Three Things to Know About Projector Screens for Outdoor (or Indoor!) Movie Night

You can—and should—make your own movie theater at home.

With the prices of projectors now fully affordable, more and more people are creating their own movie theater setups indoors and out. To do it right, you’ll want a projector screen. Here are three reasons why, and what to look for in a good one.

This product creates a huge, 144 inch screen. Gemmy

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Technically, you can project onto any light background. But for high-quality experience, you’ll want to avoid classic methods like using a white bedsheet. While this can be effective in a pinch, you’re bound to have wrinkles, and cotton sheets aren’t uniform on the surface. A proper projection screen is perfectly smooth, so nothing distracts from the content you’re watching. Even with projectors of a lesser quality, a screen will provide more accurate and brighter colors.

This item can be fastened in a variety of ways: hooks, tape, ropes—however you want. It comes with some mounting options. Mdbebbron

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One vital element of buying a projector screen is figuring out how you’re going to mount it. There are several different mounting options. The cheapest is simply a screen with holes around the borders for hooks; this is ideal if you’re mounting on a wall. There are pull-down screens, which can be mounted on a ceiling or other support above you. If none of these options work, and you need to set the screen up in the middle of a space? Go for a tripod-mounted screen.

This product comes with adhesive hooks to firmly attach it without tools. P-JING

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One important part of measuring whether a screen is good is how reflective it is. This is measured with a metric called “gain”—the higher the gain, the more it reflects. If you’re using a mini projector, which tends to not be as powerful as a traditional bulb-based projector, you’ll want a more reflective surface. That’ll enable the colors to bounce back, making them appear sharper and more vivid.