Wall or Screen




I have a couple of newbie questions, First I've just bought a Philips Hopper XG20 projector and bulb that they were selling off at work for 150GBP. Is this a good price and is the projector any good for home cinema?

I guess it's a bit late now if it's not:)

My main question, though, is about projection screens. I've just bought a flat and I'd like to setup my first home cinema project. I have a large smooth(ish) wall to project onto, what do you think would be give the best results, the plain wall or a DIY projection screen of the types described here with a frame and stretched cloth? This will be my main room so some light will creep in but I will only use the projector for watching films on in the evening.

I have a budget of around 75GBP for the projection screen/surface, also do you think it is a good idea to add a black border to any projection screen?



Standard Member
for £75 you might be able to pick up a half decent screen mate, depending on what size you want.

but id reckon a white black out material stretched over a frame is going to be way better than across a wall mate :)

try www.drhscreens.co.uk for budget screens :)


Novice Member

Sounds like you had a very good deal on the projector, especially if you got a spare lamp as well.

A frame with cloth is always a good DIY solution and better than a white wall. However, you can't roll it in when not in use.

Black borders increase the perceived image brightness of a screen as they provide contrast between the projected image and the surrounding area.

In addition to DIY, there are also the option of ex-demo screens which come at a discount, bringing them close to your budget.

Hopes this helps,


Peter Parker

Distinguished Member
Here's the spec from Projectorcentral:


Walls painted with a good matt paint can give a surprisingly good result, but you're also relying on how flat the wall is. Fonzerelli's suggestion of blackout cloth wrapped/stapled to a frame is a good one, and one that I myself used for 3 years. The screen will be flat then at least. Some bowing of the wood may occur, but in my experience it's minimal and hasn't been an issue with mine.

I upgraded to some 1.2 gain material after I changed my projector to a lower light output model, and other than being a bit whiter and brighter, it wasn't a huge leap in performance.

My blackout screen cost £28 to make, and a black border can be added (as Otto says, it does help) if you want one.

Try the wall first until you know exactly what size you want, then try the DIY route. Grey screens using Dulux Ice Storm 5 or 6 are used by forum members and this helps improve the black level and reduce the effects of ambient light.



I think, on reflection, I'm going to go with the projection screen from the begining.

I'm not sure how good the results are going to be as I don't have a big budget for the amp and speakers, but I think half the fun of these kinds of projects is the constant tinkering to find improvements and the satisfaction of building the system yourself.

Thanks for all the advice.



but I think half the fun of these kinds of projects is the constant tinkering to find improvements and the satisfaction of building the system yourself.
Would totally agree with that, you do get a lot of satisfaction with building and learning the systems yourself.
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