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

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

Watching movie on projector screen in backyard.
Watch movies, TV, online videos and more in your backyard or inside your home with a projector screen.Pexels

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.

Gemmy 39127-32 - Airblown - Movie Screen - 120"x70" Widescreen Deluxe w/Storage Bag - Blue
This product creates a huge, 144 inch screen.Gemmy

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.

Mdbebbron 120 inch Projection Screen 16:9 HD Foldable Anti-Crease Portable Projector Movies Screen for Home Theater Outdoor Indoor Support Double Sided Projection
This item can be fastened in a variety of ways: hooks, tape, ropes—however you want. It comes with some mounting options.Mdbebbron

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.

Projector Screen 120 inch 16:9 HD Foldable Anti-Crease Portable Projection Movies Screen for Home Theater Outdoor Indoor Support Double Sided Projection by P-JING
This product comes with adhesive hooks to firmly attach it without tools.P-JING

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.