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Projector Mount - When, What to Install?

658 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Steve13

I am building the room. what do I have to install to prepare for the projector mount? Any screws, two by fours, rails, platforms, etc.?

Whatever you recommend that I install, should it go below the drywall ceiling or above it? Drywall is not installed yet.

At what time should I install whatever you recommend?

Thank you for your suggestions.
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You're asking for a bit of extra work and trouble if you don't know what kind or model of projector you are installing. Let's assume you narrow it down to CRT technology. That still leaves about four feet of fore and aft movement for the projector placement. If you go ahead and put in the heavy 2 x 6 blocking and hurricane hangars needed to withstand 800 lbs load (5 x expected projector weight), you'll need to cover a few spans to make sure you get full coverage. Personally, I wouldn't trust lag screws into the blocking to hold the weight and I always use high strength bolts going completely through the blocking and thick steel washers to spread the load on the wood. That's hard to do with the drywall installed and just plain impossible without knowing the position and type of projector mount. The widths for mouting holes aren't the same from mount to mount.

If you haven't even decided on projector technology, then maybe you even have to put a digital projector even further back. Add to the quandry the need for hush box, ventilation, control cables, video lines, and you quickly see that it is a lot more effective to know the projector before making mounting arrangments which may end up being incorrect.
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Thanks Guy Kuo for your observations. I am remiss in not indicating that I am going to buy a DIGITAL projector. However, I do not know if it is going to be a DLP or an LCD.

I will not build a hush box or ventilation control units. I am probably looking at an installation of between 13 and 15 feet for a 100 inch diagonal screen. Most likely the distance will be between 13 and 14 feet. Upon looking at the Projector Central throw distance calculations, I see that there is a wide variation between the various projector makes and models. However my above quoted distances would seem to satisfy the location of a digital projector with zoom capabilites.

I am about 4 weeks away from installing the drywall. I have put outlet boxes for the control and signal cables in the general vicinity. The cables have been run from these boxes to the future equipment area location.

Sorry for the lack of specificity in my previous post.
cai, do you have access to the area above the room once it is sealed off inside? If so, then take care of it later, since it is going to be a digital projector. I don't remember if you are making a basement theater or what.

One thing I would do is make sure you know where the wires are. Measure from all sides and double check the measurements so that when you are ready, you can poke a small hole and pull the cables through. The reason why I say this is because you don't know which projector you will be using. If yoy compair the Sanyo PLV-60 to the Sony 10HT, there is a big difference in throw distance. Not something that can be made up with the normal zoom lenses.

You may need to buy your projector with an alternate lens so that you can get the throw distance correct, so don't forget about that.
That does simplify things as weight and extreme mounting precision are less of an issue. Provisioning a removable ceiling panel to allow continued access to the space above the projector would be handy later in case you need to run more wires or redo mounting hardware.
Thank you Guy Kuo and SVonhof for your comments.

I am using the throw distance program from Projector Central and these are the figures they compute for three different projectors:

Sony VPL-11 min 12.7' - max 15.4'

Sanyo PLV-60 min 11.8' - max 14.8

and from a formula that calculates throw distances provided by Gladiator:

Sharp 9000 min 13.2' - max 17.11

I do not have any experience installing projectors, but from the above it seems as if I allow for 13 to 15 feet I would fall within at least these three projectors that I am considering.

I am inclined to put 2x4s across parallel joists that run longitudinally to the room. Then screw in a piece of 1" plywood using machine screws with washers. I am thinking of using 6 screws, two at 13', 14', and 15'. These screws will protrude through the drywall. After I settle on a projector the mount will have to be fit using rails or whatever.

I do not think this is the most elegant solution, nor the most aesthetically pleasing one, so I would appreciate any comments.
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Since you're looking at projectors in the 20-30 pound range, your mount doesn't need to be all that beefy.

Although I had my projector, I didn't have the actual mount at the time I finished my ceiling either. So what I did was put 2x6's perpendicular between the joists, 12" apart in the "choice" area. Now here's the trick. Push the 2x6's up into the joist area an additional 3/4". That leaves enough room to lay in a piece of 3/4 plywood that runs lengthwise with the joist, filling the joist area, but is flush with the surface of the joist. This also leaves a couple of inches at the top of the 2x6's for running wires. Now you can just sheetrock the whole area, knowing that you'll have something to bite into when it comes time to mount.

I was lucky to have a joist running directly in the middle of where I wanted to mount my projector, so I actually had to do the above on both sides of the center joist :(
Thanks JHill32.

That is more or less what I am planning to do. I guess holding the projector with wood screws to the plywood through the plaster will be no problem.

Again, thank you to all who gave me suggestions.
Obviously, if you can make a decision on a projector before you drywall, you'll be well ahead of the game.

Regardless, if you won't have access to the ceiling above the projector once the room is finished, plan for the future.

I recommend running 2" or larger conduit for your low voltage cabling. After you run your cables, leave a couple of pull strings in the conduit so that you can pull other cables later.

Have your electrician leave some extra slack in the run to the outlet for the projector. That way if you have to move it, it will be much easier.
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