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Projector position question

763 Views 21 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Kevin12586
Hey guys,

I am slowly but surely making some progress on my dedicated HT. I'll post pictures soon. I haven't posted pictures sooner, because I litterally get maybe 1 day every 2 or 3 months to work on it :( . But i am finnally trimming out the electric. I have trimmed all the lights and my next move will be to trim out all the outlets. So, here is my question. The outlet placement in the ceilling for the projector. I realize it should be fairly close, but I have not purchased my projector yet (still deciding between the Pani PT-AE700 and Benq PE8700).

So, looking at projector central I get the following information from the calc:

Pani PT-AE700U


Throw distance 24.3'

Screen Size: 120"

Seating Pos: 12' - 19'



Throw distance 14.8'

Screen Size: 123"

Seating Pos: 13' - 20'

Do, I place the outlet at the very close recommened throw distance from the calculator. Or in reality do I just need to buy the projector and play with it?

Also, any oppinions on either of the projectors I mentioned above?

Both have native HD resolution, I am not quite sure the cost difference from the benq is justifiable to the budget coordinator.


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There is some validity to having the projector as close as you can get it. That said, I'd give yourself just a touch of 'slack' by placing the projector somewhere in the range but not right on the line. IE: for either projector 14' would work just fine.

I have the Panny 700 so I'm a bit biased, plus I haven't seen the other in person. So I'll just say that I'm happy with my PJ and I love watching HD shows on it.

Oh, and if you're looking for somebody to say "just buy the thing and play with it" then I'll say it so you might be able to push it through the budget coordinator.... :)

Thank's so much for the quick response, but I think you got me slightly more confused:

You indicated that 14' should work fine for both projectors, but the pani calc, says the throw should be 24.3' ?

May I ask you how big your screen is? and How far your projector is from the screen?

And thanks for helping get things thru the budget coordinator, it's not the "just buy it" it's more of does the BenQ kick so much more then the Pani that it's work ~2k more. Having not seen either projector it's very hard for me =(. I am really basing my oppionions on what I read, and that's leaning me hard towards the Pani.

Also, could I use the Pani on a 104'" 16:9 screen? PC says that the image would be to bright, I guess that is what causes the screen door effect?

Sorry, for any stupid questions, I am trying to learn and at the same time get this right the first time =).

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The Panny can shoot a 120" diagonal pic in a range of distances from 12.1' to 24.3'. !!! I didn't look at the BenQ.

I'm assuming you're using the projectorcentral calculator...

If you know your desired diagonal picture size:

In the "zoom box", click "throw range" button. This will anchor the pic size (at 120" diag or whatever size you want). The green range in the "throw distance" linear graph underneath (and also in the "zoom box") is the range of mounting distances you can use for a 120" diag pic.

Just "grab" the blue slider in the zoom box with your mouse and slide it up and down, the diagonal size won't change, but the throw distance and zoom amount will.

Also useful if you only know ONE dimension of screen size (say the max height or max width). Just set it, and the calculator will figure the rest out for you.

If you already have (or desire) a certain fixed mounting distance (aka:"throw"):

Leave the zoom box in "diagonal range". This anchors the "throw distance" to whatever you want, and then you can see what range of picture sizes you can project from that distance (for that particular PJ).
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OK I checked the BenQ. It'll shoot 120" diag in a range of distances from 11.9' to 14.5'
Gotcha, thank you so much for the projector central calculator tutorial, I been trying to do that forever, but couldnt figure it out. Everytime I moved one it changed the other.

I guess what I am trying to do is not have to zoom, as I have an unfinished space, so I can place the projecto anywhere almost.

Thanks again!

I have a 92" screen and my primary seating position is about 12' away from the screen. I don't think it's too bright at all. Also, screen door effect is not really a function of brightness, although it can be more pronounced on lighter backgrounds. For what it's worth, I rarely see SDE with my projector, and when I do it's never a big deal.

Since you're working in an unfinished space, make sure you either run a conduit to the projector or run every cable you can think of now: DVI/HDMI, Componet, SVHS, SVGA...etc. Plus, you might as well run a cat 5 drop and another cable drop for a IR repeater flasher.

How far is your projector from the screen roughly?

And thanks for the "future proof" advice I will definately be doing that, I think

what I am gonna do is run component, dvi/hdmi, cat5e and then run a conduit in addition that for anything else that might come up.

Thanks !
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The projector is just about over my head, so right around 12'. I was able to build a housing for the projector into a soffit so I don't have to worry about noise (not that it's a loud projector). I left enough room for air to move into the cavity and from what I've seen, my tempratures are just fine. If I need to I could add a vent panel in that would sit just behind the projector to feet it fresh air but it doesn't look like I will need to.

I'll try and post a picture of it later tonight. Unfortunately my digital camera takes pretty crappy pictures indoors so I haven't been able to get a shot of the basement that I like, but the one shot I took of the soffit and projector location turned out nicely.
Excellent I look forward to seeing it!
Here's the shot of my projector niche. I still need to paint the inside of the box (grey) but it gives you an idea of what I did.
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Very nice, so i am guessing you have an intake and outake for the air in there? or are you just relying on the airflow from the front?
Thanks. The inside of the box is actually quite a bit larger than the opening. I don't have to worry about an exaust vent as it vents from the front. I've been keeping a careful eye on my tempratures and haven't seen a need as of yet to add in an intake, but I could punch a hole behind where the projector sits if I needed one.
Originally posted by glennzippy
There is some validity to having the projector as close as you can get it.

My understanding is that it is better to have the projector further away (given it is in the throw distance). The further away, the less distortion from having the PJ try to fill the screen at a steeper angle (I'm sure I'm not saying this right). In an extreme example, let's say that a PJ could fill a 100" screen from 1' to 20'. If the PJ was at the minimum (1'), it would have to throw the image at some pretty wild angles to fill that space, creating distortion. Take it to it's other extreme - there's less distortion. Or at least that's what I understand.

Of course that's extreme and it might not matter if the PJ is 14' or 20' away. At that range of distance (speaking for the Panny), perhaps the distortion is minimal. However the reason I'm currently leaning towards the Panny is it's long throw distance - it will be further from the seating area (noise/heat) and it was much easier for me to run conduit & electricity to a rear mounted PJ area. Plus sound control is important to me - I use wall sconces, no ceiling cans or other holes in the ceiling. And if my understanding is correct, I may have a sharper image.

By the way, I like your projector niche - that gives me some ideas!

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That may be the case. I'm really not sure about the optics of the thing. I have heard that you can get a brighter image when the projector is closer. That has something to do with the effeciency of the optics and such as well though so I'm not sure.

Glad I could give you ideas for a niche. One thing to think about is making sure that you can reach all hte way to the back. Mine is at the extreme for my arms and it makes doing anything in the back of the niche interesting! It did help that i had enough of a service loop to get the cables to the front of the niche so I could do any crimping/ soldering up there. The electrical was the hard part since it was so deep!
Common all you experts out here.... Clear this up for us less than expert newbies.

Closer to the screen = brighter picture?

Closer to the screen = keyhole / distortion possible

further away = less bright picture

further away = little to no distortion or keyhole correction

Is this correct? For me I have a 21' room and will most likely project onto a 112" 1.85 Carada. I want the best of both worlds but am concerned about the brightness factor if I opt to get the high contrast grey screen (.8 gain). I willl have fully controlled lighting. I have concidered placing it at 15.5' or all the way in the back in its own little bubby hole like glenzippy.
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If you are zooming all the way I suppose its possible to have some kind of distortion if your projector had cheaper optics (it would be pinbarrelling not keystone) but its really a non-issue. Same with the brightness. I wouldnt sweat it whatsoever.

Place the projector where you want it to be.
Originally posted by BroncoSport
Closer to the screen = brighter picture?
Again, I'm no expert, but my understanding is that being close does not mean the image will be brighter (especially with a projector screen). The reasoning is that the surface of a screen is not flat, it is textured. Now if you place a projector close to the screen (lets say right in the middle of the screen), to fill the whole screen the lens has to throw it's image at an extreme angle. So when the light hits the area of the screen not in the middle, it is not hitting the textured surface straight on. The further the light has to go to the edges, the more this is true.

Now take that projector and move it back. The light hitting the screen is more 'dead on', meaning the the reflection of the image back is going to be brighter, as it is hitting the screen at a better angle. So (given the lumens of the projector and it's throw distance), the further away, the better.

This comes from someone who doesn't currently own a PJ, so take it for what it's worth. I'm going with a long-throw projector (Panasonic AE-700 - w/ a $200 rebate just announced - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=515072 ). For the reason mentioned above and for convenience, I am shelf mounting it at the back of my HT - about 19' away.

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I don't think the brightness depends on the distance from proj to screen. The formula that I see people refer to is: lumens/area to get foot-lamberts.

You're probably right. And can someone see the brightness difference by moving the PJ a few feet? Probably not, at least with most newer PJs.

That being said, I wanted to find the source for my understanding of brightness & screen distance. After some digging, I found it - it was from a ProjectorCentral.com review of the AE 700 vs. the Sanyo PLV-Z3. Here's what they said:

"For those whose rooms allow options on projector placement, a longer throw distance is the better choice. That is because you want to create a narrow cone of projected light so that the light strikes the screen from edge to edge as close to perpendicular as possible. This will produce a more even reflection of light from the screen. Ideally, we like to avoid the extreme ends of the zoom range also since lenses tend to be less optically efficient at their extremes." ( http://www.projectorcentral.com/pana...0_sanyo_z3.htm )

Whether or not this is true or noticable, I can't say. However after reading this several months ago, my decision was made as to where I place my PJ. Having it at the rear made it so much simplier (in terms of conduit, etc.), plus I save on the expense/hassle of the ceiling mount. My ceiling has no cans or other breaks, keeping the ceiling intact (for sound purposes) also played into my PJ positioning.

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