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Best Short Throw Projector [2020]

LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater
  • 30,000-hour lamp life
  • Wireless WiFi screen share
  • Bluetooth audio out


The LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED projector was originally designed for use as a home theater projector. Though it could just as easily be used for gaming or for presenting visually rich professional presentations.

Of course, the biggest feature in its cap is the wireless connectivity. This comes in the form of a WiFi wireless screen share supported by Android and Windows devices, as well as Bluetooth audio out for connecting to a secondary sound system.

It has a 1,000 lumen LED ultra-short throw ratio as part of LG’s proprietary CineBeam Projector, with Tru Motion Smooth Display. This gives it an impressive 30,000-hour lamp life, which outstretches nearly all the competitors in this price range.

ASUS S1 200 lumen HDMI/MHL Battery Power Bank Short-Throw LED Pocket Projector
  • 30,000-hour lamp life
  • Lightweight and portable at .75 pounds
  • 41-inch to 100-inch screen size with 1:1 throw ratio


The ASUS S1 answers the growing need for a lightweight, portable short throw projector for mobile professionals. It features versatile connectivity for Apple and Samsung Android devices via accessory cables as a separate purchase.

This 200 Lumen Short-Throw LED Pocket Projector weighs in at .75 pounds and runs off a 6,000 mAh built-in rechargeable battery. If necessary, you can also use it as a power bank for recharging USB devices.

The LED lamp life is rated for an impressive 30,000 hours and a short-throw ratio of 1:1. This gives it the ability to produce a 41-to 100-inch diagonal screen size at a base resolution of 854 X 480.

It comes with a single HDMI port but can also connect with Apple and Samsung Android devices. This requires an additional purchase of the LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater,
Lightning Digital AV Adapter for Apple. For Samsung Android devices, you will need to purchase a Samsung specific MHL cable with a 5 pin to 11 pins for video output.

Sale
LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Theater CineBeam Projector
  • 4K UHD CineBeam Projector
  • ThinQ AI with Google Assistant and wireless connectivity
  • Ultra-short throw ratio


The LG HU85LA is a cutting edge 4K/UHD Ultra-Short Throw projector capable of producing up to a 120-image screen from just 7.2-inches away. This represents the next natural step in the evolution of image resolution.

It also comes with LG’s ThinQ AI platform and Google Assistant which allows the device to react to commands, as well as track important user data. It also means that in certain applications you can essentially engage in two-way conversations with it!

The LG HU85LA has 3Ch laser technology which adds a small amount of red light for superior color coverage. Not to mention that it’s also HDR10 compatible for “Dynamic Tone Mapping” and optimum picture quality in every frame.

It also boasts Bluetooth and Miracast wireless connectivity which gives you the ability to project images from other smart devices. You can also use it with any Bluetooth audio product or link it with iOS devices if you want more enhanced audio than what’s provided by the built-in speakers.

How We Picked

Most short and ultra-short throw projectors are used for business presentations, home theaters in combination with a streaming stick or Android TV box, or as part of a gaming system. Most manufacturers are aware of these demands and design units with special features that appeal to each. Though most try to make sure that they aren’t limiting their market presence.

Throw ration is, of course, the appealing component of these projectors. A short-throw projector can typically produce an image greater than 60-inches on the diagonal in a span of just a few feet. Whereas an “Ultra-Short Throw” projector can produce a large image in a matter of inches. This tends to make ultra-short-throw projectors more popular for gamers and home theaters where the user doesn’t want to risk someone accidentally walking through the beam.

The image resolution is also a factor to consider with short throw projectors. Especially for gaming consoles, home theaters and indoor antennas where 4K and 1080p images are increasingly becoming the benchmark. So, we tried to keep that in mind while looking at projectors that cater to these interests.

In the case of a short-throw projector meant for professional use, image resolution isn’t necessarily as high as a priority. Yet other features like keystone adjustability and multiple connectivities become more important. Especially for units that may need to travel with sales staff or to client sites. Keystone adjustment lets you offset the projector or to compensate for a slanted viewing surface, to prevent an unsightly trapezoid effect.

Lamp life was also something to keep in mind while we reviewed these short and ultra-short-throw projectors. In a business application where the projector might only be used 4 to 6 hours a week, lamp life wasn’t such a big factor. With this degree of use, even a 10,000-hour lamp life can last over a decade if not two.

It’s when you move into the home theater and gaming projectors that lamp life starts to become a more important priority. The frequency of use that these projectors are likely to endure means that you want a lamp life of at least 15,000 hours or more.

Connectivity was also something we kept on the radar. Currently, HDMI is the most common way to connect short throw and ultra-short throw projectors to computers of other devices. Though USB and other connectivity options are also something that was kept on the radar.

Yet wireless connectivity and things like Bluetooth audio out appear to be on the near horizon with these devices. One could argue that the entire electronic device industry as a whole is trending toward total wireless connectivity. So, we tried to keep an eye out for features like this, which represent the next natural step in technological evolution.

VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector With Sound Bar

VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector With Sound Bar

Specs:

  • Ultra-Short Throw
  • 0.233:1 Throw Ratio
  • 6,000 Lumen Light Source
  • 2,500 Lumen Brightness
  • Harman Kardon Sound Bar
  • HDR10
  • 4K Image Resolution
  • Android 7.1 Operating System
  • 9 Ports For Connecting Peripheral Devices
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Projection Size: up to 150-inches

This “Ultra-Short Throw” projector by VAVA is designed to appeal to home theatres and professional spaces that rely on high-quality imagery in their presentations. It has a 0.233:1 throw ratio with a maximum projection size of up to 150-inches. It’s also capable of producing HDR10 4K image resolution.

VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector

This projector also comes with a 60-Watt Harman Kardon soundbar and it runs on the Android 7.1 operating system. It also has 9 ports to connect to peripheral devices like gaming systems and surround sound.

VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector

The lamp life is rated for 25,000 hours. It has a 6,000-lumen light source with 2,500-lumen brightness. With the 0.233:1 throw ratio it can cast a 100-inch diagonal image from only 7. 2-inches away. Though you can adjust the projection between 80-inches to 150-inches.

What We Liked

The 0.233:1 “Ultra-Short” throw ratio is the first thing that jumps off the screen. It means that you can produce a rather large image in a reasonably short distance. You could potentially mount the projector directly in front of the viewing surface, without having to worry about overhead mounting.

The fact that it comes with a high-quality 60-Watt Harman Kardon soundbar is also a nice touch that lends it toward home theatre use. Being able to connect 9 peripheral devices also adds to the overall versatility.

Overall

The VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector rides the cutting edge in ultra-short-throw projector technology. While it’s meant to be used in a home theater setting, it would none-the-less fit into the professional world.

Especially for businesses and sales professionals who make dynamic video presentations to clients. The .233:1 throw ratio and the fact that it only weighs 23-pounds, means you could potentially travel with it to multiple client presentations.

VAVA 4K UHD Laser TV Home Theatre Projector With Sound Bar

  • 0.233:1 Ultra-Short throw ratio
  • 60-Watt Harman Kardon soundbar
  • Capable of producing a 150-inch image

Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector

Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector

Specs:

  • 0.49:1 Throw Ratio
  • HDR10 Compatible
  • Dual HDMI Ports
  • Supports 4K HDR Inputs
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 10-Watt Built-In Speaker
  • 3,800 Lumen Brightness
  • 15,000 Lamp Life
  • 8.8-Pounds

This short-throw projector by Optoma was designed to appeal to gamers who want to enjoy a large image screen beyond anything offered by the flat-screen TVs available at the retail level.

Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector

It has a throw ratio of 0.49:1, which roughly translates into a 120-inch image at approximately 4-feet. While not technically considered an “Ultra-Short” throw projector, you can still use it without having to ceiling-mount it to prevent shadows from passersby.

Inputs of the Optoma GT1080HDR

Right out of the box the Optoma GT1080HDR produces a 1080p resolution image. Though it does have the ability to support a 4KHDR input. It has dual HDMI ports and a VGA port to connect to a variety of devices. It even has audio in and audio out ports to connect to an established sound system, as well as a 10-Watt built-in speaker.

Optoma GT1080HDR on wall

It’s rated for 15,000-hour lamp life and produces 3,800-lumen brightness. Paired with the HDR10 compatibility, it means this gaming projector is capable of producing darker blacks, brilliant whites and superior depth of color compared to many of the competitors in this price range.

What We Liked

The HDR10 compatibility, the 120Hz refresh rate and the fact that it can support image resolution of 1080p or even 4K give the Optoma GT1080HDR the visual characteristics you want in your gaming room.

The 0.49:1 throw ratio also means that you can produce a very large image, in a short enough space that you don’t have to worry about “That Guy” who walks between the projector and the wall. The fact that it only weighs 8.8 pounds also makes it very easy to take with you when you want to have a superior gaming experience at a friend’s house.

Overall

The Optoma GT1080HDR has the visual characteristics you want in a gaming projector. It even has a 15,000-hour long lamp life, and 3,800 lumens with HDR10 compatibility.

If there is a knock on it, it’s the rather weak 10-Watt speaker. Still, if you’re going to invest in a high-quality projector for gaming, then chances are you already have some type of sound system that you can connect to via the audio ports.

Optoma GT1080HDR Short Throw Gaming Projector

  • Designed to appeal to gamers
  • 0.49:1 throw ratio
  • 1080p with 4K and HDR10 capability

LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Theater CineBeam Projector

LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Theater CineBeam Projector

Specs:

  • 4K UHD (3840×2160) Display
  • 2,700 ANSI Lumen Brightness
  • HDR10 Compatible
  • Class 1 Laser Projector
  • 3Ch Laser Technology
  • LG SMART TV “Magic Remote”
  • Bluetooth And Miracast Wireless Connectivity
  • HDR10 compatible
  • ThinQ AI
  • Google Assistant

This cutting edge 4K/UHD has the equivalent minimum resolution of 3,840 pixels wide and 2,160 pixels high, which far surpasses the image resolution of a 1080p screen. As an “Ultra-Short Throw” projector it can produce a 120-image screen from just 7.2-inches away.

LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K

It has LG’s ThinQ AI platform that allows the device to react to commands, while also tracking important lifestyle data and usage. That information is then used to enhance performance and interactivity for a better user experience. paired with Google Assistant, it means that you can essentially engage in two-way conversations with the device.

LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K

The 3Ch laser technology adds a red laser light source for superior color coverage. It’s also HDR10 compatible which gives it “Dynamic Tone Mapping” for optimum picture quality in every frame.

LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K

The LG HU85LA also has Bluetooth and Miracast wireless connectivity. This gives it the ability to project images from other smart devices onto the larger viewing surface. You can also pair it with any Bluetooth audio product or link it with iOS devices. Though it does come with its own built-in speakers.

What We Liked

The image quality of the LG HU85LA is certainly impressive. The 4K/UHD produced by the CineBeam projector, 3Ch laser technology, and the HDR10 compatibility gives it visual resolution with rich color that you want in a high-end home theater.

The ThinQ AI and Google Assistant also take the user interface to the next level. Not to mention the fact that the wireless connectivity allows you to combine it with high-quality audio. They do also offer a version of the same project with speakers.

Overall

It’s hard to find something to complain about with the image quality and connectivity of the LG HU85LA. Though there are two small knocks to bear in mind.

The first is that it only carries a one-year warranty, which is much less than many competitors in this range. Though there are some online retailers who offer very affordable 3 and 4-year protection packages. It’s also worth noting that the price tag is also a little on the high side. Still, if you’re looking for a premium home theater experience, you likely don’t want to cut corners.

Sale
LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Theater CineBeam Projector

  • 4K UHD CineBeam Projector
  • ThinQ AI with Google Assistant and wireless connectivity
  • Ultra-short throw ratio

Epson Home Cinema LS100

Epson Home Cinema LS100

Specs:

  • Ultra-Short Throw
  • Multiple Inputs
  • Digital Laser Display
  • 4,000 Lumens
  • Deep Black Contrast Ratio
  • 3-Chip LCD Technology
  • 2-Year Warranty

Epson’s LS100 is an Ultra-Short Throw projector that is capable of producing a staging 10-foot (Diagonal) image in the span of just a few inches. It does so via a digital laser display with 3-chip LCD technology.

Epson Home Cinema LS100

The digital laser produces 4,000 lumens yet has a deep black contrast ratio of 2,500,000:1. This translates into deeper blacks, and crisp whites as well as more vibrant colors.

Epson Home Cinema LS100

The Epson LS100 was also designed to work with a wide range of devices. It comes with 3 HDMI ports, 3 different USB ports, 2 audio-in, and 1 audio-out, as well as an RJ-45 LAN connection. It even includes monitor and computer ports. This means that while it’s designed to be a multi-connective home theater projector, it can just as easily fit into an office setting for vivid visual presentations.

The lamp life is rated to last for up to 20,000 hours, which is something you want to see in a home theater setting where the projector is likely to see daily use. Epson also backs it with a 2-year warranty.

What We Liked

The 4,000-lumen brightness and a deep black contrast ratio of 2,500,000:1 translates into rich visual images. The 20,000-hour lamp life also speaks to the projector’s ability to stand up to frequent use. Not to mention the ultra-short throw ratio lets you place it incredibly close to the viewing surface.

Overall

The Epson LS100 is a quality ultra-short-throw projector that was designed to be comfortable as a home theater projector, as well as a presentation projector for businesses with limited conference room space. The multiple port connections are a nice touch, that lets you use it with a variety of devices.
Though the two-year warranty is a little on the sparse side for a device that most likely will endure frequent use.

Epson Home Cinema LS100

  • Deep black contrast ratio of 2,500,000:1 for vibrant color
  • 20,000 hour estimated lamp life
  • Ultra-short throw ratio

ViewSonic PX706 HD 1080p Short Throw Projector

ViewSonic PX706 HD 1080p Short Throw Projector

Specs:

  • 1080p Image Resolution
  • 3,000 Lumen Output
  • 0.69 to 0.83 Throw Ratio
  • Automatic Keystone Correction
  • Gaming Mode
  • Low Input Latency
  • Multiple Connection Ports
  • 15,000 Hour Lamp Life
  • 1-Year Lamp Coverage
  • 3-Year Limited Warranty

ViewSonic is one of the more established names in the projector marketplace, with multiple options tailored to specific niche needs. Their PX706 HD 1080p Short Throw Projector is designed to appeal to gamers who also want to also enjoy a vivid home theater experience.

ViewSonic PX706 top

It has an impressive 3,000-lumen output that makes it theoretically viable during daylight conditions. The PX706 has a 1080p image resolution, and a short-throw ratio of 0.69 to 0.83, as well as a “Gaming Mode with low input latency. This essentially reduces the input lag from your gaming console for seamless play.

Input of the ViewSonic PX706

The ViewSonic PX706 also comes with automatic keystone correction, which is nice for those times when you want to take it with you to game at a friend’s house. It spares you having to adjust to a new position or a slightly slanted viewing surface.

ViewSonic PX706 image

This short throw gaming projector has a variety of input options, including two HDMI ports, a VGA port, and a USB Type C. This lets you connect to other high-end compatible devices. It also has audio in and out for times when you want sound quality beyond the 5-Watt built-in speaker.

What We Liked

The gaming mode with the low input latency, automatic keystone correction, and the USB type C port all lend toward a high-end gaming experience. You also can’t look past the 3,000-lumen output and 1080p image resolution.

Overall

You can tell that ViewSonic put a lot of thought into creating a short-throw projector that appeals to gamers who also want to enjoy a high-quality home theater experience.

If there’s a minor knock on the design, it’s that for some gamers the 15,000-hour lamp life might be a little bit on the low side. If you are frequently gaming more than 4-hours a day, it would be nice to see a 20,000-hour lamp life. Still, ViewSonic tries to compensate for this with a 1-year lamp coverage warranty, and a 3-year parts and labor warranty, which is significantly better than most of the competitors in this range.

ViewSonic PX706 HD 1080p Short Throw Projector

  • Designed for gaming with low input latency
  • 1080p image resolution
  • 3-year limited warranty with a 1 year of lamp coverage

LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater

LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater

Specs:

  • Ultra-Short Throw
  • CineBeam Projector
  • 1,000 Lumen Brightness
  • Tru Motion Smooth Display
  • Wireless Screen Share
  • Bluetooth Audio Out
  • 150,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • 30,000 Hour Lamp Life
  • 1-Year Warranty

The LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED projector was designed for use in a home theater. Though it could just as easily be used as a high-quality projector in a business setting. This is thanks in part to its wireless connectivity. Not only does it have WiFi wireless screen share supported by Android and Windows devices, but it also has Bluetooth audio out.

LG HF65LA

At home you can simply set it up in your preferred location, to stream your favorite movies and videos through the Wireless Screen Share feature. Though it only weighs 4.1 pounds. Which means in a business application, you could theoretically take it with you for presentations, or simply set it up and allow others to wirelessly connect to the projector.

LG HF65LA

This makes the LG HF65LA an appealing option for businesses and organizations that frequently host incoming presentations or competitive bids. It’s also a viable option for sales professionals who need to wow potential clients with rich visual presentations.

LG HF65LA

This 1,000 lumens LED ultra-short-throw projector uses LG’s proprietary CineBeam Projector, with Tru Motion Smooth Display. The lamp life is rated to 30,000 hours, which is a step or more above the competition in this price range.

What We Liked

The wireless WiFi screen share and the Bluetooth audio out are what sets the LG HF65LA apart from most of the competition. Still, you shouldn’t look past the 30,000-hour LED lamp life, which is much more than you see in similar units.

Overall

For the price, quality and versatile functionality, the LG HF65LA is a great value. The 1,000 lumens LED brightness is a little bit on the low side, but this is also part of what gives it a 30,000-hour lamp life. It’s essentially a dark room projector that isn’t really meant to compete with daylight conditions.

If there is something to make you wince it’s the relatively light 1-year warranty. Still, for this price point, you shouldn’t expect a long warranty program. With most projectors, any sort of manufacturer’s defect should show up in the first year.

At the same time, the fact that the wireless screen share is only supported by Windows and Android devices does leave Apple IOS users out in the cold.

LG HF65LA Ultra Short Throw LED Home Theater

  • 30,000-hour lamp life
  • Wireless WiFi screen share
  • Bluetooth audio out

BenQ MW632ST WXGA Short Throw Projector

BenQ MW632ST WXGA Short Throw Projector

Specs:

  • 3,200 Lumens
  • 0.9 Short Throw Ratio
  • 10,000 Hour Lamp Life
  • WXGA (1280 x 800) Resolution
  • Up To 1080p
  • Vertical Keystone Adjustment
  • MHL Connectivity For Android Devices
  • Supports Blu-Ray 3D
  • 2 HDMI Ports And Other Common Connections

The BenQ MW632ST WXGA Short Throw Projector was primarily designed for business applications and executives who need an in-office presentation projector. Though that’s not to say that it’s a “One Trick Pony.”

BenQ MW632ST WXGA Short Throw Projector

It has a 0.9 throw ratio, which allows it to produce a screen size between 60 to the 120-inch diagonal screen. It also has vertical keystone adjustment to prevent the trapezoid effect that can sometimes occur when you set up a projector in a new location.

Back of the BenQ MW632ST

The BenQ MW632ST has a 10,000-hour lamp life and 3,200-lumen output. It has a WXGA resolution of 1280 x 800 DPI and can also support up to 1080p image resolution. It can also support Blu-Ray 3D.

BenQ MW632ST for gaming

This short-throw projector has two HDMI ports, as well as many other popular connections. It was also designed with MHL connectivity to Android devices.

What We Liked

The fact that it only weighs 5.7 pounds and has keystone vertical adjustment with MHL connectivity with Android devices makes the BenQ MW632ST a great option for professionals who need to travel with their presentation.

Yet it also has some of the other features you want in a home theater projector. You could even argue that it’s a nice alternative form of entertainment for a traveling salesperson who wants something other than the hotel room’s small TV screen.

Overall

The BenQ MW632ST is primarily meant for professional and executive use. You see this reflected in a lot of its features as well as the somewhat limited 10,000-hour lamp life. It can handle some entertainment use, but the 10,000-hour lamp life isn’t ideal for a dedicated home theater or gaming projector.

BenQ MW632ST WXGA Short Throw Projector

  • 10,000-hour lamp life
  • 0.9 short-throw ration for 60-to120-inch screen
  • 2 HDMI ports and MHL connectivity to Android devices

ASUS S1 200 lumen HDMI/MHL Battery Power Bank Short-Throw LED Pocket Projector

ASUS S1 Short Throw Projector

Specs:

  • Short Throw Ratio 1:1
  • 6,000 mAh rechargeable battery
  • 3-Hour Maximum Runtime
  • 854 X 480 Resolution
  • 200 Lumen Brightness
  • 30,000 Hour LED Lamp Life
  • .75-pounds
  • Connects To Apple And Android Devices

Lightweight portability and versatile connectivity are in increasing demand with short throw projectors. They are especially popular with professionals who need to make multiple client presentations, as well as executives who want to be able to display visual media when they are away from the office.

ASUS S1 Short Throw Projector

Sliding into this new niche with confidence is the ASUS S1 200 Lumen Short-Throw LED Pocket Projector. It weighs in at an ultra-lightweight .75 pounds and runs off a 6,000 mAh built-in rechargeable battery. It also has the ability to act as a power bank for recharging USB devices.

ASUS S1 Short Throw Projector

It has a 200 lumen, LED lamp life of 30,000 hours, and a short-throw ratio of 1:1. These characteristics mean that it’s capable of producing a 41-to 100-inch diagonal screen size on the viewing surface, and a resolution of 854 X 480.

ASUS S1 Short Throw Projector

The ASUS S1 has a single HDMI port, but can also connect with Apple and Android devices. This requires an additional purchase of the Lightning Digital AV Adapter from Apple. For Samsung Android devices, you will need to purchase a Samsung specific MHL cable with a 5 pin to 11 pins for video output.

What We Liked

The portable design and versatile connectivity features are certainly what makes this little short-throw projector different from the competition. The fact that you can use the 6,000 mAH battery as a power bank for recharging USB devices and the 30,000-hour LED lamp life, are also nice touches for traveling professionals.

Overall

The ASUS S1 appeals to a specific niche need for lightweight portability. The very friendly price point is also something that makes this short-throw projector within reach for just about anyone. If you are a sales professional who needs to make presentations as you travel, this unit should very much be on your radar!

ASUS S1 200 lumen HDMI/MHL Battery Power Bank Short-Throw LED Pocket Projector

  • 30,000-hour lamp life
  • Lightweight and portable at .75 pounds
  • 41-inch to 100-inch screen size with 1:1 throw ratio

Buyers Guide

In the not-so-recent past projectors in offices and classrooms needed to be a great distance from the screen or wall, they were casting an image at, in order to have sufficient size or clarity. This also caused other peccadillos for the person giving the presentation.

If you were using a laptop to project something like a PowerPoint presentation, it meant you needed to stand at the back of the room and speak loudly at the back of your audience’s heads. Your other option was to stand at the front of the room, where you can make eye contact and express body language, while someone else ran the projector. Even then presenters often struggled with casting shadows on their own presentation or spending an entire day with a bright light shining at them.

Fortunately, modern technology has advanced to the point where short-throw projectors are now possible. They share a lot of features and characteristics with their standard projector brethren, they just happen to have a shorter focal length.

For example, an older “Standard Throw” or “Long Throw” projector might have a “Throw Ratio” of 1.5:1. This means it would need to be 12 feet away to fill an 8-foot screen. In contrast, most modern short throw projectors have a ration of 1 or less. If a unit has a .5 throw ratio, you could fill an 8-foot screen by positioning the projector just 4 feet away.

This essentially means that as the presenter you can be much closer to the screen, the laptop and the audience. It’s also much easier to stand off to the side to prevent shadows and still be in range for a wireless mouse to control the presentation software.

What makes these “Short” and “Ultra-Short” throw ratios possible is the high-quality lens manufacturing and proprietary components that alter the image for maximum clarity. Of course, there are a lot of other factors that can go into selecting the type of short-throw projector that is best for you.

Understanding The Throw Ratio

Some manufacturers have their own in-house way of expressing their throw ratio. Though most use a “Projector-to-Screen Distance” ratio. Depending on where the manufacturer is based, they might use metric increments like meters, or diagonal inches.

For example, let’s say that you have a 55-inch TV screen at home. That means it measures 55-inches on the diagonal from one corner to the next. So, if you see a projection size associated with the throw ratio, it’s describing the diagonal distance, and you can extrapolate from there.

If you see the projection size listed as some type of ratio. Like 80” X 60” then the manufacturer is describing the length and height of the image it produces using a standard 4:3 screen image ratio like you often see in things like a laptop computer screen.

Lumen Outputs

Lumens are essentially a measure of brightness. The higher the lumen rating the brighter the white light coming out of the projector will be. This can have a bearing on how easy the text is to read and how clearly graphics are resolved on the screen. Most high-quality short-throw projectors that are worthy of your investment will have a lumen output rated at 3,000 or more.

Image Resolution

It’s also worth bearing in mind that image resolution is also an important factor. This is an area that continues to evolve each year. Ideally, you want to look for a short-throw projector that is capable of resolving 4K images, which is the way of the future. Though, you shouldn’t turn away a projector that resolves images at 1080p.

Sound Quality And Compatibility

I know it might sound strange since we are talking about a visual device. Yet for a home theater or a gaming project sound is something that really does matter. There are some units that come with their own small built-in speaker. The quality of these is often questionable.

Ideally, you want to see a basic speaker, and then additional ports for audio in and audio out. Something like Bluetooth audio out is especially nice as it makes it possible to wirelessly connect to your existing sound system. If you already own a universal remote control, make sure it’s compatible with the projector you are about to buy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who Uses Short Throw Projectors The Most?

A: Right off the bat, the reduced focal length of a short-throw projector fits very well in a small conference room or any professional venue with limited presentation space. Yet short-throw projectors are also increasingly popular in classrooms where teachers often need to present large, readable images to an entire classroom.

Of course, there are a lot of short-throw projectors that are also intended for home use. This includes things like a home theater, a game room or even a special screening room.

Q: What Is The Difference Between A Short Throw And Ultra Short Throw Projector?

A: There’s a little bit of marketing terminology at play here. Essentially a “Short-Throw” projector will be able to produce a high-quality image of around 100-inch in the span of 3 to 4 feet. Whereas an “Ultra-Short Throw” projector will be able to produce a similar image in 24-inches or less.

With a short throw, many people will choose to mount it from the ceiling or hopefully set it up at a distance that reduces the chances of something walking between the projector and the viewing surface. With an ultra-short throw projector, you can simply set it close to the view surface that there’s little chance of something interrupting the light beam.

Q: Can I Project On A Wall Or Do I Need A Screen?

A: If you are giving a business presentation at a client’s conference room, then you can get away with projecting onto a wall. Still, if you are going to use the short throw projector as a permanent fixture in your office, or you want to use it for a home theater and gaming room, you really should invest in a dedicated screen.

Even the whitest painted wall has a finish to it that can alter the characteristics of the light being projected on it. Any sort of texture could degrade the image clarity further. In short, not using a screen essentially reduces the quality of your investment.

Fortunately, high-quality screens Elite Screens Spectrum2 110-inch and Elite Screens Starling 2 120-inch Projector Screen are relatively inexpensive. Many are motorized, allowing you to retract them when you want to see wall space, yet deploy in seconds.

Q: Does Lamp Life Matter?

A: The lamp is essentially the beating heart of any projector. Depending on the manufacturer replacing a lamp can be costly. The longer the lamp life is rated in “Hours” the longer you will go without having to incur this extra cost.

When it comes to a projector for occasional business use and client presentations, lamp life isn’t as much of an issue. However, it can be a major concern for a short-throw projector meant for home theater and gaming use.

For example, let’s say you have a projector rated for 10,000-hour lamp life. If your business uses the projector for around 10 hours each week. At 52 weeks a year that’s a nice round 520 hours. In this scenario, you could potentially last for 19 years.

Now, let’s say we take that same projector, and between weekends and daily use, you average 4-hours a day. That breaks down into 28-hours a week, which over the course of 52 weeks is 1,456 hours of use. In this scenario that same 10,000-hour lamp life will last a little less than 7-years.

The bottom line is that the more you anticipate using the projector, the more you want to prioritize a long lamp life.

Q: Is Warranty Coverage Important?

A: When you compare the warranty coverage of projectors to other electronic devices, you will often find that projector warranties are sparse. Most only offer one year of coverage, or a limited warranty program with fine print about the lamp life.

With most projectors, any manufacturer defects will show up in the first year. So, you really only need to keep an eye out for 12 to 24 months. If you are planning to use the projector for a sales presentation or you intend to move it around a lot, you might want to look for an online retailer who offers an affordable multi-year protection plan. This will give you a little added peace of mind should the projector suffer an accidental bump in transit.

Conclusion

How you will most likely use a short or ultra-short-throw projector will factor heavily into the features you prioritize. So, it’s a logical first place to start.

For gaming and home theater use, you should look for high image resolution statistics of 1080p or 4K. Right now, there aren’t necessarily a lot of 4K images and programming out there for visual consumption. Still, it’s the next step in the evolution of visual media, and it’s a nice feather in a home theater projector’s cap to be capable of making the most out of 4K as it grows.

At the same time, lamp life can be a major factor in helping filter out a home theater and gaming projector. Gamers, in particular, can have long hours of usage. If that sounds like you, then a short or ultra-short-throw projector with a lamp life rated for 15,000 to 20,000 hours or more should be on your features checklist.

On the other end of the spectrum, short-throw projectors for use in a professional setting rarely need a lamp life of more than 10,000 hours. Things like convenient connectivity become more of a priority for multiple people who may need to use various devices throughout the projector’s long lifespan.

At the same time, things like keystone adjustment features and lightweight might also be featured for sales professionals who need to travel with a projector for client meetings.

Once you’ve defined the ways you are most likely to use the short or ultra-short-throw projector, you can more easily filter out the features that top your priority checklist. At that point, it becomes a matter of budget, which can vary widely with these devices.

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API