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A TV is most often the centerpiece of a home entertainment setup, but it isn’t the only way to watch movies, TV shows, and streaming content. Another option is a video projector and screen.

After much deliberation, you have finally decided to go large with your entertainment plans. You want to buy a projector, but you have yet to decide about the type of projector you want.

Don’t worry. In this short guide, we will explain everything you need to know about short throw projectors and how they can be a better choice.

To start, let’s learn about the throw distance.

Throw Distance Explained

While buying a projector, it’s important to know the throw distance as this will ultimately help you pick the right type of projector. Throw distance is defined as “the amount of space required between a projector and a screen to clearly display an image.” Over the years, throw distance for projectors has dramatically shrunk, thanks to ever-evolving imaging technology.

Types of Projector

There are three broad categories of projectors available in the market:

  •  Long Throw (or Standard Throw) Projectors
  •  Short Throw
  •  Ultra-Short Throw

All three types of projectors have their unique benefits and disadvantages. A long-throw projector, more or less, works like a magnifier. A short throw projector uses a better quality lens with digital optimization, whereas ultra-short throw one uses sophisticated mirror-and-lens technology to reduce throw distance.

What is a Long Throw Projector?

When defined by throw distance, a long throw projector is the one that can display a clear 80-inch image from a distance of 6 feet or more. Perfect for large venues and home cinemas.

What is a Short Throw Projector?

When defined in terms of throw distance, a short throw projector is the one that can display a clear 100-inch image from a distance of 4 to 5 feet. Great for creating theater-like experience inside small rooms.

What is an Ultra Short Throw Projector?

Defined by throw distance measurement, an ultra-short throw projector should display a clear 100-inch image from a distance of 2 feet or less. Excellent for business use.

To make life simpler, we have created a small comparison guide for your use.


Projector Lens TypeThrow DistanceHeat GenerationStarting Price
Long ThrowMagnifier6 feet or moreHighest$499
Short Throw“Fish-eye”

4 to 5 feetHigh$849
Ultra-Short ThrowReflector2 feet or lessLow$1,149

As you can see, if you want to create a theater setup in your home, the best option is a short throw projector. However, some may lean towards buying a long throw projector. However, it’s a bad idea if you compare the functions of both projectors.

Long Throw vs. Short Throw Projector

Comparison Long Throw vs. Short Throw Projector

When it comes to affordability, people always lean towards buying a long throw projector even if they do not have enough space. The argument is that a long throw projector is a better deal, even if you have to compromise on screen size or quality. On paper, the idea seems to work but you should better buy a bigger television instead for the same price.

On the other hand, by spending a couple of hundred dollars more, you will enjoy high-quality video at the best screen resolution possible. If you cannot spend too much, try to buy the previous year’s model of a short throw projector. Alternatively, you can buy a refurbished model or during holiday sales.

Since long throw projectors are installed mostly at the back of the room, anything that passes by in front of it will create a huge shadow. On the other hand, short throw projectors have a smaller throw distance. Therefore, people can easily move behind the projector without creating any visual disturbance.

How far should a short throw projector be?

One of the reasons why you would buy a short throw projector is the giant picture resolution. You want to enjoy a movie on a 120-inch screen. However, you have yet to figure out where to install your short throw projector. Worry not! There is a simple formula for it.

Inside the user manual of your projector, search for the Throw Ratio (or Projector Ratio) reading. For example, the projector manuals tell you that the ratio is 0.48.

Take this number and multiply it with the width of the projector screen. In your case, you have a 104.59-inch wide screen display. So, the equation will be:


(throw ratio) x (width size of your screen) = (expected projector distance)

0.48 x 104.59 = 50.2 inches

To get a 104.59-inch wide display output on a projector with a throw ratio of 0.48, the expected distance stands 50.2 inches (or ~4.2 feet). Use the formula given above to know how far a short throw projector should be for different screen sizes.

Final Words

If you are thinking of buying a projector, we recommend you buy a short throw projector. They are versatile in nature and do not require a lot of space. They also need smaller cables for installation and can be placed (or installed) anywhere you like.


Hi! We are team Jaytii. We love discovering new products and reviewing them to give you our 100% honest opinion. What do you think about this article? Let us know in the comments section below!