Ghosting: All You Need To Know About It

Using a projector to watch movies on a big screen can be a visual treat because of sheer scale and clarity. There are plenty of projector models out there with all sorts of features like Full HD projection, 4K and even 3D. But, no matter which projector you get and how expensive it is, if it is not properly installed, you may face issues which diminish the movie-watching experience.

One of the most common problems faced by projector owners is ghosting. Ghosting is when there are one or more layers of the same picture on top of the actual one on the screen – but at a slight angle. For example, if you are watching a car chasing another, the screen will show the actual chase along with one (or more) faint copy of the same scene slightly towards the left or right. If the ghosting is really bad, it may even look like two cars chasing two cars.

Even though the additional layers are fairly translucent – like a ghost – they will negatively affect overall viewing experience and hide a lot of detail as well.

What causes ghosting?

Generally, ghosting happens because of the way the projector is set up and not because of any issue with the device itself. For example, it could be because of a faulty VGA cable, incorrect input resolution setting, etc. But sometimes, ghosting also happens when the projector lamp starts losing luminosity or when there is a problem with the lens.

How can I fix my ghosting problem?

If you are experiencing ghosting, there are a number of things you can try to resolve it.
Make sure that you use a good quality VGA cable to connect the projector to the video source. Inferior cables often cause ghosting. Moreover, avoid having too interconnected cables. If you are using multiple links to increase length, signals may get corrupted at the junction points, which could cause a shadow effect. A single VGA cable of good quality can be run for around 65 feet without any deterioration in output quality.

Check if the video cables are close to power cables or any other wires. Avoid keeping the VGA cable bunched up as well. Electromagnetic interference often causes ghosting. Using shielded/ferrite coated/gold plated cables could cut lower interference.

If you have to use multiple connectors, opt for a powered VGA booster. These devices increase the power of the VGA signal which could help minimize shadow effects.

Do I have to worry about ghosting if I use a digital connection?

Generally, ghosting is observed only when the projector is connected using an analog VGA cable. If you are using a digital connector like HDMI or DVI-I you won’t experience any issues. However, if there is an analog connection anywhere in the transmission – like a VGA-to-HDMI converter – you may experience shadowing.