What Is a Short Throw Projector, & Why Do You Need One?

What Is a Short Throw Projector, & Why Do You Need One?

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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You may agree with me that if you want to replace your gaming or home cinema screen with something larger, a short-throw projector could be what you seek. It can provide a bigger display and deliver an immersive experience that you’ll grow to love. You may be wondering, “What is a short throw projector?” This article will tell you what it is and why you should get one.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Short-Throw Projector?

We need to compare types of gaming projectors to understand what is a short-throw projector. You can use three types of projectors for your gaming or home cinema needs. They include:

  1. Short throw projectors
  2. Long throw projectors
  3. Ultra short throw projectors

Let’s discuss each of them below.

1. Short Throw Projectors

short throw projector

Defining short-throw projectors is easy.

A short-throw projector can cast a 100-inch image close to the display. This projector sits about three to nine feet from the wall. Plus, thanks to short-throw technology, you can have a standard rectangular image without distortion.

Short throw projectors feature a throw ratio of 0.4 to 1. If you take the projector back by a foot, the image cast will become wider by 1 to 2.5 feet. One advantage of short-throw projectors is that you don’t need a large room to use them since they can work short-distance.

These projectors feature a chip that helps them process images closer than long-throw projectors. Essentially, the flip side of these projectors is that they get hot fast, and the cooling fans get loud when this happens. Plus, the technology in these projectors makes them more expensive than their long-throw counterparts.

2. Regular Throw Projector

regular throw projector

Also called long-throw projectors, these feature a larger throw ratio allowing you to cast your image across a long distance of 8 to 10 feet. Unfortunately, the image’s width will be shorter than the distance between the projector and the screen.

A long-throw projector has a massive throw distance, making it a great choice if your screen is far from the power source. Also, you can use it outdoors and cast the display on an uneven surface without image distortion.

These projectors are more affordable than short-throw projectors since they don’t need advanced technology to present the image without distortion. The main downside to these projectors is that they cast shadows whenever someone passes within the throw distance.

You need abundant space and no placement restrictions to use this throw projector without obstructions.

3. Ultra-Short Throw Projectors

Ultra-short throw projector

Image Credits: Pinterest.com

Your last option is ultra-short throw projectors which can display a 100″ image from a mere 15″. These projectors feature advanced projector lens technology that allows them to throw large high-quality images from a close distance.

Since the projector sits close to the screen, it won’t cast unwanted shadows during films or games when someone passes by.

These models are popular for academic settings and business presentations, but as they become more affordable, you can expect to see them more in residential spaces.

How to Choose the Best Short-Throw Projector

There are multiple factors that determine the best short-throw projector for gaming, home cinema, or presentations. Nevertheless, there are some which are critical, and we’ll discuss them here.

1. Space

The room where you’ll use the projector will determine the best option. The design of the space could help you choose a suitable place to mount your short-throw projector. Ideally, the projector should sit in a neutral location without high foot traffic to avoid issues like shadows.

The location of your power source also dictates where you’ll place the short-throw projector. You must also control natural light by closing curtains or placing the projector away from such places. This will help reduce glare on your screen, making it easier to see your images clearly.

person making a presentation on a large screen using a projector

A small room will do better with short-throw and ultra-short-throw projectors. On the other hand, long-throw projectors are perfect for large rooms, halls, and outdoor settings.

2. Screen Size

The screen size you want is something else to consider when looking for a short-throw projector. To begin with, the height of your room’s ceiling will affect your screen size. You can determine your ideal screen height by subtracting three or four feet from your ceiling height.

Man sitting in front of a blank projected screen

Moreover, if the screen is close to the floor, it’ll be challenging to see the entire image clearly. A gaming short-throw projector strikes the perfect balance between the long and ultra-short models. Plus, it provides a sweet spot that allows you to customize your gaming experience to your liking.

3. Throw Distance

The projector’s throw distance is closely connected to the available space. Throw distance means the distance between the image and the projector. This distance varies between ultra-short, short, and long-throw projectors.

Short throw distance is usually between 3 to 8 feet or barely over two meters. When it comes to gaming projectors, short-throw models are ideal because they can work well in smaller and confined spaces.

White Screen Projector outdoors

On the other hand, a long throw distance covers about 3 meters which can be great for outdoor spaces. Getting the best experience from a long-throw projector can be challenging if you don’t have a huge room.

4. Throw Ratio

The throw ratio is what affects the image quality that the projector throws on the screen. The throw distance divided by the image width gives you the throw ratio. A smaller throw ratio means the projector can cast large images even from short distances.

On the other hand, a larger throw ratio means that you need a long distance to get a larger image size. Ultra-short throw projectors have the smallest ratio of less than 0.4, allowing you to place it under the screen for a stunning and large image size.

5. Placement

You also need to think about where you want to place the projector. Long-throw projectors traditionally sit on a shelf or desk, a distance away from the screen. Unfortunately, finding a suitable angle for long throw projectors can be challenging, so placing them on a flat, elevated surface is necessary.

Short-throw projectors are easily compatible with wall-mount projector brackets. These devices can help you set the projector on the ceiling or wall for the ultimate experience. Plus, they eliminate the need to reposition your projector every time you need to use it.

Benefits of Short-Throw Projectors

Short-throw projectors have several advantages that make them an excellent choice for gaming and watching movies and shows.

1. Immersive Experience

Large Cinema Screen and Empty Chairs

It’s no stretch to say that bigger is better regarding displays. That’s why we love to go to movie theaters to watch our favorite films. Similarly, big-picture format gaming provides a more immersive experience than what you get from a 50-inch screen.

The wider display lets you see everything better since these projectors can display different colors. If you are looking for a way to take your gaming experience to the next level, a short-throw, long-throw, or ultra-short-throw projector will do the trick.

2. Portable

Carrying a portable projector from one room to another is much easier than carrying your TV or monitor. Projectors provide the freedom that traditional screens don’t because you can quickly pack them into a bag and take them wherever you want to use them.

This means you can quickly transform any room into a recreational space for watching movies or playing games with your friends.

3. Cheaper

Ultra short throw projector

Image Credits: techradar.com

The average cost of a 50-inch TV screen is between $300 and $500. Projectors can cost anywhere from under $100 to ones under $200, to $500 on the higher end. Considering a projector’s advantages over a TV, for instance, a larger screen and portability, you’ll see buying a projector is more cost-effective.

A short-throw projector is a better deal than a screen. However, short-throw projectors are still more expensive than long-throw projectors. As such, you should evaluate your choice based on your budget and the value you get.

4. Better for Multiple Users

A short-throw projector is an excellent pick if you tend to have friends around. Gaming with friends on a small screen isn’t as exciting as on a 100-inch projector screen.

After all, a projector is ideal for gaming with other people since it offers enough screen real estate to see everything without struggling.

5. Customizable

You can easily customize your experience with a projector. Thanks to the portable nature of short-throw projectors, you can play around with them and place them in different areas of your room. This makes it convenient to watch films and play games according to your needs.


A short-throw projector is a great investment that provides more value than what it costs. It’s portable, affordable, and delivers an immersive experience for gaming and watching films. If you find one within your budget, a short-throw projector is worthwhile.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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