Home » Cameras & Photo » How Far Should a Projector Be From a 120-Inch Screen?

How Far Should a Projector Be From a 120-Inch Screen?

How Far Should a Projector Be From a 120-Inch Screen?

Congratulations! You’ve made it. Anyone who buys a projector kit to level up their entertainment setup deserves to be congratulated. But if you have a question in your mind that How Far Should a Projector Be From a 120-Inch Screen? So Yes you’re in the right place, If you are reading this article, it means you know a few things about projector ratio and throw distance.

No? Well, you don’t have to worry. We are here to make your life easy. You can find the expected distance between your projector and a screen of any size with a simple mathematical formula.

Throw Distance Formula

To determine the right amount of space to be left between the projector and the screen, you should know the throw ratio (or projector ratio) of your kit and the width of your display screen.

To know the throw ratio, check the projector’s user manual. Else, you can check the manufacturer’s website to know more.

To know the width of the screen, first, check the packaging. If you have misplaced the packaging, then measure the length from the top-left corner to the top-right corner.

When you have both the numbers, then just use the following formula for throw distance:

 

(throw ratio) x (width of your screen) = (throw distance)

0.48 x 104.59 0.47 x 104.59 = 49.15 inches

 

In this example, you can notice that we have a projector with a throw ratio of 0.48 and a screen width of 104.59 inches. By multiplying the two, we got the throw distance of 49.15 inches (or ~4.1 feet).

This means this type of projector can be installed at a distance of 4.1 feet to provide good quality results.

REMEMBER! Projector screens are marketed and sold on their diagonal sizes. Therefore, the measurement of 120 inches will not be used to find throw distance as it is the measurement of the screen from bottom-left to top-right. A 16:9 ratio 120-inch screen will have a width of 104.59 inches. Screens have different aspect ratios. Therefore, always measure the width of your screen to calculate the throw distance.

But, what if your screen is 120 inches wide? Then you will use the same formula to gauge the throw distance.

(throw ratio) x (width of your screen) = (expected projector distance)
0.47 x 120 = 56.4 inches

For a screen with 120 inches of width, your projector should be placed 56.4 inches (or 4.7 feet) away from the screen. Remember, different aspect ratios have different width. For your guidance, we have created a table of width sizes in different aspect ratios:

Aspect RatioScreen SizeWidth Size
16:9120 in104.59 in
4:3120 in96 in
2.39:1120 in111 in

What is Throw Distance?

The distance between the lens of your projector and your projection screen is known as “throw distance.” You must have noticed that we have mentioned the word “lens.” Therefore, you must ensure the throw distance is measured from the lens and not the chassis of your projector. This means that even after finding the throw distance, you may have to physically adjust the distance by a few millimeters to get a crisp and clear display.

What is the Throw Ratio?

According to Wikipedia, the Throw Ratio is defined as “the ratio of the distance from the lens to the screen (throw) to the screen width.” A large throw ratio means that the projector has a “tightly focused optical system.”

Here are a few types of projectors according to their throw ratios:

Long Throw

A long throw projector can produce very large images, and it is generally installed anywhere from 8ft to 20ft away from the screen. Such projectors are also known as standard throw projector. They typically have a throw ratio of more than 1.

Short Throw

A short-throw projector can display large images while reducing shadows and eye glare. They are generally installed 3ft to 8ft away from the screen. They usually have a throw ratio between 0.5 and 1.

Ultra Short Throw

An ultra-short throw projector can produce large images with virtually no shadows and eye glare. They are generally installed 0.5ft to 4ft away from the screen. The throw ratio is usually less than 0.5.

How to create movie theater dimensions at home?

This is a tricky question. Different homes have different sizes of rooms. It all depends on where you have installed your 120-inch screen. To replicate the feel of cinema at home, audio-visual company THX has created a formula for seat-to-screen viewing distances.

Diagonal length of your screen x 0.84 = Seat-to-Screen Viewing Distance

0.48 x 104.5120 inches x 0.84 = 100.8 inches

For a 120-inch screen, you should sit 100.8 inches (or 8ft) away from your screen. However, this is just a guideline. The best seating plan emerges from repeated tests and trials. Therefore, before buying recliners for your viewing pleasure, test out a wide range of viewing distances.

What about the projector cables?

This is again a tricky matter, and it also depends on the type of projector that you use. For ultra-short throw (and sometimes short throw) projectors, you do not need a very long cable, especially when a computer or laptop is nearby. However, you may need a lengthy projector cable for long-throw projectors if you want to keep the computer or video player closer to you while watching.

Final Words

We hope this article has answered some crucial questions that were in your mind. Remember to use these calculations as a guideline to create a setup that is perfect for your home theater experience.

About The Author

Leave a Reply