Displays and Projectors : Is a wall really the best to project on ?

Is a wall really the best to project on ?

I've been to places where instead of a big screen the people who own the projector just show the image on a white wall.

In the end the picture is quite good, but is it really the best way to show what you want to show ? Be it a movie or even a live sporting event ?

What do you recommend?

The Force will be with you, always

Re: Is a wall really the best to project on ?

There's two main ways that a wall is different than a screen. The most obvious is the colour: white walls are rarely pure white, so that affects the colour of the projected picture. You can buy pure white paints; I found one by Behr at Home Depot when I was planning to make a screen. Neutral grey is also an option: it can improve contrast from an LCD projector that doesn't produce pure blacks.
The other issue is directionality or screen gain. Real screens are usually designed to reflect light back (like a cat's eye reflector) towards the source, rather than diffuse it in all directions like a matte paint would. Back when projectors weren't as powerful, this would give a brighter picture. But it also has the benefits of rejecting stray light (which improves contrast), and reducing the amount of light from the screen that hits the ceiling, floor, walls etc, which is good since those objects in turn reflect light back towards the screen. Screens are available with varying degrees of directionality; the most directional types may have a tendency to "hot spots" and won't be as bright for viewers off to the sides.
If you go with a painted wall, adding a shadow box around the screen with black cloth will improve contrast by blocking the path from the screen to the nearest surfaces (walls/ceiling/floor).

Re: Is a wall really the best to project on ?

Many thanks for your reply and thoughts. 👍

The Force will be with you, always
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