Screens are a technology in itself. I recently ran into the same situation and it all depends where the screen is to be placed. I picked up a 1.5 gain screen Video Spectra 60x60 given that I had a large picture window in view of the screen. If you have a dark room then a screen of 1.8 would suffice. Do a search on google for screen terminology or contact Da-lite Screens and talk with them. I bought my stuff from Fuxion Electronics off Ebay...the screen was $95US
I stongly disagree. I think there is a huge difference, but the price of screens is pretty high. Maybe you are looking at a da-lite or draper screen. I would say if it isn't those screens, 25% would not notice a difference. My high contrast screen makes a huge difference. It makes my cheap projector, project an image like an expensive one. I think my screen investment was 100% worth it.
Top end WXGA or new generation "budget" units like the Pan PT-AE700U LCD projector will look great on many walls, white poster boards, or any standard screen
However the industry needs to keep the myth alive that 2k is necessary for screens to get a fanstastic picture
I guarantee you one thing: the high end audio/video magazines will never run double blind tests (i.e test administrators and viewers both unware which screen is which) comparing cheap screens, poster boards, expensive screens, plaster walls in an objective way
THEY WOULD NOT APPRECIATE THE RESULTS
The question is not always which is better?, the question is whether the "improvement" (if any) is worth it based upon additional dollar expenditures
I love to shine my projector on the wall. I gives me a great movie theater experience. It reminds me of going to the IMAX where they shine on the wall. Movie theaters all shine on the wall so if you want a good home theater screen, just shine your projector on the wall. Don't you think that if it were ok to shine it on the wall that the movie theater industry would have caught on by now?
I don't mean to be rude, but I think the difference is huge. I saw a matte white screen and a high contrast screen like the Firehawk and the difference was worth it. My picture looks like a high quality plasma instead of a big screen TV when I am not projecting on my screen. I just really wish I could show you in person. The best example I can give is the opening in star wars, when the ships are flying through space. It looks like space on my screen and off my screen looks like a gray space. The stars look as good on or off the screen, but space looks like space on my screen. My flat white wall just doesn't do it. Yeah I think the price is high, but I think it is worth it. Sorry if I seamed to sarcastic, but I really would like to get my point accross.
Screens serve more then just the quality of the picture. With out my Video Spectra 1.5 screen my viewing angle is maybe 20degs. Anything more the picture starts to blur but with my screen I have a 50deg viewing angle.
Also the quality of the picture is a good 25% better and briter.
One more side effect is I have a roll up screen. When it's not being used it rolls up into it's case and my wall behind it has painting on it. Makes for a very stealth TV. But for those who's TV room isn't the same as the sitting room it wont matter much. For me it was nice not having one wall white since all the others are a mustard yellow.
I would like to know what size screen I need for a room thats 15x12
Screen sizes can vary per the projector, however I will focus on the AE700u, as it clearly the best selling front projector in the world currently, and considered the best bargain by most for a true HD unit
Since for example the AE700u has a special 2.0 lens, it works in nearly all rooms, with any normal 96 to 120 inch 16;9 screen
Assuming for example you are buying a true HD unit like the AE700u, (or similar) you need to keep in mind that for a high quality hi def signal - typical of the higher quality signals coming from Comcast cable hi def or DIRECT Tv - your ideal seating distance will be generally no more than 1.0 to 1.3 times the screen diagonal. Any further than that, and you defeat the purpose of hi defininition television, as you will be outdistancing the detail
We saw the Masters golf tournament recently, it would have been much less real had we sat beyond 10.5 feet - looking at a 96 wide screen. Major League baseball is even sharper than the CBS Masters tournament, especially on well light night games, so sitting close is even more important
In fact with the AE700U, you can really sit w/o much trouble at a distance .6 times screen diag -as there really is no noticeable 'screendoor effect"
For the AE700U, a 96 inch (16:9) screen would do well in a room 15 x 12, however at full distance in terms of viewing it could be a problem. however is you absolutely need to sit further than 10.5 feet, you might need a screen up to 120 inches, but as the screen gets large - there might be some tradeoffs in contrast and brightness
You are really much better off buying a projector first, then using white 50 cent pieces of cardboard-taped together in the back - to test various screen sizes