If you want to have an unbelievably awesome home theater experience that will never cease to amaze your friends, and most importantly yourself, we’ve got the 7 tips to create that perfect cinematic experience at home.

Tip 1: Invest in your projector screen!

Many people think a projector screen is just a plain white surface but it’s so much more.

If you want a truly cinematic experience in your home theater you need to invest in a high quality projector screen.

A premium projector screen is designed to take full advantage of your high-resolution projector’s full capability. Well-made projector screens are made with optical coatings that enhance their reflective properties. This provides the best image possible as well as a number of advantages including:

Higher Image Resolution

A cheaper projection surface, with any kind of texture larger than the projector’s tiny pixels, has the potential to disrupt and distort the pixel’s geometry.

If you don’t have a projector screen that supports a 4K resolution, you won’t get a true 4K image. The distortion on a non-4K screen would cause a lack of sharpness, clarity and dynamics when compared with a premium screen that is properly calibrated to your projector’s high resolution.

Brighter Image

Better quality home cinema projector screens allow you to select gain levels to improve your viewing experience. To over-simplify it; the higher the screen gain the brighter the image on that screen. This means you can save money by getting a less bright projector.

Especially with a larger size screen you will want to consider increasing the gain level in order to maintain brightness of the image. Similarly, if you want to enhance the black levels of your image you may wish to decrease the gain.

Color Accuracy

While it would seem on a cinema screen that white is white and gray is gray, the fact of the matter is a cheap projector screen can tint your image causing color inaccuracy. A higher end cinema screen is properly calibrated to not influence the color balance of the projected image

Smooth Image

With a projector shining on it you’ll see every bump and imperfection. A tensioned screen will be perfectly flat with no wrinkles or ripples.

Lasts Longer

A fixed frame screen will last just as long as any other, but if you want a retractable screen, it’s a very good idea to invest in a higher quality product. More expensive retractable cinema screens are made with higher quality mechanisms and surface materials that will work better, longer.

Future Proof Your Home Theater

To future proof your home theater setup consider investing in a 8K or even 16K resolution image. Even though there isn’t much content being produced in 8K, it will be the main choice in the not too distant future. With a projector screen that lasts 15+ years you don’t want to have a screen that’s outdated and can’t handle a higher resolution image.

Tip 2: Consider getting a gray or even black projector screen

Gray Screen

Gray projection screens tend to have ambient light rejecting properties which allows them to be used in the daylight. They will also have better, richer colors. This improved contrast is why many manufacturers refer to their gray screens as "high-contrast" models. The only downside to gray screens is that depending on the surface, they may have a smaller viewing cone.

Black Screen

Much like the gray ones, black projector screens tend to be ambient light rejecting. Where they really stand out is by having a black surface black movie screens give you the darkest darks and black levels. The down side to black screens is that their whites are typically somewhat less accurate.

Tip 3: Consider an Ambient Light Rejecting screen and watch with the lights on

In the past home theaters were just for watching movies in the dark, but now people want to utilize their cinema rooms for more social gatherings. No one wants to socialize in the dark but just because you’ll have the lights on doesn’t mean you can’t also have a fantastic image on your screen. Enter Ambient Light Rejecting projector screens.

Ambient light rejecting, or ALR screens are specially made screens that only reflect the light coming from the projector while absorbing or dissipating the light coming from other sources. These surfaces allow you to watch media with the lights on and still achieve a high quality image.

Tip 4: Your home theater can also be your living room with an ultra short throw projector

Ultra short throw projectors are the fastest growing segment in the world of projection. And for good reason.

An Ultra Short Throw projector, also called a laser TV, is a device that sits directly under the screen, as opposed to most projectors that need to be on the other side of the room. These are super bright projectors that use lasers to create the image you see on the screen. Because they’re sitting so close to the projection surface you’re able to achieve a vibrant and colorful image, even in a well lit room like a living room.

When you pair a UST projector with an ambient light rejecting screen made for laser TVs, you’ll have a cinematic home theater anywhere in your house.

Tip 5: Skip 1080p, invest in a 4K Projector, wait on the 8K ones

The current standard for high-def media is 4K. If you want a cinematic experience like you’d find in a commercial movie theater, a 1080p projector just isn’t going to cut it. On a normal sized television 1080p is often good enough but when you’re going for an epic experience you’ll want a really really big screen. When you watch movies on a 1080p projector the pixels are stretched to cover the surface. This causes the pixels to be much more visible which can take you away from the moment.

To achieve that immersive feeling on a big screen, you need the smoothness and sharpness of a 4K projector. A 4K projector has 4x as many pixels as a 1080p projector. This provides an ample number of pixels to cover a large screen without looking pixilated at all.

8K resolution is absolutely fantastic but the truth is there just isn’t much content being produced in 8K. In a few years this will be a different story. On top of that an 8K projector starts at around $11,000. Unless you’ve got an unlimited budget it’s better to hold off on getting an 8K projector until there is more content to watch and the prices come down.

That said, you may want to consider futureproofing your screen and investing in an 8K projector screen or even one that can properly render a 16K resolution. These textureless screens provide a projection surface that won’t become obsolete for decades! If you invest in an 8K screen you won’t need to get a new one when 8K resolution becomes the norm.

Tip 6: Call to get the best deal

When you buy from a website that specializes in projectors and screens, don’t just click add to cart. When you call them up, you can often get better pricing than you’d find at a big box store or on Amazon. Sales guys can typically work out a deal for you especially when you buy a projector and screen together.

Not only can you get lower prices, they can also help guide you to the best items to meet your needs. No worrying that your home theater setup won’t be as good as you want it to be. You can talk to one of our projection experts now, call 888-392-4814.

Tip 7: If you’re deciding between screen sizes, go bigger

No one has ever said, “I wish I bought a smaller screen.”

Building Your Own Home Theater?

Here are a number of helpful guides and resources to help you build your dream home cinema: