Installing a Video Projector? Here’s What to Consider!

Installing a projector to place a television on in a living room is anything but easy. It’s a lot more complicated than you probably ever thought, with lots of potential problems and pitfalls to avoid if you want the installation to look good. However, once the installation is complete and you start watching the TV, the boost in the overall viewing experience will be evident immediately.

Trying to turn your living room into a pseudo-cinema? Here are some things to consider when installing a video projector:

What Importance Does the Projection Screen Actually Have?

A living room is rarely the ideal space to project movies, because it has a white ceiling, bright walls, and a window. There’s a reason commercial cinemas are dark and pretty much all-black: the darker it is, the easier projection gets. Science is also involved here: ambient light is reduced dramatically when the environment is dark. That way, the contrast of images shows up much better.

Basically, the image quality improves as a room gets darker.

That said, it’s tricky to move your couch close to all the walls, so there are other solutions, particularly that of covering the walls with a black fabric. Not just any black fabric, though: light-controlled or technical fabrics. They do well in terms of changing a room into a cinema without affecting the room’s actual decor.

Once you have decided on your technical fabric (a flat-screen TV or projector), you still need to consider whether to put it on a movable screen or make it fixed. In a darker room, any screen would be a hindrance, in which case going without is better. 

A roll-up screen can also be put to use at this point. The canvas can be unfolded right in front of the TV.

What Is the Throw Distance?

A quick glance at projector specifications reveals that the closer you position a projector to the screen, the smaller an image it produces. Move a projector several meters away and you can get a larger image. This pattern holds in general: move a projector closer and you’ll get smaller images and move it farther away and you’ll get larger ones. 

Throw distance is a term used to describe the distance between the projector’s lens to its actual screen. It is usually calculated with this equation: 

Throw distance = Projection Ratio * Image Width

It seems simple enough: position the device as close as possible for maximum size, or as far away as possible for maximum size. That’s one extreme option anyway. Another option is to position a device so that its image fills as much of your available space as possible. 

What Kind Of Installation Type Is Ideal?

Video projectors have three possibilities: front, rear and ceiling. What will work best for your living room depends on factors like space, budget and the overall “cinema feel” that’s being aimed for.


Turning a living space into a cinema-like environment takes more than having a screen and projector. Installing the projector in itself involves a number of factors to consider. This includes the projection screen itself, throw distance and type of installation.

Need help with installing a video or TV projector? Reach out to Granite State Specialties today! We’re a full-service construction specialties company with a proven track record of success throughout Boston, New Hampshire and the rest of New England.

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