Projector Setup For Home Theater

By | April 22, 2023
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Geoffrey Morrison is a technology and travel writer/photographer for The New York Times and other online and print publications. He is also the editor-in-chief of The Wirecutter. He has written for Sound&Vision magazine, Home Theater magazine and was editor-in-chief of Home Entertainment magazine. He is trained by NIST and ISF and has a degree in Television and Radio from Ithaca College. His best-selling book Undersea and its sequel Undersea Atrophia are available in paperback and digital on Amazon. He spends most of the year as a digital nomad, living and working around the world. His travels can be followed on and on his YouTube channel.

Projector Setup For Home Theater

Projector Setup For Home Theater

Whether you received it as a gift this Christmas or gave it to yourself, congratulations on your new projector purchase! There is no better way to take a great photo of an amazing movie night. Before you pull out your popcorn and sit down at the end of the year sipping each Marvel movie in turn, there’s something you should know: proper installation and other adjustments will keep your new projector looking great. Will it work right out of the box? Actually. Will it look like this?

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As someone who has used a projector as his main “television” for over 15 years, let alone reviewed them professionally, I have built countless projectors. Seriously, I tried reading. I stuck with “more”.

I started the projector a few times but missed the co-pilot, the hidden Wi-Fi adapter, etc. It’s also important to take the time to remove all the protective film. It’s easier to do anything physical with the projector now than when it’s installed or repaired.

If you intend to place the projector on a stand or table, it is also necessary to check which of its feet are attached. With most projectors, only some of the feet move in and out, which can make it difficult to position the image correctly.

If your projector has multiple HDMI inputs, consider which receiver you want to send the video to. For example, if your entire system is 4K compatible, double check which input can handle it. With many projectors, only one is equipped with HDMI 2.0 and is ready for all kinds of 4K, for example.

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Most inexpensive projectors do not have a lens shift feature. This means that they must have a position perfectly aligned with the screen, usually depending on the top or bottom of the screen. Sometimes the throw angle is even greater, meaning it should be below or above the edge of the screen.

This is counterintuitive as you might think you want to position the projector relative to the center of the screen. This almost never happens with inexpensive DLP projectors, and usually doesn’t happen with inexpensive LCD projectors. High-end LCOS projectors such as Sony and JVC often have a lens shift that allows for a large number of vertical placement options.

Next is the distance from the screen. Most projectors, with the exception of short-throw models, usually accommodate a 100-inch screen from about 10 feet away. However, this can vary and it is important to check this before starting to drill holes in the roof. The zoom range with most projectors is also limited, meaning you only have a few feet of “best point” to fill your actual sized screen. This information will be available on the projector manufacturer’s website or in the user manual.

Projector Setup For Home Theater

If you plan on riding pajamas, make sure you have a peg. The last thing you want is for your projector to fall in the middle of a movie, ripping half the sky off with it.

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Therefore, if you plan to route the HDMI cable through the ceiling/wall, check your local building codes. Most municipalities require a specific wall cable, conduit, or both.

If you’re using a wireless connection, make sure the sender and receiver are within line of sight. Most wireless HDMI options do not

Line of sight, but each time you place it between the transmitter and receiver, the risk of signal loss increases. I also tried other wireless options that lost signal as I moved between transmitter and receiver. If your transmitter is somewhere in the back of a cupboard, be careful.

One final piece of advice: if you can avoid it, don’t use built-in key processing. This feature is intended to resolve the installation issue. If the projector is not centered (vertical) on the screen, or is too high or low, the image it creates will not be rectangular but trapezoidal. A small imperfection is good because it may not be noticeable from a sitting distance. Too much, however, and you’ll have bleeding and an abnormal posture that can be fatal. Magnavox Mp603 Home Theater Projector With Bluetooth Wireless Technology And Suitcase Speaker

The gemstone adjustment makes the image square electronically. Do not do this. Keystone processing not only reduces the resolution of the image because you are no longer using the entire image processing chip or chips, but also increases the quality of the video processing, which can increase the quality of the quality-degrading products themselves. In other words, using keystone adjustment on any projector will reduce the projector’s image quality, period.

Take the time to find a horizontal line in the center of the screen and compare it to the center of the projector lens (not necessarily the center of the projector itself). Adjust the height using the stand or handle, not by tilting the projector. This way you will get fluency and level without using keystone.

An important issue related to the installation is adequate air flow. Projectors are especially hot spots. They emit almost equal amounts of heat and light. If the airflow is insufficient, the projector may burn out and shut down, lamp life can be significantly shortened and theoretically start a fire. The latter is unlikely, but it should not be taken lightly.

Projector Setup For Home Theater

Installation specialists build ventilated cabinets for projectors. If you’re not sure how to do it yourself, maybe don’t take the risk and leave the projector exposed.

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On the other hand, if you’re planning to place the projector behind the sofa, chances are there will be one “hot spot”, with that fan blowing hot air at someone. It can be convenient in winter. Not so much in the summer. Different projectors have different designs, so it’s hard to say how best to handle this. Most of the projectors I’ve reviewed recently have fans on the front and sides. You can see most of them in the photos.

The exhaust from most projectors is so hot that if it blows straight into your face, it’s irritating. Geoffrey Morrison

Any light in the room that is not produced by the projector will degrade the image quality. Even if you have a light-rejecting screen, ambient light is bad and you’ll want to do whatever you can to reduce it.

The main cause is the sun. If you plan to watch TV during the day, you’ll want to reduce the light in the room. Even if the projector you purchase works properly during the day, the light will fade over time. In a few years you’ll have to buy curtains to see anything, so you might as well buy them now. If your partner doesn’t like the look of dark curtains, any heavy curtains or blinds will help. If you watch a lot of content throughout the day, a projector may not be the best choice. So for some daytime movie marathons, sporting events, etc. anything that reduces glare should work.

Home Theater: Working With A Budget

The next step is not a big deal, but in a dark room, all the little LEDs suddenly become Gondor Lanterns. Some electrical tape works wonders.

Even expensive projectors throw light where you don’t want it. In the case of inexpensive projectors, this is usually a square halo of light spreading across the screen. There’s not much you can do about it and it’s normal. That’s why most cinemas have the area around the screen painted black.

Most projectors have a focusing mechanism using a wheel attached to the lens or motor. Sometimes you get one with autofocus. Every big brand has pros and cons and the best way to get the edgiest look possible.

Projector Setup For Home Theater

For both options, I think it’s better to use a clear image or a clear part of the image. In addition to this, you can call up the user menu and

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