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Black Projector Screen vs White: Which One Should I Choose?

Black vs. White Projector Screen

For a long time, people didn’t have options on the color of the projector screen to use as white was the only color. However, things have changed for the better, with different colors flooding the market over time.

Even though your projector determines your image quality and overall experience, the screen also plays an immense role. White screens have been a standard for quite some time. Even though they are widely used, they may not be the best in given situations.

This article pits these two options against each other to find out which one deserves your money.

Comparison Between Black and White Projector Screen

Before pitting these two against each other, it is worth noting that they will both give you the best color quality. However, there will be a notable difference in your viewing and overall experience. Let’s find out how these two fair.

1.    Reflectiveness

This is by far the most significant difference between these two screens. You definitely know that one of them absorbs light while the other reflects it from basic science. Black is known for its color absorption capability, and white for its reflective property.

Have you ever wondered why we are advised to wear white on hot days and black on cold days? There, you already have the answer. A white screen will bounce away lots of light directed to it, which comes with its set of advantages and disadvantages.

On the bright side, the reflective nature of the white screen allows viewing from any angle. You do not have to stay fixed at a given position to enjoy a movie or see an image. You can even sit on the side of your screen and enjoy a good watch.

On the dark side, this reflectiveness will brighten the whole room. This beats the entire logic of a home theatre as you will be targeting a dark surrounding. You definitely want a theater-like experience, but this time at the comfort of your home.

Too much reflection may also impose negatively on your image. It will lose lots of its contrast, and if you are in a bright room, it may be impossible to see what’s on the screen. Well, these disadvantages seem to outweigh the advantages. 

A black screen does not have most of these problems. Unless you want a bright experience and diverse viewing positions, black is perfect. It absorbs a lot of light, which dramatically changes your experience.

Black screens have superb absorbent qualities, ensuring that you get the desired home theater-like experience. You do not have to worry about too much light, and you can enjoy whatever you are viewing, even in an extra-lit room.

However, keep in mind that you can only watch a black screen when positioned in front of it. As opposed to white, it does not bounce off light, meaning that you most definitely won’t see a thing when positioned on the side.

This is by far the most significant disadvantage of black screens.

2.    Color Quality

As we said, these two screens will give you the best color quality. Both offer the closest colors to reality, which you need for the best watching experience. However, you need to understand that color quality is determined by several things, including contrast.

Because of its absorbent capability, a black screen will give you more contrast. You will notice enhanced op-up as compared to the standard white screen. The white screen potentially loses lots of the light colors, which may come as a significant disadvantage.

You will most probably notice a loss of details on your picture’s whites and brights. The black regions of your image may also appear faded, negatively impacting your overall viewing experience.  However, this does not mean that the black screens are perfect.

You will notice some areas appearing brighter than others on a black screen. Several people have complained of shimmering effects when projecting on black screens, which significantly impacts the viewing experience.

You could also lose details on the dark areas of your picture on a black screen. However, this is better than losing contrast, a quality that dramatically impacts your picture’s overall quality.

3.    Cost

White screens have been around for quite some time and come with different price tags. Black screens have not been around for long, and as you may expect, are relatively harder to find. Consequently, they cost a dime.

The number of available options may also bring about the difference in cost. Being the standard, white screens come in in various options, which explains why most people have stuck with them over time.

Black projectors are relatively new and do not have many options. Even though they are becoming popular over time, one cannot remotely compare them to their counterparts. However, we can hope that these screens will be more affordable as time goes by so that many people can enjoy the experience.

Given the several options, white screens have a more even price range, from low to high, which allows people to cut their coats according to their sizes. On the other hand, buyers do not enjoy this even price range when it comes to black screens as they do not present several options.

4.    Features

This is closely connected to the third point. White screens being the standard, have witnessed several years of evolution and revolution. Most of them, especially the latest ones, are loaded with several revolutionary features that significantly enhance users’ viewing experience.

These screens come in any size, and you can also enjoy special ones such as those that let sound pass through them, allowing you to put your speakers behind the screen. Being relatively new, black doesn’t present lots of these options to buyers.

We hope to see many options and added features in black screens as time goes by.

5.    Viewing Options

We may have touched on this at the early parts of our conversation, but we did not have time to clarify more on it. The white screen’s ability to reflect light gives it a wide viewing angle, allowing you to enjoy the images or movies from any position.

This contrasts with the black screen, which hardly reflects any light. The resultant effect is that you will have to stay put in front of the screen to enjoy the best experience and accurately view the projections. The white screen dramatically towers over the dark one when it comes to this factor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

1.    Why are white screens the standard?

White screens have been in use for so long and come with several options. For many years, it was the only option when buying a home theatre screen. White and gray screens came later on when everyone was engrossed in white.

2.    Are there other screen colors apart from white and black?

Yes. Black screens are not commonly used, given their high price range. Most people use white and gray screens. The latter is usually called ‘high contrast screens’ and have their fair share of advantages.

3.    Are gray screens better than white screens?

Most people have reported that gray screens affect the projected image as black screens, which makes them better than white screens. Gray screens offer better black levels and contrast ratios.

However, these screens give images a greyish tint, which may not go well with others. All in all, they are considered to be better than the white counterparts.

4.    Do I need a screen?

You do not need a screen to project images. You can choose to use a hanging sheet or even a smooth blank wall. However, you will get a cleaner, brighter and crispier picture if you use an actual projector screen.

5.    Which one is better? White or black?

Black is better than white, thanks to the contrast ratio and overall viewing experience. However, be prepared to spend an arm and a leg getting one.

Conclusion

It is quite clear from our discussion that even though these two screens can offer you the best viewing experience, they both have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. Our conversation should give you a basis to decide on the one you need.

The white screen will serve you well if you do not want to make a compromise on the viewing angle or live in a poorly lit room, thanks to its reflection capabilities. Many options also exist, meaning that you can get one at your desired price range.

On the other hand, you will need a dark screen for a high-end home theatre if you want to use your projector in ambient light and love watching dark cinemas. If we were to decide for you, we would advise that you settle for the black screen.

However, the black screen price range may be a massive disadvantage given that you do not get a host of options. If you do not have a budget limit and are willing to spend for the best experience, get the black screen and watch your living room turning into a cinema. It is an excellent experience.