Projection on Wall Vs Screen – What’s the Difference?

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Projection on Wall Vs Screen – Which is Better?

The world of cinema has been changed with the introduction of digital projectors and screen technologies.

Digital projectors have evolved rapidly, making it more affordable to filmmakers to create a movie. The technology has also evolved to give viewers an amazing experience in watching movies at home and on the road.

As technology and costs have decreased, the number of people watching films on a screen has increased dramatically. Of those people, many today have made the transition from watching movies in a theater, to watching from their own home.

So whether you’re a seasoned movie goer and professional filmmaker, or just someone looking to create a great and inexpensive theater room in your home, there are a few factors that you need to know before you can make a decision between projection on the wall vs projection on the screen.

Does a Projector Screen Make a Difference?

You know that image on your walls or ceiling is a projection, right? But did you know that it’s not just the image that’s projected, it’s the sound, too.

When you watch a traditional TV in a bright room, you stay put – but when you watch a projector, you need to keep your eyes on the screen.

The difference between a projection against a screen and one on the wall is that with a screen, sound doesn’t bounce. It stays on screen, directed toward the audience. This is why it’s important that a projector be placed where everyone in the room can see the image. You want to get the best viewing experience with your projector. Not only does it make every detail in your picture crisp and vibrant, but it also gives you the optimal audio quality.

If you’re going to put your projector on the ceiling for living room movie nights, you may want to consider a ceiling mount projector. And if you’re going to sit far from your projector, you’ll want to try out a projector screen.

Can You Use a White Wall for a Projector?

White wall is the least we can think of on our minds when it comes to projector screen … until we hear a rumor about a high-quality image on a white wall.

The fact is that white wall can make a great projection screen for the right type of projectors. You just have to make sure that the projector you have at hand is suitable for this setup. Projecting directly on the wall like a conventional rear projector is the most common setup and is likely to be the least suitable for a white wall. Most current-generation full-3D DLP-based projectors are designed to operate with screen-based projection only and are perfect examples of projector that won't work with a white wall.

The reason is not a technical one, but an industrial design reason. None of today's 3D DLP projectors are capable of adjusting their vertical lens shift enough to position the 3D-sweet-spot directly onto a wall surface. Since 3D DLP projectors are primarily designed for screen-based projection, they are optimized for this use. It's very simple. You cannot optimize for two different conditions at the same time. That’s why 3D DLP projectors are not suitable for conventional wall-type projection.

What is the Best Color to Paint a Wall for a Projector?

There are a couple of important things to keep in mind if you are planning on having a projector in your home theater room. The main consideration is what color your walls will be and how you want your projected image to look.

There are many opinions on this topic and no right answer, but there are definitely preferences and reasons why people choose one over another. So if you’re thinking about which color to paint your walls for a projector, here are some of the factors you may want to consider.

Black walls are a popular choice because they offer the best contrast for the projected image. This will deliver a brighter, sharper, and better image overall.

White walls also maintain a good contrast and many people say that it looks cleaner. They also help you avoid the "black hole" effect where the projected image blends in with the surrounding wall.

Although not many people choose light grey or white walls, these colors are not wrong to use. They do not detract from the projected image and may be suitable for lighter colors. They will work well if you have a lighter projector or if your ceilings are high. It is also a good choice if you want a lighter room and brighter image.

Is Projector Paint as Good as a Screen?

If you're trying to decide between using a projector or projector screen for your home theater, then you're not alone. It kind of feels like it's either one or the other, right? You can't really have a projector screen AND a projector, can you?

Actually, it's not that difficult to have both. If we look at the big picture, it's helpful to know the advantages and disadvantages of each. Then we can decide which is going to work best for us.

When you pair a projector with a wall, you get an image that's extremely sharp with a wide viewing angle for your audience. However, this setup doesn't give you the option of a large image.

A projector screen gives you a huge image with outstanding viewing angles. But the downside to this is a noticeable drop in image quality. And keep in mind, your screen has to directly face the projector, which can be tricky to arrange.

As you can see, some (but not all) LCD and plasma projectors are better than others when it comes to producing a clear image on a screen.

What is the Best Projector Screen Wall Paint?

Projection is the transfer of an image from a small, central source to a larger surface. A projector, as the name suggests, will project a projected image onto a larger surface. But there are several types of projection screens and, as you can imagine, a variety of paint options.

Projection screens come in many different sizes and shapes, which is part of the reason why there are so many different projector screens. There are screen types that are convenient for permanent installations and feature attachments that allow them to be mounted onto a wall. There are also temporary screens that are light weight and easy to setup, perfect for travel and presentations.

In this article, we’ll focus on projections screens that are designed to be painted onto a wall. You’ll often see these panels at work in various classrooms, boardrooms, and lecture halls. After, we’ll take a look at what the best projector wall paint is.

Sherwin-Williams ProClassic

The Sherwin-Williams ProClassic is more affordable and a little bit easier to use, which will help you save money on the overall DIY costs. It’s a great pick for DIYers looking to update with a DIY home painting project.

The Benjamin Moore Aura is a bit more advanced and more user-friendly and for a few extra bucks, your walls will look noticeably better. Homeowners and savvy DIYers will like the Aura’s higher-end performance and look.

We recommend Benjamin Moore Aura over Sherwin-Williams ProClassic if your preference is for an easy-to-use latex product that’s fairly easy to paint and great for most light color walls.

Paint on Screen S1 Screen Plus (G005)

This screen works like a canvas, and you can paint on it! It’s durable, reusable, and easy to clean and maintain. Cleanable with a damp cloth, and the special finish and surface make the paint dry quickly to a smooth, glossy finish, so you can do touch-ups anytime! S1 Screen Plus works like an ordinary projector screen, and is designed so you can easily hang it with hooks or Velcro.

Choose your ideal size, and add matching metal tabs and hanging hardware to make a secure, easy to use projection screen. And, with it having no frame, you will be able to create the exact size you want, based on your need.

Digital Image Ultra White High Definition Screen Paint

There are several things to look at when determining what type of screen to use for your home theater system. Most importantly, what image definition do you want? Then there is the cost versus the ease of installation of that material.

Projection screens come in two varieties, those that are wall mounted and those that are ceiling mounted. The wall mounted variety can be quite convenient if you have 8-10 feet of wall space free from furniture that can be used to mount your screen. That said, if you have little or no wall space available, you’ll want to go with the ceiling mounted version.

Now that we have the wall/ceiling choice made, let’s focus on the type of projection screens.

In the case of home theater, most people use video projection systems more often than they use movie projectors. One thing to consider when choosing a projection screen is whether it is white or gray.

Video projection screens are almost always white. The reason for this is that the higher contrast and the ability to see the image projected in a room with soft lighting are the reasons people want a white image.

Gray screens create a somewhat drab image. To see what I mean, walk to a movie theater, find a theater playing a movie with a gray screen and watch the film until the credits start rolling. Then leave the theater and look at a white screen for a comparison.

Ultra HD Screen Paint for Home Theater and Commercial Screens

When it comes to watching HDTV, video games, movies, and sports, the bigger the screen the better. And even if you have a decent sized screen, it’ll always look better with the addition of a projector to enlarge the image.

But the addition of a projector to your home or theater setup requires a sturdy wall to mount the unit. The most common type of wall material is drywall. In order to have a seamless look from the screen to the wall and eliminate the possibility of experiencing any distortion on your screen, wall projection units include a screen painting feature, which uses ultra high definition paint to provide an extremely flat surface for your projection.

In order to paint a wall evenly, the paint has to come out of the projector running very smoothly and evenly over 100%. The overall design of the wall paint machine must take these important design parameters into consideration. In order to keep your projector working perfectly, you should clean it regularly. This will help preserve your projector’s quality and performance.

Is Black or White Better for a Projector Screen?

First off, it’s critical to understand that “screen material” is not synonymous with “projection surface”. A screen can be made of any material, whether it be paper, plastic, fabric or painted wall. The choice of the surface, or “screen” material, depends on projectors, their capabilities and the type of projection system that is being used.

The basics behind projection screens are as follows. Traditional white screens reflect light from the projector to the audience. Black screens absorb light from the projector and do not bounce the image on the walls and ceiling.

Projectors with short throw lenses use a “white” projection screen to bounce the image on the wall, which is much brighter than if you were to place the projector on the wall to the side with the same distance to the screen. This way, you get a bright, crisp image in the center of the screen and a dark enough image on the sides to block out distractions and allow the audience to focus on the presentation. The projected image can be seen from almost the entire room and is the most common type of projection for homes and schools.

Can You Use a White Tarp for a Projector Screen?

There are five main differences that separate projections on screen from projections on walls. While many people believe that the type of surface that’s used to project on is irrelevant, in reality, it makes a huge difference on the results. And if you’re planning to have a projector at home, it’s important that you understand the differences. Let’s go through them one by one.

Screens Reflect Projection Light

While most white walls do reflect some light, screens bounce the light off and give the image a brighter and sharper focus.

Projection Screens Minimize and Maximize Distortion

Screens minimize distortion (bends, twists and turns) that non-reflective surfaces do.

Screens Eliminate Screen Door Effect

This is what people experience when there’s a gap between the screen and the projection surface. Also known as the “crawling bug effect”. Screen doors are eliminated with a screen because they are perfectly smooth.

Screen Sizes Vary

Screen are usually pretty easy to transport, move and set up. But they can also be quite a bit more challenging to work with since they require a level or weighted surface that’s at least as big as the screen itself.

What is the Best Material for Making a Projector Screen?

A projector screen can be made from many different materials. If you search online, you’ll learn there are pro and cons for choosing each. Be aware that not all projector screens are built the same. Just because one may seem great for lengthening projection time, it probably will not deliver the best colors.

Projection screens come in many sizes, colors and textures. The screen material plays a huge role in the reflectivity and color accuracy of the displayed image. Listed below is a compendium of some of the most common types of screen materials and what they have to offer.

While selecting a projector screen, consider the size of the viewing area and your budget. If the screen will be permanently affixed, then the size of the viewing area doesn’t matter as much as the clarity and vibrancy of the projector screen. If the screen is portable, then the size of the viewing area is important because it will effect the size of the screen you can afford to purchase. Also, if the screen must be carried and transported, then the material’s weight and foldability will be important.

How to Make Your Own Projector Screen

As “big-budget” movie studios are getting bigger, and bigger, and more and more innovative, it’s hard for the average person to be blown away or impressed by movie sets and special effects in any new movie.

This is why it’s so important for small, independent movie makers to get the most bang for their buck, and make the most out of a small budget.

However, one way an independent filmmaker can create a bigger film, with a smaller budget, is by projecting it onto a wall or screen.

Instead of spending money to hire an expensive movie stage, an independent filmmaker can simply rent or build a screen on which to project the film. This is not only a great way to be creative with a low budget, but it also allows the filmmaker to design a variety of different environments entirely using the light source of the projector.

Building a simple projector screen out of materials easily found at home, will help you create a larger-than-life movie experience for your friends and family.

Step 1: Gather All Materials

You’ve got a great video that you’re so excited to show your friends and family at your next get-together. However, you want to make sure you show it on the biggest screen you can, so that everyone can see.

You look for some inspiration, and you stumble across a few different display options. Video projectors are more expensive compared to screen TVs, so you want to make sure you make the right choice.

The biggest question on your mind is what will provide the better visual experience and what do you need to accommodate them? Let’s clear up the confusion and learn the difference between the two.

Step 2: Prepare the Wall

The first thing to do is get the tools and materials ready so you can begin the project right away. Start with the projector. Remove the lens cap and unpack the projector. Unpack the projector and take it out of the box. You should probably do this step first, because it’s one of the more fragile pieces you will need and the box adds extra protection. Take the cardboard box out first to make sure it is in good condition.

Before using the projector, you will need to place the projector mount on the wall. You should have received a projector mount with your projector. If you don’t have one, you can use a generic projector mount from an electronics store.

Find a stud in the wall and mark it for the placement of the mount. This step is optional. If you cannot find a stud, you can drill a hole in the drywall and place the mount in the hole – or you can simply screw the bracket to the wall.

No matter which method you choose, make sure the mount is secure and stable enough to support the weight of the projector. You should use a stud finder to feel for the stud first and drill a hole if you can’t find one.

Step 3: Map Out the Screen Area

You may already know the square footage of your outdoor movie area … but do you know the screen size it will require? Regardless of the size, all outdoor screens are fitted with the same projector … but there’s one fundamental difference between a wall vs. screen projection and it’s size.

A projection screen can be installed in a variety of ways, either permanently in your backyard, or on a surface you can move like a wall or thick canvas. It’s up to personal preference and how well you can conceal the screen after the screening event. One of the interesting factors about projection screens is that the film is actually larger than your home video screen. Therefore, when you’re screening a movie on a projection screen, your outdoor area will be filled with the film image … flaws and all! In smaller areas, like a driveway, you may even see the seams! If this doesn’t bother you, then you can go ahead and patch the screen with cloth to create a solid background, but … if this bothers you, consider screen doors or other types of decors.

Step 4: Paint the Wall

According to Sony, you can apply the Lenticular film in one of two ways – by hand or using a projector. In the manual option, you make small discrete dots of paint while holding a picture frame right above the area you just painted.

Please note this technique works best when the surface of the material is very smooth, since the artwork will be placed on a mirror-like surface.

Now, if you wish to use your professional spotlight projector, Sony recommends using the EXCLUDE display mode. Simply project the desired image onto a wall or screen, and move until achieving the best results. Remember to stay at a distance of around 4 feet when using a spotlight projector. And once you have applied the Lenticular film, make sure the surface of the wall or screen is completely dry.

Once you are done with the entire process, there is one last thing to keep in mind. You should avoid placing your hands, fingers, your pets, and other objects directly on the Lenticular wall/screen. Otherwise, the 3D effect might be distorted.

Step 5: Paint the Screen

The diffusion material will project a subtle glow onto your wall or ceiling. You can easily do this by cutting a piece of diffusion material to the exact size of your frame. Designate a bucket for this job as the paint is going to be messy. You will probably want to wear old clothes too.

The process involves pouring thinned paint into the bucket and dipping the piece of diffusion material in. The thinner will aid the diffusion material in absorbing the paint. Then you will want to stir the paint well and get an even consistency.

The process is very messy because of the thinning, but that’s the price you pay for a nice even and subtle glow. You can dip the diffuser a second time if you need to deepen the color or if you are using a light colored projection material. After the paint is thoroughly stirred and mixed, paint the entire surface of the diffuser.

Always stir and mix the paint in between dips to get an even coating. Also, remember to wear old clothes because chances are you’ll get some paint on yourself as you stir and dip. It’s very hard to get the paint off of skin so toss the clothes and into your hamper.

Step 6: Add a Screen Frame

A screen isn’t necessary for projecting an image, but I highly recommend finding one and draping it over the board to keep your image from being covered in dust or items you’ve placed on the board. Of course, you can always remove the screen before projecting if you’d like to show off your board.

The screen frame needs to be wider than the board by a few inches to cover the edges of the board. You’ll need to cut the board on the sides and the top to get the width you need. When you’re framing your board, screw the frame into the board so you’ll be able to take it down easily without having to drill holes in your final wall or board.

What Should I Consider When Choosing a Projector Screen?

Today, both home and commercial projectors are designed to take either a screen or a wall as a projection surface, but which one is the best?

The Optimal Distance from the Screen

One of the main differences between projectors meant for use with a wall and projectors meant for a screen is the distance from the screen (wall).

Projectors meant for use on a screen do not need to be placed as far back as when projecting on a wall. This is because a screen is placed away from the wall to create a suitable viewing angle, further away from the audience than with a wall. This makes the projector able to sit closer to the screen while still being able to produce a large image. When it comes to buying a projector screen or displaying your picture on a wall, the ideal distance will depend on what screen size you are using.

The Screen Size

The choice ultimately comes down to what you are using it for. If the screen is for a home theater, you may consider a projector screen as the ideal viewing surface. Keep in mind that the larger the screen and the closer the audience, the brighter the projection device needs to be.

If a wall is what you’re working with, a projector will need to be placed much farther back. You will also need to create a 3-D effect on a wall, so multiple projectors will have to be used.


Projection wall and screen are similar in many ways, however they do have a few key differences that allow them to work better for certain applications.

Each of these types of displays has their own merits in certain situations. Here are a few things to think about when deciding which one is right for your needs.

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