Short Throw vs. Long Throw Projectors: What’s the Difference?

Jason Loomis
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Our Top Long Throw Projectors

A projector helps enhance the viewing experience and gives the illusion of greater space in the room, as it projects its focus onto a large flat surface. The projector is placed opposite of the screen, and sets the size, location, and the desired direction of the projected image. Projectors come in various sizes and lens options to reflect their projection throw.

What Does “Throw” Mean?

Projectors are one of the most used pieces of equipment in meetings. In fact, the term, “projector,” refers to the fact that the image is projected onto a screen or wall.

It’s a projection of content.

So, what is the difference between short throw and long throw projectors? Which is better?

This article will give you insight into what makes the projector’s throw distance either short or long.

Understanding what affects throw distance will give you an idea about which projector is better for you and help you make an informed purchasing decision.

Clearly, the resolution, price, and brand of a projector may be more important than whether its throw distance is short or long.

However, understanding the technology at work will help you understand the differences.

Short throw and long throw projectors use a different technology to project an image on a screen. Understanding these differences will help you decide which one is better for your needs.

Their different methods offer advantages and disadvantages for usability and optimal placement.

Here is an introduction to short throw and long throw projectors.

Short Throw vs. Long Throw vs. Ultra-Short Throw

Throws can range from 10 to 20 to 30 feet, or more, and they can be short, long, or ultra-short. You can achieve any throw distance by a combination of choice of projector and the InFocus IN1211ST Short Throw Projector. You can get most any distance with any projector by simply moving it back.

Most people think that a short throw projector will work well with a wall, but a long throw projector is better. But there are ways to use either a short or a long throw projector with a wall, or even to get an ultra-short throw projector to project onto a ceiling.

Your choice of projector is just part of the puzzle. Your choice of screen size, distance, and throw will affect the end result.

Some Short Throw Projectors to Consider

Which is Right for You?

Projectors are a great option when it comes to choosing how to enjoy the entertainment you have at home. They can range from model size to the brightness and clarity of the image. One of the deciding factors in whether to get a short throw or long throw projector is where you will be using it. The best projector for a specific location depends on multiple factors including the size of the room, the seating arrangement, and the screen size. Let’s explore what differences affect a projector and how these differences can affect your entertainment.

The most important distinction for projection is based on throw ratio which refers to the distance between the projectors screen and the audience.

This is often denoted as 1:1.2 for short throw and 1:1.3 for long throw. A diagram can often give you a better idea about the difference in throw ratios.

The short throw ratio is less distance for a bigger image. A smaller screen for the same viewing area.

A long projection however has more distance for less image (in relative size). A larger screen for the smaller image.

The short throw projector is the most popular and is generally the most useful tool submersed in the entertainment realm. However, if you have the space, a long throw projector might be more effective for your viewing needs.

More Tips

When purchasing a projector for home theater use, one of the first decisions you have to make is between a short throw and a long throw projector. The difference between the two isn’t immediately obvious, so let’s take a closer look at the benefits and disadvantages of each to make your buying decision a little bit easier.

A short throw projector is meant to be placed a short distance away from the wall or screen, which means there’s no need to have a big room or a large entertainment space. If you’re buying one for business presentation purposes, the short throw is ideal if you want to project an image significantly larger than the screen itself.

In this case, a short throw projector is able to project onto a 100” screen from as little as 6” away from the wall. This means you can project into a large room without moving the projector.

A long throw projector is designed to be placed a longer distance from the wall or screen, which means a larger room or entertainment area is required. To project a 100” image, a long throw projector needs to be about 13 feet from the wall or screen.