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post #1 of 11 Unread Yesterday, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Question How Do You Level Your Projector?

My VPL-VW1100ES is ceiling mounted, using the PSS-H10 support. Originally, when I first installed the projector, I levelled it using a bubble level placed on the bottom of the projector (which is at the top, as the projector is upside-down). However, I was bothered by a slight trapezoidal distortion of the image (slightly narrower at the top). This weekend I purchased a Bosch GLL 2-45 self-levelling, cross-line laser level and I adjusted the projector such that the vertical edges of the image are vertical and parallel to each other. But now the projector itself looks weird as it's clearly not horizontal and is pointing upwards. Is this normal? How are you adjusting your projector? Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Unread Yesterday, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael9009 View Post
My VPL-VW1100ES is ceiling mounted, using the PSS-H10 support. Originally, when I first installed the projector, I levelled it using a bubble level placed on the bottom of the projector (which is at the top, as the projector is upside-down). However, I was bothered by a slight trapezoidal distortion of the image (slightly narrower at the top). This weekend I purchased a Bosch GLL 2-45 self-levelling, cross-line laser level and I adjusted the projector such that the vertical edges of the image are vertical and parallel to each other. But now the projector itself looks weird as it's clearly not horizontal and is pointing upwards. Is this normal? How are you adjusting your projector? Thanks.
I use the keystone correction to offset any angel issues. In the past when my projector had lost its leveling balance (verticle or horizontal) the keystone can correct that. However if severly out of whack you can get the "trapezoidal" issues you are referring to. If your image is perfect now as it seems and the projector visually does not appear level I would not worry about it. The picture itself should be the top priority
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post #3 of 11 Unread Yesterday, 08:55 AM
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I don't use a level when setting up a projector and you will get best results, not using a level. Set the screen up using a level and get it as good as you can get. Then adjust the projector to the screen. If the projector is set up within the limits of the lens shift (vertical only, never use horizontal) then you should be able to get a rectangular image to fit your screen without any keystone. You never want to use keystone.

Note, just because the projector housing is level, does not mean that the image will be level. The internal parts, may not be perfectly level with the case.
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Yes, stay away from keystone.

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post #5 of 11 Unread Yesterday, 09:01 AM
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My screen is level. I use the PJ's horizontal and vertical lens-shifting capabilities in conjunction with the adjustments on the projector mount to throw a perfectly square image on the screen.

Last edited by eljaycanuck; Yesterday at 10:39 AM.
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All this talk about screens being level and I just need to add: your screen does not need to be level for you to be able to adjust your projector tilt to be perpendicular to the screen plane. As stated previously, with the appropriate amount of vertical shift you should be able to square up the image without any keystone correction.

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post #7 of 11 Unread Yesterday, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjcook View Post
All this talk about screens being level and I just need to add: your screen does not need to be level for you to be able to adjust your projector tilt to be perpendicular to the screen plane. As stated previously, with the appropriate amount of vertical shift you should be able to square up the image without any keystone correction.
Correct. In fact, if you have to mount your projector higher than you have available lens shift, you can angle the screen up and tilt the projector down, to avoid keystone. I was just simplifying the setup. Lots of little tricks. Besides, even if you use a level, it will be doubtful that the screen is perfectly level. If you doubt this, then go to a place like lowes or HD and check the levels. I usually have to go through several of them, before finding one that is pretty accurate.

Way to check a level. Set level vertically on store display rail and note how far one end has to be held out to make level. Now flip level and hold at the same spot on the vertical display. If the same amount, then flip level end for end and perform the same test on both sides and see if all four readings are the same. You will go through a bunch of levels, trying to find a good one.

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Probably should not have let this secret out. Now it will be even harder to find a good level.

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post #8 of 11 Unread Yesterday, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Garrett View Post
Probably should not have let this secret out. Now it will be even harder to find a good level.
We had a high level of expectation that you would level with us eventually. At least now we are all starting with a level playing field.
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post #9 of 11 Unread Yesterday, 09:57 PM
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A quicker way to test is to just go to a decent hardware store and throw money at them for a Stabila. No testing needed, but only for the well heeled as Mike has been saying in other threads
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post #10 of 11 Unread Yesterday, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Garrett View Post
I don't use a level when setting up a projector and you will get best results, not using a level. Set the screen up using a level and get it as good as you can get. Then adjust the projector to the screen. If the projector is set up within the limits of the lens shift (vertical only, never use horizontal) then you should be able to get a rectangular image to fit your screen without any keystone. You never want to use keystone.

Note, just because the projector housing is level, does not mean that the image will be level. The internal parts, may not be perfectly level with the case.
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post #11 of 11 Unread Yesterday, 10:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the very useful comments. It's very interesting that the projector internal components are not level with the mount or case. A few more comments:

1. I never used keystone correction with any of the projectors that I owned. In fact, I think the VPL-VW1100ES does not even have this feature. The keystone correction involves scaling which may result in a degradation of the picture quality.

2. My screen, a Da-Lite Tensioned Contour Electrol, 16:9, 133 inch diagonal, is not perfectly rectangular. While the top edge is virtually horizontal, the bottom edge slopes slightly downwards from left to right (+2 mm at left, 0 mm at centre, - 5 mm at right). The sides bow inwards and are relatively symmetric (+2 mm at bottom, 0 mm at centre, +10 (left edge) +7 mm (right edge) at top).

3. This means that had I matched the PJ image to the slightly trapezoidal shape of the screen, the projector would have not been perpendicular to the screen surface and the image would have been distorted. So, using the laser level, I tried to ensure that the opposite sides of the projected image are parallel to each other and form a rectangle. Then I used vertical shift and a slight horizontal shift (the centre of the lens is 22 mm offset horizontally from the centre of the screen) to align the image to the screen. It's not a perfect match, of course, some compromise had to be achieved.

In the end my projector looks weird pointing upwards but, based on your comments and my methodology, I believe and hope I've got the PJ as perpendicular to the screen as possible. Anybody thinking otherwise?

P.S. Note that my screen is perfectly vertical as it's a hung electric screen.
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