How to calculate the correct projector installation distance?

Learn how to correctly position your projector in the room to ensure optimal image size and quality.

Image projectors are an increasingly present item in offices. The increase in demand for more professional presentations, added to the more affordable prices of this type of equipment, caused many consumers to include this item in their shopping lists. Even for those who already have one of these, knowing how to calculate the installation distance of a projector remains a mystery.

Luckily, we’re here to make your life easier and show you that there aren’t many secrets to it. Basically, everything will depend on the size of the image you intend to project (in inches) and the most suitable screen aspect for each occasion. Keeping this in mind you will see that everything is easier.

What size image do you want?

Enlarging a particular image is the main reason a projector exists. However, as much as you want to see a huge screen in a room, you need to know if there is room for such a projection. Also, consider the projector’s light output: the more lumens it has, the sharper the images will be even at greater distances.

Generally speaking, projections range between 80 and 150 inches. So that’s the first number you need to keep in mind, the image size you want to see. Then it is necessary to observe the screen appearance. It is the format of the image that will be projected. In this case, we have three options: 16:10 and 16:9 widescreen formats and 3:4 TV format.

For movies, for example, the first two are the most suitable. Some TV shows, especially older ones, may be better in 3:4 format. Even your Power Point presentations need to adapt to the so-called screen aspect. It is this, together with the image size in inches, that will define the distance from the projector.

Calculating projection distance

The tables below show how far the projector should be placed. First, set the screen appearance. Then choose what final projected image size you want, in inches, and you’re done. Your projector should be positioned midway between the minimum and maximum distance indicated below.

16:10 aspect screen projection

  • 80-inch image: distance between 2.48 m and 2.70 m
  • 100-inch image: distance between 3.10 m and 3.38 m
  • 120-inch image: distance between 3.73 m and 4.07 m
  • 150-inch image: distance between 4.67 m and 5.09 m

4:3 Aspect Screen Projection

  • 80-inch image: distance between 2.81 m and 3.06 m
  • 100-inch image: distance between 3.51 m and 3.83 m
  • 120-inch image: distance between 4.22 m and 4.61 m
  • 150-inch image: distance between 5.29 m and 5.77 m

16:9 aspect screen projection

  • 80-inch image: distance between 2.55 m and 2.78 m
  • 100-inch image: distance between 3.19 m and 3.48 m
  • 120-inch image: distance between 3.83 m and 4.18 m
  • 150-inch image: distance between 4.79 m and 5.23 m

Obviously, more modern devices allow a series of other adjustments, such as focus and brightness intensity, but the important thing is that these basic rules are observed. For the rest, we are talking about items that may not always be available, but which still won’t be an impediment for your fun or your presentation to take place in the best possible way.

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