Short throw projectors only need a minimal distance to the screen, which makes placement of the projector a lot easier and prevents people from ‘walking through the image’. Ideal for in the board- or classroom, but are they also suited for home use? We test four models, the Acer U5520B, the BenQ W1210ST, the LG PF1000U and the Optoma GT5000.
Normally speaking video projectors need quite some distance to the screen or wall on which they project. Depending on the brand and type you can expect about one and a half times the image width as projection distance. In practice this means that if you want to project an image that is two meters wide you need a projection distance of about three meters. As stated before, this also depends on your model and especially LCD-projectors often have a big zoom range, allowing for some flexibility. However, in the most common scenarios a normal projector has to be placed behind the viewing position if you want to enjoy a big image. This can of course lead to problems.
First of all the projector has to be positioned in such a way that it has a clear view of the screen, so that the user does not cast a shadow on said screen. This often means that the projector is placed high on a cupboard or mounted on the ceiling. This is perfectly fine if you have a room that you furnished for this especially, but this will not always be the case. Another disadvantage is the signal transmission over a greater distance. If the projector is in the back of the room you will probably have to use long HDMI-cables to carry the signal from your settopbox, media player or (gaming)computer to the projector. Not ideal, if only because HDMI is not always reliable at cable lengths of more than 10 meter.