When you are looking to buy a projector screen, the first thing most of us think of is how we want to view the projected image. It can be a simple task for some people but it can be incredibly difficult for others. Here we will analyze and compare projector screens based on the color they project onto their surface.
White Projector Screen
White projector screen often provides proper contrast and creates a crisp image that comes from light bulbs with an optimum wattage rating of over 150 watts (for 3-5-watt light bulbs).
This contrast makes white screens ideal for small viewing rooms, auditoriums, classrooms, home theaters, etc. The viewing pleasure is two-fold when images produced from white surfaces are viewed from a darker room.
Darkroom viewing is when you can appreciate the contrast between the black levels of the image and the white levels of the screen.
You can not observe this in very bright rooms but watching movies or playing games in a dark room with these projection screens will make your experience that much more enjoyable.
White Projector Screen: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Provides crisp contrast which will help with accurate image representation.
- Works well in a dark room for home theater viewing and can provide an enjoyable experience when used with the right projector, media player, and audio system.
- Can help you maintain the value of your home since it is not as obtrusive as white walls or silver screens when you are trying to sell your house or apartment.
- White screens are less costly than grey screens (approximately $100-$150 less). This makes them a great alternative for those on a tighter budget who are still looking for the disadvantages associated with grey screen viewing (low contrast images).
- The screen material is very durable and flexible so it will not sag or crack at the edges. It also has a wide viewing angle which helps to accommodate viewers who are seated in the back row during viewing (meeting rooms, auditoriums, classrooms, etc).
- White screens can be an excellent choice for those in institutional settings (schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc) because of their ability to provide proper contrast and durability over time when used in these settings.
- White screens are often more conducive to a brighter environment when compared to silver screens and grey screens because they do not have anything on them (this includes projectors with silver or grey filters).
- White screens are heavier than grey screens and they need to be installed as a fixed screen and not portable. This may be an inconvenient aspect if you plan on making frequent moves or transporting it to different locations (meeting rooms, classrooms, auditoriums, etc).
- White screens do not provide any blacks (like silver does) so they will not help you maintain the value of your home or office space during the selling process.
Grey Projector Screen
A Grey projector screen is not as bright as a white screen but is brighter than a silver projector screen. Its ambient light rejection and brightness make it ideal for larger viewing rooms where ambient light can be tolerated.
The use of grey screens allows for movies to be viewed in a darker room but still has good text and contrast without the need of operating your room lights or home theater lights.
Grey Projector Screen: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Grey screens provide a great contrast between black and white levels that helps maintain the color quality (black and white) of your projected images. This makes grey screens very good for use in dark rooms (meeting rooms, auditoriums, classrooms, etc) since they can be used with less light than the silver screen.
- Grey screens provide a wider viewing angle which makes it easier to watch movies or play games comfortably in larger rooms such as meeting rooms, classrooms, auditoriums, or locker rooms. It is very important for screen viewing comfort since we can not view the projected image from our backs when sitting in a dark room.
- Grey screens are cheaper than silver screens and they provide pretty close to the same quality images. Because they are less expensive, they are a good option for those on a budget and do not require as much ambient light when viewing.
- Grey screens can be an excellent choice for institutional settings (schools, hospitals, nursing homes, etc). This is because of its ability to provide proper contrast and durability over time when used in these settings.
- Grey screens are the least expensive of all projection screens and are very cost-effective. We recommend using grey screens as your primary screen and silver screens as your backup projector screen. Using this configuration will give you the most consistent image resolution, size, and brightness for both projector types you are using
- Grey screens do not have any blacks (like silver screens) so the image will not be as clear or life-like when watching movies or playing games during daytime hours or in rooms with artificial light (household lights).
- Grey screens are heavier than silver screens which can be inconvenient if you plan on making frequent moves or transporting them to different locations (meeting rooms, classrooms, auditoriums, etc).
- Grey screens will not provide good viewing comfort because they reflect light directly back through the lens of the projector causing loss of brightness in your projected image. Be aware that grey screens require more ambient light to properly view the projected image. Always make sure you have a lighted room when using these screens.
Silver Projector Screen
Silver screens are ideal for dark rooms with little ambient light but are not recommended for medium-bright rooms or other viewing environments that may get excessive amounts of sunlight.
Silver screens help maintain detail in darker images and allow whites to look crisp even when the screen is positioned in direct sunlight. Silver screens do not reflect light, and they do not get hot reducing the chance of glares.
Silver screens are not nearly as bright as white or grey screens because silver screens reflect light directly back through the lens of the projector causing loss of brightness in your projected image.
They are by far the best color for projection from media players such as Apple TV, Chromecast, ROKU, etc. If you are using your projector for gaming, these are also the preferred screens.
Be aware that silver screens require more ambient light to properly view the projected image. Always make sure you have a lighted room when using these screens.
Silver Projector Screen: Advantages and Disadvantages
- Silver screens reflect light directly back through the lens of your projector. This produces great contrast between black and white levels that helps maintain the color quality (black and white) of your projected images. This makes silver screens very good for use in dark rooms (meeting rooms, auditoriums, classrooms, etc) since they can be used with less light than the grey screen.
- Silver screens produce more brightness in a projection image compared to grey screens. This allows you to have a brighter room and still have a good image compared to grey screens since they tend to be too bright at times when sitting in a dimly lit room.
- Silver screens produce better brightness, contrast, and color balance compared to grey screens. This makes it easier for you to view the image at night or in a dimly lit room. It is also easier to view the image in a larger room because of its greater brightness.
- Silver screens can be used with less light than grey screens. This means they only need 1/2 the amount of ambient light when compared to grey screens which will produce excellent picture quality when viewing during nighttime hours or in rooms with artificial light (household lights).
- Silver screens are more durable than grey screens since they are made from metal that is more resistant to scratches and dents.
- Silver screens have a greater amount of glare than grey screens which makes the image harder to view in well-lit rooms (close overhead lights) or during bright days outdoors (sunlight). You will need more ambient light to view your images when using a silver screen.
- Silver screens are more expensive than grey screens so they are cost-prohibitive for most buyers. Silver screen prices start at $100 and go up quickly from there depending on the size you want to purchase. For this reason, many people prefer to use a silver screen as their primary projection screen and use the cheap grey screens as their backup projector screen.
Frequently Asked Questions;
Q: Which is better for my projector, white or grey screen?
A: White is better because it some of the light you need to project your images. Grey screens reflect light and make it harder for the projector to generate an image. Silver screens absorb light and are best for contrast projections. A combination of the three can be perfect depending on what type of projection you want to use.
Q: What is a “Video-Only” Screen? Is it ok to use this type of material to project an image? Does the screen work for an A/V system? What does that mean?
A: “Video-Only” screens are all about video. If you are projecting a video image then you need a specific type of screen. These screens completely cover the projector lens and not only block light, but also can be used to block the projector’s image from being seen by the person in the control room.
For example, you might have a “Video-Only” screen in your home theater or family room so your wife or husband does not realize that you are watching adult movies on your computer while your kids are in their respective bedrooms.
If you need to use this type of material to project a video image, then make sure that no one can see it other than you and make sure that it will not work for an A/V system.
Q: Can I use a silver screen with my laptop projector?
A: Yes, but the maximum resolution possible with a silver screen is 1600 x 1200 which is typically the maximum resolution of a laptop projector.
Q: What are the features of the Silverback Projector Screen?
A: The Silverback Projector Screen is a black screen that can be used with ANY projector. You can use it for your laptop, LCD, and DLP projectors. It offers superior image quality, brightness, and contrast. It’s perfect for teaching, multimedia presentations, and business presentations.
The Silverback screen uses either black or silver backing depending on the projector model used. An RF remote control is provided with the projector.
The remote has several programmable feature keys that can be set to eliminate the swapping of remotes that is common among video users who have multiple devices.
As you can see each projector screen has its own pros and cons and it is up to you to decide which type of screen you want for your showings. With so many different options for screens in the market, you can find a good fit for any room within your budget.