A standard projector has a throw distance (distance between projector and screen or surface) that requires you to move your projector at the back of your room or at your ceiling in order to project a large enough image for viewing. Its throw range can range from the size of a whole theater to the length of a room. This is because, at merely 5 feet or less (short throw projector range), the image is too small or no smaller than the size of a TV screen. Speaking of which, a short-throw projector can get you a huge-sized image or projection at 5 feet or below.
An ultra-short-throw (UST) projector has an even smaller throw distance than that yet can produce the hugest of projections or images for your home entertainment, movie-viewing, show-marathoning, or video-gaming needs.
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Things to Consider Before Buying
Before buying your own ultra-short-throw projector, you need to know what it is, what it offers, and what features to watch out for in order to maximize your future investment. This projector type is handy for presentations on the go and mobile entertainment.
- Not Only Gadgets Are Getting Smaller: Not only your cellphones, laptops, tablets, or MP3 players are getting smaller—even the rooms are getting smaller and smaller. Or rather, the rooms by which people use projectors are becoming smaller and smaller due to manufacturers making smaller and smaller projectors with nearer and nearer throw distances between the device and the screen. As technology advanced, there are now projectors you can use in smaller rooms that you can place nearer to screens. They can even be used with the lights on, the curtains drawn, and the windows open!
- What is Ultra Short Throw Projector? It has you projecting huge UHD or Ultra HD images at a 7.2-inch distance. You don’t need to angle your projector on a table, near a screen/wall, or at a ceiling in order to get an image the size of your wall or projector screen if you have a short-throw projector or ultra-short-throw projector on hand. In the past, people straightaway when to conference rooms or cinemas with giant screens when dealing with projectors. Home projectors opened up the possibility for projectors like the UST.
- How Does the Ultra Short Throw Projector Work? An ultra-short throw projector has lenses that make a much larger picture even from shorter distances. This is great because unlike standard projectors, it can project clear images even from short distances due to the nature of lenses. You don’t need too much brightness to get a screen bigger than a laptop screen or HDTV as well as a theater screen. This makes a UST projector easier on your eyes and it can allow for screenings in smaller rooms and fewer people that could get into the light of a standard projector.
- The Biggest Advantage of UST Projectors: Obviously, the ultra-short-throw of a UST projector is the biggest advantage of the device, and all benefits follow. This is also the reason why many UST projectors are laser projectors such as the Optoma CinemaX P2 Ultra Short Throw 4K. A laser projector projects concentrated beams of light through the special lens that leads to a sharp image even though its lumen count isn’t as impressive as a standard projector. The lens, short distance, focused light, and screen size all work together to give you a sharp image with fewer blue light radiation on the resulting projected image.
- Many Advantages Compared to the Standard Projector: It’s not as possible for a standard projector to have immense clarity and a highly bright image from such a long throw distance. Because It is so close to the screen or wall, it’s able to make a bright projection without requiring high lumens itself. The technology is made in a way where the image remains highly bright and clear despite the projector itself has a low lumens number. A standard projector offers more risks for blue light damage compared to a UST projector, but at least all projectors have less blue light risk compared to staring straight at a CRT or HDTV screen.
- Highly Bright Image with Amazing Clarity: An ultra-short throw projector can work no matter how large or small the apartment, house, or room is. You can install it close to the screen as well. Your eye health won’t be affected as well because it ensures that your vision won’t be dazzled with shiny lights from a huge projector. Blue light can damage the eye, but you’re less likely to get blue light in your eyes with a UST projector aimed directly on the screen with reflected projection light. The light from a UST projector has fewer lumens than a standard projector to boot, with the beam from its lens never going anywhere near your eyes.
- More Economic Space Usage and Fewer Extension Cables: UST projectors solve the problem of lack of space, but that’s not the only advantage you can get from it when using it for the sake of home entertainment. A 100-inch image can fit within a 3-feet screen. All the available lumens are also in use with such a device. You also won’t have to buy extension cables, particularly HDMI cables. This minimizes the cost when push comes to shove. If your environment isn’t light controlled with shades or windows you can close, then a UST projector is a good investment since ambient light won’t affect its bright screen as much.
- Space Problems in The Future: Not everyone can live in a mansion or in a room big enough to house at least 25 guests or so. We’ve also been through many recent financial downturns within the last two decades and between two U.S. presidents. Americans have ended up with smaller houses and more limited real estate over the years. An ultra-short throw projector is mobile, doesn’t need mounting, and could achieve huge screen images without sacrificing quality compared to their huge counterparts. These small, pocket-sized units allow you to work with a smaller space, like in apartments or a small tent.
- Eye Glare and Shadow Elimination: Because the UST projector is directly near the screen or wall, you won’t have to worry about eye glare from behind or above you compared to mounted standard projectors. Shadows won’t be an issue either with this type of projector since this unit is usually installed right next to or directly in front of the screen like a game console of some sort. It can project for as close as 7.2 inches to as far as 4 feet away or a foot away from the limits of a short-throw projector (about 5 feet). They’re almost as convenient as rear-projection projectors that project the image from behind the screen.
- Zero Blockage Due to the Wide Angle Lens: Although it sounds too good to be true, let us reiterate the facts. A UST projector allows you to have epic views of whatever game, show, or movie you wish to watch with zero blockage worries at all. You won’t get shadows from people milling about and nothing short of directly blocking the screen will result in diminished performance from the unit. It’s very wide-angle lens allows it to have a throw ratio of less than 0.4, which in turn lets you place the device just above or under the screen. It’s almost like watching an extra-large TV with a handheld device in front of it, usually the size of remote control or less.
- The Raw Numbers and Placement: The required projector to screen distance of a home or business projector (as opposed to a cinema projector) is 15 feet and a 1.5:1 throw ratio. Something like the VAVA 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector only requires 7.2 inches or barely over half a foot at a 0.4 throw ratio. Therefore, placement is a breeze. You won’t have to mount the device on the ceiling or at the back of your room, where shadows can block the lens or people can damage their eyesight when looking accidentally at the lens beam’s blue light. Of course, you can mount it on the ceiling too if you want, but usually, you don’t need to.
The Bottom Line
Home-based projectors used to only be possible with film projectors used in dark rooms at a certain size. However, as time passed and technology improved, business and home projectors came about. Business projectors mostly worked in conference rooms, but with home projectors, there was another market they wanted to cater to with advancing tech.
The short-throw and ultra-short-throw projectors were invented partially to cater to homes with rooms too small to allow for long throw distances. They were also made with business travels in mind, particularly businessmen without a conference room or ceiling-mounted projector to work with. The ultra-short projectors in particular work great in outdoor settings, in case you have your Nintendo Switch or PSP on hand to play games or a laptop to view movies and shows with. Regardless, the ability to create large pictures at short distances is a highly demanded type of product.