Where To mount your projector
When installing a home theater, you face several exciting and important choices, but none are bigger or will have a larger impact on your viewing experience than the display
you choose to install. If a BIG screen is at the top of your list, a projector is likely the way to go. However, there is more that goes into installing a projector than there is a flat panel TV.
Projectors can be installed in a variety of ways; mounted to the ceiling, resting on a shelf mounted to the back wall or even projecting onto the screen from behind. Today we will focus on the more common ceiling mounted method and the distance you should mount the projector from the screen to create the best theater experience possible.
Every projector is different, each one having its own set of specifications, options, features and capabilities. However, there are a few general rules you can follow when attempting to determine the right projector for your theater.
Rule of thumb
Although every projector is different having independent specific guidelines for mounting distance, a good rule of thumb is to mount the projector at a distance approximately 1.5 times the width of the desired screen. That means that if you want to have a 110” screen (measured diagonally) you must determine the ratio you wish to display your media (16:9 is the HDTV standard) and find the appropriate corresponding width and height measurements for that dimension. In this instance a 110” diagonal screen measures 95.7in wide and 54in tall.
(Projector Distance = Screen Width X 1.5)
To achieve a 110” diagonal screen size you should plan to mount your projector approximate 143.55in away from the screen (95.7 x 1.5 = 143.55). (This is measured directly from the desired position of the projector lens straight across to the top of the screen, not at an angle to the center of the screen.) Some leeway for this distance is often acceptable because most projectors have a zoom lens permitting for the image to be resized manually without moving the projector.
Added Features to help make life easier
Today’s modern projectors come packed with a variety of different features designed to
aid in the installation process by using nifty tricks such as “Vertical Keystone” which allows the projector to compensate for the “keystone” effect occurring when the projector is aimed at an angle toward the screen resulting in the picture being larger at the
bottom than it is at the top. Another feature is called “Lens Shift”, which allows the image to be shifted up, down, left and right if necessary without having to reposition the projector itself. This feature is specifically useful for mobile installations or installations where a ceiling mount is obstructed or not possible.
Notes to take before you buy
Ideally, before you go shopping for a projector online or in-store you should have the dimensions of your theater space (Length X Width X Height)as well as the desired screen size (including the vertical and horizontal dimensions.) If possible ALWAYS reference the product’s manual for mounting instructions, or visit the manufacturer’s website to retrieve the data.