1. Another con for options 3 and 4: as the owner of an expensive “real” screen, I am constantly worried that something will happen to the screen. With toddlers around, this worry increases. One throw of a sharp toy and the screen is basically ruined.

  2. What’s the problem with a standard pull down screen? Is there some benefit to the frame, other than decorative?

  3. The pull-down screens referenced here are not the correct aspect ratio; there will be large portions of unused and non-illuminated screen space. A fixed screen with a large, black boarder frames the image and improves perceived contrast. Most people seem to think fixed screens mounted on the wall look better than “window shade” style retractable screens. Also, hanging screens are subject to swinging around.

  4. Hi,

    Interesting post with plenty of screen options.

    With regard to option 3 I would have to say that the material used in manual pull down screens is different from frame screens.

    The material in manual pull down screens has very little elasticity (if any), whereas the fabric for frame screens can be stretched. This makes for a big difference in getting a perfectly flat, wrinkle-free screen.

    This difference in fabrics explains (partly) the price difference. Some of the difference in price can also be explained by economies of scale, since manual screens are mass-produced. Cut to size material costs more time per order…

    It’s always helpful to request fabric samples from the manufacturer to see which materials you like most. You can then choose the right gain, reflection type and fabric structure.


  5. I was fine with just a white-ish wall with the original wall texture. You don’t even need a screen if you have a good enough projector, like my mitsubishi XD460U. Just don’t spray that photo blocker stuff for car license plates on the wall, cause it reflects back unevenly and gives you bright sparkely “patches”. !That was dumb!. Might work really good if its done correctly. Now I gotta redo the whole wall.

  6. I am speechless……..and feel like a fool! First thing, i got a 50′ plasma for about $1K and thought “Hah! Those people pay more for an LCD, what fools!” Then Jumped to a 65” DLP RPTV and said “Hah! Those fools pay more for a tiny flat panel” The whole time not realizing a screen/projector could be had for about the same price with a much larger screen.
    Now seeing i don’t even need to buy the screen to get started………i just don’t know what to say *facepalm* This is definitely the way to go! Know the funny part? I have actually visited avsforum quite a bit and thought myself to be a savvy HT person.

    1. Author

      If cost isn’t a concern, and your time is limited, a pre-fabricated screen is the way to go. But if cost is more important, there are much cheaper alternatives that deliver very good bang for the buck. Just like pretty much every other aspect of home theater, there is a trade-off. . .

  7. white PVC pool liner makes awesome DIY fixed frame screen material.

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