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How to Choose the Right Screen for Your Dedicated Home Theater

Enhance Your Texas Theater with the Perfect Projector Screen

How to Choose the Right Screen for Your Dedicated Home Theater

Have you ever wondered how commercial cinemas manage to make the movie look so vibrant and crisp? The style of the projector screen has a lot to do with it. In order to get that same visual quality in your dedicated home theater, use the quick guide below to pick out the best screen for your University Park home.

Type

The first decision you need to make is what type of projector screen is the best style for your home. Ask yourself the following two questions to get a better idea of what’s right for you:

  1. Fixed Placement or Retractable? If the space truly is a dedicated home theater, with no other purpose, it probably makes sense to install a permanent screen that doesn’t require you to raise or lower it each time you want to watch a movie. However, if your theater is intended to be more of a multi-purpose media room, consider choosing a recessed screen that stays completely concealed in the ceiling until you’re ready to use it.
  2. Regular Frame or Curved? Just like TVs, projector screens can be designed with a curved frame that helps to immerse movie-watchers in the cinematic experience. Curved frame screens can also help handle ambient light, but they’re not right for every home theater. Depending on the size of the room and the number of seats you want, the fringe areas may not get that perfect viewing experience.

Material

One thing that many people don’t realize is that there multiple types of screen materials to choose from. Again, the type of material you choose will depend on other aspects of the room.

  • Ambient Light: If there are windows or lighting sources that you can’t control, a traditional projector screen might result in a washed out, dull image. To combat ambient light, you can get a dark gray screen that is designed to only accept light from the projector so that the colors on the screen stay crisp and clear.
  • Speaker Placement: A growing trend for home theaters is to hide some of the speakers directly behind the screen. It helps keep the design clean and uncluttered, but if you attempt this with a traditional screen, it will significantly impact the sound quality. This is when acoustically transparent screens are the right choice. The screens are perforated with tiny holes that don’t impact the visual experience but allow the speakers to transfer sound past the fabric.
  • Traditional Screen: The white screen is the industry standard for a reason. If there are no extenuating circumstances that require a specialized screen, you’ll likely get the best visuals with a standard white screen.

Size

You may be tempted to go out and buy the biggest screen size that will fit in the room, but that’s not always the best option. There are a lot of other factors that impact the ideal size for your screen, such as the number of seats in the theater, the space available between the front row of seats and the screen placement, and your projector’s capabilities.

One of the main considerations for your dedicated home theater screen will be aspect ratio. The two most common aspect ratios are 16:9 and 2.4. 16:9, which is commonly referred to as HDTV format, is the standard ratio for televisions and is the most popular option. 2.4, also known as Cinemascope format, is wider than 16:9, and many movies are produced with 2.4 as the native screen size.

So which is better? That depends on your viewing habits and the room size. Your home theater contractor will be able to provide guidance on the best option for you.

The quality and style of the projector screen can have a big impact on how you enjoy movies in your dedicated home theater, but it’s also just one piece of the puzzle. Smart Systems has been working in the A/V and automation industry for more than 15 years, and we have the skill to design and install the best home theater for your unique space. To learn more, give us a call at (972) 488-5100 today!