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Ideal Projector mounting distance

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have a max 17 feet.

Looking for this info to have my HDMI and power fished.

Since I will have more than one projector over the years what is a good all around distance?

I don't want to be limited in projector selection because of my mount location.

Thanks.
post #2 of 24
you need to decide on a screen size before this can be answered.

seating distance would also help
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
105-120" diag seating 8-10 feet
post #4 of 24
At 120" screen size 16' would fit most projectors under $10000. I'd be careful with your seating distance. 8' is probably going to be uncomfortably close, unless you're used to sitting very close to the screen.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks.

I will most likely end up with a 110" screen at 9' seating distance. I have room to move back but it puts me closer to the back wall and is less ideal for sound.

Thanks again.
post #6 of 24
Once you narrow down your projector choice, head over to projectorcentral.com. They have a calculator that will tell you, at whatever screen size you want, how close and far the projector can be to fill the screen. It will also give you a rough estimate on how bright the image will be for each particular projector. A forum member here, Coderguy, also has a calculator you can try out as well.
post #7 of 24
Generally, you need to mount the projector no closer than the minimum throw ratio recommendation for the screen material So yopu need to know both the screen size and the specific screen material. Generally for a white screen, the minimum throw ratio is the screen gain. Da-lite HP2.4 is the exception. Gray screens that have a positive gain usual will need a minimum throw of 1.6.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Projector central is pretty neat.

How does zoom affect picture quality?
post #9 of 24
Viewing distance is definitely a preference deal. I am watching 128" 16X9 diagonal at 10-11' depending on where the seating ends up after vacuuming. Many would say that is too close. I like it. YMMV.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
I never sit above half up in a commercial theater, so I'll end up with something bigger most likely. Whether it's a 110" or a 130" I've not a clue. Going to test on a wall.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie View Post

Viewing distance is definitely a preference deal. I am watching 128" 16X9 diagonal at 10-11' depending on where the seating ends up after vacuuming. Many would say that is too close. I like it. YMMV.

to add to this, I used to have 120" and dropped to 100"(I think 108-110 would have been ideal but room compromises) at 15ft+ viewing distance because I found it tiring to watch 16:9 content on the larger screen. guides can tell you at what distance you're likely to see screen texture, or pixel structure, but only personal experience can tell you what size field of view you like. if you like your peripheral vision being engaged or not

where do you like to sit in the movie theatre? i'm definitely a back 3-4 rows kinda guy myself. I like to be able to see the whole screen without moving my eyes around

oh, and i'd say have them run some extra length to both the power and hdmi. relocating the plugs and patching the holes really isn't THAT huge of a job, IF you've already got the cabling run 90% of the way there. it's unlikely you'd have to move it, but it's nice to know it's at least an option, just in case. I've moved my projector location 3 times already, but sometimes I think I enjoy the build more than movies...
post #12 of 24
Not trying to hijack this thread, but this may be pertinent.

I used the calculator at projector central. It gives a distance of 13.5 feet for the recommended distance for my 16:9 (96x54) screen and a Sony HW50ES that I am replacing my CRT projector with. It appears the range is from 11 feet to 17 feet. I have a major (and for anyone that mounted a 150 lb CRT projector overhead it needed to be major) mounting block that I am planning to reuse. It will put the front of the projector close to the 11 foot minimum.

What sort of problems do you run into when you are at the minimum throw distance?

May have to rethink mounting location....

I have a 12.5 ft viewing distance to the 96 inch wide 16:9 and am quite satisfied with the screen size.
post #13 of 24
I believe the calculator designers should not suggest midway mounting distances. The curves at both ends are log curves, you quickly lose brightness as you move away from closest throw and quickly lose on/off as you move away from longest throw. If your screen size and gain don't require more light, longest throw (close to it to provide a margin of set up error etc) will give the best lens performance, keeping the lens exit image the smallest (keeping the image in the center of the lens and permitting use of more lens shift if necessary without having much of the image occupying the curved glass areas). That said if you can avoid using a lot of vertical lens shift at close throw, the Sony will still throw a nice image at close throw. Mid throw as the calculator recommends cost you the advantages of either end placement. people do it, thinking the curves are straight lines and midpoint gives you a net sum max giving up some light and on/off. It doesn't work like that. Choose one or the other, the mid point gives you a net sum so to speak that is less than the sum at either end.e
Edited by mark haflich - 6/3/13 at 1:47am
post #14 of 24
Thanks Mark, a detailed explanation and something I need to look into more. Now that folks are going to 120 inch wide screens, my little 96 inch screen seems so small. Good thing I don't have screen envy.

If I understand you correctly,

projector close = lots of brightness at the cost contrast
projector away = contrast at the cost of brightness

Right in the middle = not optimum.

Vertical placement = put the projector as low as possible. Right now I am placing the lens level with the top (white) portion of the screen.
post #15 of 24
the top is fine especially at longer throws. There is no way of calculating an optimum point for contrast AND brightness. You decide what you need or want one way or the other, you can have one but not both and mid throw placement is close to minimizing both, the curves are fairly straight at that point, not exactly but most of the drop off has occurred from both ends. I think its better to get the max for one and if you do not need the lumens, there are many reasons for choosing long throw such as maximum on off, better optical performance, yada yada.
post #16 of 24
i'm assuming the height placement is really only applicable for screen gains higher than 1.0?

it's funny, i never heard about the long throw being best for contrast until this week, now i've heard it twice. in my room i have the projector right at the back so it's out of the way, but because the room is small it still puts the projectors i've bought at around the midway point of their zoom.

before i mount the jvc x35 i ordered maybe i'll mess around with throw distance just to see how obvious it actually is.

but in the mean time, what do you think is the safe % to see some gains? i'm wondering if i can't get within that 'optimum' distance for contrast, should i just move the projector as close as possible even though i'll likely have more than enough brightness. if the max is 22feet and min 12feet, will having the projector 18feet away be ok for contrast? or too close to the midway point?
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

i'm assuming the height placement is really only applicable for screen gains higher than 1.0?

it's funny, i never heard about the long throw being best for contrast until this week, now i've heard it twice. in my room i have the projector right at the back so it's out of the way, but because the room is small it still puts the projectors i've bought at around the midway point of their zoom.

before i mount the jvc x35 i ordered maybe i'll mess around with throw distance just to see how obvious it actually is.

but in the mean time, what do you think is the safe % to see some gains? i'm wondering if i can't get within that 'optimum' distance for contrast, should i just move the projector as close as possible even though i'll likely have more than enough brightness. if the max is 22feet and min 12feet, will having the projector 18feet away be ok for contrast? or too close to the midway point?

From reading above, it looks like you have a 100" screen. If that is the case use the 18' throw. That places you close to long throw, since 20.5' is max throw for that size screen with an x35.
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post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

From reading above, it looks like you have a 100" screen. If that is the case use the 18' throw. That places you close to long throw, since 20.5' is max throw for that size screen with an x35.

thanks, i couldn't remember the exact max throw. you're bang on for screen dimensions
post #19 of 24
The JVC doesn't lose as much contrast as most projectors anyways, unless you are A/B'n, it is almost impossible to even tell the difference between 1/4 from farthest or exactly at farthest, the difference is only a few thousand on/off out of tens of thousands. I don't think any calculators are suggesting throw distances, just defaulting to mid-zoom for aesthetic reasons when switching projectors.

I would almost always suggest putting the projector the farthest back you can, one because it makes it quieter, and two because the contrast and aberrations are slightly improved. Otherwise just get a higher gain screen, unless you are using a large AT screen and forces to mount at closet throw. Though unless you are using a DLP, you will be hard pressed to see the difference in contrast with many of these PJ's between mid and farthest throws, but there is some.
post #20 of 24
Coderguy I wasn't referring to your calculator, just the one he got the midpoint recommendation from.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

sometimes I think I enjoy the build more than movies...

I believe that to be true about most on this forum. Perhaps not the build, but the desire to get the best PQ they can squeeze out of their setup. Definitely an addiction.
post #22 of 24
yeah, i like doing the 'little tweaks' that take like an afternoon to pull off of. whether or not they improve PQ, i just like change.

before i got the projector, i would rearrange the room seating about every 4-6months. i actually had tape marks on the carpet for the 3 different speaker set ups depending on which wall was the screen wall. it was so much easier to slide around a tv and av gear back then, haha.

i've only changed my room once since installing the projector. basically flipped the room 180* so that the 'open' area is behind the seating instead of behind the screen. i have a half wall that splits the basement. one side the roof hangs too low for optimal screen mounting, the other divides the room in half with the screen down.

can't wait to build a room from scratch!
post #23 of 24
Experimenting with throw distance proved extremely valuable to me in my recently purchased new original stock from amazon dla-HD750 I am using a 108" screen and started off with 15' which looked pretty good, then I tried 13' feet and the picture looked worse, washed out not a lot of contrast but brighter. Then I tried 17' and there was a HUGE difference in black level and contrast. I then moved it back to the max distance which is about 19.5-20' and the picture looks phenomenal! Excellent contrast and deep black levels. I am using it in low lamp mode and -15 iris I have plenty of brightness my room is completely treated. Flat dark gray walls, ceilings, black couches, ect.....
I was going to call it a day and mount it at 15' my original position cause I didn't know any better and I thought it looked good. I'm glad I didn't I'd be robbing myself of picture quality. Mark is right on the money. Mid mount point is a compromise of brightness/contrast/black level. It doesn't give the best picture. Forget those calculators, experiment in your room and see what you got. Those calculators are a GUIDE not the bible of where you're supposed to mount your projector.
Close=VERY bright picture,so so black levels and contrast
FAR=LESS bright picture the best black levels and contrast the projector is capable of (most of the published contrast ratio specs are all at max throw), less lens issues.
post #24 of 24
cool feedback. nice to hear theory work in practice
i didn't get the same effect with mine, but didn't go to the extremes for testing either, just checked at my convenient mounting location(about 18feet) and the max throw(about 20ft) and didn't notice a difference really.

as for the calculators, i'm sure they just default to the middle location not because it's recommended, but because it's the middle. the calculator shows the entire range, and clearly indicates an increase in brightness from a shorter throw. it would be nice if they added a comment to say the contrast is improved at the longer throw though. even thought they obviously don't make any contrast calculations, otherwise it looks like a short throw is the 'best' option.
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