Projector setup: In 4 easy steps!
In our guide you will learn everything about a fast projector setup. Install your home cinema, presentation or school projector in just 4 easy steps. Fast and easy!
- 1. Calculate the projection distance correctly
- 2. Install projector & screen
- 3. Install the projector ceiling mount
- 4. Align and adjust image
1.Calculate the projection distance correctly
The lens of a projector is crucial in positioning and adjusting the image size. It influences the projection distance.
Most projectors have built-in lenses that require a certain distance from the screen. These offer a range of flexibility depending on the lens power. The most variable, however, are projectors with interchangeable lenses. These are particularly suitable for business use in meeting and conference rooms.
Our projection distance calculator will do the maths for you. Simply select the projector to determine the correct projection distance in the projection distance calculator.
The Acer H6531BD is one of the Acer home cinema projectors. Its lens has a low zoom factor of 1,5 - 1,65:1. A larger range means a correspondingly higher zoom factor. For example, with this projector model you can achieve a picture width of approx. 2 meters with a projection distance of approx. 3 bis 3,3 meters.
The Epson EH-TW7000 is a premium home cinema projector. It not only has better image quality, it also provides the lens shift function. The lens offers a projection ratio of 1.32 - 2.15:1. Meaning that it can achieve an image width of approx. 2 meters with a projection distance of approx. 2.64 to 4.3 meters. Much greater flexibility!
|Projection ratio||Projection||distance for 2 m image width|
|Acer H6531BD||1,5 – 1,65||3 bis 3,3 m|
|Epson EH-TW7000||1,32 - 2,15:1||2,64 bis 4,3 m|
Projection: 1,13 - 1,47:1
Projection distance for 2 m image width: 2,26 bis 2,94 m
Projection 1,32 - 2,15:1
Projection distance for 2 m image width:: 2,64 bis 4,3 m
Tip: Calculate the projection distance like a pro
Take the Acer H6531BD as an example. Its lens offer a projection ratio of 1,5 - 1,65:1. If we use a 2m image width, we can calculate 2 x 1,5 = 3. This value corresponds to the shortest distance to the wall in metres. Then we calculate 2 x 1,65 = 3,3. This value corresponds to the farthest distance of the projector from the screen. Thus, we have a working range that means we can vary the distance of the projector between 3 und 3,3 m to achieve 2m image width.
5 projectors with flexible lenses
2. Install projector & screen
A projector screen takes up the most space. Therefore we recommend to install them first and to get help from friends. The installation of a projector, however, can be done on your own.
Avoid strong temperature fluctuations before projector installation. Because an internally fogged lens prevents image alignment. In such cases, allow the projector to stand a bit to reach room temperature.
Install the screen
Depending on the type of screen, it is mounted on the ceiling or wall. For manual and electric screens, the installation is usually done at the outer ends. Here the brackets are attached to the end caps. Conveniently you can use the holes on the bracket as a drilling template and put a mark on the wall or ceiling.
Use the plugs included in the box or make sure that the ones you use provide sufficient carrying capacity for the screen! A frame screen is fixed to the wall like a picture frame. Depending on the model, the fixings can be installed across the complete frame width or at selected points.
The position of the projector depends heavily on the lens and the projection technology used. That's why you always have to choose the right projector.
The so-called offset value plays a central role here. This indicates the percentage vertical offset of the projected light cone. An offset value of 50 percent means, for example, that a projector must be aligned for a straight projection on the lower edge of the screen. With an offset value of 0 percent, the projector is at the same height as the screen center. For ceiling mounting, this offset must be moved vertically downwards.
Tip: How to determine the offset itself
Place the projector on the floor at a distance from the wall, which it needs for the desired image size. Turn on the projector and project the image onto a free wall surface. Now measure the distance from the ground to the lower edge of the picture, now you have determined the vertical offset.
If you use a projector with good lens shift properties, the offset is negligible. The lens shift compensates for the large part of the image height.
3. Mount the projector ceiling mount
For high ceilings, we generally recommend height-adjustable projector ceiling mountings. With these ceiling brackets you can flexibly adjust the vertical distance.
With a conventional ceiling height of approx. 2.4 metres and a the upper edge at a height of approx. 2.2 meters, you can also use a rigid ceiling mount with a distance of 15 cm with an LCD projector. A DLP projector will often have a slightly larger offset, resulting in a lower screen.
5 projector ceiling mounts
When adjusting the projector, have one or two spirit levels ready. Two small spirit levels have the advantage that they can simultaneously detect and adjust the inclination to the front and to the side.
4. Align and adjust image
As soon as the projector is mounted on the ceiling, you can connect it. In addition to a power cable included in the delivery, you also need cables for sound and image transmission from a source device such as Blu-ray player or notebook. Typically, an HDMI cable is used for this purpose. If you are not yet sure which connectors you would like to use, our projector buyers guide will help you.
Align lens shift
Depending on the model, the lens shift function offers the option of moving the entire lens within the projector. While a projector without lens shift always has to be precisely aligned with the screen, a device with lens shift can be positioned much more flexibly. The adjustment of the lens shift is done manually by hand or by motor via remote control.The strength of the lens shift varies from projector to projector. However, a general statement can be derived: The lens shift in LCD projectors is typically greater than DLP projectors.
Die Stärke des Lens-Shift ist von Beamer zu Beamer unterschiedlich. Allerdings lässt sich eine allgemeine Aussage ableiten: Der Lens-Shift bei LCD Beamern ist durchschnittlich stärker als bei DLP Beamern.
A strong lens shift can often be found on home cinema projectors. In the case of business projectors, the selection of devices with a lens shift is expanding. You’ll find a large selection in our installation projectors.
The lens shift value is always given from the middle of the lens. This means that with a vertical lens shift of, for example, 96%, the image can be shifted 48% up or down from the centre of the image. The same situation applies to the horizontal lens shift.
The vertical and the horizontal lens shift are only partially combinable. If you need to use both, you can not reach the maximum values. Think of it more like a stop sign with oblique edges than a circle. When the vertical offset is maximized and you adjust the horizontal offset, the horizontal offset will attack the maximum value of the vertical offset and decrease it.
Some projection screen calculators from the projector manufacturer also calculate the values for the lens shift offset in addition to the image size and the projection distance. A good example of this is the Epson calculator.
5 projectors with good lens shift
5 projectors with some lens shift
Perform keystone correction
The keystone correction adjusts the image digitally at the sides. This feature is extremely handy, especially when a projector can only be placed on an uneven surface.
Keystone correction values vary from device to device. The standard keystone correction is around +/- 30 °.
There are several ways to adjust the keystone correction. Either via buttons on the surface of the projector or more conveniently by remote control.
If possible, avoid using the keystone correction. Since it is a digital correction, it always has a negative impact on image quality as pixels are masked off the more you use. For example, the Full HD image resolution (1920 x 1080) can quickly shrinks to only about 1728 x 972 pixels. Therefore, you should use the keystone correction wisely.
5 projectors with vertical and horizontal keystone correction
Colour & image calibration
All projectors usually have a setup menu for different colour and image adjustments. Although the menus differ visually from manufacturer to manufacturer, they basically offer similar or comparable settings.
The classic pre-set colour settings for the home cinema include, "cinema" although other manufacturers may call it "Theatre". For business projectors which are used in conference or meeting rooms, we recommend the colour setting "presentation" or comparable. Although this reduces the colour fidelity, it offers a high light output which is Ideal for bright rooms.
One of the picture settings you should avoid is the "Bright" preset. Here you achieve the maximum brightness, but at a large cost to the overall image quality.
Tip: High-end colour calibration
In addition to the default settings, some projectors also offer colour management settings. These are often found on home cinema projectors and depending on the model, special calibration menus according to the ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) or ISF ccc standard are available. These allow the saving of colour profiles after the projector has been calibrated by a certified body. Compared to the traditional modes, a calibrated projector gives you a clear, better picture quality.
If you want to do a calibration yourself, you may not reach the level of a professional calibration, but you can already improve your image. You can find suitable test images with a google search.
What is better: standard or eco mode?
The lamp setting affects the picture quality. For this you usually have the choice between the normal mode and the Eco mode. In normal mode, full brightness is achieved. For bright rooms, this mode is therefore a must.
If the room can be darkened, eco mode is a good alternative. The light output is reduced and the picture looks a bit darker. However, this has a positive effect on the image contrast and extends the life of the projector lamp.
Control projector: Via remote control, App or Alexa
Usually, a projector is controlled via a supplied or a separate remote control. However, this makes you the owner of another remote control, in addition to the TV, Blu-ray player and AV receiver remote contro
Z Luckily, you can combine all the functionalities of your remote controls in a universal remote control. Make sure, however, that the universal remote control is able to take control of the projector.
Universal remotes from the Logitech Harmony range are popular. They are compatible with many devices. Compatibility can be checked on the manufacturer's website.
Control via app
You can also control a projector via app. For this, however, a projector must be WLAN-enabled and the manufacturer must offer a corresponding app. A popular app is the Epson iProjection App.
Control via Alexa
Smart language assistants are not just conquering Smarthome but also Home Cinema. The first projectors with the smart voice assistant Alexa are the Acer V6820i and the Optoma UHD51A. These UHD projectors can be switched on and off with voice commands as well as other settings
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