If you’re wondering how to set up a projector screen, or how projector screen installation works, you probably have been wishing you could have a movie theater at home. Maybe it’s been a long-time dream of yours, or maybe you’ve only recently got to thinking about it.
One thing is certain: Covid-19 changed how many of us think about entertainment. Theaters across the country closed, or only remained open at a reduced capacity, which led to a much greater need for finding ways to be entertained in the comfort of our own homes. Even as we recover from the pandemic, we can’t deny that it’s changed us. How and where many of us desire to enjoy our media isn’t exactly the same as it once was.
There’s no better time than now to build a home theater! The good news is that dream is a tangible one…and we’re here to help!
It all starts with a projector screen installation. If you want to have a genuine movie theater experience in your home, a good screen is paramount. You’ll want a big, beautiful screen to watch all of your favorite films on…Which (along with excellent surround sound) will immerse you deeply into the entertainment. With the right products and setup, even IMAX level quality is a possibility in your cozy living room.
This installation can seem like a daunting task. In reality, it’s not so hard once you break it down into a few key steps. Discover how to install a projector screen by reading below, or let us do the work for you:
What Is a Projector Screen?
A projector screen is a blank, white surface, often made of cloth, that you hang on the wall or mount from the ceiling. It creates a dedicated space, clear of any visual obstructions, for images composed of light from a projector to be cast onto. It’s the in-home equivalent of the screen in a movie theater, and allows you to view movies, shows, or any other kind of visual entertainment on it.
Installing a Projector Screen:
Installation involves a few steps. Each step builds on the other, so it’s important to do them in the proper order. Failure to appropriately complete one step could hamper the rest of the installation.
Step 1: Location, Location, Location.
Where to hang your projector screen? The screen’s location is essential.
Is it in a spot that is comfortable to view from where you’ll be seated? Make sure it’s not too close or far away from your existing furniture, and preferably center it to directly face the seating–Nobody wants to have to turn their head to see what’s happening on screen! Remember that the projector will need to be directly across from the screen as well, and with enough room in-between, to ensure the image is displayed properly.
Is the space dark enough? Don’t install the screen over a window that receives direct sunlight…and definitely don’t use a screen as a substitute for a window covering. You don’t want sunlight obstructing the image from the projector.
Step 2: A Wall or the Ceiling?
Decide if you want the screen mounted on the wall or anchored to the ceiling.
If there are any obstructions on the wall beneath the screen, you’ll have to anchor it 1-1/2” away from the wall on the ceiling.
A wall-mounted projector screen must be able to pull down and retract flush against the wall, without any other objects in the way.
Step 3: Marking Predrill Holes.
You don’t want your projector screen to be awkwardly tilted, and that requires some measuring and planning where to drill so it’s levelly mounted.
Your projector screen will weigh between 30-60 pounds. Make things lighter and easier by making a template with the dimensions out of cardboard, then use it to evenly pencil in marks on the wall (or ceiling) for where to drill holes for screws.
Step 4: Predrill the Holes.
Get through the drywall with a 3/16 drill bit. If you hit a stud in the ceiling, that’s a good sign. If you don’t, then make a cross-brace by putting a 2×4 board perpendicularly between the joists, beneath the insulation.
Step 5: Installation Time.
Installing the screen requires at least two people. It’s too big and heavy for one person to manage alone, we promise. Don’t attempt it by yourself.
Place two ladders or step stools beneath either set of predrilled holes. Lift the screen toward the ceiling with your partner.
Attach one end of the projector using a drill and screws. Partially tighten the screws on each end until the mount is flush with the ceiling.
Step 6: Finishing Touches.
Last, thread a rope or string onto the handle so it’s easier to reach. Align the projector screen et voilà!
The Art of Projector Screen Installation:
Projector screen installation is an art form. It takes skill and effort to get the job done. It’s doable, but you wouldn’t want to mess it up.
Remove all the stress and hassle of installation by letting the pros at Media Controlled do it for you. Contact us today.
Can you use a projector screen without a projector?
No, (unless you’re planning on using it for a shadow puppet show, set up with just a simple lamp) you cannot use a projector screen for watching visual media without a projector.
Does a projector screen make a difference?
Now you’re also wondering, “do you have to use a screen with a projector?” A projector screen makes a huge difference in the image quality cast from a projector, opposed to just shining the projector onto a wall. The image will appear smoother and brighter. You don’t have to use a screen, but you’ll have a better experience if you do. An alternative option would be to get a flat screen TV.
Does a projector screen have to be white?
Yes and no. You might be wondering why projector screens are white… White is a perfect blank canvas if you want the clearest, most vibrant, and true-to-color image from the projector. Grey screens can actually be even better. Any other colors will show through and make the image feel murky.
Is a projector screen worth it?
With the right skills and materials, DIYing your projector screen isn’t a bad idea, per say. That said, buying one ready made is worth it to reduce the hassle. You know exactly what dimensions you’re getting, it’s structurally sound and therefore easier to install, and oftentimes you can get one that automatically rolls itself back up or down at the press of a button for out-of-sight storage.
Can a projector screen get wet?
Most projector screens are NOT waterproof…and even if you purchased one that is safe for outdoor use, there’s still the possibility of water stains ruining the image quality. Although, if you want to make your screen be waterproof, you can treat it with antifog solution before installing it. Best rule of thumb is to just be extra careful to not have liquids near your projector screen so you do not get it wet–and be careful to not get it dirty otherwise, because washing a projector screen isn’t good for it either.
Which projector screen material is best?
If you’re purchasing a ready-made projector screen, material isn’t something you really need to consider, since the materials used in any one of them were chosen specifically with projection in mind. If you’re DIYing, on the other hand, your best bet is a white or grey matte blackout fabric, which will give you a good color-balanced image at a low cost.
Not sure you want to risk DIYing your home theater? Contact us for a free walkthrough and estimate!