The 5 Best Projector Screens For Next-Level Movie Nights

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best projector screens

If you’re setting up a home theater, a projector screen can take movie nights to the next level. The best projector screens are sized to suit your setup (usually at least 100 inches, measured diagonally) and usually offer widescreen dimensions and black backing for the most vivid image quality. Also important: They come in a variety of setup options, so you can hang the screen, mount it to a wall, or put it on a stand.

When choosing the best projector screen for you, there are a few things to consider: size, aspect ratio, and gain. Here's a quick overview of each:

  • Size: A 100-inch diagonal screen is one of the most popular sizes, as pixelation is unlikely and it tends to do well in spaces of various sizes. Nonetheless, you can opt for a larger or smaller screen, depending on your setup.
  • Aspect ratio: This is the ratio of a screen’s width to its height, and a 16:9 ratio is the most common by far, and the standard for HDTV format. But if you're a movie buff who plans to be watching more film than television, you may want to consider a screen with a Cinemascope 2.35:1 aspect ratio, which will do away with the black bars at the top and bottom of the image, but keep in mind: You may have black bars on the sides when you watch TV.
  • Gain: This ratio measures the amount of light a screen reflects, and most home theater screens range from 0.8 to 1.3. A higher number isn't necessarily better, since a brighter screen can result in hot spots that make for an uneven picture. In general, a gain that’s close to 1.0 will provide adequate brightness while still evenly diffusing light, but if you're viewing outdoors, a screen with a lower gain may help reduce ambient light.

Beyond that, you’ll want to consider setup. Some screens mount to the ceiling or wall, which is great if you want a more permanent option, while others fold up for easy storage and portability. For the quickest setup, choose a screen with a stand you can place anywhere. Whichever option is right for you, these are the best projector screens for outdoors and in, so you can make any night on the couch or in the backyard a truly cinematic experience.

1. The Overall Best

The Silver Ticket projector screen offers excellent image quality at an affordable price, so it’s no surprise it has over 2,500 reviews and an impressive overall rating from fans. The 100-inch, 16:9 screen offers a clear picture to almost any seat in the room, and the black backing and aluminum frame covered in black velvet really help the image pop. The screen is available in additional sizes ranging from 92 to 200 inches, in both 16:9 and 16:10 formats, and if you're willing to invest a bit more money, you can opt for a Cinemascope 2.35:1 screen.

Top and bottom mounting brackets are included, and reviewers report the tension rod system is easy to assemble. However, it doesn't retract and it's not portable since the screen has to be wall-mounted with the accompanying clips and wall screws.

  • Gain: 1.1

According to a fan: “I settled on this screen after doing hours of research. Everywhere I looked this screen was the top of the list. Many saying it was as good or better than screens that were in the couple of thousands range. After installing this I can see why. I can't imagine any screen being able to give me a clearer picture than I currently have. Very happy with my purchase and would highly recommend this to anyone looking.”

2. The Best Budget

This budget-friendly projector screen is another popular choice with Amazon reviewers, but you’ll want to make sure the 120-inch size fits in your home theater or outdoor setup, so you can comfortably view the entire screen without losing any picture quality. It has an aspect ratio of 16:9. The screen is wrinkle-resistant and foldable for easy storage, and it comes with hooks, ropes, brackets, nails, and double-sided tape, so you can mount it in whichever way is easiest for you. But unlike every other option on this list, there’s no black backing, which means you might have to deal with some light penetration. This option is also available in a 150-inch size.

  • Gain: 1.1

According to a fan: “This screen is perfect for our use. We bought it for outdoor movie nights whether being on the garage door, in the back yard, camping, or inside the garage. It’s very easy to install with no wrinkles and shows a great picture.”

3. A Portable Projector With A Stand For Quick & Easy Setup

For the easiest setup and most portability, opt for this 100-inch projector screen with a stand. The 16:9 screen features black backing for a more vivid image, and it comes with a sturdy, height-adjustable tripod that’s easy to store and transport, so you can set up movie night, slideshows, or presentations anywhere. The durable carrying bag makes it easy to tote this option, and the screen is wrinkle-resistant, so you don't have to stress about rolling it up perfectly at the end of the night.

  • Gain: 1.1

According to a fan: “Absolutely a great product! Came packaged well and was a breeze to install and portable which I love! No wrinkles and gives a clean crisp picture! Great quality for the price, you won't regret this purchase!"

4. A Projector You Can Pull Down For Watch Parties

If you want to permanently mount your screen to the wall or ceiling, this pull-down projector screen is a fantastic option since it's easy to keep out of sight when you're not using it. The 100-inch, 16:9 screen is wrinkle-resistant and features an easy-to-pull lanyard and black backing to help ensure a crisp, vivid picture. It's versatile too: The auto-lock mechanism lets you set the screen at different heights, which gives you the makeshift option of adjusting the aspect ratio.

Mounting brackets are included, but keep mind: It's one of only two options that's not compatible with short throw projectors.

  • Gain: 1.0

According to a fan: “Love love love!! We put this outside right under the edge of the roof. It’s perfect! I love the slow roll up and the quality of this screen! Only draw back is that we didn’t order it sooner!"

5. A Motorized Projector With Remote Control

If you want your screen to appear at the touch of a button, this 100-inch, 16:9 motorized projector screen is a great choice. It comes with a remote control, as well as a wall-mounted three-way switch, so you can operate it even if you lose track of the remote. And since it's height-adjustable, you can also set the aspect ratio to 2.35:1 for widescreen viewing. Reviewers report that it's resistant to wrinkles, and the screen itself has black backing to block light and ensure a vivid image. This option is also available in a variety of sizes and aspect ratios, so you can tailor it to meet your preferences.

The screen's cylinder casing installs easily with the included hardware, and you can mount it to either the wall or ceiling. This is the other option on the list that's not recommended for short throw projectors, but if you're willing to risk it, several reviewers write that it works just fine.

  • Gain: 1.1

According to a fan: “I couldn't love this thing more. The automatic extension and retraction makes me so happy.”