Before you buy your first projector, you should have a general idea of where it will go. You will need enough space on your wall and easy access to a power outlet. Once this is set, you will also need to decide if you want to get a screen. Projector screens do not have to be very expensive, but before you spend money, it's helpful to decide if you need them.
Advantages and disadvantages of using a projection screen
The major advantage of buying a projection screen is that it gives you more control than a bare wall. A perfectly smooth wall is excellent, but any minor imperfection could damage your projected image.
The color of your wall will be the most important factor. If you own your home, the problem is less serious, but renters may end up with a wall color that would give a projected image that is too dark or too bright.
Even if you have a perfectly smooth and white wall, you may want a projection screen. Most screens are surrounded by a black border, which helps frame your movies and TV shows. A screen also gives you a little more control over the amount of reflected light: a screen with a matte coating will be much easier to prevent the ambient light from spoiling your image.
But a screen is at least somewhat permanent. Few months ago, I've moved some stuff so, my projected image could be a little bigger than it was. Because I project on a bare wall, I was able to realign my projector and follow my merry path. If I used a screen, I would have to buy a bigger screen, lower the smaller one to fit the bigger one, and then find a house for the smaller one. These tasks are not impossible and I will not often move my projector to a new location. But it's good to know that I have more flexibility to try different arrangements because I do not have to worry about moving a giant frame.
Advantages and disadvantages of projection on a bare wall
The main attraction of simply projecting on a bare wall is that you do not have to shell out money for a screen. The basic screens of a projector are not too expensive, especially compared to the price of the projector itself. But you will want a more expensive screen to make sure your image has been color-corrected and that some of the ambient light has been absorbed. And a good quality screen can add a few hundred dollars to your home theater project.
Projecting against the wall also makes it easier to move the projector: place it where you want it, make minor adjustments and enjoy the giant image. Again, it's not something that most people will do regularly, but I like flexibility. I walk my projector in movie nights, weddings, funerals and other events. When I come home and want to play video games, I do not want to waste time putting the projector in a perfect spot. This can be enough for about an hour while I relax with a match.
I also install in a different apartment each year. There is worse way to spend the day dismantling and putting up a projector screen, but it's one more thing to do when I'm afraid I can not move all my belongings. There is also a non-zero chance that the screen is damaged when it is in the moving van.
Your projector may also have a setting to correct the color of your wall. This feature varies by manufacturer and model, but it can be a way to get some of the benefits of buying a screen without the additional costs.
None of these concerns come up everyday, but home theater equipment is a major investment that should last for years and years. It's helpful to think about every aspect of using and maintaining a home theater system over a long period of time.
What is the right for you?
Do not spend an exorbitant amount on painting.
Whether you buy a projection screen or not will depend on your exact situation. If you know that your projector will be in the same place as long as you live in your home, a projection screen is a great option. You can get away with a cheaper screen, but something like Silver Line Tickets is a treat if you can spring for them. The frame is easy to assemble and the screen perfectly absorbs ambient light. The black border around the screen will help you properly position the image and bring out your image even more. These cost between $ 175 for a 92-inch display and $ 770 for a 200-inch display. So be sure of the size of your choice before spending money.
Nierbo's range of products goes from a 100-inch screen at $ 28 to a 300-inch screen at $ 178. These do not have the robust metal frame, but this makes the screen cheaper and easier to move. You can also create your own screen by cutting a piece of canvas to the desired size and painting it if you want your home theater to be extremely personal.
If you have doubts, or if you do not want to shell out money for a screen, there is no harm in trying to project the image on a bare wall. It's easier to try the bare wall firstand you may find that once you start watching a movie or playing a game, the small imperfections of your wall disappear.
You may be tempted by the "ultra-premium ultra-high performance projector screen paint" that claims to make your wall function like a projector screen. The painting is probably not bad, but it is too expensive for what it is. Just get some matt white or light gray paint if you want to beautify your wall.