Who loves fixed things? A fixed-frame projector screen loves eating an entire wall of your favorite room. That’s why people, these days, are leaning towards an alternative. The excellent alternative – Motorized projector screen. Why? Read on.
A Fixed-frame projector screen, no doubt, takes up an entire wall of your room. Therefore, shopping for the best Motorized projector screen should be your goal for that wall. You can keep it out of sight when there is no use or extend it when its your prime time to watch your favorite content.
However, picking the suitable motorized screen is one of the frustrating and daunting tasks. Different projector screens work in a certain way; they’re designed according to different light levels, conditions, purposes, and types of projectors. That’s why sometimes it becomes very difficult to find a suitable projector screen for needs.
Having said that, I’ve discovered some crucial projector screen buying factors for you. Using them, you’ll be able to find the perfect motorized projector screen for your requirements. What else? I have picked and reviewed the top three projector screens of the year.
So before you move to the full reviews, take a look at the following top three picks—including expensive, mid-priced, and the cheapest motorized projector screens.
1. VIVIDSTORM S PRO – Best UST Motorized Projector Screen
The brand VIVIDSTORM has come up with a great idea to open the screen or home theater from the floor. And, The VIVIDSTORM S Pro is its first model to kick off this innovation—floor rising. It’s an amazing screen with a minimalist design (in closed position) and has well-built hardware.
VIVIDSTORM S Pro is an electric tension floor screen for Ultra short throw projection. It is the highest-level motorized projector screen you’ll find on the market that packs tons of features with a wide range of screen sizes, from 72 to 120 inches, and is equipped with an electric motor.
Pros & Cons: The VIVIDSTORM S PRO
What I like:
- Well-built, its ALR material—serrated structure
- A broad range of screen sizes (72″ – 120″)
- 4k/8K ultra-short-throw projection supported
- Its IR & RF remote control
- Elegant design
- Portable & easy setup
- Amazing customer service
What I don’t:
- A bit pricey
Who’s it for?
The VIVIDSTORM S pro can be an excellent option for those who want to use their TV and projector at the same place. Since the S pro model rises from the floor, you can let it sit under the TV (wall-mounted TV). Also, if you want to get the most out of the screen, make sure you have the best ultra-short-throw projector.
I suggest you pick its ALR (Ambient Light Rejecting) version if you want it to be used for day and night purposes.
2. VIVIDSTORM 4K Tab-tensioned – Best short-throw motorized projector screen
The VIVIDSTORM 4K is a motorized tab-tensioned pull-down projector screen, comes in two different color housings and types: White Cinema, Black Cinema and White Transparent Perforated, Black Transparent Perforated.
The screen is primarily for short-throw projection and ceiling mounting-type lovers. It boasts a 1.1 gain for a Vivid viewing experience, supports the standard view area – 16:9 aspect ratio, and offers an eye protection feature. You have a wide range of screen sizes, a total of 7 options available, from 72 to 150 inches.
Pros & Cons: VIVIDSTORM 4K
What I like:
- Screen sizes (72″ to 150″)
- IR remote control
- Stunning image quality
- Its design
- Height adjustment lock
- Easy to install & Portable
- Customer service is awesome
What I don’t:
Who’s it for?
For the price, The VIVIDSTORM is an awesome tab-tensioned motorized projector screen. It comes with two IR remote controllers and a wall-mounted receiver. Besides, its image quality is great and offers a 1.1 gain that ensures a vivid viewing experience.
If your projector is compatible with it, it’ll automatically drop when the projector is turned on. What else do you want from a fairly priced projector screen? If you want the best tab-tensioned motorized projector screen, go for it.
Note: To get the most out of the screen, make sure your projector offers at least 2000 lumens of brightness.
3. Akia Ceiling Mount screen – Best affordable motorized projector screen
It’s Akia’s one of the best and affordable motorized projector screens. With a 1.1 gain, the Akia screen utilizes high-quality material that offers a 1.1 gain – responsible for a vivid viewing experience and accepts 180° wide view angle. Besides, It is a 3D, 4K and 8K HDR-ready projector screen, equipped with a built-in tubular motor that ensures the screen’s fast down/up operation.
Akia has launched it in matte black color with black/white metal housing to match your room’s aesthetic design. It has two variants: MaxWhite 2 and MaxWhite B, the MaxWhite 2 model has three screen sizes available – 104″, 125″, and 150″ inches, while the MaxWhite B offers a 110-inch screen size.
Pros & Cons: Akia Screens
What I like:
- Wide viewing angle
- Screens sizes, 104″ – 150″
- Excellent picture quality
- Very easy to install
- Its motor is quiet
- Good customer service
What I don’t:
- Built quality could be better.
Who’s it for?
The Akia screens are very affordable yet powerful in terms of features and quality. It’s an awesome motorized projector screen handles the standard throw. Besides, it’s Full HD, 4K, 8K, and even a 3D-ready projector screen.
So if you’re looking for a budget-friendly motorized projector screen, this Akia screen is the best. However, I never suggest it for any Ultra short throw projector.
The difference: Fixed-frame screens vs. retractable Motorized projector screens
1. Fixed-frame screens
A fixed-frame screen is a very common type and is widely available because of its popularity among all projector screens. Besides, the type of screen is suitable and easily found in dedicated spaces, such as your home theaters, conference rooms, etc., as it requires an entire wall.
The Material: Fixed-frame
Fixed-frame screens utilize thick metal border frames so that screen material can be stretched over the frame. Generally, these border frames are covered in black velour to perceive better contrast of the image. Moreover, the black border material absorbs the image overspill.
If you go beyond, you’ll find expensive fixed-frame projector screens offer super-thin border frames—or edgeless—in order to provide the maximum size of the image. Even though fixed-frame screens with thin metal border frames are stunning and give a flat-screen TVs-like experience, they can’t handle image overspill.
Advantages of having a fixed-frame projector screen
A fixed-frame screen maintains a tensioned surface because you don’t roll it up and down. As a result, you see a smooth image on the screen.
These fixed-frame projector screens are very easy to install because they don’t require power to function.
2. Motorized Retractable screens
Motorized retractable screens are modern and advanced projector screens that can be rolled up and down when needed. In other words, you can call the screen up when it’s your prime time and ask to go back when you’re done. And, you can do it with just a touch of a button.
However, on the downside, a motorized screen requires more effort to install because of its built-in electric motor. Since the electric motor needs a power supply to function, its installation is more involved than fixed-frame screens.
The Material: Motorized Projector screen
Such a projector screen uses a long metal case equipped with a powerful electric motor. The metal case is for mounting the screen on the wall or ceiling.
Advantages of having a motorized projector screen
A motorized projector screen is an advanced option for those who want it out of sight when in no use. It gives you a clean and neat look to your wall.
The trigger input feature of a motorized screen can automatically lower the screen whenever the projector is turned on.
Who’s it for?
So, for people who don’t want a projector screen on the wall all the time, you have the most elegant screen type, a motorized retractable screen.
Guide: How to pick the best Motorized projector screen?
1. Screen Color: Which color should I pick?
Different screen fabrics are to achieve the best contrast possible of an image. Generally, three types of screen colors roaming on the market: White, Grey, and Black. The common thing between these colors is how each fabric affects the contrast of the image.
White Screen: Why white is the screen standard?
White screens are for their ability to display better brightness and vivid colors. Therefore, if your room doesn’t have a lot of ambient light, a white screen is an ideal option for you.
Moreover, if there is a dedicated home theater in your home with great control over the light levels, your white-colored projector screen is waiting for you. Don’t think of getting any other colors for the purpose.
Gray Screen: Who’s it for?
Gray projector screens were designed to tackle projectors with poor contrast. Therefore, gray-colored screens have been gained popularity in the last few years. Unfortunately, it limits to the projectors that don’t offer enough contrast.
So if you love contrast-rich content, such as gaming, don’t miss the gray color screen. It will deliver deeper black levels.
Black Screen: Very popular and an ideal option
Black projector screens are the best options for rooms with ambient light. Or a room where you don’t have control over the light levels. Unfortunately, black-colored screens require powerful projectors to deliver light colors and darker whites.
2. Screen gain: What is standard screen gain?
The amount of light that your projector reflects on you is called ‘gain.’ Screen gain is one of the aspects of the screen materials: others are color and texture.
Different screens have different gain values because of different screen coating materials. These coatings are applied to the base vinyl. The better the coatings, the higher the screen value.
Even though high-gain screens reflect more light at viewers, some part of the screen becomes more bright because of hot-spotting. Whenever you sit in front of the screen, you have an amazing viewing experience. On the contrary, it becomes terrifying from the sides.
It is advisable to have higher-gain projector screens only when your projector is not bright enough.
Or, choose natural gain, gain 1.0, for even light in all directors. 1.0 gain is also known as the screen’s standard gain.
3. Texture: Crucial for your 4K projector?
There is no doubt cheap screens have enough texture to handle 1080p content. However, when it comes to 4K, they struggle. Since a true 4k projector, not enhanced for 4k, requires tons of distinct active pixels, for example, 8.3 million pixels. Therefore, A normal manual pull-down screen can’t show all the detail than a 4K rated projector screen.
FAQ: Questions people often ask about motorized projector screens
It’s a very common screen term printed on the box of the motorized projector screen. It simply means your projector screen is tension-free; there will be no tension on the surface and hang freely from its long metal case.
However, it’s hard to find a 100% non-tensioned motorized projector screen. There will always be minor ripples and waviness.
Unlike non-tensioned projector screens, the tab-tensioned screens are more uniform because they utilize cables and tabs to provide constant tension on the surface.
The image quality you get from a tab-tensioned projector screen is quite close to a fixed-frame projector screen. Therefore, tab-tensioned screens are considered the highest performing screens when it comes to motorized retractable screens.
Such screens are designed for movie theaters called “acoustic transparent screens or acoustically transparent perforated Slate.” They are acoustically transparent and have lots of perfs or tiny holes. These holes don’t do anything to the picture but let the sound pass. Remember, these screens are very expensive compared to typical screens.
Conclusion: What is the best Motorized Projector screen for you?
All three screens are excellent for their prices. I picked them, keeping all types of projectors in mind, such as ultra-short-throw, short-throw, and standard throw.
The first projector screen is from VIVIDSTORM, called VIVIDSTORM S PRO, which is an excellent pick for your ultra-short-throw projector. It welcomes all the projectors with laser light sources.
The second motorized screen is from ViVIDSTORM as well, but for short-throw projectors. Under 1000 dollars, it’s a perfect drop-down motorized projector screen for you.
The third one is from Akia. The Akia Screens are very affordable and suitable for standard short-throw projections. It has a wide range of screen sizes to choose from for under 500 dollars. If you have any native HD or Full HD projector with normal throw, I’ll highly recommend this Akia projector screen.
I hope this article has been helpful for you. I’d love to hear from you what you think. Please ask if you have any doubt about the top motorized projector screens recommended in this guide; I’d love to answer your queries.