very portable, though, and has a robust telescope mechanism for expanding the screen from its closed position. There is no case supplied with this one, but there is a carry handle.
Given that most modern TV screens are 40-inches or larger in size, this portable screen of those exact dimensions from the Pyle brand is aimed at the holiday, travel or school markets. With a simple pull up and pull outwards set up, whereby it locks into position thanks to retractable framework at the rear, the screen is described as heavy duty. This translates as it being stain and mildew resistant and being constructed of an anti flame ‘premium’ fabric. Though the shape of the screen is 4:3, of course a 16:9 image can be still be projected across it, while since it’s designed to stand on any flat surface or table, it’s ideal as a quick and easy to set up desktop option that won’t break the bank.
If your movie choices have been derided by the rest of the family as a load of hot air, or you’re a fan of the film ‘Blow Up’, then this inflatable 20ft wonder with the desired 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio could have your home audience going wild in the aisles.
Allowing for either front or rear projection, the full jumbo-sized kit includes not just the screen but also an electric blower to inflate it, plus six 30cm ropes and plastic stakes, with a storage bag to keep it all in. Though it looks like something of a monster, its manufacturer suggests that you can have it all set up to watch the latest Godzilla movie in around five minutes. To deflate it, just open the provided zipper.
A large yet inexpensive example of a projection screen complete with reinforced edges that can be attached to the wall via double sided tape or plastic hooks, this may not be the most sophisticated option in our round up, but it’s perfect for parties and similar occasions. In being constructed from a three layer polyester material, it claims to be thicker than comparable examples on the market too. The eyelets mean that it can be suspended in midair too - making it suitable for use on a deck or when on a camping trip.
The middle layer is constructed of a light shielding material claimed to deliver more vivid images when projected – and yet because of said layer it does not support double sided projection. Peace of mind is provided by a two-year manufacturer’s warranty, however, while the construction is said not to crease – a common criticism of inexpensive screens.