What Is a Short Throw Projector and Their Advantages & Disadvantages

Short throw projectors have become popular in recent years. They are finding favors with individuals who want a projection device for small to medium rooms but don’t want to invest in an expensive laser TV. Short throw projectors work well in restricted spaces as compared to their counterparts with a standard throw distance. Therefore, quite a few buyers opt for them.

What is a Short Throw Projector?

A short throw projector is a device that is designed to be placed closer to a screen as compared to a standard projector. In order to understand how it differs from its counterparts, it is essential to know about the term throw ratio.

Projectors are designed to project a specific image size when they are installed at a particular distance from the screen. As a general rule of thumb, the farther away is the projector from a screen, the larger will be the size of the imagery. As you physically move the device away from the screen, the image will get bigger and vice versa. It depends on the throw ratio of the projector. For example, most projectors can project 100” imagery when placed at a distance of about 10 to 14-feet from the screen. A projector that has a throw ratio of 1.47 (such as Optoma HD146X) will have to be placed about 11-feet away from the screen. Models with a throw ratio of 1.0 can be installed closer to the screen, about 8-feet, for projecting 100” imagery. You can also change the projector zoom to adjust the image size, but the capability is quite limited. It is mostly used for image correction and improving installation flexibility.

Projectors are classified into three categories based on their throw ratio.

Short Throw Projectors – Short throw ratio projectors can project 100-inch imagery at a distance of 3 to 8-feet, depending on the model. They don’t have to be placed as far as their standard throw counterparts. Their throw ratio lies between 0.4 and 1.0. You may be able to fill a 100-inch screen at a distance of 5-feet using a short throw ratio projector, while a standard projector might have to be placed twice as far away.

Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector
Projects a large 120″ Image from 4 feet away

Ultra Short Throw – Ultra short throw projectors have the lowest throw ratio out of all types of projectors. They can project a screen size of 100-inches at a distance of 6 to 36-inches from the screen. Most of these devices have a throw ratio under 0.4.

VAVA 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector

Standard Throw Projectors – Projectors with a standard throw ratio must be installed at a distance of 9 to 14-feet for projecting 100-inch imagery. They are suitable for large rooms with plenty of installation space. The standard throw ratio range varies from 1.0 to 2.0, although a few projectors may have a higher value as well.

Advantages of Short Throw Projectors

The main advantage of short throw projectors is that they can be installed in small rooms or areas with limited space. A standard throw projector must be placed at least 10 to 12-feet away from the screen for projecting 100-inch imagery. If the room is smaller than ten feet or if the device can’t be placed farther away from the screen, you may not be able to utilize the projector fully. You will have to limit the screen size, which may negatively impact your viewing experience. Therefore, short throw projectors serve as a suitable alternative. They can project a larger image on the screen even when they are placed closer to it.

Another benefit of short throw projectors is that they can be installed such that the projector is not between the audience and the screen. It will not irritate the viewers when someone gets up in the middle of the presentation. They won’t come between the projector and screen, thereby avoiding the creation of shadows. Also, as the projector is closer to the screen, the presenter can stand between the projector and the audience. The light from the projector will not shine in their eyes, and they can view the audience clearly.

With short throw projectors, the effective brightness of imagery is better. As the projector is placed closer to the screen, the light from its lamp will disperse less. A 2,500-lumen short throw projector may do the job of a 3,300-lumen standard throw ratio projector.

Disadvantages of Short Throw Projectors

On the flip side, there are a couple of disadvantages of short throw projectors. Short throw projectors may cost a little more than standard throw projectors, although they are not as expensive as ultra short throw projectors. Also, they may not be as commonly available as standard throw projectors. The number of short throw projector models sold is fairly limited.

When to Use a Short Throw Projector?

Most people do not need a short throw projector, but the device is suitable for specific situations. They can overcome projector placement limitations in homes and offices. Short throw projectors are excellent for basements, dens, game rooms, living rooms with limited space such as those in apartments in densely populated urban areas, small conference or meeting rooms, and offices. Small classrooms or public buildings like churches may benefit from a short throw projector. Short throw projectors are also suitable for situations like trade shows, wherein a large image is a primary requirement.

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