What is a Fixed Projector Screen?

A fixed projector or projection screen, also known as a fixed frame screen, is a projector screen that’s fixed or placed on the wall in a fixed position like you would a picture frame or a blackboard (ostensibly enough). This is as opposed to a ceiling or floor projector you can pull down or bring up at the push of a button for easy storage. Having a fixed projector hanging on your wall or blackboard is a convenient way to watching videos and presentations via projector since it’s always available for you to use, like a flatscreen HDTV.

If you want to get the best image from your projector, you need a screen. A wall is usually not smooth or reflective enough to accomplish the job, even those that you’ve painted with a coat of reflective projector screen paint. The best option for projections remains the screen, and the easiest among them to install is the fixed projector screen. 

Screens by Installation Type

A fixed projector screen is also one of several types of screens as sorted by installation type. It’s specifically a wall-mounted type of screen that’s fixed or doesn’t move from where it is because the ceiling-mounted or backroom projector is calibrated to shine its light specifically on where its place, with the throw distance and screen size already calculated to fit perfectly. Without further ado, here are the different screens as sorted by installation type.

  • Pull-Down Screens versus Fixed Screens: A pull-down screen can be as affixed and geometrically exact as a fixed screen, but it has an added bonus of being storable when you’re done using it. A fixed screen remains on your wall or your black/whiteboard all the time even when not in use like a picture frame or a television set. A pull-down or manual wall screen is typically used in more cramped spaces where permanently installed fixed screens require too much space. For example, you might want to use your blackboard or whiteboard after the presentation is over, so you can pull-up the pull-down screen like blinds when not in use.


  • Electric Screens Are Usually Not Fixed Screens: Electric screens can be ceiling-recessed, ceiling-mounted, or wall-mounted. What they’re usually are not are fixed screens since they’re electric for the purpose of storage. You push a button and the screen stores itself away electronically. They’re often larger screens for wide audience viewing, but they’re also available for personal use in your home theater. They’re similar to pull-down screens in that you have to pull them down, but instead of you doing the pulling like with manual blinds, they instead have an electric motor that pulls the screen down for you. They’re not fixed frame screens that just stay there either.


  • Raised or Lowered at the Motor’s Behest: An electronic screen can be pulled up or pulled down for use depending on its set up. You typically use a remote control or a switch that’s also mounted on your wall to turn the screen on. There are even high-tech projectors that have interfaces connecting to such screens, such that when you turn the projector on the screen will come down in anticipation of its usage. In other words, the projector is the one that lowers the screen when it’s switched on then signals to the screen to pull back up when the projector is switched off and not in use.


  • Switchable and Inflatable Projection Screens: As opposed to a wall-mounted fixed frame screen, the switchable projector screen can be switched between clear and opaque. The projected image on an opaque-mode switchable projector screen allows the screen to be viewed from both sides. This is useful for advertising in store windows and rear projection. As for inflatable movie screens, they’re mobile screens usually used outdoors that use either a free stand or pull-down screen. The inflated part serves as its mount anchored by a weighted base. They’re best used for backyard viewing or high-ceilinged conference rooms that double as movie theaters.


  • Specialty and Custom Screens: Other miscellaneous screens that don’t belong in the most common categories are non-solid screens, custom screens, DIY screens made of bedsheets, or walls you’ve painted with projector paint to turn them into screens. Inflatable movie screens can also end up on this category or as a category of their own in light of how many variable screen types you can put on an inflatable yet weighted mount. They’re typically used when it’s impractical to mount the screen on the ceiling and wall yet you need a screen bigger than a paint canvas.

See more: The Different Types of Projector Screens (17 Types)


Fixed Projection Screens for Home and Business Purposes

Fixed projection screens are ideal for screening rooms and home theaters, particularly if you’re in need of the “big picture” without paying a mint for an HDTV of similar size. You can avail of fixed frame projectors for front and rear projection depending on how it’s mounted and where the projector is placed. They can also be acoustically transparent to allow your sound system to blare through the screen to save space. They even have safeguards against ambient light through what’s known as ALR ambient light rejection features.

  • A Variety of Fixed Projector Screen Designs: You’d think that a fixed projector screen would be more limited with its design options up until you have to actually shop for them. They can come in portrait or landscape options depending on what aspect ratio or resolution your projector is working with. They also come in a variety of materials that either increases brightness or screen gain as well as contrast. You can avail of white, gray, or silver projection screen materials to boot.


  • The Properties of The Fixed Frame Screens: A fixed frame or fixed projector screen offers projectors the greatest amount of uniform tension on the screen surface. This thusly ensures you of a flat canvas, just like in the case of an oil painting, resulting in the best, most optimal, and most faithful image quality possible. They’re often used in home theaters in lieu of flatscreen TVs due to their cost-effectiveness. They’re also found in professional environments like a business conference room for presentations wherein the screen doesn’t need to be put away or recessed. Meanwhile. pull-down screens use painted fabric that can be rolled up or down when needed.


  • Fixed Screens Are Usually Wall-Mounted Screens: A wall-mounted screen is usually rigid or fixed in order to maintain their geometry or positioning exactly and perfectly like in the case of a theater screen. This makes them suitable for tasks and jobs that require exact image geometry reproduction. These screens are often used in home theaters, placed in the same manner you would a flatscreen TV but they can be made much bigger than normal in light of how much more cost-effective projector image real estate is compared to an HDTV. Meanwhile, screens that are mounted on the ceiling or on the floor require tension to come from gravity or being pulled by some sort of anchor.


  • Movie Theater Screens Are Fixed Screens: In movie theaters or cinemas, the screen is a reflective surface that’s aluminized for high contrast in moderate ambient light. It can also be a white surface with small glass beads to ensure high brilliance when under the darkest of conditions. These screens also have hundreds of small, evenly spaced holes. This enables air to and fro the subwoofer and speakers, which are often right behind the screen. The movie screen is also a good example of a fixed projector screen that just stays there and is put away by putting a curtain over it.


  • Mobile versus Permanently Installed Screens: A permanently installed screen is one that’s mounted on the wall, ceiling, or floor that you cannot place anywhere else since the projector is usually fixed too for their convenience. A mobile screen can be placed anywhere with its own stand, usually because the projector is also mobile or portable. Both permanently installed and mobile pull-down screens can be tensioned or not. Tensioned models keep the fabric immobile and flat. No-tension models have free-hanging screens instead. The latter can end up swaying in the breeze, thus making the projected image more imperfect.


Everything You Need to Now 

A fixed screen might lack quite a bit in terms of flexibility and mobility. However, its fixed frame “limitations” are also its strengths. It can be quite a pain to have to set up your projector properly and within the frame of the screen every time if you choose to go to the mobile variety. Mounting exists so that you only need to inconvenience yourself once the care of the installation. After that, it should be smooth sailing from there.

It’s better to have a hands-free mounted projector that you can turn on and off by remote or wirelessly in order to digitally stream what’s on your cable/satellite box, DVD/BD player, game console, or online streaming device with the ease of turning on an HDTV but with the plus side of having a much bigger screen than you can get from a flatscreen at a similar price point. Convenience is the name of the game for a fixed screen that you can’t get from a self-storing, electronic screen. Everything should be done at a push of a button, but pushing a button to bring a screen down shouldn’t need to be an option unless you don’t have space for a fixed frame screen.



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James Core

I love my projector system and I am here to help you find the right projector for your needs.

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