Category Archives for "DIY"

How To Get Sound From Projector to Speakers

Aside from connecting the projector to your laptop, it is also essential to know how to connect the projector to the speakers because what good is your projector presentation if it misses out on sound effects.

For most presentations, sound effects would play an important role especially if the presentation is for educational purposes or if the projector is used for video games or movies. This is exactly why knowing how to properly connect the projector and the speakers are important.

See related - ​Best Bookshelf Speakers.

Here are a couple of very basic steps to follow when connecting the devices:


Before performing the steps below, you need to make sure that the projector, as well as the speakers, are turned off. You also have to know your speaker’s audio cables and locate the audio “out” port of the projector.


Plug the speaker’s audio cable into the audio “out” port of the projector, which you may find in the connection panel.

watching movie in projector screen


In turn, simply plug the opposite end of the said cable into the audio “in” port of the speakers.


Finally, turn on the projector as well as the projectors; you should now hear the sounds from the projector playing through the speakers. In some instances, you might have to press on the “source” button of the projector in order for the speakers to successfully connect.

Types of Paint to Use for Your Projector Screen

Steve Scott

If you want to achieve the best picture on your DIY home theater screen, then the type of home projector paint you choose matters. You won't get a high quality picture even from the best home theater projector if you don't pick a suitable screening option.

There are various HI-RES screen paints available on Amazon, ranging in price between less than $50 and more than $200. This article will help you choose the best screen paint with optimal value for you. It also offers some other helpful tips for painting a home theater screen to maximize its function and aesthetics.

painted projector screen


Benefits of Painted Home Theater Screens

Many people believe that painting your own home theater screen is much better than buying one made of vinyl or other projector screen materials. Perhaps the most surprising of these is that a painted movie theater screen can actually produce superior visual depth and picture quality when compared to most other projector screens.

Home projector paints are formulated with titanium oxide and other compounds that produce very sharp, high-resolution pictures that even the most expensive physical screens cannot.

These paints are made with ultra-smooth pigmentation that reduces surface texture irregularities and produces higher picture clarity.

Home projector paints have superior leafing properties, more binder density, and smaller particle sizes than traditional screens do.

These and other factors lead to rejected ambient lighting and an absolute neutral greyscale spectral response that practically eliminates hot spotting and color shifting.

Home projector paints are pricey as “paints” go. However, they are not like traditional paints. They are high-tech formulations that contain compounds that work with various light inputs to maximize the quality of your viewing experience.

 A painted home projector screen is much more complex than a simple white-painted wall space.

Painting your own DIY home theater screen typically costs hundreds of dollars less than other available solutions. Further, painted screens last a lifetime without any need for repair or the risk of malfunction.

The only maintenance they require is periodic washing with only soap and water. They weigh nothing, take no space, are latex and water-based, and can be placed without the need to modify any carpentry.

projector screen cleaning

Painting a DIY Home Movie Theater Screen

Home theater projectors are expensive units designed to deliver high-resolution videos and pictures onto a wall in your home. By adjusting the projector distance, you can increase or decrease the size of the area it displays on. Generally, the closer the projector is to the wall that is used a screen, the better the picture quality is.

For example if a room where you plan on screening movies is pretty small, you better look for the best short throw projectors.

So, the first step of painting your own home theater screen is to choose the wall that you want to paint it on. Of course, the wall will need to be big enough to accommodate the size of the picture you want. For many people, bigger is better here.

However, you have to be realistic about the maximum distance that your projector can produce a high-quality picture. Cheaper projectors usually are limited to smaller picture sizes.

Once you know which wall you’re going to make your home theater screen on, then you should paint the entire surface with a quality white primer. Primer paint is heavily-pigmented and produces an excellent starting ground for your DIY projector screen surface.

Choosing a Home Projector Paint

After the primer dries, it’s time to apply the projector screen paint. Many people get confused about whether to use silver, grey, or white.

Here's a good general rule to consider: If your projector has an output of 3500 lumens or more, then grey is the best choice. If it produces less than 3500 lumens, then white is probably your best choice.

Now, it gets a little more complex. Hi-Res home theater screen paints are available in various increasingly-dark shades of grey. Like white reflects more light than grey, a lighter shade of grey reflects more light than a darker shade of grey. If the projector screen is too dark for the projector being used, the picture will be washed out and dull.

projector screen paint

You should also consider the amount of ambient light that will affect your projector’s picture. Light entering the room from windows, skylights, and other sources will detract from the vibrancy and quality of the picture.

Many people construct special light-controlled rooms for home theaters. The less light that gets in, the better the picture quality and cinematic experience will be.

Note that a white projector screen will produce very vibrant pictures but not show black or dark grey areas of the picture very well. Comparatively, a grey projector screen will show black and other dark colors well and have an excellent contrast ratio.

However, it will not produce as vibrant a display as a white screen will. Personal preference is often the determining factor here.

You’ll also need to think about how much 3D you watch when deciding on the color to paint your home theater screen.

The tint of the 3D glasses you wear to watch these movies makes the pictures on the screen appear darker than they do without the glasses on.

So, if you want to watch a lot of 3D content, then you may want to go with a brilliant white projector screen paint to maximize your enjoyment. And if you're looking for the best 3D projector, check out our guide on that.

Merlin Portable 3d Projector

Projector Screen Paint Comparison

Following are details of several of the best-selling projector screen paints on Amazon. Remember that a higher price is not always indicative of higher quality or a better choice of paint for your unique home theater setting and situation. Take your time selecting, and your DIY theater screen will serve you for many years!

1. Digital Image Projector Screen Paint - High Definition | 4K - Ultra White

  • Low odor
  • One gallon costs $159.95 plus s & h ($10.99) and covers two coats on a 16 x 10 wall screen
  • Recommended for churches, conference rooms, hotels, and classrooms
  • 50% brighter than a standard white wall
  • Cured and ready to view on in 24 hours
  • No volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • High contrast/high resolution 1080p
  • Roll on or use a sprayer
ultra white hd screen paint

2. Pro Screen HD Projection / Projector Screen Paint 1080P Full HD Quality

  • Formulated with ultra-high titanium dioxide with powdered glass additive
  • 1 quart costs $59.95 and covers 80 square feet of wall area
  • Compatible with 1080p, 4K, 3D, and Blu-ray
  • Reduces ambient lighting effects
  • Neutral light-grey finish
  • Apply with a foam roller

3. Paint on Screen Projector Screen Paint 3D4K Light Grey Silver with 2.4 Gain

  • Compatible with 1080p. HD, Active 3D, and 4K
  • Provides the most value to large venues
  • Most demanded digital screen paint
  • Available in quart and gallon sizes
  • 1.5 gain or 2.4 gain formulations
  • Absolute neutral color shift
  • Costs $189 per quart
  • Roll or spray on

Once you have the paint, take some extra time prepping the wall space that you will use as your movie screen. Use a sanding pad to smooth out any rough-textured areas.

Fill in small holes with drywall mud and sand smooth before applying the white primer coat before the actual screen paint. Going the extra mile at this stage makes a lot of difference in the quality of the final product.

before vs after

In Conclusion

High-tech projector screen paints like those listed above can maximize the enjoyment of your home theater setup and save you a lot of money in the long run. Choosing the best home projector paint for your budget and setting is important.

Even the most expensive and feature-loaded home projector cannot create a stellar picture when the screen it is aimed at is inferior.


My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

How to Connect a Projector to a Laptop

Steve Scott

Projectors work for a large variety of functions; business meetings, home theater projectors, gaming projectors, and other multi-media activities. Given the wide range of activities and equipment that can be used, connecting to a projector can vary from device to device.

In the case of laptops, some have HDMI ports available, while others utilize VGA or other connection types.

Connecting your laptop to a projector

  1. Identify what ports your laptop has available.

The picture below shows the side of a laptop with a VGA and HDMI connector.

VGA and HDMI connector.
  1. Identify what ports your projector has available.

The picture below shows a projector with both HMDI and VGA connections. Either connection will work; it will usually depend on what connections your laptop has available.

  1. Turn your laptop on and place it in a safe place that is close enough for your display cable to easily reach the projector. If you plan on using your laptop for an extended period of time, you may want to plug it into its charger.
  2. Ensure the projector is properly plugged in and turn it on.
  3. Locate either the VGA or HDMI port on your laptop and projector and properly insert the cable.
    • Note that VGA cables have two screws built into each side of the cable. Hand tightening them can ensure the cable remains connected if either the laptop or projector is bumped slightly.
  4. If the projector is not displaying your laptop screen, look for an ‘INPUT’ or ‘SOURCE’ button on the projector and make sure that it is set to your connection type. Modern projectors take multiple types of inputs, so if you are connected to the HDMI port, change the input to HDMI. Same for VGA.
  5. Adjust the projector my moving it further or closer to the screen and focusing the device by focusing the lens. Change color, sharpness, and other settings if desired.

Note that if the projector does not display your laptop screen when connected, ensure that the cables are properly connected (and fully inserted) to both the laptop and projector. 

You may also need to check the ‘Display Settings’ on your laptop to ensure that the screen will either ‘Duplicate’, or ‘Extend’ your laptop screen. Google and YouTube are always great sources if you are still having issues connecting and need to diagnose the problem.

Top projector brands

Depending on your intended use of the projector, you may want to spend more or less money to get a higher resolution projector that has other display enhancement features.

As an example, if you are getting a portable projector that can display presentations in a business setting, you may not need the top of the line equipment.

However, if you are buying a projector for your home theater or gaming setup, it may be worth paying a higher cost to get the best possible picture and clarity.

The two main technology types that are used in home or business projectors are LCD and DLP. 

DLP is typically more expensive but offers higher quality images. LCD projectors can still offer a high quality picture. However, it may not have quite the as vivid of an image.

If you're interested in knowing more about this topic, check out our guide on DLP vs LCD projectors

You can use this information to narrow down what options are best for you. Below are some of the best brands available for projectors.

BenQ projectors

BenQ PB7200

Available on amazon prime and often listed as an editor’s choice or gifted the ‘Amazon Best Selling’ tag, BenQ offers a large range of projectors with excellent customer service.

BenQ prides themselves on customer satisfaction and provides a large portfolio of options, from effective low-cost options, and high-performance models that offer up to 4K resolution and are considered one of the best 4k projectors

Their projectors run on DLP or Digital light processing, which is the highest quality available short of LCoS, which is only used in projectors costing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars; not the average home theater.

Whatever your need and price range are, BenQ is as good of a choice as any.


SONY-VPL-HW45ES projector

A well-established electronics company, Sony is known for the highest quality of projectors on the market.

A heavy majority of their projectors are made for the home theater space and are available in 1080p, 4K as well as 2D and 3D options. 

They do offer options for business and education, however, only a few of their offerings fall below the $1000 mark. The difference between their low end and higher end offerings are the technology under the hood. 

The lower end offerings utilize LCD technology while the higher end uses their proprietary SXRD technology.

If you’re in the market for a high-end projector, its hard to go wrong with Sony. The price reflects their use of high-end technology.

Optoma projectors

Optoma-UHL55 projector

Optoma offers a wide portfolio of DLP projectors and even offer outdoor movie projector options. Optoma should be seriously considered if you are looking for a high-end home theater option

Optoma UHD60 is among the highest selling 4k models due to its powerful technology at a more reasonable cost. Praised for its value, Optoma has won numerous awards from Best Buy,, and WhatHiFi.



If you’ve been in large academic or business settings, you’ve likely seen a projector turn on with a large centered ‘EPSON’ on a blue screen.

Epson is one of the longest standing manufacturers of projectors in the US and considered to make one of the best business presentation projectors.

Given their price ranges, they are effective for education (as low as $300) and offer high-end products in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars range.

Epson is most commonly known for its durability and value, as their lamps are known to last for a very long time (minimum two years).

It’s hard to go wrong with Epson; the only challenge may be finding the best projector that they offer for your personal situation given their wide array of choices.


Canon LX-MU800Z projector

Like Sony, Canon is a well-established electronics brand known for cameras and printers as much as their projectors. Canon specifically focuses on education, business, and medical applications, and also offers compact options.

While they may not be a suitable option for a high-end home system, they make a strong case to be used in the classroom or on the road for business. Their projectors use LCD technology while still offering high resolution.

Another bonus with Canon is their lens technology, that is rapidly replaceable. Most projectors on the market involve a rather laborious effort to replace a lens or lamp.

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

How To Connect Your Personal Computer To A Projector

If you thought that projectors can only be connected to laptops and not to personal computers, you thought wrong. Although it might not be that common as seeing projectors being connected to laptops, projectors can also be connected to desktops and the steps on how to do it is quite simple.

  1. Make sure your PC is turned on.
  2. Plug in the projector and connect the power cable to the port of the projector.
  3. Turn the projector on; usually, you will see a green light which signals that the projector is now on.
  4. Know that there are different types of cables which can connect the projector to the computer. Some of the most common cable types are VGA and HDMI.
  5. Find the RGB or VGA “in” port in the projector and insert one end of the VGA cable to said port.
  6. Find the proper RGB or VGA “out” port at the back of your CPU and connect the other end of the VGA cable to that port.
  7. The projector should now display whatever is in your computer screen.

Connecting Projector to Desktop

And there you go, you have now successfully connected the projector to your personal computer. Connecting it is very easy. Perhaps, the only challenge you will encounter is determining which proper ports to connect to especially at the back of the CPU where a significant number of different types of ports can be found. Once you’ve located all the correct ports, you will have no problem proceeding with the presentations, games, or images you wish to be projected.

How To Connect Your MacBook Laptop To A Projector

Steve Scott

You just got that shiny new projector and are wanting to start to enjoy your preferred media or visualize your professional presentation on the big screen as soon as possible.

Lucky for you, this endeavor is one that is simple for those unfamiliar and veterans of technology alike.

While the process is rather straightforward, there are parts of it that do require a bit of extra consideration before jumping right into connecting hookup this to that and vice versa.

Note that unique to the MacBook laptop in comparison to other brands of laptops is the input/output port; this, in turn, makes the connection procedure a little more complicated for first-timers.

macbook pro

Due to this uncommon attribute, the MacBook port needs a particular VGA or HDMI, depending on your projector, adapter to be linked to the projector.

What further complicates this link is that adapters vary from one MacBook model to another; leaving the consumer in charge of making sure they obtain the correct adapter that coincides with their model of MacBook.

A simple way to look for an adapter that is compatible with your MacBook is to identify if your model has either a thunderbolt or mini display port. However, do not rely solely on this identification.

macbook and projector cable

To avoid purchasing an adapter that does not correctly work with your MacBook model do a small bit of research before finalizing your purchase as there are a variety of adapters to choose from.

Once you determine which adapter works with your model of MacBook proceed down to the quick guide to get your projector started and functioning smoothly.

Quick Guide to Connecting Your MacBook to a Projector

  1. Make sure the MacBook is ON.
  2. Plug the projector into a wall outlet and leave it powered OFF for now.
  3. Insert the smaller end of the MacBook adapter into the thunderbolt or mini display port.
  4. Connect the wider end of the adapter to the VGA or HDMI cable of the projector.
  5. After all, is connected, power ON the projector
connecting macbook to a projector-min

Displaying Your MacBook Screen through Your Projector

  1. Click on the Apple menu found in the upper left corner of your laptop screen and a drop-down menu will appear. From this drop-down menu select “System Preferences.”
  2. Within the “Systems Preferences” window you will be shown multiple icons. Of the displayed icons, find the one that is in the shape of a monitor and says “Displays”
  3. You will now be in the “Displays” window. In this window, near the bottom left corner will be a “Mirror Displays” checkbox. Check this box. (This will project whatever you see on your MacBook screen through the projector)
  4. After several seconds, and if the connection was successful, then your MacBook home screen should now be mirrored through the projector screen.

In Conclusion

Congratulations, you have now successfully connected your MacBook laptop to your projector! This will open up new avenues for watching your favorite movies, playing games, viewing pictures, displaying presentations, and much more! 

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.