Projectors: Throw Distance and Why It Matters

There are a number of different factors you need to look at when buying a new projector. When comparing different models, you need to keep in mind the environment the device is going to be placed in, and determine whether it has all the specification required to perform well in the required setting. A spec that goes a long way in determining the overall performance of a projector is throw distance.

What is throw distance?

The throw distance is basically the distance between the projector lens and the screen on which the image is displayed. Each projector has its own native throw value which determines where it has to be placed to get a full-sized image. Obviously, the throw that works best for you depends largely on the function the projector is going to serve.

What are the different types of throw distances?

Projectors can be classified into two depending on their throw: models with short throw and those with long throw.

Long throw projectors need to be placed a long way from the screen in order to form a clear and non-pixelated output image. These types of projectors are often used in large auditoriums where the projection is done from behind the audience – like a movie theater. Short throw projections, on the other hand, can be placed quite close to the screen without any issues. Do keep in mind that you will need to use additional lenses if you plan to keep the projector extremely near or far from the screen.

Where can I use a short throw projector?

Projectors with a short throw can produce large images when placed close to the screen. Most home theater setups use these projectors because it is easy to install in a comparatively small room and can project a really wide image. Some models can project an image that is over 100-inches diagonally wide from just a few feet away. They are portable as well and great for small conference rooms and home theaters.

What are the applications of a long throw projector?

When a layman thinks of a projector, it is usually the long throw projector that they are thinking about since these have been used for a long time in places like auditoriums and movie halls. They allow you to project a clear, sharp and comparatively smaller image from a long distance away and are ideal for expansive areas. With a long throw projector, you will be able to keep the projector hidden at the back of the space.

Can I convert my long throw projector into short throw?

Since it is lens that determines the throw distance of a projector, you will need to change it to alter the throw distance of the device. But, it could void your warranty. But, to quickly and cheaply reduce the projector’s throw, you can reflect the beam off a first-surface mirror which makes the light travel a longer distance. Avoid using traditional mirrors since they could cause ghosting.