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Choosing a projector screen

Over my career at the South Central Library System I have never been asked to help a library select a projector screen, until a couple months ago. Since then I’ve been asked about projector screens 3 times, and in order to provide the best answers for the libraries I’ve done a little research and have some information to share with you about how to select the right screen for you.

I think the most important factor in selecting the right screen for you is knowing your budget and setting expectations for what you can get in your price range. A few hundred dollars may get you a nice screen that will last a lifetime, but it may also be small and have a little pull string to lower the screen.

Manual screens come as wall mounted or portable. Portable screens come with a stand and can be moved around, but are limited in size and take up storage space.

Motorized screens are more expensive but offer ease of use and larger sizes.

Some terms you may hear when selecting a screen are aspect ratio and gain.

    Aspect ratio is the relation of the width of a video image compared to its height. The two most common aspect ratios are 4:3 (standard) and 16:9 (wide-screen).
    Gain is the amount of light being reflected back from the screen. The higher the gain the more light is being reflected back. Most screens are between 0 and 2. The coating on the surface of the screen contributes to its gain.

Their is way more to selecting a projector screen than I thought when I started researching them. I found this Projector Screen Buying Guide useful when doing my research. The link does go to a retail site, but it's still good information.

I’ve worked with a couple of dealers in Wisconsin who specialize in AV equipment, so if you live in Wisconsin and have a question about who to turn to you can ask me for a couple of vendors who support most of the state and I’ll pass that info along to you.


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