June 13, 2024

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The 3 Best Projector Screens on a Budget of 2024

3 min read

A good projector screen is an essential complement to a home video projector. It provides a smooth, color-neutral surface, and it preserves image brightness—so you can be sure you’re getting the best performance that your projector is capable of.

Though you can easily spend four figures on an extra-large screen for a high-performance home theater, our tests showed that you don’t necessarily have to. If you’re assembling a more modest front-projection system, we have recommendations for good fixed-frame, pull-down, and DIY screens available at a much lower price.

Table of Contents

Our pick

This fixed-frame screen offers performance comparable to that of screens costing seven times as much, plus it’s easy to set up and install.

You’d have a tough time finding a better fixed-frame screen than the Silver Ticket STR Series without paying a premium. Other screens may be better or cheaper, but none match this Silver Ticket screen in achieving that perfect balance of better and cheaper.

Despite its lower price, this screen performed just as well as much more expensive screens, including our high-end reference model, the Stewart StudioTek 130. It offered sharp image quality with a minimal amount of tint, and we found it easier to assemble than many of the other screens we tested.

The Silver Ticket STR Series is available in a variety of shapes and sizes; in the standard 16:9 shape that’s ideal for HDTV and many movies, you can get it in sizes from 92 to 200 inches (we tested the 100-inch size). Because it’s a fixed-frame design, it requires a large, empty wall to hang on—so it’s best suited for dedicated theater spaces.

Our pick

This pull-down screen has good color accuracy and better build quality than similarly priced competitors. But the material is not as smooth as that of a fixed-frame screen.

If you prefer a screen that rolls up into a case when you aren’t using it‚ we recommend the Elite Screens Manual Series. In our measurements, this pull-down screen proved to be even more color-neutral than our fixed-frame pick, but because the material hangs down from the case (which you can mount to the wall or ceiling), it isn’t as taut and smooth as what you can get from a fixed-frame design.

The Elite Screens Manual Series is available in assorted shapes and sizes—it ranges from 80 to 150 inches in the 16:9 shape—and you can order the metal casing in black or white to suit your room. It feels sturdier than other inexpensive pull-down screens we tested—though based on feedback we’ve seen and received, quality control can vary from sample to sample, especially on Amazon. Elite does offer a two-year warranty.

Our pick

This build-it-yourself screen, which you can make as large as 128 inches, delivers a clean, neutral image, but it’s hard to install and nearly impossible to move.

If you’re okay with a do-it-yourself project and don’t plan on moving your screen once you’ve installed it, the Goo Systems GooToob kit is an excellent choice. In fact, according to our measurements, this DIY option offered the best objective performance overall, regardless of price.

The GooToob kit includes a roll of reflective substrate and black border tape, both of which you must cut to match the exact size of your projected video image. Then you stick them on the wall using the supplied adhesive.

The DIY design gives you flexibility to match the screen to your exact needs. However, as with a fixed-frame screen, it requires a large, empty wall space to work with, and it’s even less portable.

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