When you’re in the market for a new projector, there are a lot of different factors to consider: how bright is the projector, or what kind of max resolution can it project at? Can it be mounted on the ceiling?
But, of all these questions you’ll have to ask yourself – before shopping for the best projector money can buy – perhaps the most important is: what’s the difference between a “short” throw and “long” throw projector. If you don’t know what either of those terms mean; fret not we’re going to fill you in on all the details and more in this handy guide on short throw vs. long throw projectors.
What Does “Throw” Mean?
Often (but not always), a projector will denote whether it’s short-throw or long-throw with two letters at the end of the model number, such as the BenQ HT1085ST. The “ST” at the end of the model stands for – you guessed it – “short throw”.
The difference in a projector’s throw distance is decided by the type of lens it uses, with long throws generally being cheaper to build than short throw due to the quality of glass necessary to make them work.
Short Throw vs. Long Throw vs. Ultra-Short Throw
All short or long lens measurements, regardless of brand, are categorized by how much distance the projector needs from the screen to create a 100″ image.
Long throw projectors can require six feet or more of available space between where your projector sits and where the screen is mounted in order to reach the 100″ limit. The upside of long throw lenses (besides the price discount compared to short throws), is they’re perfect for large hall or exhibition space applications, like business presentations or concert visuals. Move them closer however and the image shrinks, making it less useful in projector home theater setups in smaller rooms.
Short throw projectors on the other hand have lenses that can create a much larger picture from shorter distances, or 100″ from about four feet or less in certain models. The first benefit of buying a short throw also happens to be one of the most obvious: less room between the projector and the screen means less room for people to get in the way.
By Chris Stobing
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