Projects are a great alternative to a traditional TV. However, setting them up can be confusing at first, especially if you’ve never used one before.
Determine screen location
Before you begin to set anything up, you want to find the best wall to project on. You want to pick a wall that is smooth and also doesn’t receive any direct light. Direct light could interfere with the light from the projector, ruining the image. It’s up to you if you want to use your bare wall or a projector screen.
The most important first step is to measure everything and read the instructions before you start to install your equipment.
Figure out the height
After you determine which area you want to use, it’s important to figure out the height of your projector.
Some things you need to consider in the height measurement:
- How far off the floor you want your screen (recommended is 24 to 36 inches from the floor)
- Seating in your room
- Keeping things out of the beam of light from the projector
Now, before you become ambitious and start to drill things into your wall, there are a few more measurements you need to make. You also might want to consider a “testing” area where you keep your projector in one place while you watch a movie or two to make sure it’s in the best place.
Determine your throw ratio
The throw ratio is what size image you receive from a certain distance away. It’s the distance between where your projector is and the image on the screen (thus, the image distance being “thrown”). The same holds true if you’re trying to setup a projector specifically for sports, you need to measure the correct throw ratio. If you put your projector too close, the screen will be too small and the opposite if it’s too far away. Some projectors can help you adjust if you put it in the wrong place, but not all of them have that ability.
Almost all throw ratios are listed within the manual. When it has a solid number, you can’t adjust if you put it in the wrong place, so be sure to do it right the first time. You can figure out the throw ratio by multiplying the throw distance by the horizontal length of your screen (not the diagonal measurement).
Determine your horizontal lens shift
Ideally, you wouldn’t have any horizontal lens shift if you can put your projector right where it needs to go. It’s important that you mount your projector exactly square with the screen it’s projecting on. If you don’t do so, you can end up with blurry lines on one size of your screen which can make the whole picture look horrible.
However, if you need to use your horizontal lens shift, you can to move the screen to the left or right. Your vertical and horizontal lens shift will work together, so if you miscalculate when it comes to setting up your projector, you might not have a clear image.
Determine your vertical offset
The vertical offset is similar to the horizontal lens shift. However, instead of it being left to right, it’s how far you need to shift the lens up and down to hit the screen. If you can put your projector directly in front of the screen, that’s perfect. However, most people need to tilt the lens up or down to perfectly hit the screen.
Measure one last time
Measure one more time, just in case. Then, you’re ready to install your projector and enjoy.