In the last few years, projector technology has become far more advanced than ever before as well as a lot more affordable.
Projector screen technology has improved by leaps and bounds, too.
Today more and more people are waking up to the value of a black projector screen – especially in rooms where there’s going to be a lot of ambient light that needs to be absorbed to avoid washing out the projector picture.
Below we run through (almost) everything you need to know about black projector screen options, highlighting the benefits they offer, what to consider before buying one, and even highlighting a few of our favorite options on the market today.
Let’s jump right in!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Benefits of Black Projector Screen Options
One of the biggest reasons folks stick with TVs versus a projector is because of how washed out projector pictures become in spaces where there’s a lot of ambient lighting.
What a lot of people don’t realize, however, is that this washout effect has a lot more to do with the color of the projector screen than the quality of the projector itself.
Truth be told, there’s a world of difference between the way that a black projector screen looks and a white projector screen looks – even if you have the exact same projector shining on the material.
For starters, you’re going to get significantly richer colors out of a projector with a black screen than you are with a white or gray screen.
Part of this is because of the way that black screens absorb light from the surrounding area. You don’t have to worry about light coming in from a window or an artificial source messing with your color or your contrast.
You end up with much darker darks and brighter light colors with this kind of material.
Contrast is also dramatically improved with black screens versus white screens.
In fact, a lot of people compare the contrast capabilities of black projector screens with the contrast levels of plasma televisions.
LED (and OLED) TVs may be all the rage today, but it wasn’t all that long ago that people were hunting down plasma televisions because of the richness of color and depth of contrast they offered compared to LED options.
With a black screen, you’re going to get those kinds of results.
We are talking significantly richer blacks (movie theater quality black contrast) and much more vibrant light colors, too. The difference is noticeable immediately.
Easy to Calibrate
Because the color and the contrast with a black screen are so improved it’s a lot easier to calibrate your projector right out of the box.
The colors that you put up on your screen are going to be real-life accurate straightaway. You don’t have to worry about accounting for the reflectiveness of a white screen the way you would have otherwise.
This is going to significantly shortcut your setup time for a new projector. It can also help to breathe new life into an older projector that you thought wasn’t quite as sharp or as vibrant when really it just needed a black screen to project on!
Important Things to Consider When Buying a Black Projector Screen
Of course, when it comes time to actually purchase a black projector screen there are some important elements you need to consider.
For one thing, you have to find the right size projector screen.
Some people want to get their hands on the largest possible screen space available. We are talking about something that offers 120 diagonal inches of screen size (or maybe even larger).
Others aren’t looking to completely fill out a space and are happy with 80 diagonal inches or even smaller – depending on the size of the room they are viewing their projector in.
At the end of the day, it really all comes down to how you plan on using your projector in what your personal preference is. Just make sure that this is a top consideration before you pull the trigger on this kind of purchase.
Projector material also makes a huge impact on how the finished product looks.
The overwhelming majority of projector screens on the market today are made of either vinyl material, high-grade plastics, a spandex composite, or some sort of rubber or for polyester fabric.
Each of these material choices will have an impact on the overall picture quality you can expect. We can tell you from experience that vinyl and spandex materials are head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.
It’s also important that you research the type of material used to coat your projector screen.
Magnesium carbonate, titanium dioxide, and barium sulfate are all fantastic choices to coat your black projector screen. These will help absorb ambient light, enhance color, and improve overall picture quality.
The frame you use for your projector screen is another personal choice you’ll have to make.
Some people like a frameless look with a permanent attachment to the wall, and others prefer a retractable solution with a built-in frame that can hide away when not in use.
Other frame options can provide the ability for rear projection capabilities, extra tensioning to improve picture quality, and some even curve the projector to produce an anamorphic widescreen kind of look like you’d expect from a commercial movie theater.
Our Favorite Black Projector Screen Options
|1. Keenstone 120 Inch Projector Screen
|2. Elite Screens 80 Inch Projector Screen
|3. Akia Screens Portable Projector Screen
|4. 180 Inch Black Projector Screen
|5. Akia Screens 100 Inch Edge Free Projector Screen
1. Keenstone 120 Inch Projector Screen
Easily one of the best black projector screen choices available today, this particular screen is also unbelievably affordable.
The screen can be folded out to 120 inches diagonal, offering 16:9 HD resolutions. There are no creases, there are no wrinkles, and there are no defects throughout this screen, either. Best of all, you can use this projector screen with front or rear projection units.
Installation is effortless with this frameless design. A number of grommets throughout the perimeter of the screen let you attach it anywhere you’d like (indoors or out).
2. Elite Screens 80 Inch Projector Screen
This Elite Screens projector is a pulldown unit, a retractable option that slides up into its own protective case that can be easily mounted onto any wall surface.
The screen itself is 80 inches diagonal (with a 16:9 aspect ratio), perfect for living rooms and media rooms. It’s a little bit on the bigger side of things when it comes to a bedroom projector setup unless you want a real big-screen experience.
The material is multi weave synthetics coated with magnesium carbonate. This provides deeper black colors than what you would have found elsewhere and also elevates the contrast levels significantly. The end result is a projector screen that’s fantastic for movies and HD sports.
3. 180 Inch Black Projector Screen
Akia Screens Portable Projector Screen
A tripod-mounted portable projector screen, you’ll be able to bring this 57 inch screen anywhere you like or set it up outdoors (or indoors) with no headache or hassle.
The black screen is designed with 8K and 4K Ultra HD content in mind. The material of the screen has been impregnated with magnesium carbonate, absorbing ambient colors while elevating the color and contrast of the video images projected onto the screen surface.
Active 3D ready right out-of-the-box, viewing angles on this portable projector screen are exceptional. 180° viewing angles are possible without losing any sharpness of the projected image.
The screen itself is reliable, durable, and easy to clean and care for. This is a “buy it for life” kind of purchase!
4. 180 Inch Black Projector Screen
As far as PVC composite resin material screens go, it’s hard to imagine one looking better than this one does.
Not only is the PVC material made with a multidirectional weave to improve image consistency, but it’s also been treated with an optical pattern to make sure that light reflects more evenly. This allows for deeper levels of contrast, saturation, and more vibrant colors all at the same time.
Capable of projecting images up to 180 inches diagonal, you don’t have to sacrifice viewing angle to get a screen this large either. The images can be viewed comfortably in a 160° direction.
Ready for 3D as well as 8K and 4K Ultra HD resolutions right away, the whole screen is set up anywhere you like with self-adhesive attachments on the frameless design. Internal grommets allow for more permanent installations as well.
5. Akia Screens 100 Inch Edge Free Projector Screen
Those on the hunt for a truly premium viewing experience will fall in love with this black projector screen.
To kick things off, it can project up to 100 inches diagonal across the surface of this frameless design. 16:9 HD aspect ratios are possible and you get a 180° viewing angle once it has been set up.
Active 3D projection capabilities are built right in, and the design of this black projector screen absorbs ambient light while reflecting projected light at the same time. The end result is sharper images, smoother motion, and true cinema-quality pictures.
A six-piece aluminum frame is included with your purchase for more permanent installations. The whole unit can snap together with household tools and about 15 minutes of time, creating a thin frame permanent set up that looks clean and elegant.
Combine all of that with a best-in-class two-year warranty and lifetime customer support and this is a bit of a no-brainer upgrade.
Do black projector screens really make much of a difference?
Absolutely they do!
Deeper colors, better contrast, and less ambient light washout are just some of the benefits that black projector screens bring to the table.
Are there any drawbacks to black projector screens?
There is a slight dulling of bright white colors projected onto a black screen. But other than that, there’s no real drawback to using this kind of setup. Especially after your projector has been properly calibrated!
How far away should I sit from my projector screen?
How far away you should sit from your projector screen really should be determined by a handful of factors, including:
- The positioning of your projector itself
- The size of the screen you are projecting
- The size the space that you and the projector are in
Take advantage of calibration tools and materials provided by the manufacturer of your projector for the best results.
How much should I spend on a projector screen?
Truth be told, top-quality projector screens no longer have to cost a small fortune. Excellent black projector screens are more affordable today than they ever used to be.
Are fixed screens better than retractable options?
Choosing between a fixed screen and a retractable screen really comes down to personal preference. Some people like to pull down a projector screen when they need it and tuck it away when not in use. Others don’t mind their projector screen taking up a more permanent spot on their wall.
How important is a projector screen warranty?
Projector screens generally aren’t subjected to a lot of wear and tear. Even still, it’s nice to have a projector screen protected by a quality warranty. That extra bit of peace of mind is always a nice bonus.
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