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Choosing the right size for my projection screen...

Choosing the right size for my projection screen

Choosing the correct size for your projection screen might be confusing for some of our customers and we will try here to simplify the situation for you!

First of all, let's talk about the ratio.

There's a lot of ratio format on the market and this mean the ratio between the width and the height of the screen. if you take the most common ratio is the new HD standard 16:9. So in this case we have 16 measures of width compare to 9 measures of height or as an example if your screen measure 16 ft  in width, then you will automatically have 9 ft high. Ok this is quite a big screen but it's only an example! So what is the purpose of a 1:1 screen (Which is square) or others... here's a list of common use of each ratio:

  • 16:9  Also called widescreen... The HD format most commonly use by all 720p or 1080p components, if you project the image from a satellite or cable box, this is the format used.
  • 4:3  Also called Full Screen... This is the old school TV format we've seen few years ago... it's still comonly used in projection specially for presentation, karaoke, etc... lots of computers that have few years of age have this ratio too.
  • 16:10  It's close to the 16:9 format but with a bit more of height... mostly used for computers, this will give you more height space if you plan to use your screen for many purpose... you can easily use it in 16:9 for movies than 16:10 for presentation to give you more space to show lot of text to your audience... 
  • 1:1 It's the perfectly square one... generally a multi-purpose screen... You can use it in school or business to project a movie, then an acetate, then a presentation on the old computer, and so on... it's versatile...
  • 2.35:1 also called Cinemascope or Anamorphic... This is the original format of commercial movie theater... Some blu-ray may contains this format, genereally an option on the disc when available... This will be really great when you watch a 2.35:1 movie but most of the time you will have black unused part on both side of the image watching a 16:9 content.

Now let's talk about the size...

When we discussed the size of a screen we talk about the diagonal... so if you look at a 120" screen we mean the image part from top corner to opposite bottom corner.

Choosing the right size for your installation depend on 2 major things... 1st the space available, 2nd the size that the projector can achieve and at what distance the projector need to be to obtain this size of image... (Throw distance). All projectors on the market are different... some need to be closer to the screen (Short throw) and some far away from the screen (Long throw). Home theather projectors are generally in between (Mid Throw). Some projector are more adjustable than other sometimes you can adjust -1.5/+1.5 ft. and some more expensive models have more adjustment like -5/+5 ft. So as an example a projector "X" will give you a 120" screen when installed at 13ft from the screen with a possible -2ft/+2ft adjustment... so you need absolutely to install it between 11 to 15ft from the screen to obtain a 120" size screen.

If you already own your projector, check his specifications to figure the size of the screen you can obtain and at what distance you need to be to make sure it's possible to install the projector at that spot. make sure to also choose the right ratio of screen you want... 16:9, 4:3 or else. To find out this visit the "Calculator Pro Tool" provided by Thanks to them for building this incredibly usefull tool!

Finally what space you have in your room... You need to make sure you have enough space not only for the screen, but pay attention to all the measurements, the housing might be larger than screen specially for electric motorized screens... figure the black borders around the screen, generally the top mask (Black part on top of the screen) is adjustable and is there to give you the chance to brind the screen a bit more down when you install it on a ceiling. But housing size, image height, bottom black border and bottom bar need to be all additioned to give you your full height measure...

Now you have much information in hand to pick the right screen for you, here at we have a wide range of screens available for all your needs and projects...

We also carry a full line of all related accessories such as projector mounts, audio video cables, in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, all wires, wallplates and others!

I hope all these information will help and if you need more assistance, feel free to contact us anytime.

Jonathan Latour
President and Owner
Toll Free: 1-877-546-8535




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