Looking for a bigger picture and considering a projector? Make sure you add a screen for the best picture quality. Fixed-frame projector screens are an inexpensive way to get the most out of your home theater project.
Best Affordable Option: Silver Ticket White Material 1.1 Gain (available in multiple sizes & aspect ratios)
The Silver Ticket line of projection screens comes with affordable price tags and quality that serves as its own public relations department, having been praised by both professional reviewers and customer reviews. These two considerations alone make it a solid pick for “The best fixed-frame projector screen for most people.”
The company’s framed screens are easy to assemble out of the box, plus they boast a taut and smooth surface for high picture quality. They accurately depict video with resolutions up to and including 4K Ultra HD. In particular, Silver Ticket “white material” offers a 160-degree viewing angle with a 1.1 uniform gain (gain being defined as the amount of reflected light from the projector screen compared to a standard magnesium oxide white board).
The Silver Ticket’s white material screens are black-backed, so no light is diffracted upon contact with the screen. And if you need a different sort of screen, the company offers a variety of materials to best suit your needs.
When it comes to the outer edges of the screen, black velvet is the best, and that’s exactly that the Silver Ticket offers. The light-absorbing qualities of black velvet are necessary for an optimal viewing experience where the image totally fills the frame.
Runner Up: Elite Screens SableFrame in CineWhite
As an alternative, Elite Screens SableFrame in CineWhite could be considered. The screen’s performance is comparable to Silver Ticket’s 1.1 gain white material, though a reportedly more difficult assembly may be a deterrent for some.
The “Affordable Premium” Pick: Elite Screens ezFrame
There seem to be a running theme across premium screen picks, and that’s the Elite Screens ezFrame Series. The series is praised by Gadget Review for being “in a category all its own.” The site hones in on the 120″ model, which executes active 3D, 4K Ultra HD, and HDR projection perfectly, featuring the CineGray 5D material that offers 1.5 gain. It employs Ambient Light Rejecting technology to ensure contrast is maintained in rooms that are not perfectly black. And logically, the same praise allies equally to all available sizes made of the same material. The 120″ 16×9 model runs about $713 on Amazon with options spanning from 92″ to 200″.
Keeping in line with that praise, Lifewire has similarly glowing things to say about the Elite Screens ezFrame Series 135″ with CineWhite material. The site discusses the ease of setup for the 135″ and described the viewing experience as nothing less than “outstanding color quality for real-world color reproduction” with “phenomenal picture quality.”
Why Buy a Projector Screen?
While the prospect of projecting onto a bare wall may seem enticing to your wallet, you’re diminishing the purpose of having a projector. Sure, a projector can theoretically do its work on any wall, but your colors will be varying degrees of inaccurate, the picture will be dimmer and less defined, the edges will be rougher, and your image can possibly be textured in all the wrong ways given the potential surface of the wall. Not to mention the coloration of the wall can interfere with the projector’s output of the source material.
Knowing that a screen is going to stay as true to your video as your projector allows, you’ll want to make sure you can adequately control the lighting level in your room prior to using the screen. Unchecked lighting can easily knock the quality of your viewing experience down, screen or otherwise.
Big screens such as those offered by Silver Ticket or Elite products are for folks who have the space as well as the control over lighting. While short throw projectors rectify the issue of a smaller room, the majority of projectors require at least 10 feet of distance to properly portray a good-looking image.
Considerations should also be made for how accurately the projector can be placed in the room to line up with the screen, typically based on some combination of the projector’s lens and placement of the room’s furniture.
A Purchase that Lasts
Fortunately, owning a screen means being fairly future-proof. While projector and A/V equipment technology races toward progress, projector screens are largely unfazed—out goes the old projector, in comes the new.
The Silver Ticket screen recommended here is specifically the version with the matte white material. Or “white stretchy, high-quality vinyl” as the company itself calls it. Keep in mind this screen is not acoustically transparent, though perforated iteration of the screen with that option is available. It depends on your installation type, if you can fit a speaker behind a screen and want voices to come from the screen, acoustically transparent is best. However, perforation can degrade overall picture quality, especially if you sit close for 4K, so purchase accordingly.
Matte white vinyl Silver Ticket screen material works for everything from HD to 4K including active 3D projection.
Available in Various Aspect Ratios and Sizes
If you only need a modest-sized screen, the Silver Ticket 100″ ($189.98) offers a substantial viewing experience that lends itself to short throw and standard projectors. With a viewing area width of 87.125″ and height of 49″, which is a 16:9 ratio screen, it accommodates TV and gaming as well as movies. But if your room and projector support it, you might want something even larger.
As mentioned previously, room lighting can still make or break a screen regardless of its outstanding performance. Aside from the white and acoustically transparent versions of the Silver Ticket, you can also purchase a gray screen with 1.0 gain designed for uncontrolled lighting, a high contrast gray screen that’s tinted to enhance the black levels, and a silver screen with 1.5 gain for moderate ambient lighting. And if you have the room and a bright enough projector, you can consider larger sizes—still-affordable options up to a gigantic 200″ ($769.98) are available shipped free direct from Amazon.
Installation of Silver Ticket screens is generally hailed across the board as being a simple job, or as High-Def Digest puts it, Silver Ticket makes “the whole process a joy.” For the price, you simply cannot go wrong with the Silver Ticket.
Wrapping it up
The Silver Ticket screens are a great choice for anyone who needs an affordable projection screen that’s easy to set up, has a variety of options that best suit a multitude of situations, and looks precisely as great as the projector and source material allow it to. The quality you’ll get from the Silver Ticket white material (1.1 gain) alone is amazing, but factoring in the low cost versus premium brands makes it even more compelling.
Beyond the praise and the alluring specifications, one need look no further than the choir of positive reviews of Silver Ticket Screens on Amazon.com with nearly 2,500 reviews and an average rating of 4.8 stars.
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