How to Use a Projector Screen

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated February 13, 2023

If you’re looking into how to use a projector screen, you’re in the right place. There are as many ways to use video projectors at home as in commercial or professional applications. Are you looking to have family movie nights without having to stare at an actual movie screen? Using outdoor projector screens allows the fun of larger screen sizes without paying for expensive cinema tickets. The best projectors are the ones that fit your home’s ambient light, however.


  • First, figure out the actual screen surface material you need based on how well it works in ambient light, what you can afford, and your desired screen size.
  • You’ll need to gather tools specific to the type of screen you choose, such as a ceiling mount or white surface, to use as a more affordable solution.
  • Ensure that you properly sync up any extras included, such as a remote control, adapter cable, or other special features.

Using a Projector Screen Correctly

If you purchase a projector for outdoor usage, ensure it has weather-resistant housing to keep it safe from the elements. There are so many ways to enjoy family movie nights without resorting to an actual movie screen. If you’ve ever asked, “Can you connect a tablet to a projector?; then you’ve already started exploring those options. Commercial applications will have different requirements, of course.

STEP 1 Choose from a Wide Range of Screens

There are countless types of screens to choose from. You could choose a popular type, like a foldable projector screen. Alternatively, a theater projection screen will provide an optimal viewing experience to those who can afford them. The first order of business is figuring out if you’re trying to emulate commercial movie theaters or want something more modest. Learning to set up a projector outside for an authentic drive-in movie theater experience. Additionally, if it’s going to be set up outside, you’ll want to know how to clean a projector screen from bugs and other outdoor messes.

Insider Tip

Pay close attention to the type of lighting you’re working with and choose a screen that will perform well in those conditions.

Look into the Types of Screens

Do you need a wider viewing angle to have an optimal viewing experience? Or is more than one type of picture mode more critical? Both are questions to ask when it comes to researching projector screen material and technology. This is something you’ll need to keep in mind when checking out projectors that fit your screen options, like the BenQ HT3050 3D DLP home theater projector. Consider the ambient light your desired screen will best perform in. American screen manufacturers are considered some of the best out there for image quality. Here are a few types you might want to consider:

  • Pull-Down Screen
  • Paint On Screen
  • Retractable Screens
  • Inflatable Movie Screens

Consider the Ambient Light Levels

White screens refer to a reflective surface that performs terribly in high light levels. Entertainment projectors, like the Epson PowerLite home cinema 5040UB, that are used in low ambient light might be acceptable. However, direct sunlight will require special outdoor projector screens. Whether you use white screens or black screens will come down to the ambient light levels you’re contending with. The type of screen you use should overcome the room’s natural light at all times of the day.

STEP 2 Figure Out the Type of Screen Installation Required

Once you consider the type of screens required based on ambient lighting, it’s time to look into how installation works for your screen of choice. Whether you invest in a permanent screen or something more portable like inflatable movie screens, there will be an installation process to follow. Larger screens will be more complicated to install, especially if you have a retractable projector screen. The dynamic range of installation requirements can further complicate figuring out the type of screen installation you prefer.

STEP 3 Connect Your Devices

Connecting your device can be a bit of a hassle, depending on the device you’re using. The screen itself doesn’t need to be physically connected, although electric screens may use a USB connection. Whether you have bright images will mainly depend on the device used with your projector. There are independent image brightness controls on most entertainment projectors, however. Most projectors include a remote control for easier access to special features such as brightness.


If you’re using an Apple device, make sure that the projector is enabled for AirPlay connections.


Why is a quality projector screen so expensive?

The materials made to build a quality projector screen can be expensive with a specialist labor process. An expensive projector is more likely to have special features, like a wider viewing angle.

Can I use a bedsheet as an outdoor movie screen?

White sheets perform wonderfully for backyard movie nights. Make sure that it’s dark outside so that you can get a brighter image. Otherwise, the picture quality might suffer.

What type of screen should I use for my outdoor theater?

Outdoor viewing requires some extra thought. Here are a few popular screens to look into:

  • Inflatable Screens
  • Bed Sheet
  • Portable Screen
  • White Wall

What should you know before buying a projector screen for your home theater?

When deciding which entertainment projectors will be suitable for your outdoor theater or dedicated home theater rooms, several factors come into play.

STAT: In 2019, users between the ages of 15 and 25 who resided in Denmark preferred their computer screen to watch movies and series. (source)

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