Many people believe anything goes when it comes to putting together a home theatre. This might be the case for some, but those who want optimum viewing know one of the most important things is actually the item many try to skimp on. The fact is the sound system, the projector and even the furniture can found on a budget, but the screen should not be compromised if quality is a concern. If the screen is bad, it won’t matter how much has been spent on the projector, it won’t look right.
There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to screens, too. The only one that can say what is best is the person doing the viewing though. Some might prefer screens that make the blacks blacker while others like things to show up a bit brighter. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the different choices in screens:
Blank wall: A lot of people choose to project straight onto a cream colored or white wall. While this will work, many say the images tend to wash out. The fact is movie theatre screens are pretty complex devices and a blank wall just can’t compete with the quality a good screen will provide. When a blank wall is the choice for money savings concerns, altering lighting and even texture can help keep the images within the acceptable range, but don’t expect miracles.
Paper: Giant sheets of white paper will typically present the same type of image a blank wall will offer. This is considered a step up, sort of, but real movie critics would cringe at the thought. When hundreds of dollars go into the equipment, screens should not be a last concern.
On the purchase end, there are four major types of screens. These all have their benefits, and some will like one kind more than another. Viewing perfection is a very subjective thing when it comes to home theatre screens.
Matte: The matte white screen is one that many wear by. This particular design tends to come with very little reflectivity and does a fairly good job of ensuring colors appear as they should. Blacks tend to be the blackest on these screens, but brightness is not one of their virtues.
Glass: A glass bead screen is not generally the favored choice of most movie fans. It does have its perks though. These screens tend to be highly reflective and they are bright. For those who like their images to be very bright, glass bead is the best choice.
Silver: Kind of the middle of the road option, a silver screen works very well, but it can make some colors appear a little muted. Still, this is considered a very big step up from a plain old wall or a sheet of paper.
Pearlescent: This type of home theatre screen is considered by many to be the best possible option. Offering decent color tones and modest brightness, the pearlescent screen is known for its good contrast and overall decent picture quality.