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Sunday, January 13, 2019

How Much Space Do You Need for a Home Theater Projector?

Watching movies and playing games on a projector are great. Once you get used to the giant display, it’s much harder to watch on even the largest TVs. But before you buy a projector, you’ll need to make sure you have the space for it.

The projector itself won’t need too much leeway, but you’ll need to make sure you have enough room between it and your screen to get to your desired screen size. With a little math, it’s easy to figure out just how deep your living room needs to be.

Throwing It Out There

You’ll see a few specs and industry jargon when you start researching projectors. The main one to pay attention to is the “throw ratio,” also known as “throw distance.” You’ll use this to calculate just how far from your screen the projector needs to sit. If the throw distance is “1” then you’ll need to place the projector one foot from the screen to display a one-foot diagonal image. If the throw ratio is less than one, you can place the projector less than one foot from the screen to make a one-foot diagonal image. Following that, if the throw ratio is more than one, you’ll need to place the projector more than one foot from the screen to produce a one-foot image.

You’ll often see projectors with more than one throw ratio listed. This means that the projector has a zoom wheel, so you can change the size of the image. Having multiple throw ratios doesn’t change our math; you just have to calculate it again.

Here’s the calculation to determine how far your projector needs to from the screen:

Throw Ratio X Desired screen size (Inches or Centimeters) = Distance from screen (Inches or Centimeters)

As an example, we can look at the BenQ HT2150ST. Let’s say we wanted a screen size of 150″ and need to know how far away to place the projector. This model has a throw ratio between 0.69 and 0.83, so our math looks like this:

0.69 (throw ratio) X 150 (desired screen size) = 103.5 (distance from screen)
0.83 (throw ratio) X 150 (desired screen size) = 124.5 (distance from screen)

Another way to gauge how much space you need is to look at the marketing or model name for the projector. You’ll see projectors advertised as “short throw,” “ultra-short throw,” or maybe without any throw distinction.

What Is an Ultra-Short Throw Projector?

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