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black vs white projector screen

Black vs. White Projector Screens (In-Depth Guide)

For our black vs white projector screens comparison we could simply say that a black projection screen is the superior choice and leave it at that.

However, I have to add that it can be superior if it’s paired with a top-quality projector with high brightness and great contrast ratio.

I should also mention that my preference relies neither with black or white screens. In my books, grey projector screens are the true winners.

There are also other questions we have to answer.

How easy is it to find a black projector screen? (The options are limited) Will we be able to afford it? (Very few will)

If you want to know the answer to those questions, check out Black Diamond series from Screen Innovations. Then you can say if black is really the best option for you.

Just because one color screen is better for a projector than the others, that doesn’t mean that we will be able to actually buy one.

It would be like saying that a 4K projector is absolutely better than a Full HD projector, whether we’re talking about the best projectors for the bedroom or the best projectors with horizontal lens shift, etc.. But just because it’s better that doesn’t mean that automatically everyone is going to be able to actually buy a 4K projector. Or that they should.

I could also say that ALR projector screens are one of the best choices we could make, especially if we’re watching content in ambient light. Or if we’re using the best projectors for daylight for entertainment, education, business, house of worship purposes.

ALR screens are mostly grey. And they’re some of the best.

There are plenty of options to consider. For now, let’s get back to our black vs white projector screens discussion.

Black vs. White Projector Screens: What Color Screen Is Best?

We’ve already mentioned that black is the superior color screen for projectors between these two. I also mentioned that grey is my top pick and I’ll get back to that in a moment.

The reasoning for saying that black screens are superior is simple.

Projecting on a black screen improves contrast ratio. Whether we’re talking about projectors or monitors or any other type of display, contrast ratio is a crucial feature.

Contrast ratio means deeper blacks. Furthermore, that extends to better picture quality.

Considering that most of us watch content in dark environments, a high contrast ratio allows the projected image to look impressively good.

This spec is the one that leads to enjoying life like images.

So when we say that a black projector screen is better than a white one because it improves contrast, that means that we get overall better picture quality. And that’s what we want from our screens, we want them to display a projector’s top features as it was meant to be enjoyed.

On the other hand, that also means that we need very good projectors if we want to pair them with a black screen.

A black screen must be matched by a top notch projector. The projector needs to have high brightness and a great contrast ratio.

If you want to watch a visual comparison between a white, grey, and black screen, watch this YouTube video. The projector used in that video has a 3,700 lumens brightness so keep that in mind. It’s a NEC NP1250 and it was a highly expensive projector during its day, until it was discontinued.

While black screens can be better, I don’t love them

The thing is that I don’t have a total love for black screens. As I’ve already mentioned a few times, I think that grey is the true superior color screen for projectors.

A black screen can still be capable of displaying an inferior image quality, especially when compared to top-quality white screens, like the Silver Ticket STR Series, which were my top recommendation for the best 4K projector screens.

The Silver Ticket STR Series offers white, silver and grey materials for their screens. They’re all amazing and some of the most affordable options at the moment. If you can’t afford an ALR, my recommendation will always be the Silver Ticket STR Series.

A black screen can be sometimes inferior because it doesn’t reflect and amplify the colors and brightness of our projector.

That’s why I said that a black screen should always be paired with a high brightness, high contrast device. Otherwise, you can be totally disappointed.

With black screens there might also be some areas that are brighter than others.

And we might experience shimmering effects.

Moreover, it offers very narrow viewing angles. You can only enjoy it when you are in front of it because light doesn’t bounce off.

But black screens perform very well in ambient light. But so does an ALR screen. White screens are the weakest in ambient light.

Nothing is perfect.

While grey screens might not be able to display the same black contrast as a black screen, they will reflect and amplify brightness and colors.

So, my answer is that in our black vs white projector screens comparison, grey is the color that displays the overall best image quality.

Is a white screen better for cheaper projectors?

As I’ve mentioned in my introduction, not everyone will have the money for a top quality 4K or even Full HD projector.

Since I review a wide range of models, including the best projectors under $300 or under $150 or even the best projectors under $100 as well as a whole range of devices that cost $1,000-$3,000-$5,000, I am quite well aware that prices vary a whole lot for these wonderful devices.

What I’m trying to say is that, in my opinion, a white standard screen is better for cheaper projectors. And it might be better even for some more expensive devices.

Maybe some of you might not have expected that when you went looking for a black vs white projector screens comparison.

Frankly, don’t even think of black screens if your device doesn’t have a really high brightness. Better yet, just go with grey screens because they offer the best of both worlds.

If you’re interested, check out my guide on projector light bleed and how to fix it.

Therefore, it seems that I have grabbed this black vs white projector screens comparison to mention that black can be better sometimes but I don’t usually recommend it, white is certainly the top choice for more affordable projectors, while grey screens, especially ALR screens, remain the top choice for everyone, I guess that’s a good sum up of things in this field.