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Making a move from 4:3 Video Format to 16:9 Widescreen Format? Don’t buy a new screen just yet…

Are you looking to upgrade your video format projector screen to a wide format projection screen? If so, then you may not even need to buy a new screen.

It is as simple as rolling the screen out less than usual. By reducing the height of the screen, while retaining the width you are altering the format.

Some projector screens will allow you to set the rollout limit within the casing, allowing you to always pull it out the perfect amount to adjust the format and still look good.

If that cannot be done, another simple method is to make a marking on the screen at the desired roll out length, so as you pull it down in the future, it will be easy to locate the sweet spot.

Once disadvantage to doing this format altering trick is that you lose any masking border at the top of the image.

If you are happy with the current width of your projector screen but are looking to make a more widescreen format, this trick may work for you!

It also works on 1:1 square format projector screens; you can make them video format the same way.


Electric Screens vs Manual Projector Screens

When you should choose an electric projector screen instead of  manual projection screens:
  1. When you use the projector screen on a daily basis. Apart from the convenience, the motorized projector screen will hold up better after continuous use of the rolling mechanism.
  2. When the bottom of your projection screen is just above your equipment rack when rolled down. It is always best to have a bit of clearance to pull the screen down when rolling it down. An electric screen can be set to stop exactly where you want it, every single time. By having the complete control over the stopping point, your can be assured that your screen will not interference with the gear on you equipment rack.

Don’t think I am against manual screens , here are some instances in which they may be better for your application:

  1. When cost is a major factor in your selection. Manual projector screens will generally be significantly less than their electric counterparts, if all other factors are equal.
  2. When weight is a factor. Electric screens are heavier and may require mounting to more secure surfaces.  A manual screen can often be screed right into drywall with some anchors.

Q&A: Projector and screen for affordable home theater?

Question : Projector screen for affordable home cinema?
I want a simple wall mounted pull-down projector screen like those in many classrooms so I can watch my movies on it. I am simply looking for something easy to set up in my room; nothing fancy. Thanks!

Answer : There are lots.

For under $80 you can get up to a 105? diagonal, video format projection screen, and for even less you can get square format projector screens. You could also go the projector screen paint route for a little bit more money.

Another good option is to get a portable tripod screen; they are comparably priced to a regular manual wall screen and extremely versatile.


How far should I sit from my projector screen?

Q: I want to set up a projector and screen, but I think my room may not be large enough.There room is about 15 feet x 10 feet, and I would be throwing the image down the 15 foot dimension.

So with the depth of the couch, you will really be about 13-14 feet from the screen.

I am thinking I would go with a 100? or 106? projector screen. I really don’t want to have to go below 100? on this one. What do you suggest?

A: Many projectors will be able to project a 100? image, with a throw distance of about 14ft. You can also look into some short throw projectors, which can be much, much closer to the projection screen and produce a huge image.


Projector Screens and Acoustical Transparency

Question: Can my HD video projector screen be in front of my surround sound systems center-channel speaker and not affect the audio negatively?

I am installing a home theater in a new location, and the projection screen will be mounted form the ceiling instead of the wall. My center channel speaker will be behind my projector screen, with my left & right channels being partially behind the screen as well.

How will this projector screen affect the audio quality of my home theater in this new configuration?

 

Answer: Yes, with a perforated, or acoustically transparent projection screen

These projection screens are comprised of many, tiny little holes, which allow the sound waves to pass through. These tiny holes do not have much of an effect on the picture quality, but make a tremendous difference when coming to sound.


Can you buy just the tripod for a projector screen?

We have a projector screen that used to be mounted to the wall. We now need to make it portable and mount it to a tripod stand. Can I buy just the tripod for a projector screen without buying another screen?
I have already tried a camera tripod and that did not work.

Answer : Unfortunately not.

There is no company which makes a tripod with adapters to accommodate a wall screen. One interesting solution I have seen people use, is to setup a background curtain system and mount the wall screen to the cross beam on the top. Tripod screens have come down so much in price, I would just suggest buying a tripod screen. They can be had for under $100, which is less than most background curtain systems.


Should I make my own projector screen, buy a cheap one or paint one on the wall?

Question: Should I make my own projector screen, buy a cheap one or paint one on the wall?

I need of a fixed projector screen for my home theater. I am building my home theater myself and want to keep it as low of a cost as I can, while still making it nice. I need a projector screen and I really do not want to spend $1,000 or even $400 for a projection screen. I have read that you can make your own fixed frame projector screens for about a $ 100. I also read that I can use projector screen paint on the wall for a couple hundred dollars. I also am thinking about just buying the fabric itself and creating my won frame.

What are my  best options and will give me the biggest bang for my buck?

Answer: There are many options when looking for cheap projection screens. Projection paint is a great option, however if not applied flawlessly you will notice imperfections in the image. Many electric projector screens can purchased for under $200, and similarly sized manual screens for half of that.

The projection paint would cost close to as much as the electric screen and can’t be retracted; leaving you with a permanent and rather unattractive matte-white surface.

-By Alex Roberts    6/22/2012