A Guide To Projector & TV Screen Sizes For Home Theater

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The Most Common Projector Screen Sizes

To watch movies in style, you will need to set up a home theater that includes a projector and a screen. You can watch movies in style in the comfort of your own home. Big screen televisions and projectors are available for purchase in different sizes.

Projector & TV Screen Sizes – Choosing the best projector screen size will have a positive effect on your viewing experience. To get that professional viewing experience in the comfort of your own home, you will need to make sure that you pick a projector and a screen size that’s just right for you. Here’s a quick guide which detail the common home theater projector and projection screen sizes.

How To Choose The Right Projector Screen Size

There are many different sizes of TV screens in the marketplace. And, they have all kinds of different displays with LED, Plasma, LCD, and OLED all being common.

So, how do you choose the right projector screen size for home theater for your needs?

There is no need to fret or second guess. Here are some easy to follow projector screen size guidelines. Read through the tips and decide which will work best for you. If you’re having a hard time making the decision whether or not to buy a projector screen for your home theater, this information will help you determine whether or not a projector screen is the right choice.

When deciding on what size screen to get for a projector, consider the environment that you’re putting the projector and screen into. Consider where you’ll display it and how far the projector will be located from sitting viewers.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on whether to get a projector screen or not, here are some things to consider.

Screen Material

Screen material plays a vital role when buying a projector screen. Available materials are usually plastic, fabric, or glass for LCD or LCD/DLP projectors and aluminum or wood for DLP projectors.

Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages; however, it is really up to you how important picture quality is in comparison to the screen size and how much you are willing to spend.

Resolution

Vs. Screen Size

Prices of Projectors and TV's have steadily come down and increased while the technological advancements have been plentiful. There are still significant differences between these 2 devices though, especially when it comes to video quality.

The most noticeable difference between the two are the picture sizes, but there are much more differences if we dig into the specifications. The screens of projectors and TV's are measured diagonally. The only parameter that they both share is the resolution.

Resolution is mostly referred to as the number of pixels, the number of points of color a monitor can display. For simplicity, the resolution is usually displayed in numbers, like 1920×1080.

The 1920 represents the width, and the 1080 represents the height.

The big difference between both devices is the number of pixels, which affects the clarity of the screen content. The more pixels, the clearer the image. Although both devices can produce the same resolution, projectors usually have a higher number of pixels.

The other big difference is the brightness. TV's can reach up to 10,000nits, while projectors can produce around 2000nits. So projectors can be used during full daylight, and the experience will be similar to watching a TV.

Now with this in mind, let's take a look at the image resolution sizes of both devices.

How to choose the right projector size for your home cinema space?

Format

The two basic input formats for home theater projectors are HDTV and PC.

If the projector is being used for purposes involving HDTV, such as a gaming console or Blu-ray player, then the projector needs to be able to accept and display 1080p resolution. HD flatscreen TV’s typically have a native resolution of 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels). You can also check the specs of the Blu-ray player to be sure of the resolution it can accept. Resolution is measured in horizontal pixels by vertical pixels.

In the case of most gaming consoles, the HDMI cable connected to the TV is usually connected to the projector as well.

If the projector will be used to display PowerPoint presentations or PowerPoint show files from a PC, then it needs to be able to accept a resolution of at least 720p.

HD Format (16:9)

Vs. Widescreen Format (16:10)

There are two common types of aspect ratios used to calculate TV and projector screen size: HD Format (16:9) and Widescreen Format (16:10). All HDTVs are 16:9 format, while projectors offer both 16:9 and 16:10 formats. Here’s a closer look at how the two formats differ and which is best for your setup.

FIGURE A

Standard format televisions and movie screen sizes are essentially the same. Standard resolution measures are commonly referred to as “4:3” because there are four parts of an image for every three displayed on the screen. Standard format is also known as a 1.33:1 ratio, which means the width of the television or film screen is 1.33 times the height. The most common size for televisions and movie screens in the standard format is 32 inches wide and 24 inches high. Standard format is also known as a 1.33:1 ratio, which means the width of the television or film screen is 1.33 times the height. The most common size for televisions and movie screens in the standard format is 32 inches wide and 24 inches high.

Video Format (4:3)

Video Format (16:9)

Video Format (32:9)

If you are looking for the correct projector size to purchase for home theater, you need to know two things: the size of the screen you want to display on, and the type of video format you want to display. With so many different sizes available, it can be very confusing and difficult to choose the right one for you.

Here is a quick guide of some of the sizes available.

Video Format vs. Projector Size

You might also reference this infographic provided by Projector Reviews to help you determine the projector size you need:

Viewing Distance

Unfortunately, even the perfect size screen won’t look perfect if it’s not installed in the right place. In order to have the best possible movie-watching experience, you need to place your screen at the proper distance with respect to your seating position.

The only way to accomplish that goal is to make sure you know how to calculate the viewing distance. Fortunately, the math isn’t that difficult. All you have to do is find out the height and width of the movie screen in inches and multiply them to see how far from the screen you need to install your seats.

The numbers vary, depending on the seating setup, but normally, a viewing distance of 1.2 to 1.5 times the width of your screen is considered ideal. For example: if you have a 20” viewing screen, your viewing distance should be at least 24 to 30” (1.5 x 20”).

Putting This All Together

So, we've covered a lot of information about screen sizes, aspect ratios, throw distances, etc. That's a lot to take in. So to make it easier, let's put together a quick guide to help you figure out what kind of screen size and aspect ratio is right for you.

First, you have to determine how much space you want to devote to your home theater space. Screen and projector size are generally proportionate to the physical space that they are used in. A small room will require a smaller screen and projector while larger rooms will accommodate larger screens and projectors.

Here are some different screen size options and their general use cases:

If you're tight on space, pick up a laptop screen (Around 15") which can easily be placed and setup in a small room. Then, hook it up to a projector which will produce an image that is around 300" diagonal.

Next, if you're looking for a larger screen size, pickup a flat screen monitor (Around 20" or larger) which can be set on a table, mounted on the wall, or placed on a screen stand. Hook up a high-quality projector with a typical throw distance of around 3 to 5 feet. When properly setup, this configuration should be able to produce an image that's around 140" diagonal.

The Most Common TV Screen Sizes

The projector or the TV screen (in case of a home theater) determines the size of your home theater. The size you get mainly depends on the size of the room where you intend to install it, the kind of space you have for the home theater and, well, your budget.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most common screen sizes and their ideal applications.

Living room or den: A regular home theater with a projector typically has a screen size that ranges from 100" to 150". These make for a reasonable fit in a living room and also provide you with enough space to enjoy the cinema experience.

Bedrooms: Containing only a projector, a bedroom home theater is often equipped with a screen size of 50" to 70". These are great for watching TV shows and movies in the bedroom.

Bathrooms: Bathroom home theaters are equipped with television and projector units, and are designed to fit into a bathroom vanitiy. These are quite compact, with screen dimensions of around 20" to 30".

Office: An office home theater usually requires larger screens in order to provide a great visual display for office presentations as well as computing. An office home theater solution typically has TV screens of 36" to 47" in size.

How To Choose The Right TV For Your Home Theater

Almost everyone these days owns a TV with amazing picture quality and sound. Consider the large flat screen TV the entertainment hub of your home, it is placed in the living room and everyone gathers in front of it. It seems the bigger the TV the better. However, size is never the only factor to be taken into consideration when picking a TV for your home theater.

If you are looking for a home theater system, you should focus on getting the right sized TV, that matches the budget you have in mind, has a good amount of Smart TV features and that gives you the best possible picture quality. Recommended TV sizes are 40 inches and up.

The recommended size of the TV for a home theater is 70 inches and up. The larger the screen size, the better the overall experience you will get especially if you will be spending most time in front of the TV viewing entertainment.

It’s true, most modern flat screen TVs do not have big size and can fit easily in the TV stands of a standard size of an average living room. However, one should always consider the size of the room and the distance of the seating position from the screen when finding the right size for your home theater.

Screen Technology

One of the biggest advances in screen technology and home theater is the introduction of ultra short throw projectors (USTs). These high-end devices are rather new as a mainstream consumer item and have become increasingly popular amongst home theater enthusiasts ‬ including me.

Getting a projector has never been easier ‬ or better ‬ than right now. For a few hundred dollars, you can have a great home cinema experience in your very own bedroom.

Plenty of people tell me they will never get a projector because of the inconvenience and size. The good news is, that is changing fast. The Ultra Short Throw projector is a new projector concept or style that stands out.

Using a UST projector can bring your screen size up to huge for a fraction of the typical cost of a comparable regular sized home theater experience. And you can mount the projector directly behind the screen using a special optical lens or burn mask.

The projector itself still has a hard time fitting a big screen. Fortunately, the screen size is getting big too.

There are many sizes available, and it all depends on your specific needs. The options will vary between manufacturer, price and screen performance.

Plasma

It is important that you understand these differences when shopping for an entertainment system. This is because they will have significant impact on the price, picture quality, and overall output. So, you should be aware of how size, picture quality, brightness, and overall picture quality differs before you make a selection.

Most home theaters utilize a projector or a video projector as part of the home theater system. The projector is the component that transforms digital data into images and/or video for display on the screen. This data can come from a DVD player, a cable/satellite box, a video game console, and even a laptop or desktop computer.

If you want to get the best results from your home theater system, you should strive for a large image on your screen. This requires a projector with a large image (screen area) and a high light output. The bigger the screen (image), the more detail you will be able to see and the better you will enjoy movies, TV, and video game displays.

Unfortunately larger projectors are considerably more expensive and can cost thousands of dollars. That’s why we recommend that when shopping for a projector, you should consider buying the largest one you can afford.

LCD

Liquid crystal display (LCD) is an older, but more common display technology. It’s backlit with a CCFL, or cold cathode fluorescent lamp.

Plasma displays, on the other hand, are the more advanced display technology. They use a phosphor material that glows when excited by an electrical charge. The television screen is mostly blank, but the phosphor allows controlled light-emitting spots to appear with the right voltage.

LED displays are now being offered on the market. They are similar to plasma displays, but they are thinner, lighter, and use less energy. They also have some environmental benefits over LCD.

Some of the main characteristics of LCD, like viewing angle, contrast, and color quality, are better suited for office applications than home theater use. The main advantages of plasma are in the areas of color and brightness.

To compensate for the visible pixel effect inherent in LCDs, they are equipped with pixels that are lit at all times, even when not showing a picture. Known as dynamic lighting, this consumes less power than a completely black-screen standby mode.

If you are looking for a bigger impact from your projector, then you should go for the resolution, brightness, and contrast quality of a plasma or LED display. Their picture will stand out more and provide a clearer and more realistic view.

LED and OLED

A projector is a great alternative if you want the high-quality image, but not the bulk and weight of a large TV screen.

Projectors function much like old-school slide projectors, becoming increasingly popular for use in home theaters and gaming. They normally require a well-lit room, but many have auto focus and zoom features.

If you're considering a projector, knowing something about the different types and sizes will help you make a good decision.

Here is a handy guide on some of the most common types of projectors and the screens they are capable of producing. In addition, you'll also find the best screen sizes you should consider when pairing your projector to a home theater setup.

Some projectors have integrated screens, but it often that is smaller than the projector itself.

What You’re Using It For

One would think that a 60‿inch” screen could be positioned just as well as a 73‿inch” screen … therefore, the ideal projector and screen size would be in the middle … 65‿inches.

However, where the seating distance is concerned, what your budget is capable of, and other factors, it’s mighty important to take into account not only the size of the screen you’re using, but also what the medium is you’re using it for.

A 60‿inch screen is a lot larger than a 65‿inch screen, but how does that impact the quality of the media we’re viewing? Is a 60‿inch screen the same size as a 65‿inch HDTV?

The answer is no, and that’s why you need to dig into the subject a little more.

Viewing Distance

Unfortunately, even the perfect size screen won’t look perfect if it’s not installed in the right place. In order to have the best possible movie-watching experience, you need to place your screen at the proper distance with respect to your seating position.

The only way to accomplish that goal is to make sure you know how to calculate the viewing distance. Fortunately, the math isn’t that difficult. All you have to do is find out the height and width of the movie screen in inches and multiply them to see how far from the screen you need to install your seats.

The numbers vary, depending on the seating setup, but normally, a viewing distance of 1.2 to 1.5 times the width of your screen is considered ideal. For example: if you have a 20” viewing screen, your viewing distance should be at least 24 to 30” (1.5 x 20”).

Putting This All Together

So, we've covered a lot of information about screen sizes, aspect ratios, throw distances, etc. That's a lot to take in. So to make it easier, let's put together a quick guide to help you figure out what kind of screen size and aspect ratio is right for you.

First, you have to determine how much space you want to devote to your home theater space. Screen and projector size are generally proportionate to the physical space that they are used in. A small room will require a smaller screen and projector while larger rooms will accommodate larger screens and projectors.

Here are some different screen size options and their general use cases:

If you're tight on space, pick up a laptop screen (Around 15") which can easily be placed and setup in a small room. Then, hook it up to a projector which will produce an image that is around 300" diagonal.

Next, if you're looking for a larger screen size, pickup a flat screen monitor (Around 20" or larger) which can be set on a table, mounted on the wall, or placed on a screen stand. Hook up a high-quality projector with a typical throw distance of around 3 to 5 feet. When properly setup, this configuration should be able to produce an image that's around 140" diagonal.

Conclusion

Before you invest in a projector, you should know that there are basically two types: front projectors and rear projectors. Which kind you buy will greatly depend on where that particular projector is to be used.

Front projectors are best for screen sizes between 56” – 160” and are not recommended for larger screens.

Rear projectors are generally larger and more expensive than front projectors. They are designed to be placed on the wall and project the image onto your screen from behind. They are suitable for screen sizes of 180” and above and require a dark room for the best viewing.

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