Is Gain Important On A Projector Screen? (Wider angle Vs Light environment Vs Brightness)

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Choosing a projector screen requires basic knowledge to have. Because after that you can have the best screen for yourself. The one important question to be answered is. Is the gain important on a projector screen?

At A Glance: The gain is important because it decides the brightness of the picture, and it directly influences the projector lumens and the wider viewing angle of the screen.

Keep reading to know how much gain is the best for your audience number and room environment. I will also give you the screen gain value for the outdoor movie experience. After reading this guide, you will master the screen gain topic. I will also answer some of the most asked questions related to it at the end of this article.

What is screen gain? (Brief Explanation)

The screen gain shows whether this projector screen will reflect or absorb the coming light of the projector bulb.

There are different projector screens and they are made up of different materials. Each material has a different screen gain. Few screens absorb the light to some extent and the others will reflect at you.

This property of any material directly affects the picture brightness. Keep reading to know its effects because it will help you to choose the best screen for your projector.

How much does the screen gain influence the picture brightness?

Projector LumensScreen GainFinal Picture Brightness
1000 lumens0.8800 lumens brightness
1000 lumens1.0 1000 lumens brightness
1000 lumens1.51500 lumens brightness
You will see a 10% increase in brightness for each point of the gain

The higher the screen gain the higher will be the brightness of the picture. The screen gain helps you to higher the brightness of the projector or lower it according to your need. Either it absorbs some amount of it or reflects it more than the actual lumens of the projector. Like a shining surface and a normal or darker surface.

If your projector has fewer lumens then you need a screen that has a higher gain. It helps you to have the best matching screen. Now you don’t have to worry more about the lumens of your projector. Because not only those lumens are responsible for picture brightness but also the screen gain.

Next time when you are considering buying a projector then keep in mind that you need to match the screen gain with its lumens to have the best for your needs.

But remember the 1.0 screen gain is called neutral gain. Because it neither absorbs light amounts nor reflects the light amounts.

Keep reading to know the other effects of the gain on the picture.

Know which color screen is best for projection. Grey Vs White Vs Black projector screen. I have compared them all.

How much does the screen gain influence wider viewing angle?

Screen GainWider Viewing Angle
Higher the screen gainLower the wider viewing angle
Lower the screen gainHigher the wider viewing angle

Whenever the screen gain is higher the lower will be the wider viewing angle. That’s why if you have more audience in the home theater then you need to have a lower gain screen.

The reason that the wider viewing angle and screen gain are inversely proportional is that most of the light is reflected by the middle of the screen.

When watching from the middle of the room. The picture will look good. The colors will be good and the brightness will be nice. Once you start moving to the edge of the room the less bright the screen will be.

The brightness of the screen will be lost and the colors of the picture will be washed out.

That’s why if you have fewer audience in your room then you can go with a higher screen gain but if the audience is more then stick with a lower screen gain.

projector screen gain vs viewing angle

But the same case can’t be applied on ALR screens. The ALR screens have higher screen gain but still, they have a higher wider viewing angle. Because they are engineered in a way. Read more about the ALR screens here. ALR Screen VS normal Screen. I have compared it with other types of screens in this guide.

Keep reading to know which screen gain is right for your light environment.

Which screen gain is the best for your light environment or home theater?

Screen GainLight Environment
0.8 to 1.3Indoor and with no ambient light home theater
1.5indoor and a room with an ambient light presence
1.5 to 2.0Suitable for the outdoor moving experience

The higher the screen gain the better it can fight the ambient light. If your room is treated well and has a dedicated home theater room that has no ambient light. You can select lower screen gain.

But for the outdoor movie experience, you need at least a 2.0 screen gain. Because outdoors the projector screen needs to fight a lot of the light. But make sure that you arrange the audience in narrow seating rows. Otherwise, go for the ALR screen for the outdoor experience but those are a little expensive.

If you want to save money then go with the normal screen but with higher screen gain.

Read this guide to know How Many Lumens Do You Need For A Home Projector? I have provided the exact number in this guide.

Final Verdict: What is a good gain?

I will not say a specific value of the screen gain because now you know that the screen gain is decided by looking at three different needs of the consumers. That’s why I left this to you. You need to go through all of the three conditions in this guide and then choose the right gain value for yourself.

Did you get something out of this screen gain guide? Hold On We Have Something Exciting To Share.

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Do more lumens mean a better projector?

Lumens doesn’t mean it is a better projector because there are many more things like sharpness, contrast ratio, and black levels management of a projector that collectively decide the quality of the image and projector.

The projector should not only be good in picture quality but also should be good at throwing distance, cooling system, and maintenance. These are the other few things that decide the overall quality of the projector.

As long as the lumens are taken for the projector quality. Then remember there are many brandless projectors that have higher lumens on paper but in reality, they are much darker than the labeled number.

This was my opinion, read more about it in this Epson Article.

Watch To Learn More

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Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

I'm Ayaan khan, a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After my degree, I started an internship with my father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month I realized that this is the best job in the world for me and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when my internship ended, I joined my father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. I test new equipment and approve it before it can be installed in the customer's house. I love to test equipment and sometimes love to install it by myself in the customer's theater room. I have the right experience and knowledge to learn from my articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy. If you have any questions for me. Reach out to my email (Support(AT)

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