Project Rental

Curved Video ScreenFor most consumers figuring out what video projector to buy is a complicated issue that deals with the logistics of a home theater room as well as complicated technologies that range from video screen aspect ratios, the need for video calibration and so much more. The goal of this website is to give you, the consumer, some ideas on what video systems are best for your room.

Do You Buy a Flat HDTV or a Video Projector and a Screen?

The question of what format of HDTV is a big one for consumers. The true home theater experience is best captured with a video projector and a screen however there are some drawbacks such as the slow boot up times for projectors and the often clunky nature of video screens. You can hide a screen in your ceiling and have it roll down but that adds cost. HDTVs can be turned on and they are ready to go which is a huge advantage for many.

The cost of large flat HDTVs has improved quite a bit in the year or so thus 70, 80, 84 and even 90 HDTVs are much more affordable and accessible via stores like Costco, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target and more. When a 42 inch plasma cost $15,000 years ago – a 70 inch HDTV can cost under $1,995 today.

Types of Video Projectors

There are many types of video projectors in the market today. Its important to know what is what before you plunk down your platinum card.

DLPDLP Projector

DLP projectors are based around Texas Instrument's chip set and can be very affordable in today's market.

D-ILA Projector

D-ILA is a liquid crystal on silicon technology which is similar to what Sony uses on their SXRD projectors. Some call D-ILA "The plasma of projectors.

Pico Projector

Pico projectors are a tiny class of projectors that are very affordable but they don't tend to have the light output needed on a video screen in a meaningful home theater.

LCD Projector

These high light output projectors are also very cost effective and small in size but are more suitable to entry to mid-level home theaters. Sharp, Epson and Panasonic make LCD and LED video projectors.

Quad Full HD Projectors

Quad Full HD is the word used to describe what will be the consumer version of 4K video. These projectors tend to scale 1080p material up to close to 4K resolutions but don't often take a native 4K source. With no current format for 4K on Blu-ray or broadcast – Quad Full HD is the high end choice for projectors in today's market.

Cinema 4K projectors

Cinema 4K projectors are what movie theaters use to broadcast true, native 4K content in 3D, HD or IMAX. These projectors are used in home theaters of the highest level and on the largest screens.

Types of Video Screens

Video screens can be even more complex of a topic than video projectors as there are many different varieties, shapes, materials and sizes.

Negative Gain Screens

Also known as light rejecting screens, these screens allow people to watch video in bright day lights. SI Screens, dnp, Vutec, Stewart Filmscreen and Da-Lite all make top performing neg-gain screens.

Gray Screens

For today's digital video projectors, gray screens like Stewart Filmscreen's Gray Hawk material are often popular. They tend to have a positive gain thus are better in rooms that can get darker.

Roll-down screens

It is possible to hide screens in your ceiling and have them roll down when in use. There are roll-up screens too that allow a screen to rise from the floor or a cabinet to make a large video image.

Paint-on Screens

There are companies like Screen Goo that make paint-on video screens that can turn normal drywall into a suitable but low end video solution. Making sure that your drywall is smooth and nail free is very important for these applications.

Fixed Screens

Fixed video screens are the most affordable type of screens. They can be mounted to a wall or to a stand. They can snap together and be taken down if needed. There are many types of fixed screens.

Auto-Masking Screens

Auto-masking screens use motorized black felt elements to change the viewable shape of a video screen to any number of different popular aspect rations such as 4:3, 16x9, 2.35:1, 2.4:1 and many others. The WOW factor of Auto-masking screens is pretty impressive.

Curved Screens

Curved screens focus light more onto the screen and can output more light. Some of the most expensive screens on the market are curved, auto-masking screens.

4K Screens

Warning: there is no such thing as a 4K screen but so many companies push the idea of their screen being 4K ready. A pillow case or 300 thread count cotton sheet is 4K ready. Don't buy the BS.
You can do a do-it-yourself video project and many home theater enthusiasts do just that but the best installations are done by professional installers. Many of which are from the CEDIA organization Other top dealers can be found at HomeTheaterReview.com's dealer locator. Once your system is finished you might want a professional calibrator to fine tune its performance to meet SMPTE standards. Both George Lucas' THX and the Imaging Science Foundation are great sources. One additional resource that is good for shopping for video projectors that are green is Energy Star.