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Need help picking a projector screen (1 Viewer)

Ax1lla

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Corey
Hi. After doing some research I bought an Epson 2250 projector. I am going to figure out exactly what size screen I can get but I am guessing about 120 inches based on the distance. It is in my basement and in a section that has no windows and very little ambient light for the most part. My question is… I’m having a hard time figuring out what’s the best type of screen I should get is. I want a fixed screen. With the Epson 2250… Which is brighter I think than most… Should I be looking to get a gray screen or a white screen? Also, should I be looking at a 1.0 gain screen or something less? I’m just having a hard time figuring out what combination with my Epson would be best. Also, for what it’s worth I am painting the walls in the ceiling very dark gray. Please let me know if you need any other details. The projector will be mounted from the ceiling. It will be approximately 15 or 16 feet away. Thanks!
 

Dave Upton

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Corey,

Welcome to HTF!

Based upon your description of your viewing environment, I would infer you are after improved contrast more than anything. Grey screens can be great, but also come with compromises in color reproduction, so in your light controlled room I would not go that route.

My suggestion would be to get a 1.0-1.2 gain white screen. There are a couple of affordable options that I really like:

Amazon product

or this one, from Elite Screens. Note you do have to select a material.

Amazon product
 

Ax1lla

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Corey
Thank you so much. And yes, after reading I was assuming that I have above average brightness with the projector I picked, and that I should be picking something that helps with contrast so that I have the best of both. I admit to being confused by this subject though. For example, if I compare the epson 2250 with the Benq2050a.....the reviews seem to say the Ben Q has better contrast (darks are better). But, the specs for this show that the epson has a contrast Ratio of 70,000:1. The BenQ has a ratio of 15,000:1. On top of this, I just read an article that says contrast ratio is basically a useless spec. Regardless, I am really looking for the best way to display movies. So, it sounds like a white screen with an even or slightly higher gain ratio is the way to go?
 

Dave Upton

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Contrast is impacted by two things, black levels and peak light output. A higher gain screen will boost both, meaning blacks won't be as "black" but brigher whites will make things appear to have more contrast.

I would say that those CR specs are mostly useless since they're engineered to look better than they are. If you can find a review outlet like rtings or projectorreviews who has reviewed both, their contrast numbers should tell the story better.

In your case, I'd go with a 1.1 gain white screen if I was choosing for myself
 

Ax1lla

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Mar 23, 2021
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Corey
Thank you guys! Truly appreciate it. I have been researching HDMI cables, projectors, screens, audio equipment, etc. until my brain is bleeding. So many choices and I'm not knowledgeable enough. I have my projector and my fiber cable. Now I feel better about getting a screen. Next up will be my audio setup. After researching this I will probably be posting again to get your advice.
 

Frankie_A

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Yes, you can't read it enough -- manufacturers' contrast specs are pretty much useless. Each reaches those numbers however they want to make their projector look more attractive to the buyer. And if your room environment has controlled ambient light and you are keeping it dark for movie viewing as you said are, good for you -- you can stay away from anything but a white screen. There is a reason why no cinema on the PLANET uses a gray screen. The contrast ratio, i.e., the black level, is a function of the projector -- yes, it can be negatively impacted by the room light -- black levels can be made WORSE, but it can't be made better than what the projector can produce. The gray screen is just so much trickery to make black levels APPEAR better, but that comes with all kinds of negative impact on white levels and color accuracy. Just turn off the lights, use light-absorbing drapery close to the screen and dark room colors wherever you can, as you wisely have done. Other than judicious, well controlled lighting, other lights (call them "house lights") should be OFF when screening a movie in the first place. Room lights ON only encourage people to TALK during the movie. People start talking during your movie? I say throw them out. You didn't go thru the expense and sweat and tears to build a Home Theatre for people to turn it into a chit-chatting social club.
 

Bryan^H

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I want to have some movie nights in my yard this summer, so this is what I came up with, easy, potable 145" indoor/ outdoor screen for $240. I love the fact that it is adjustable at just 9" off the ground, so if you have a celiling at 92", you are good to go.

When I got into this, I never knew how easy it would get as the hobby evolves. Projector set up nowadays are so plug n play depending on what you are into. Short throw/ultra short throw, Screen, projector, sound bar, and done.
 
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