By guest writer Laura Heller, Houzz
After decades of TVs being the centerpiece of a living room or family room, lot of us are getting rid of them and using our computers for the occasional reality-TV or sitcom fix. Still, there are times when a night at home with a movie or the Sunday HBO series of the moment makes for a happy escape. That’s where a projector and screen come in handy.
A projection screen delivers a more fully realized, professional quality movie experience. When not in use the screen retracts and the room is returns to a TV-free haven. These days, home theaters systems with projectors and screens can be found in just about every size and price range. Even better, a professional-grade projector will not only fit a smaller space, it can help make a small space feel roomier.
Moon Design + Build, original photo on Houzz
Projectors are used in dedicated home theaters, and these days there’s something to fit every budget. Many of these systems can get a TV signal, deliver 3D images or access content from the Internet.
Projectors no longer need to be big hulking units. Most are small and can be easily mounted on a ceiling in the rear of the room or perched on a table top. Here, the projector is tucked away in open storage shelves in the back of the room.
When mounting a projector on the wall, the closer to the screen, the smaller the resulting images. Ratios vary from unit to unit, but, for example, if the projector is 10 feet from the screen and can project an 120-inch image at that distance, then for every foot closer to the screen the projector is placed, the image size will be smaller.
The color of your projector can be matched to blend into walls or ceilings when mounted, and those used only occasionally can be stored in a closet or cupboard. Dark walls disguise the black projector mounted on the ceiling in this home theater.
Projectors don’t transmit sound, so you’ll need to connect your projector to speakers. For movie viewing, five-channel surround sound is recommended. This gives you five total speakers: two in front on either side of the screen, one in the center, two in the rear, and a subwoofer that transmits deeper sounds.
A variety of screens are also available. There’s the basic pull-down screen (think elementary school classroom) and automated ones that lower from the ceiling. Or, just project your images against a black wall.
Screen Paint is a nice alternative to either an actual screen or standard paint. It comes in five shades, and for less than $200, it transforms a basic wall into a screen capable of showing HD moving images.