Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What to Look for in a Projector Screen

Projector ScreensAs projectors grow in popularity for home theater use, many people are deciding to get their money's worth and are completing the home theater package by buying projector screens. But just like projectors, projector screens vary from model to model and some of these differences shouldn't be ignored.

Like most products for sale, there are cheap, inexpensive options as well as higher priced, more expensive projector screens. The most glaring differences between the two being the quality of the material used in manufacturing and the quality of construction by the manufacturer. For fixed frame screens spending the extra cash usually translates to a more durable and taut screen. For screens built with extra sturdiness this means the screen will retain its shape longer, and will not warp from being held taught. Screens that are built with less sturdy material will often begin to lose shape over time and the screen material will become loose as it stretches which will result in a distorted image.

Velvet borders are also common in projector screens as they prevent light leaks off the side of the screen and provide the screen with a more finished look. As price goes up with a screen usually the quality and durability of the fabric used increases with it. Another fact to note is that many of the cheaper projector screen options are often manufactured outside of the United States. Draper and Da-Lite are two popular screen makers who offer tremendous products.

For those of you wondering just how much many projector screens are expected to cost, here is a general price breakdown for a few of the most popular screen options.

* Gallon of Matte White Paint: $20
* Screen Material (DIY screens): $12 per square foot ($300 for a 92-inch screen)
* Low cost Fixed or Pull Down Screen: $149 - $799
* Fixed Screen with Border: $549 - $2,199 (Draper Onyx)
* Electric Screen: $799 and up.

Source: Projector People
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