Projector screen buyers guide

In order to achieve optimal projection, you need not only a good projector but also a good projection screen. As a projection screen offers better reflectiveness than a white wall, you should always use a projector screen. This following section describes what screen may be most suitable for your application.

Screen type

1. Screen type - what type of screens are available?

Installation screens

An installation screen is the right solution if the screen is in a permanent location and not moved around. There are several types of installation screens: electric screens, ceiling recessed screens, manual pull-down screens and fixed frame screens.

Manual pull-down screen

Manual pull-down screen - cost-effective installation screen

The classic pull-down screen with manual operation provides a cost-effect solution and offers excellent value for money. It provides a high quality pull down mechanism with a multipoint lock system. Manual screens are easy to install and do not require any cabling or electrics.

  • Low cost
  • No cabling or power supply
  • Easy installation
  • Permanent installation
  • Manual pull may be difficult when ceiling mounted
  • May require cord to pull down
  • Precise positioning may be difficult
  • Large screens may be difficult to operate manually

Suitable predominantly for presentations - also for home cinema use

Manual screens

Electric screen

Electric screen - elegant and comfortable solution

The electric screen is an enhancement to the manual screen. This range offers features suitable for the entry level as well as the professional user. The electric screen series offers flexibility and includes tab tension screens and multi format screens.

  • Electric instead of manual operation
  • Electronically operated screen preserves the fabric
  • Convenient operation by pressing a button or remote control
  • Large image sizes and high quality materials
  • Consistent image frame positioning
  • Power supply required
  • Requires cabling

Ideal for home cinema environment and conference rooms

Electric screens

Ceiling recessed screen

Ceiling recessed screen - ideal for minimal visibility

Ceiling recessed screens blend in well with the environment and are almost invisible. The screen is operated by the push of a button, either by remote control, via the wall switch or a trigger. We offer two types that are characterised by their different quality of the fabric.

  • Minimal visibility of screen after installation
  • Perfectly blends in with environment
  • Space saving solution, also for smaller rooms
  • Requires a suspended ceiling
  • Must be installed by a professional

Invisible installation in conference rooms, living rooms or home cinema environments

Ceiling recessed screens

Fixed frame screens

Fixed frame screens - optimal flatness

In a fixed frame screen, the fabric is permanently stretched into a frame and provides the best image quality. The fabric is less susceptible to temperature fluctuation in the room and remains perfectly taut long term. This frame is a classic and offers the best home cinema experience.

  • Black frame for excellent contrast
  • No creasing
  • Perfect flatness
  • Permanently visible
  • Exposed to environmental conditions (sunlight, dust, smoke, etc.)

Ideal for installation in dedicated home cinema rooms

Fixed frame screens

Mobile screens

If you require mobility and need to move the screen from venue to venue, then this is the right option. There are several types: tripod screens, pull-up screens, mobile expert fast fold screens and table top screens

Tripod screen

Tripod screen - a classic among mobile solutions

Tripod screens are very convenient: they are made up of one piece and thanks to their tripod legs, are very stable, even on surfaces that are not level. For easy transportation, you can order an optional canvas softcase with a shoulder strap.

  • Cost effective
  • Easy setup
  • Height adjustable
  • Flexible use + optional softcase
  • Requires broader footprint
  • Slightly old fashioned appearance
  • Only available up to 2.5m

Excellent value for money, suitable for smaller, mobile projections

Tripod screens

Pull up screen

Pull up screen - a professional approach with high mobility

The pull up screen is extremely easy to set up: simply pull the screen up from its housing. It provides the best option for mobility. Celexon provides pull up screens with a telescopic bar and those with an integrated scissor system which requires no assembly at all.

  • Closed housing provides protection
  • Easy set up and transportation
  • No additional bag needed
  • Relatively fixed position of fabric: only height adjusting upwards
  • Requires flat surface

Professional solution when mobility is required

Pull up screens

Mobile Expert Folding Frame screen

Mobile Expert Folding Frame screen - ideal for large events

Folding Frame screens are a very practical solution for mobile, large-scale projections. An image with up to 4m is achievable. The screen is fastened using poppers on the front of the aluminium frame.

  • Image width up to 4m
  • Rugged flight case
  • Height adjustable
  • Excellent flatness
  • Projection fabric interchangeable to allow front and rear projection
  • Set up requires 2 people
  • Set up time: ca 4-7 mins

Ideal for large-scale events

Mobile Expert Fast Fold screens

Table top screen

Table top screen - ideal for use with pico projectors

Used with a pico projector, the table top screen will provide an image width up to 1m. The screen is folded sideways. It is ideal for small meetings or viewing holiday snaps with your family and friends.

  • Set up within seconds
  • Max mobility: light and compact
  • Not suitable for large audiences
  • Limited applications

Ideal when travelling on business

Table top screens

Projection type

2. Projection type - front or rear projection?

There are 2 types of projection: front and rear.


Front projection

The projector is positioned in front of the screen, on the side of the audience:

Projection type | Front projection

Suitable for home cinema, living room, conference room

Rear projection

The projector is positioned behind the screen, the audience is in front of the screen. The advantage is that the audience or presenter/ performer cannot interfere with the projection.

Projectiontype | Rear projection

Suitable for exhibitions or theatre

Screen formats

3. Screen formats - which format is suitable?

The projection screen format will depend on the application: Do you want to use your projector screen in a small home cinema room or in a large auditorium? The screen size depends also on the distance between projector and screen, the distance between audience and screen and the native projection format of the projector. The projected image has a specific aspect ratio, in a certain image width and image height. The square 1:1 format is the right choice when using an overhead projector (OHP) as it projects in this format. However, this has been largely phased out in favour of digital projectors. Presentations for instance, are reproduced in 16:10 format or more rarely, in 4:3 format. Films/videos are usually shown in 16:9 format, occasionally 21:9. To achieve an optimal projection result, it therefore makes sense to select a screen in the format best suited to the intended use and one that corresponds to the native format of your projector.

For presentations: 16:10, less common 4:3
For films: 16:9, less common 21:9

Screen formats depending on the application


4. Positioning - what distance is required?

The correct positioning of projector and screen will depend on the specific projector you have. You will find further guidance on how to install your screen on our YouTube video.
Here are some details on how to set up a manual professional celexon screen:

The optimum distance between screen and audience depends on the resolution of the projector and the screen width. The general rule of thumb is: the lower the resolution, the further one should be seated from the screen. If you sit too close to the screen, you will see the individual pixels.
The lower edge of the screen should be hung at about 1.2-1.3m above the floor so that the screen is eyelevel with the audience.

4K resolution: distance = screen width x 1
Full HD resolution: distance - screen width = 1.5
HD Ready / WXGA resolution: distance = screen width x 1.8
The lower the resolution, the further the distance

The optimum distance between screen and audience depending on the resolution


5. Brightness - how bright does my projector need to be?

Brightness depending on the environment

In order to achieve a good image, your projector requires sufficient brightness which depends on the ambient light of your environment. Normal daylight/ambient light, for instance, has 50 – 180 Lux, a sitting room or office has about 200 – 750 Lux. So that the projected image is clearly visible, the ratio of the ambient light at the location of the screen (measured in Lux) and the light output of the projector should be a 1:5 ratio. The stronger the ambient light, the greater should be the light output of the projector in order to produce a bright and high-contrast image. More details, see projector buyers guide.

Ratio ambient light and projector brightness 1:5

Screen fabric

6. Screen fabric - which type is suitable?

The reflection behaviour of a screen is defined by the gain factor (luminous factor) in relation to the viewing angle. The gain factor indicates the amount of light that is reflected by the screen. The reflectiveness is important to produce good colours, for the contrast levels and a rich black level. A projection screen that reflects the light uniformly in all directions, has a gain factor of 1. The lower the gain factor, the lower the reflection. A screen with a high gain factor is brighter but the viewing angle decreases.

The gain factor usually varies between 1 and 2

The reflection behaviours of the projection screens can be divided into 4 groups, according to the international standard ISO 8396 and the German standard DIN 19045 part 4:

Type D - Diffuse reflective screen

  • Light beam from projector is reflected equally in all directions
  • Matt white smooth surface
  • Gain factor: ca 1.1
  • Horizontal viewing angle: ca 40°
Diffus reflektierende Leinwandtuchtyp

Type S - Specular reflection (mirror reflection)

  • Light beam from projector is reflected in a preferred direction and therefore compressed
  • Pearl beaded surface
  • Gain factor: ca 1,6
  • Horizontal viewing angle: ca 30°
Specular reflection Leinwandtuchtyp

Type B - Beaded reflection

  • Beam reflected back to light source
  • Beaded surface
  • Gain factor: ca 3
  • Horizontal viewing angle: ca 15°
Beaded reflection Leinwandtuchtyp

Type R - Rear projection

  • Light beam from projector is directed through the screen and creates an image on the front side of the screen
  • Gain factor: ca 1 - 5
  • Horizontal viewing angle: ca 15 to 40°
Rueckprojektion Leinwandtuchtyp

Type D projection screens are most suitable for everyday use. This type can be used in home cinema environments, in conference rooms or class rooms. All other screen types have other special applications. On request, we offer custom made screens. Here is a list of the most common applications:

Screen typeApplication
Type D Living room / Home cinema, conference rooms, class rooms
Type S Large, bright rooms or outdoors
Type B Table projection
Type R Large events, exhibition halls, theatres

Screen type: Type D
Application: Living room / Home cinema, conference rooms, class rooms

Screen type: Type S
Application: Large, bright rooms or outdoors

Screen type: Type B
Application: Table projection

Screen type: Type R
Application: Large events, exhibition halls, theatres


Search for screens

We hope we were able to provide the key selection criteria to enable you to choose the right projection screen for your needs. We have also compiled key tips in our projector buyers guide for selecting the right projector.

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If you have any further queries, please contact us by telephone or email.
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Projector buyers guide 2017 | 10 steps to find the right projector