Ceiling Projector Screen

james A 12345

Novice Member
Hi Guys, looking for some advice on projector screens for someone completely new to projectors. I've found this forum very useful in selecting a projector and am likely to go for the Optima UHD52ALV. Next step is to work out which screen to go for. We are building an extension to our house and want a cinema in the new area, if we get it in the architect plans now then the builders will install it all for us at minimal additional cost (I'm rubbish at anything DIY - let alone mounting something into the ceiling). So I need to know screen sizes / throw distances etc to work out where to put them on the plans.

Here are some details on the space:
1) Won't be exclusively used for projector, will also be a play room for the kids, unlikely to be treating any of the walls etc
2) Centre speaker will need to go behind the screen so needs acoustics to flow through
3) There will be a door behind the screen, hence it needs to be ceiling mounted
4) There will be lots of windows in the space, but they are all North facing (in UK so no sun will ever touch this room). Will be getting blinds etc for all windows
5) Majority of use will be for movies at night time, but occasional sport through the day (the later was one of the reasons for going for the Optima as this seems to perform well under light conditions)
6) Won't be doing any gaming
7) Looking at around 110" to 120" diagonal

Ideally total budget is around £2K, so using up about £1.5K on the projector leaves about £500 for a ceiling mounted screen, although there is a bit of flexibility here if I really needed to go a little higher up to say £1K.

One option I've spotted is the Sapphire Recessed Ceiling Screen (16:9) 2.7m 120", which looks to be about £650 but I can't find out anywhere if this is acoustically transparent. Would this one be any good for me?

The project won't actually start until the Summer, so i have plenty of time to source them (and maybe even prices to come down) - just need an idea of products for the architects plans at this stage.

In a related question, for the throw distance, the projector gives a small range - am I best going for around the mid point of the range or does it not really matter? It will be ceiling mounted so doesn't really matter to us where we put it.

Really appreciate any help or advice!


Active Member
Having had a couple of screens myself, I can applaud your decision of wanting an acoustically transparent one. I see there are companies (Projectorpoint etc) that do some by Sapphire, but you should maybe contact them and others for more info. My latest screen is a 92", 7ft. wide electric drop-down model. It was upgraded from a 5" wide one, but still isn't big enough! I think you should always go for one as big as you can fit in, though I think the size you mention is probably about right. Also, if you can get a tab-tensioned one, that would be better, as it flattens out the screen material. Mine looks a little warped when it's dropped down with the projector turned off, though I can't notice it when watching a film.

Also, you should go for the best quality screen that you can afford, it really does make a difference. I have a friend who has a Stewart Filmscreen and I am really jealous of that, but they are exceptionally good! (Read: exceptionally expensive)! It probably goes without saying that you should make sure that the screen housing is completely level. My last one wasn't, as it was installed by someone who knew nothing about them and the screen was terribly warped.

The projector you have/get will determine the throw distance from the screen, I always try to get the PJ in the middle of the throw distance range, so if it says you can place it 2-3 metres from the screen, I would put it 2.5 metres away. But that's just me. I'm not an expert and you will probably get answers from much cleverer people than me, but I will wish you good luck with your project. To have a home cinema installed at the same time as a new build room is the best thing you can do, as you can hide wires and the like. The projector you mention is a great model, though I would also recommend auditioning a Benq. I don't have one myself yet, though it's probably the one I will end up with. I do have an Optoma (Themescene) at the moment and I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are both great makes and only you can decide which is the better one.

james A 12345

Novice Member
Hi guys - right my project is back on track, one quick question.

It looks like the Optoma UHD52ALV is being discontinued. This seems odd for a relatively new model, I have found someone with stock but is there anything I should be concerned about?

it felt like the perfect fit for me, good if a bit of natural light creeps in, good connectivity, and less than £1500. Reviews seemed really good. Any other models you’d recommend as a replacement - or would you go for a discontinued model?

many thanks

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