When you are getting a high-quality projector, it is evident that you would go for a top-notch projector screen. Without a proper screen, you can’t expect to get a high-quality output. But now the question arises which projector screen you should choose? The era of the normal white screen as the only option has gone, and nowadays you also get the option of the black projector screen.
So which one should you choose? Well, it entirely depends upon your needs and various factors. Both the screens have their own pros and cons, and you have to judge them accordingly. To help you out, I have created a detailed black projector screen vs white comparison guide.
White Projector Screen
For a long time, white projector screens were the standard option because they were easily available and came in a wide variety. Many people opt for white screens because they come in different price ranges, and you can even use a standard white sheet in your home for movie sessions.
However, the main reason behind their popularity is their capability to produce bright images with impressive contrast. The white screen can produce rich color and sharp textures when the setup is used in a dark room or light-controlled room. Moreover, the white screen keeps the image evenly lit through the screen, thus giving you a widescreen view.
The overall contrast is also on the higher side when used in a dark room. White screens are made by numerous brands mainly due to their high reflective property, and some of the screens even come with features like minimal light penetration.
However white screen works well in a dark room. When there is a lot of ambient light, the screen suffers badly and gives you a faded view. With white screens, it is slightly challenging to get excellent dark images with deep blacks, even if the projector has a great contrast level and iris.
Black Projector Screen
For the last few years, the black projector screen has been making a massive name in the industry, and it is mainly due to its capability to produce high-contrast images. Due to the color of the screen, they are able to reproduce a better dark portion of a frame. As it can absorb light, the images on these screen types not only look sharp but much more vibrant.
The color also looks better on a black screen. It works better when the room or surrounding has a lot of ambient light as the black screen doesn’t reflect much light. However, like a white projector screen, it also comes with some drawbacks, and the main thing is the rainbow effect it produces in certain conditions. In some low-quality screens it also produces hot spots leading to different lighting conditions in one frame.
The viewing angle is also limited, and you will have to sit in the middle to get a clear view. However, these issues can be tackled by curating the brightness of your projector. Like white screens, it may not be that popular, but nowadays, many top manufacturers are coming with black screens.
Unfortunately, due to high material cost and lack of popularity, you won’t find numerous options for black screens in different price ranges, especially when you look at the budget end.
Comparison Between Black and White Projector Screen
Now, it is time we look at their differences so that you can decide whether you should use a black or white projector screen. I have differentiated them in various aspects so that it is for you to choose;
Reflectiveness plays a considerable role in deciding the image quality of a screen. As we all know, white screens reflect a lot of light while a black screen absorbs a good amount of incoming light. Due to high reflectiveness, a white screen not only offers a wide-angle view but also ensures a clear image output.
However, due to high reflectiveness, you can’t use the screen in a room with ambient light as it will illuminate the entire room to create a washed-out view. You will have to keep the room completely dark to keep the original image quality and high contrast. Black screen, on the other hand, is known for low reflectiveness, so it gives you high contrast and a color-rich view when you sit in front of the screen.
However, you won’t have a clear view when you sit on the angle due to low reflectiveness. The primary perk of low reflectiveness is that it would ensure a mesmerizing visual quality even if there is ambient in the room.
When it comes to contrast level, a black projector screen serves as the best choice. Most of the black screen gets a matte finish on the front with the coated rear, which helps the screen ensure high contrast and more detailing. Due to high contrast, the dark images not only look clear, but when you use a projector on the black wall, it looks more clear.
However white projector also comes with a matte finish, but the contrast level isn’t similar to black screens. The dark scenes on a white projector screen don’t look detailed, and you won’t get a similar type of clarity.
Overall Color Output
In proper surrounding light conditions, both the black and white projector screen will give you a mind-boggling color quality. The saturation level will not only look realistic, but it will be the same as the incoming source. However, for the best color quality, a black projector screen serves as the ideal choice because it absorbs unnecessary lights and pops out more color from the incoming light.
Even though white screens offer an excellent color output, the light colors are mostly lost, especially in slight ambient light output. The details aren’t great, and black-centric colors look faded. However, the colors look a lot natural, and it doesn’t look oversaturated.
Both black and white projector screens face some amount of image distortion, but black screens face the most. During summer and other warmer seasons, black projector screens can get really hot, which creates hot spots on the screen, thus leading to image distortion.
If you don’t have a highly bright projector, then it gets tough to get a clear view of dark shades on a black screen in a dark room. However white projector doesn’t face the same issue and stays cool even during warmer seasons. Some of the screens even come with a matte finish and unique construction that curbs down the heat by a large margin.
We have seen black projector screens outclass white projector screens in some areas, but still, white screens are considered the standard. It is mainly because white screens are made by numerous manufacturers, and the demands are always high.
People still prefer white screens because not only are they easily available, but they come with numerous features that you won’t find on black screens. Moreover, they come in various types and provide a lot of flexibility which you can’t say the same for black screens.
In general, white projector screens are slightly cheaper than black projector screens, and it is mainly due to many reasons. Since white screens are made by numerous manufacturers and it doesn’t require many construction materials, it comes at a low cost. Thus many buyers get diverted towards white projectors due to the price difference as they are more affordable to use.
Importantly, you get many unique features and modern technology embedded units without spending a hefty amount which you might have to do for a black screen. Most high-quality black screens come with an expensive price tag which is not easy for everyone.
What About Gray Screen? Should You Consider It?
Gray projector screen is like the new kid in the market that is slowly getting popular among users (even though it has been present in the market for many years). It basically serves as the sweet spot between white and black projector screens where it provides high contrast and deep black levels.
The dark part of the image doesn’t fade out even during the day, which makes it better than black units. Most importantly, it comes with a neutral tint which allows the screen to produce all the colors in its natural shade. A unique feature of this screen is that you can get a clear and vivid view with a projector having low lumens.
The detailing and resolution tend to be higher than the black projector because there is minimal light scattering. However, like a black and white projector, it is not free from cons, and the grayish tinge it offers is the most significant disadvantage. In a dark room, the visual will look dimmish on the gray screen, and colors and details look faded in dark scenes.
So if you can accept all the cons of the gray screen and want better visual quality than white but without spending a hefty amount like for a black screen, then you should go for it.
Black Projector Screen VS White: Which One Should You Choose?
Both black and white projector has their share of pros and cons. The decision will entirely depend upon your requirement, projector setup area, projector you are using, and the quality you want. A white projector would be ideal for you if you have a large audience and you want to have a clear view of the screen from all angles.
It would be suitable for a room whose light can be controlled because then only it can produce a great viewing experience. Moreover, they are relatively cheaper than their black counterparts, and you will find them from various top manufacturers.
However, if your priority is great image quality with sharp images and deep black level, then without a doubt, you should go for a black projector screen. The color saturation level is also better than the white screen as it is able to pop out subtitles colors.
You can conveniently use it in a room with ambient light or during daylight without compromising on color. However, you won’t be able to play it in a dark room, and you will have to spend a considerable amount of money to get a high-quality black screen.
Black Projector Screen VS White FAQ
Question: What color screen is best for a projector?
Answer: The best color for a projector screen is totally subjective as every color has its own perks. Some might prefer a white screen as it offers a wide viewing angle and comes with various modern features, while some might prefer a black screen for its rich color and clear view.
Question: Projector screen vs wall: Which is better?
Answer: A projector screen is always the best choice if you want to get the visual experience from your projector. Wall is a good alternative, but it has low reflectiveness and doesn’t reproduce the quality you expect.
Question: Should you choose a white or gray projector screen?
Answer: Gray screens grab the sweet spot between white and black screens and perform better in some areas than a white screen. However, if you look at overall performance, features and price, the white screen gets the edge.
So, by now, I hope I have been able to help you solve your confusion regarding the black projector screen vs white. You will have to evaluate your requirement and then decide between a black and white projector screen. You have to be careful about what you choose because a bad screen color choice can hinder your whole projector setup.
Hello, I’m Mr. James Hanson and I have been associated with projector industry for decades. From tender age, I had a huge knack towards projection hardware so gradually I was drawn into the industry. After I have left my college, I have worked with many projector manufacturers so I’m using that experience to create guide in this site. I have always kept myself with current tech and change in this segment.