We all enjoy saving a buck here or there, but using innovative solutions in your home theater projects can save you big time. Take the projector screen, for example. Can you get creative and find something else that will work- like a roller blind for a projector screen?
Roller blinds can be used as a projector screen by following a few recommendations. You can use a white roller blind for bright, vivid projections, or paint it gray to capture a deeper contrast. Use a blackout roller blind and consider using the flatter backside to avoid small surface ridges.
Check out my top picks for home theater projector screens.
Of course, it is up to you and the desired aesthetic that you would like for your home theater to ultimately have. However, you can make your home theater work on a tighter budget by opting for a makeshift screen.
Instead of paying big bucks for a professional screen, you can optimize a blackout roller blind for similar results. Let’s take a closer look.
Tips for Using a Roller Blind as a Projector Screen
Truly, the innovative qualities that some people are born with are astounding. In the world of home theaters, you will find people finding all different types of ways to make their media-viewing dreams into a reality. Of course, this can sometimes mean cutting corners- as long as those cuts are not destructive to the overall vision.
Fortunately, using a roller blind as a projector screen is a viable option that will not harm the overall projection. You will be able to enjoy watching your favorite movies and shows on your screen- even if it is not a professional design. However, this will take a bit more dedication to set this up.
To use a roller blind as a projector screen and get the best results, consider adhering to the following tips:
1. Choose the right size roller blind.
It might seem a little bit redundant to say, but if you are going to use a makeshift projector screen, you still need to ensure that it will act similar enough to serve the same purpose.
Part of this is choosing the right size roller blind for your unique home theater space. Considering you will want it to fully capture the image that the projector is sending, it will need to cover the wall or whatever mount you are using.
Choosing the right size roller blind as a projector screen is something that varies from person to person. Considering that each person’s home theater room will have a different setup and dynamics, it is most important that you figure out the appropriate distance and ratio that your projector will sit from the roller blind projector screen.
Then, using standard measuring equipment, you can ensure the dimensions that you will need for the screen. Do not forget that any beveled edges will not count as part of the screen since the image will be distorted on this part.
Only consider the main portion of the roller blind that will act as your projector screen, but, of course, do not forget to leave room for the mounting equipment to be put in place, too.
Finally, with this, you can choose different types of mounting equipment- which we will get into a little bit later. Just be sure, in terms of measuring, that you have enough room for the blind to lay flat, the mounting to be secured, and sufficient room for your tools to reach while installing the equipment.
2. Use a blackout roller blind.
Next, you will want to consider the thickness of the roller blind that you choose to use as a projector screen. This will not only help your aesthetic appeal, but it will help you to practically capture the projected image in the same capacity as you would on a professional projector screen.
The reasoning behind this is not overly complicated. Standard roller blinds (that are not blackout) will allow light to slip through. This means that the projected image will not be “reflected” as clearly on the surface of the screen.
Using a blackout roller blind as a projector screen, on the other hand, will prevent the light from seeping through- allowing for the best results on a high-resolution image.
3. Use a white or gray roller blind.
On another note, you will also need to consider the color of roller blind that you choose to use as your projected screen. This does not just come back to an appealing aesthetic for your home theater space. Instead, this becomes a very practical issue when it comes to the projected image being visible on your screen.
There is nothing quite as frustrating as a blurry image- especially something that is supposed to be streaming in higher resolution. You do not want to have to wonder if you need to get your eyes checked the next day just because you were staring at a blurred or unclear screen all evening as you streamed your favorite movies. Your friends and family will not appreciate this either.
Instead, you can choose a blackout roller blind in the colors of solid gray or solid white to truly work as a makeshift projector screen.
Using a solid white blackout roller blind as a projector screen will mirror that of a professional screen- offering a clear image on a neutral background.
However, enhancing the image contrast can be done through using a gray roller blind (or painting the roller blind gray). This color adds a bit of darkness to extract darker colors in the projected image without causing any other type of image distortion like other darker neutral colors might do. Avoid using charcoal gray and steer more towards a cement gray instead.
4. Remove all wrinkles and creases.
Now that you have selected the right type of roller blind to use as a projector screen, you need to ensure that you have properly and adequately removed all wrinkles and creases in the screen. This will prevent the image that you are projected from being distorted.
Avoid strange shapes on your projector screen and the questionable discussions that follow and simply remove the wrinkles and creases ahead of time.
This can be done in a few ways. You can use a variety of methods to remove wrinkles and creases on your projector screen. These include (but are not limited to) using UV rays from the sun to gently warm the screen and then manually smoothing them out, ironing the backside of the screen with a towel on top to avoid heat damage, and weighing down the screen.
Whichever way you choose to remove the wrinkles and creases from your screen, just be sure to use great care. Even if you are using a roller blind as a projector screen and it inevitably costs way less than a professional projector screen, you still want to use great caution in removing wrinkles and creases so as to prevent a waste of money on a damaged product.
Read my article: How to Get Wrinkles Out of a Projection Screen
5. Stretch the screen to ensure evenness.
Along with removing wrinkles and creases on the roller blind projector screen, you will want to make sure that you stretch the screen to ensure evenness- both in the removal of wrinkles and creases and in the overall dimensions of the screen. Of course, you will need to apply great caution here as well considering the surprisingly delicate nature of the roller blind.
To stretch the screen, it is best to measure the dimensions of your projector screen area beforehand. Then, taking the roller blind and its known dimensions, gently stretch it to the mount, corner pieces, or small weight that you plan to use to hold the screen in place.
As you stretch out the roller blind, take note of any minor damages or flaws that you may find along the way. Then, be sure to repair these as best as you can so that your projector screen is as flat as possible for the projected image. This will help you to avoid distortions that could otherwise disrupt your media viewing experience.
6. Ensure proper distancing from the projector.
As you are measuring where you will place your roller blind that you plan to use as a projector screen, you will need to ensure that you have the proper distance from wherever you plan to place or mount your projector.
This can be done by testing out the projector on an unfinished screen setup, or you can use the throw rating of the projector to guess before installing the roller blind.
Regardless of which decision you use, you want to make sure that it is proportionate to the specifications of the projector that you are using. Too close or too distant of a screen from the projector will result in a distorted image that can be uncomfortable to view- especially for a prolonged period.
7. Use the backside of the roller blind to avoid surface ridges.
Finally, as you have decided on a location for the roller blind, chosen the right one, and taken note of any ridges or faults as you prepare it, you can consider flipping it over. As long as the backside of the roller blind is the same color (white or gray) as the front, you should be good to go.
Some people find that the backside of their roller blinds is interestingly more even than the frontside. In this case, using the backside will be to the user’s advantage as the projector screen should be as flat and even as possible.
So, whichever side has a smoother surface can win the battle as you prepare to engage in the home theater experience of a lifetime.
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.