Technically speaking, ultra short throw projectors can work with nearly any standard screen. Even a plain white wall will do.
But, and this is crucial:
When you're in a bright environment, especially during daytime, the difference in viewing experience is stark.
Ultimately, it's about your environment and your budget.
Ask yourself: are you settling for 'good enough', or are you aiming for the best?
To screen or not to screen? The choice boils down to the nuances of your home setting.
Comparing Ultra Short Throw Projector Display on an ALR Screen and a White Wall
If paired with a regular screen, an uneven screen surface will cause image distortion
If you plan to watch only in dimly lit conditions:
If you're in an absolutely dark environment with no ambient light, you might not need a screen. Because, in the absence of any ambient light, the color effect on a white wall is the best.
Regardless of the screen type, each has its own inherent color tint. So, color-wise, the untouched hue of a white wall ensures the projected image is at its prime.
Why skip the white screen?
In sheer darkness, distinguishing between a white screen and a white wall? Good luck with that—they're virtually indistinguishable. If your wall sports a white latex paint finish, you might discern a subtle edge in the uniformity of a white plastic screen over latex walls, but only when you're feasting your eyes on 4K resolutions or ultra-clear close-ups.
However, let's be real:
Absolute darkness is a rarity, unless you're in a basement. In daily life, achieving pitch black is quite the challenge. Even the faintest glimmer can sway the visual experience.
If your room is affected by ambient light and you're on a tight budget:
If your budget is under $300, you might consider a white screen.
The price difference between white and grey screens on the market is minimal. Under the influence of ambient light, the visual difference between a white and a grey screen is not significant.
Neither can effectively suppress ambient light. In fact, a white screen might even offer better color reproduction than a grey one.
However, under bright light, both white and grey screens tend to provide subpar visual effects, resulting in a washed-out image that impacts contrast.
If this concerns you, it's recommended to use an ALR screen.
We have an ALR screen specifically designed for ultra short throw projectors, and a 100-inch screen costs around 400 US dollars.
Check our Nothingprojector Classic ALR Screen:
If your budget exceeds 500 dollars and you prioritize viewing experience, you might want to consider an ALR screen.
Due to its unique construction, ALR (Ambient Light Rejecting) screens are specifically designed to suppress ambient light, effectively absorbing it. The resulting projected image boasts even color and brightness. Even in spaces with complex lighting such as homes and conference rooms, an ALR screen stands out from typical screens, achieving high contrast and color saturation reproduction.
It notably enhances the image's black levels and depth, making colors appear deeper and more vibrant.
However, please note that not all ALR screens on the market are suitable for ultra-short throw projectors.
Some ALR screens are specifically designed for long-throw or short-throw projectors. It's essential to clarify this with the seller when making a purchase. Some ALR screens tailored for long-throw projectors are not compatible with ultra-short throw projectors.
However, not all ALR screens perform consistently. We have a highly popular ALR screen in the market called the "black series." The material of this screen is of superior quality, arguably one of the best in the industry. Its performance surpasses that of the “ Classic” .
You can also view the performance comparison of these two screens in both lit and dark environments
My Personal Experience:
A white wall for a projector is mediocre at best. However, a good screen can significantly enhance the projector's image quality, adding a finishing touch.
In my opinion, ust projector absolutely require a screen, whether it's a Fresnel screen or a black grid screen. Projecting directly onto a wall is almost always suboptimal.
The main issue isn't "ambient light resistance", but the wall's "unevenness." Due to the large angle between ultra-short throw projection and the wall, the demand for wall flatness is extremely, extremely high. Even a slight unevenness on the wall results in a distorted projection.
I tested this in my home theater room: projecting a long-throw projector onto the wall gives a seemingly normal image. However, when I use a ultra short-throw projection, there's noticeable distortion in many areas. Upon closer inspection of the wall, the distorted areas correspond to where the wall is not perfectly flat. Such minor irregularities are almost invisible when projected using a regular projector, but with a ultra short throw projector, the distortion is glaringly evident.
Of course, the cost of a regular projector screen differs from an ambient light rejecting (ALR) screen. Generally speaking, ALR screens are pricier. So, it all boils down to your budget and the viewing experience you desire.
What kind of screen for ultra short throw projector?
Ultra short throw projectors can be paired with regular screens, or ALR screens (black grid screens or Fresnel screens). However, due to the inability of regular screens to resist ambient light, their performance cannot be compared to that of ALR screens.