Can you use a roller blind instead of a projector screen to project your projector’s image for viewing? Technically, yes. However, like using a wall instead of a screen, it comes with more than a few caveats. Blinds aren’t made for projection. You can paint them with projector paint, sure.
However, projector screens are manufactured to specifically cater to projection while blinds are supposed to block out rather than reflect light, leading to some reflection inefficiency on its part.
If you’re asking yourself, “So can I use a roller blind as a projector screen?” the answer is yes. You probably can. You shouldn’t but you can. Read more to find out more about the topic.
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Can I Use a Roller Blind as a Projector Screen?
Yes, but don’t. You can resort to doing this but as much as possible, use a professionally made screen instead of making do with blinds you’re supposed to use to keep the room dark, not to project images on it.
Nevertheless, if you can take the lower screen detail, you can save money by going the roller blind route. However, you need to follow a few recommendations in order to turn your ordinary roller blinds into a decent projector screen.
Ways to Improve Roller Blind Projection Effectiveness from the Start
For example, to ensure the vividness and fidelity of your projector image, use a white roller blind. Paint it with projector paint for good measure to increase its reflectivity. You can even avail of a gray blind to capture deeper contrast.
The blackout roller blind is your best bet since it fulfills the double duty of being your projector screen and your means of keeping ambient daylight away from your room from the outside. Use the flatter backside as well to prevent small surface ridges for good measure.
It’s Truly a Money-Saving Proposition
You’ll save a lot of money repurposing existing blinds as your manual roll-down projector screen, even when you take into consideration the expensiveness of projector paint into the equation. Naturally, it’s up to you to decide what sort of projector screen aesthetic you want to achieve for your home theater.
You can watch movies right in front of your windows as long as the roller blind is of the blackout variety rather than the transparent one that makes the room look backlit because the ambient light from that will rob some of the light from your projection.
This makeshift type of screen is also more ideal than a blanket, curtains, or taut canvas frame as long as it’s large enough to fill the dimensions of the projector image. It’s also typically quite taught itself by default (otherwise, you’ll have to smooth out its wrinkles to prevent warping).
Choosing the Right Roller Blind Type for Screen Use
First off, you need to choose the right roller blind for the job. Or if you already have blackout roller blinds on hand, you need to make sure if it’s projector-ready from the start or requires a bit of projector paint in order to better function as a projection screen.
If you’re shopping for a roller blind as a cheaper projector screen alternative, choose the ones that fit the best with your home theater space. In other words, sometimes leaving the blinds on the bay window might not be the best option, especially if it’s not a blackout roller blind.
Your main consideration at this time is to find blinds that fully capture the fidelity of the projector’s projection. In other words, the roller blind must faithfully showcase that rectangular video without warping it or making it muddy.
Preferably, it should be able to cover the mount or wall you’re using for projection viewing. Learn more on size and dimension considerations below.
The Size and Shape of the Roller Must Match Your Screen Needs
For our money, choosing the right size of roller blind for projector screen use is mostly influenced by personal preference. What’s okay for one person might not be okay for another person, like fitting a 16:9 landscape screen on a single portrait-type blind.
Here, you can see another flaw with using blinds meant for blocking light for the sake of projecting projections—they’re usually not cut, manufactured, or oriented to fit a projector image. You might be forced to do things like stick two roller blinds to fit a rectangular 16:9 image.
Furthermore, many home theaters have different dynamics in their setup. You need to personally figure out how to fit the roller blind or blinds required in terms of the throw ratio and appropriate distance so that you can perfectly fit the image on its or its surface as much as possible.
Use measuring equipment like a tape measure to get the right dimensions you’ll need to get the best screen function possible out of your roller blind. Don’t forget the beveled edges won’t count as part of the screen real estate since it warps or distorts the image.
The Virtues of a Blackout Roller Blind
A blackout roller blind is nice and thick, which is perfect as a solid surface to project your image upon. It’s aesthetically pleasing to boot. Functionally, it’s a practical method of capturing the projected image in the same capacity you’d get from a pro projector screen.
Even if you’re not going to project against the light outside your window but instead on the wall, it pays to have a thick blackout roller blind surface because of the way thicker materials reflect back the light from the projection.
More to the point, traditional roller blinds rob your projection of a little light because of the way it allows light to slip through. This is not a good look because non-blackout blinds don’t fully reflect the projected image back to your eyeballs in a mirror-like fashion.
The Final Judgment
Like with using an available wall as a screen instead of buying a screen, you can also use an available roller blind as a screen in lieu of a similarly functioning roller screen or even a traditional fixed screen. There are obvious downsides to this though, specifically in terms of reflectivity.
The less reflective your surface is the duller the resulting image will be. You can remedy this by upping the brightness or putting your room in pitch blackness. However, more often than not, the surface that’s been made for projection will obviously offer a better job at featuring your projection image.