Many of us like the idea of a home cinema setup but unfortunately most of us don’t have the luxury of a spare room to dedicate to such an extravagance. It would be nice to dump the dining room table and invest in a fixed screen, ceiling mounted projector and a few rows of seats but this isn’t a practical reality for the average movie lover.
The good news is that with modern ultra short throw projectors it is possible to get a home cinema up and running in all but the smallest livings rooms.
What is throw distance?
This refers to the distance you have to position the monitor from the surface you are projecting on to, or in other words, how far the image is thrown. There are three common throw terms you will see when buying a projector:
- Long throw. These will provide the largest images but will need to position a reasonable distance from your surface. This type of projector might typically be ceiling mounted in the middle or rear of a room.
- Short throw. A short throw model might be positioned 3 to 8 feet from your viewing surface. This can reduce shadows and eye glare.
- Ultra short throw. This is a projector that can be placed right up close to your projection screen, up to 3 feet or so away.
To calculate just how big an image you can get and how far back the projector needs to be positioned you’ll need to look up the throw ratio. A throw ratio of 1 means the projector needs to be positioned 1-foot from your screen to project a 1-foot diagonal image.
(Throw ratio) X (desired screen size in inches) = (distance in inches)
Ultra short throw models will be able to produce decent sized images at short distance, but they do typically cost more money unfortunately. They will typically have a throw ratio of less than 0.4.
If this is your scenario then you’ll need to think about whether it will block your view or distract from your enjoyment of the movie. It may well be worth investing in an ultra short throw model to minimise this impact but at least it should be possible to get something setup if you don’t mind investing in the right projector.