I remember back in my school days. They used to roll down the Projector screen manually, and it would make a sharp creaking sound that sent shivers down our spines. Listening to this screen roll down was almost like a new and imaginative form of corporal punishment. To add insult to injury, once the images appeared they rippled along the creases the thick material always had. Amazingly that screen cost 400 dollars. Today however, things have changed for the better. You can now get screens that show perfect crease-free images for between 100 and 200 dollars. And, they don’t creak anymore. Screens determine where you can sit, how close you can sit and the quality of images you see so they’re very important. I’m going to take you through the details of some of the best budget projector screens I’ve found, so that you can choose the right one first time.
1. Elite Screens Yard Master 2 120 Inch
Price: $280 (Disclaimer – approx – please check Amazon for latest price)
The Elite Screens Yard Master 2 is a smaller, watered-down version of a much more expensive prequel screen called the Yard Master. They did however keep enough good stuff in to make this a major bargain at around 170 dollars. It’s such good value that’s it’s almost unbelievable that they could put in so many great features and still sell for below 200.
Take for example the 180 degree viewing angle. That’s the same viewing angle you get on the original 500 dollar Yard Master. And viewing angle is so important. It tells you where you can sit in relation to the screen. At 180 degrees you’ll be able to sit 180 degrees to the side and still get a perfect picture. So this is great for huge gatherings, like party’s, schools fates and nightclubs. Places where you’re expecting lots of people. And, it’s the best viewing angle you’ll get for under 200 dollars. Well done Elite Screens for keeping this in.
You’ll also get the same clear images you get with the 500 dollar Yard Master. There are a few changes though, as you might expect given that they knocked 300 dollars off the price. The bordering isn’t as dark as on the original Yard Master so it doesn’t absorb as much light, meaning that for viewing in ambient light you’ll need upwards of 2500 Lumens. It’s also not as heavy as the original Yard Master, so it’s not as resistant to knocks.
It’s 120 inches diagonally too, whereas the Yard Master was 150 inches. That’s not much of a loss though when you’re saving 300 dollars. You’ll be pleased however to know that the set-up is the same as on the original Yard Master. Very simple. Just connect the frame together. It comes in four pieces. Then place the connected frame face down on the ground, before slotting in the screen and clamping. Whole thing can be done in 15 minutes and it’s weatherproof too.
2. Meitoot DIY Protable Screen 150 Inch
Price: $130 (Disclaimer – approx – please check Amazon for latest price)
The Meitoot would normally have made number 1 on most lists of best budget projector screens. But, Elite Screens did something really special to create the Yard Master 2 120 Inch for 170 dollars. So as things stand this is just a great budget screen, but not the best. But, hey, maybe you’d like a little more size than the YardMaster 2 offers and the Meitoot is 150 inches max diameter. So if length is what you need in a budget screen then then this could be for you.
There just isn’t the same amount of viewing angle though here. So you’re not going to be able to assemble a large crowd of 50 people and have all of them viewing perfect images. The viewing angle is only 120 degree’s, so while you can sit out to the side, you can’t be too far out. But if you only have a few friends you invite over, totaling around 10 people then you really won’t need all that 180 degree viewing angle on the Yard Master 2 anyway.
The one gripe I have here is that images can appear slightly darker than the Yard Master 2. This is great for movies but not as good for games. It’s the material the screen is made out of. It’s just of a little less quality than the Yard Master 2, but still better than most budget screens. I would also say the set-up is slightly tougher because you need to stretch the screen tighter, so there’s a bit a muscle work doing this.
Other than these slight issues there’s a bargain to be had here. 150 inches of room on a quality sturdy weather proof build that is fold-able to save space. Honestly if you’re taking this camping or using it for family out in the backyard then you may favor this because it comes at around 120 dollars which is 50 dollars cheaper than the Yard Master 2
3. JaeilPLM Wrinkle-Free Portable Outdoor Projection Screen
Price: $110 (Disclaimer – approx – please check Amazon for latest price)
Before I go through all of the good stuff this screen offers I’m going to tell you why it only made number 3. Well, it’s just as good as those above but it has a flaw. You can’t use it in windy conditions because of the flimsy nature of the frame. It’ll fall over. It’s not the kind of frame you can just knock and it collapses, but it’s not strong either. A good gust of wind will flatten this thing. Which is a shame because lots of people like viewing outside. So you should use this indoors mainly and outdoors on calm days.
Other than this is one outstanding bargain.
First of all it comes with much less creases than the other two, so you can get started straight away. If you’re going to pack it up a lot and only take it out when you’re going to use it then you’ll really come to appreciate the time you save not having to constantly iron out creases. It really is very user friendly. And, the picture is the best of the three. This screen absorbs lots of light and while its bordering looks thin, it does prevent against light spill, leaving you with the images your Projector manufacture intended.
It’s only 100 inches compared to 150 on the Meitoot and 120 and the Elite Screens model. So you are looking at a bit of a size differential. However there’s a really good viewing angle of 150 degrees here which puts it second only to the Yard Master in terms of seating freedom. It’s also the cheapest on the list at under 100 dollars and the easiest to fold up and pack.
I can’t see anyone having issues with any of these three screens. They’re all great value and represent huge bargains. The Yard Master 2 just gives you a little more freedom with that 180 degree viewing angle. You can invite the whole street over and still have everyone viewing perfect images even from the side. This will be a big selling point for people who have backyard party’s or street party’s. Schools will also love the Yard Master 2. It has a good picture, and an easy set-up along with a weatherproof build,. But if you fancy a little more size then the extra 25 inches the Meitoot gives you might appeal. The Meitoot picture quality is just as good as the Yard Master 2 where movies are concerned. The best picture of the three comes on the Jaeil though. Great light absorption and a good dark border, lend themselves to truly cinematic images. I was surprised by the quality of images on the Jaeil. It is smaller though at 100 inches, but it’s also the cheapest. Which ever one you choose, you’ll be incredibly happy, so choose wisely based on what you need. Thank you for reading.