Every TV, sports and cinema enthusiast craves a big-screen experience. There is nothing better than experiencing your favorite media on a 120-inch projection screen in hi-def 4K resolution from your favorite couch. Thanks to some leading brands such as LG and Samsung, the best ultra-short throw projector has come to the forefront and overcome its predecessors' distance limitations and ambient lighting.
As they become more popular, most people take the ultra-short-throw projectors from their basement and the living room. They are slowly replacing the conventional flatscreen televisions thanks to their enormous screen size and compact flexibility. Dive in to learn more about the best ultra-short-throw projectors in the market today.
What is an Ultra-short Throw Projector?
Ultra short throw (UST) projectors are a comparatively new technology that qualifies as great alternatives to large screen TVs, making them perfect for every space. They use wide-angle lenses and mirrors to throw images from a short distance, and since they use laser technology, they work well in bright rooms, which is suitable for family spaces.
The ultra-short is the main part of the projector's abilities, and unlike other projectors, it doesn't need to sit at a distance to fire its image on a screen which reduces the amount of space needed for installation. They are also referred to as UST projectors or laser projectors, as most of them use laser projection technology to create the images.
Ultra short throw projectors can project images up to distances between 0 to 4 feet, and since these short throw projectors use a laser or LED light, they last longer than lamp-based short or long-throw projectors.
1. WEMAX Nova Short Throw Laser Projector
- 4K UHD LASER PROJECTOR – Superior Resolution might be an...
- MAX 150-INCH PROJECTOR SCREEN SIZE - With the WeMax Nova laser...
- POWERFUL SOUND – The Nova laser projector offers more than just...
- SMART PROJECTOR, 5K APPS BUILT-IN – The Nova is a smart...
- MULTI-DEVICE VIDEO COMPATIBLE – Wireless casting to Nova with...
As one of the cheapest ultra-short throw projectors on the market, you might think that WEMAX Nova Throw Laser Projector had to cut corners in the quality, but it is not far from the leading brands. It features a native 4K resolution which is surprising for a budget-oriented projector, but it lacks a pixel shifting 1080 p. The contrast ratio and colors are bright and clear with overall excellent picture quality.
It is made of plastic but has a premium feel, and it can project a 103-inch screen size from 11 inches away from the screen. WEMAX ultra-short-throw projectors are easy to set up, and they have a minimal lag making them suitable for gaming. In addition, since the projector comes with a 4-point keystone correction, you can connect your phone with it and transfer all your details to this projector.
Image Credit: WEMAX
WEMAX Nova has a 30w speaker that will sound great in small rooms, and you won need any external projector speakers. However, the UST projector cannot handle the pre-installed Android tv app for Netflix streaming, but the Netflix app exists and Prime and Disney + with no issues.
2. Samsung LSP9T Ultra Short Throw 4K Smart Triple Laser Projector
- 4K UHD ULTRA BRIGHT TRIPLE LASER: Cutting edge triple laser...
- SMART TV POWERED BY TIZEN: Go beyond Smart TV with next gen apps,...
- ULTRA SHORT THROW & COMPACT MINIMAL DESIGN: This compact...
- POWERFUL SOUND 4.2. CHANNEL SYSTEM: The powerful 40W speakers in...
- MULTIPLE VOICE ASSISTANTS: Built in Alexa, the Google Assistant,...
Samsung LSP9T is the best ultra-short-throw projector for anyone who wants a large 130-inch picture in an easy-to-use package. Thanks to its throw ratio, you can achieve a 130-inch image with the ultra-short throw projector at only 9.4 inches from the screen or a 100-inch image at 4.45 inches distance, meaning that you won't have to adjust your TV stand or table to install the ultra-short-throw projector. In addition, the project has an electronic focus and 15 points keystone correction, which makes the projector image easy to adjust over the screen.
Image Credit: Samsung
Samsung LSP9T has an unbelievable color and clarity for a home device. It includes various models such as dynamic mode and the filmmaker mode for watching TV in daylight. Moreover, it features a good brightness at 2800 lumens which makes it well suited for brightly lit rooms, and it also has an easy yet no-hassle setup.
Although it is the best ultra-short throw if you want to replace your TV since it delivers a television-caliber experience, it doesn't come cheap. However, if on a budget, you could choose the LPST7, which will work well but will not be the best if you want a very bright image quality.
3. LG HU85LA Ultra Short Throw 4K UHD Laser Smart Home Theater
- 4K UHD (3840x2160) Display
- Up to 2700 ANSI Lumens brightness - laser projector (Class 1...
- Display a 120” Screen from just 7. 2 inch away from projector...
- LG webOS lite. Use the included Magic Remote on this LG CineBeam...
- Alexa Built-In. Noise-26↓ / 28↓ / 30dB(A)↓
LG is among the brands that don't need an introduction since they make all home appliances, including short-throw projector models. This LG HU85LA model is among the cheapest options on this list, making it suitable for all shoppers on a budget. Since it's an entry-level ultra-short-throw projector, its throw distance of 7.2 inches is expected if you want to use the projector with a 120-inch screen size.
Image Source: LG
LG HU85LA ultra-short-throw projectors come with the DLP projection technology and include a laser light source that will help the projector get a razor-sharp image and very bright colors. However, for the best image quality on the screen, it's best to use the UST projector screen, and it comes with the LG web OS making it a true smart projector.
The UST projector comes with a 10-watt speaker that isn't loud but crystal clear, but for a great cinematic and gaming experience, get the budget or premium soundbar. Also, since this projector includes an HDMI arc, it's easy to connect the soundbar with the projector and to ensure you get the best audio output from gaming and movies, it comes with gaming mode.
4. Vava 4K Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector
- VAVA 4K Laser Projector ,30 day returns ,1 year warranty covered...
- Specification item value Private Mold Yes Type Digital Projector...
- Resolution 4K(3840*2160) Projection Distance 5-50cm Lamp ALPD 3.0...
- RAM 2GB DDR3 ROM 32GB eMMC high-speed flash memory WIFI...
- Easy Installation The ultra short throw projection eliminates the...
The Vava 4K ultra-short-throw projector will light up any screen and give a bright, beautiful picture when balancing performance and price. Its laser light source ensures the resulting image is bright while it offers 25,000 hours of life from its light source. Moreover, it features 2500 ANSI lumens meaning its suitable to be used in a bright room, while the 3000:1 contrast ratio gives a fantastic image quality.
Image Source: Vav
Vava 4K packs a 60-watt Harman Kardon soundbar complete with a Dolby audio and DTS-HD processing, meaning the built-in audio will work well in a self-contained home theater experience. Although it's a 4K projector that displays 8 million pixels on-screen, the chip inside is not a native 4K chip. Instead, this model relies on pixel shifting.
Unfortunately, it has a fairly high lag of around 100ms, but it won't be too noticeable for single-player and slow-paced video games. Still, it is the best UST projector for most users thanks to the good color accuracy, stellar speakers and a bright image.
5. Optoma CinemaX P2 Ultra Short Throw Projector
- 4K UHD + HDR10: Enjoy a high-quality, cinematic home theater...
- 6-SEGMENT COLOR WHEEL: Experience richer colors and enhanced...
- BRIGHT, RELIABLE LASER: Laser technology delivers outstanding...
- ULTRA-SHORT THROW: The CinemaX P2’s space-saving, ultra-short...
- EASY IMAGE SETUP: Using Optoma’s SmartFIT app, ensure easy...
Optoma CinemaX P2 is a great and bright projector with 3000 ANSI lumens coupled with a laser light source and an RGB 6-segment color wheel. Thanks to these features, it delivers a gorgeous picture with an unrivaled color accuracy making the Optoma CinemaX a perfect cinephile-caliber ultra-short-throw projector capable of displaying serious eye candy and excellent image quality.
Image Source: Optoma
The Optoma CinemaX gaming mode has a 67ms response time which is relatively solid, although it's unsuitable for hardcore gamers. Unfortunately, its built-in speakers compete with most soundbars, and you cant connect a powered subwoofer to the audio out jack if you want additional bass.
However, the input lag is unacceptable for die-hard gamers, but its exceptional color accuracy, superb speakers, high brightness and stellar contrast ratio make it a good value. Generally, it is the best projector for movies.
What Customers Liked
How Do Ultra Short Throw Projectors Work?
While all projectors work by sending light through the lens to the screen, the light from an ultra-short-throw projector is reflected off a mirror, and it directs the picture to your UST projector screen. Unfortunately, these devices cannot zoom, meaning you will have to position your projector physically to match your screen size.
The throw distance is defined as the area between the projector and the screen where ultra-short-throw projectors feature a very wide-angle lens to project a better picture quality over a shorter distance. Even when the projector is very close to the screen or wall, it can still throw a large picture on the viewing surface. This makes the best ultra-short-throw projector a perfect space-saving option for small rooms.
Is an Ultra-Short throw Projector Worth it?
1. Great for Small Spaces
The ultra-short throw projectors are perfect for producing images of up to 100 inches in size from two feet or less distance. So even in small spaces, you can create a large, clear and bright image without worrying too much about the placement.
2. Easy to Install
There are little to no complexities when installing ultra-short-throw projectors since you don't need a ceiling outlet as you would need in a traditional projector. In addition, you won't need to find a solution for running long HDMI cables from the source to your projector, as this UST projector can sit close enough to all the components you need.
3. Last Longer than Traditional Projectors
UST projectors have better durability than traditional projectors that use lamps or bulbs where the laser and LED light engines have rated a minimum of 20,000 hours. Also, it takes long before these light sources lose their brightness, meaning you will hardly notice dim pictures or color shifting.
4. Your Room Doesn't Have to Be Dark
These ultra-short-throw projectors are designed for use in any room and are not meant for only a dedicated home theater. The rooms with bright light and more windows might be an issue for a normal projector if they lack a high lumens rating. However, the UST projectors were made for well-lit rooms, and they are built with an extremely bright light source with a brightness of 2000 ANSI lumens or more.
Why an Ultra Short Throw Projector Is Not For You
It might not be the best option if you have difficulties finding a UST projector within your budget since it has a high price and cheaper projectors. Most of the best ultra-short-throw projectors will dent your account, although you may find one at a reasonable price range.
2. You may Need a Special Screen
Once you purchase your ultra-short-throw projector, you can project it on anything. Still, you will have a better experience if you buy a screen specifically for rejecting ambient light from other sources. However, this will increase the cost of your equipment setup.
3. Awkward Installation
Installation may seem easy when you think about it since you don't have to install a ceiling mount or outlet or hide several long HDMI cables. However, the projector needs to be placed on a low table about 18 to 24 inches in front of the screen, which may seem awkward to put an obtrusive object farther into the room.
Since UST projector models generate a lot of heat, they are cooled by a fan. However, the fan makes a noise meaning you will need to find ultra-short throw projectors with loudspeakers that can compensate for the additional noise.
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Ultra Short Throw Projector
When choosing an ultra-short-throw projector, you can consider a few factors. Some of them include:
It's about individual preferences for resolution, but you need to understand that the higher the resolution, the higher the price of the short throw projector. Some units will have Full HD (1080p) while others will have 4K, and you should choose the most convenient one for you, even if it means 720p.
A 4K projector screen will have four times the number of pixels of a 1080P projector, offering better picture quality and beautiful colors. However, this does not mean that 1080P isn't good, but it's not as good. So if you are interested in saving some cash, it will come in handy and still give you good image quality.
Some UST projectors won't have a 4K resolution. Although it's not always native 4K, projectors can often broadcast a 4K image by using pixel shifting to upscale an image to 4K from a 1080p chip.
Notably, eventually, 8K will overtake 4K, which will make 4K models cheaper, but the difference between 8K and 4K is not as drastic as the difference between 4K and 1080P unless you are close to the screen.
2. Onboard Audio
Most UST projectors have an integrated sound, such as a speaker or a soundbar but not all manufacturers will focus on the audio quality. So since both TVs and projectors offer subpar built-in speakers, you will need the big audio to match if you have a big screen. If you don't want to use an external sound component such as external speakers, you should find a built-in sound component with better digital audio or sound quality.
An external surround system or soundbar is the best choice, and although many UST projectors have great onboard speakers which provide audio quality, it is at par with soundbars.
Many people don't but inputs and outputs as they should, and they assume there will be enough for all their external video sources. So instead, look for the necessary connectivity options such as Bluetooth, 2 HDMI ports, coax, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and optical audio output.
Think about which devices you would like to connect and how many were for routing audio to a receiver or soundbar. For example, you might need an audio return channel (ARC).
Although some UST projectors include HDMI and VGA ports, the modern ones have micro-USB, DVI, USB, and AV ports. In addition, some of these units have wireless connectivity like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but you should choose UST projectors whose connectivity options match your current hardware.
4. Smart Features
Like most TVs, many projectors have a baked-in operating system for streaming from apps such as Hulu and Netflix. In addition, most UST projectors will come with an android tv OS where you can watch or stream the OTT platform content with a few clicks directly from the projector.
So, if you don't want to invest in streaming sticks, choose an ultra-short-throw projector that supports your favorite stream provider. However, a dedicated external streaming device is the way to go since many UST projectors include an unofficial version of an Android onboard.
Also, a UST projector will have a wireless connection such as mirroring for Android and iOS, and it will also have a voice assistant such as Google and Alexa for voice command.
Brightness is measured in lumens, and it indicates how well a projector performs in a bright room. Most customers will purchase the UST projector because they want to use it in ambient light, such as a TV. If your intention is like this, then it will be better if you choose a projector that supports ANSI lumens so your projector can perform well in ambient light.
For 10-foot screen size, you should opt for a minimum of 2500 lumens of brightness but if you want brighter, go for 3500 as it would offer more. UST projectors are made for bright rooms, but some units will work better than others.
In addition, it's important to check whether the UST projector has three color lasers or if it comes with one laser and a color wheel.
6. Throw Ratios
Before navigating the projector reviews, it's necessary to differentiate between ultra-short-throw projectors and short throw projectors. Their major difference is the throw ratio shown in the format of either 0.3:1 or just 0.3. The 0.3 means that for any 1 inch of the screen width, the projector should be 0.3 inches from the screen.
So, you will need to multiply your decimal number by the width of the projected image you intend to understand how far the projector should be from the wall or screen. For example, if the throw ratio is 0.3, you will want a 100-inch image, and you will need to place the projector about 30 inches from the screen.
On the other hand, short-throw 4K projectors and laser projectors feature a throw ratio between 0.4 and 1.0, while the ultra-short-throw projectors have a throw ratio below 0.4. The smaller the throw ratio, the close to the screen you can place your projector.
A UST projector is not easy to set up or focus the whole image on your screen. So, you should look at your projector's description as they are easy to set up and knowing what features the projector has to know beforehand of the installation will be an easy process.
Cost is the main factor to consider where the ultra-short-throw projectors go for higher prices than the average long throw projector or even the short throw projector. However, as UST 4K projectors are expensive, you need to ensure that you get good value for your money.
Image Credit: ecoustics.com