Do I Need A Screen For A Projector?

Do I Need A Screen For A Projector?

Last updated on July 1st, 2021

Do you love going to the movies but hate the thought of being surrounded by loud people munching on popcorn or slurping on drinks? Have you thought about creating your own cinema experience at home?

Maybe you have considered buying a projector to put in your own home, but the question is ‘do I need a screen for the projector?’ has stopped you in your tracks and halted your at-home cinema dreams.

Well, the answer to your question is no, you don’t need a screen for your projector, however, having one will enhance your experience and this article will show you all the reasons why and how it can.

The Advantages Of Using A Projector Without A Screen

The main appeal and advantage of not using a screen and just using a bare wall for our projector is the money that you’ll save not having to fork out for an additional screen. A good projector system can be pretty costly and you’ll want to get a high-quality projector screen to pair with that to ensure the image quality is as good as it can be. 

Unsurprisingly, these high-quality projector screens can come at a cost too, possibly adding another couple $100 to your already existing home cinema expenses. Some projector screens require being installed onto the wall and then they’ll electronically or manually pull down whenever you want to use them.

However, this is inconvenient if you’re someone who’s renting accommodation as you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall it every time you move, so by using your bare wall in your home instead of an installed screen unit you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time and stress.

If you’re going to use a pop-up screen that requires assembling each time you want to use the projector then this can be an additional inconvenience and may prevent you from using your projector more frequently. You may also have to find a place in your home to store the screen when it’s not in use.

Not using a screen for your projector also gives you more flexibility in how and where you can use it in your home. Using a bare wall makes moving and aligning your projector a simple task as you don’t have to try and align it within the frame of the screen.

You also have the option to transfer the projector to another area of your home or even your backyard if you want to switch up the vibe. 

The Advantages of Using a Projector With A Projector Screen

Projector screens have a special coating on them that enhances their reflective properties making them appear bright and clear. However, the walls in your home will not have this special coating so the projected image will appear duller, and sometimes it’ll be more difficult to see what is happening.

You’ll probably need to have clean white walls in your home to reflect the projector’s light to create a clear image. So you’ll need to paint your walls to get the best image possible when using your projector. However, is repainting an entire wall worth it instead of just buying a pop-up projector screen?

The texture of your wall will also decrease the quality of the projected image. From afar your walls look smooth and completely flat, but up close you may notice imperfections that are highlighted when the light from the projector is shining on them.

These cracks or bumps on your wall could distort the image and also make it look dull and less crisp, and no one wants to watch a poor-image quality movie do they? Using a projector screen will guarantee a smooth flat surface for the image to be projected on and will reflect the light well giving you bright imagery. 

Having a screen in rented accommodation can be a positive thing too. You might not be fortunate to have bright white walls in your rented property and your landlord may not be happy with you painting the walls, so having a projector screen is a life savior in this scenario.

How To Optimize Your Wall For Projector Viewing

If you’re determined to not buy a projector screen and want to make your walls work as best as possible, or maybe you want to try your walls out first before committing to purchasing a projector screen, then there are ways you can optimize your walls so they’re the right condition for good projector viewing.

One thing you can do is to try and smooth the wall as much as possible. Turn the lights off in the room you’re using the projector in and shine the project on the wall or use a flashlight instead to highlight the bumps and holes in the wall.

Use a pencil to lightly mark these areas and then use some sandpaper to smooth the wall until it’s perfectly flat. You may also need to paint the wall after this and then smooth it again if needed. 

If you’re dedicated to creating the best at-home movie experience without needing a projector screen, then we’d recommend painting one of your walls with projector screen paint so it will reflect the light of the projector better and produce a brighter image.

This can be quite expensive however as you may need more than one tin of projector paint. This may even equal the price of a good quality projector screen so it’s worth weighing up your options. 

Sometimes the projector paint can look unflattering in broad daylight in your home so you could also choose a grey projector paint instead. This is also recommended if you have a projector with a high lumen count as it will reduce the intense light that’s being reflected into your eyes when you’re watching the projector. 

So there you have it, whilst it’s not necessary to have a projector screen to watch movies and TV on your projector, it is recommended to have the best viewing experience possible.