When people decide to set up a home theater system in their
home, one thing that is often given short shrift is the screen. No matter how
high the quality of your projector or your video material, you will be
disappointed with the results if you do not invest in a screen that displays
your video at its best.
There are two basic kinds of screen: The kind that roll up and down, commonly referred to as an electric projector screen, or a retractable screen, and a fixed projector screen. An electric projector screen will do the rolling up and down for you, but they are considerably more expensive than the fixed screens. The fixed type of screen is preferable for the best quality, because the projector screen material does not need to be flexible. As a result, it can be chosen with only the video display quality in mind. You can get quality fixed projector screens for about $200. Prices vary a good deal, however, depending on other features included as well as the actual screen itself. You should be able to find the differences fairly easily, and decide on what you would like, by doing some research.
Which screen material you choose depends mostly on your projector type, the angle at which people will view the screen, how far the projector will be from your screen, and how dark you can make your home theater room. An LCD projector tends to have lower contrast and the contrast is improved if you use what is called a high contrast gray screen. If you have a DLP projector, a high contrast white screen is better. You should choose what is known as a high gain screen if your room will not be completely dark or the projector will be far away. However, with that kind of screen the brightness of the image goes down considerably if you view it from even just a moderate distance to the side. So if at all possible, make your home theater room completely dark, and use a bright DLP projector and the white screen with no high gain.
As you can see, what you purchase will not only depend on how much money you can afford to outlay, but also on the type of projector you use and more importantly how dark you can make your home theater. If you want to use a projector and screen, many people find that the best option is to set aside a room that is used solely for this purpose, thus enabling you to maximize darkness and set up for optimum viewing.