Black screen for projector
Most think that white screen is the best color screen for projectors, but what if we told you that a black screen for projector is best, thats right, we said a BLACK screen for projector is the best. Before we get into Black Projector Screen Vs White, which is at the bottom of this page complete with a video, let us explain all the basics about a projector screen.
Guide to buying Projector Screen
To enjoy the full benefits of a projector you need a good screen for the picture to show on. Many different setups for the screen is possible, from just having a smooth painted wall in a light color to walls painted with specially made paint for projector screening.
This may be a convenient choice for those who do not want to spent too much on a projector screen. But a painted wall is not as good as a dedicated projector screen made with special material to give the highest quality projector picture.
Projector Screen basics
Some of the important things to consider when buying a screen for projector are:
Best Aspect Ratio for projector screens
The first thing to consider when buying a projector screen is the Aspect ratio of the screen. The most common projector screen is in the High Definition HD format of 16:9 or 1.78:1. You should know that most of today’s movies are shot at a wider ‘Cinemascope’ format of 2.35:1 or roughly 21:9, instead of the 16:9 HD format. But this wider screen Cinemascope format is converted into 16:9 formats when TV stations broadcast them and is also the official format of Blu-ray discs. From the purists audiophiles point of view, it is best to see movies in the original format the movies were shot in, and they may go to extreme lengths to achieve this. There are means of converting the 16:9 HD format back into the original 2.35:1 or 21:9 format by using anamorphic lens. This is a subject beyond the scope of this website, but we mention it just for your info.
What does projector Screen Gain mean
Projector screen gain is a measure of how bright images will appear on a particular screen. The definition for Screen Gain is “the reflection factor measured perpendicular to the center of the screen compared to a pure white Lambertian surface.” A pure White Lambertian surface can be considered as a screen coated with magnesium carbonate, a bright white chalk . This standard screen would therefore have a Gain factor of 1. The standard reference screen with a Gain Factor of 1, scatters light in all directions in front of the screen, and only a portion of the light falling on the screen, is reflected perpendicular to the screen towards the front of the screen where the audience is sitting. There are better screen coating materials that can reflect light more perpendicular to the screen, in the direction of the viewers in front of the screen. Thus if twice the amount of light is reflected towards the viewers, then we say that screen has a gain of 2.
It is very important to understand that a screen gain of 2 does not mean that 2 times the amount of light falling on the screen is reflected. Gain only means that the direction of the reflected light from the screen is more focused towards the audience.
A High Gain screen would be one which has a gain factor of 1 or more. It is not necessary that a high gain brighter screen is always better. Some of the disadvantages of high gain screens are that the contrast ratio of the picture suffers and darker parts of the screen picture will not be as dark as it should be. Another disadvantage of high gain screens is that the image on the screen becomes dimmer as you move away from the perpendicular position of the screen.
Advantages with low gain screens is that you get a picture with much better contrast ratio and the picture view does not too become that much dimmer as you move away from the center of the screen, that is you have a wider angle with good picture view.
High Gain screens are good in locations with higher ambient lighting like for business presentations. Lower gain screens are recommended in situations where the ambient lighting cannot be controlled too much. Screens with gain of more than 1.3 are not recommended for home use.
Grey projector screen Vs white
The pros and cons of projector screens white Vs gray is a highly debatable subject. We will try to shed some light on this.
Grey Screens first appeared in the market in 2001 and the ‘Grayhawk’ Screen from Stewart Filmscreen was the first Grey screen. They were marketed as high contrast screens and the product was very successful. How grey screens work is that they absorb ambient light and at the same time prevents bleeding of light into dark areas of the screen from the bright areas of the screen. All this makes the contrast ratio to improve and makes for a much better picture on a grey screen.
Grey screens work best with bright projectors and rooms where the ambient light cannot be fully controlled. The reflections from the screen picture can increase the ambient light by reflecting light back on to the screen from the walls, ceiling, floor and furniture in the room.
Thus Ambient light is not controlled just by turning off the lights, you must also have a projector room with dark walls, ceiling and floor, plus the furniture and fittings in the room should not have bright metal parts which can reflect light. If you cannot have such a setup, where the ambient light cannot be totally controlled, then a grey screen works best in such an environment. A white screen is best in a projection room with ambient light totally controlled and a projector with a high contrast ratio.
Different types of projector screens for home theater
There are many different kinds of screens for projectors, from motorized projector screens which can be hidden out of the way when not in use to DIY screens made with special screen material or fabric. The cost of projector screens can be from less than a hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. The best way to have an idea of the different types of projector screens available and to compare screen prices is to visit the following links
Projector screen or painted wall
The easiest way to make a projector screen is to project directly on to a light color wall, preferably white or off white, which is smooth and has no markings. The projector picture on a wall can be just as good as on a god projector screen. The wall area, which you want to make into a projector screen, can be made smoother and painted over with special screen paints to make it into a real good projector screen. There are special paints especially made for making a wall into a projector screen. It is possible to buy these special projector wall paints specifying the Gain Ratio required. You can find a good selection of special paints for projector screens on Amazon.com
In India special paints to make wall as the projector screen is available online on this Amazon.in web page
White or Black screen for projector
The latest trend in projector screens is to have black screens, yes, that is right, a completely BLACK screen for best projector pictures. How a black screen works is that it does not reflect any of the ambient light, but only the light falling on the screen from the projector in the perpendicular direction. This means that you can use a projector in a well lit room and there is no need to darken the room. The following videos should convince you that we are not making this up.
What you see in the above video is a demo of projector pictures simultaneously compared on a white screen and a black screen.
The white screen is a motorized screen, and is slowly drawn up, while the picture from the projector is being continuously projected. So as the white motorized screen is being slowly drawn up you will see part of the picture falling on the black screen below. This allows you to compare how a projecter picture will look on a black screen and white screen at the same time.