Guide Projectors

What Is A Short Throw Projector? All You Need to Know In 2023 

basics of a short-throw projector
Written by Johnson Sams

Short-throw projectors are a great way to make presentations and watch movies in any size room. They allow you to project images onto a wall or screen from a short distance, making them perfect for small spaces. With so many types of short-throw projectors on the market, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. 

This guide will explain the basics of short-throw projectors and help you determine which type best suits your needs. We’ll explore the differences between long-throw and short-throw models and discuss critical features such as resolution, brightness, contrast ratio, and lens shift capabilities. Finally, we’ll provide tips on how to get the best out of your projector once you’ve made your purchase.

what is a short-throw projector

The Basics of Short throw projectors: Advantages & Disadvantages 

Short-throw projectors are a type of projection device that allows you to display images on a wall or screen from a short distance—about 3 feet or less. Unlike long-throw projectors, which require more space (typically at least 10 feet) to project an image with good quality, short-throw models can be used in much smaller rooms and don’t need to be placed far away from the wall or screen. This makes them ideal for limited space, such as classrooms and small offices. Some short-throw models are even designed with ultra-short throw distances of 1 foot or less.

Short-throw projectors have several advantages over long-throw models. For one, they use less power, saving you money in the long run. Additionally, because the projector is so close to the wall or screen, it eliminates shadows caused by people standing between the projector and the projected surface. Finally, short-throw projectors are often lighter and more portable than their long-throw counterparts, making them easier to transport to different locations if needed.


  • Can be used in rooms with limited space
  • Uses less power than long-throw models
  • Eliminates shadows caused by people between the projector and the surface being projected onto
  • Lighter and more portable than long-throw projectors, making them easier to transport


  • May not be able to produce an image with as much detail or clarity as that of a long-throw model
  • Not suitable for larger environments, such as auditoriums or theaters, where a wider field of view is needed.
  • Higher cost than long-throw models due to their specialized design.

Types of Short Throw Projectors: Three Popular Short-throw projector Types 

Lamp technology

 1. Lamp-Based Projectors

Lamp-based short-throw projectors use a traditional lamp as the light source. These models are typically more affordable than other short-throw projectors, but they require frequent bulb replacement due to their limited lifespans. Additionally, they tend to be less energy efficient and produce lower image quality than LED or laser models.

2. Laser-Based Projectors

Laser-based short-throw projectors use a laser as the light source. These models are usually more expensive than lamp-based projectors, but they offer longer lifespans with less maintenance and produce higher image quality. Additionally, they tend to be more energy efficient than traditional lamps.

Laser technology
Led technology

3. LED-Based Projectors

LED-based short-throw projectors use an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as the light source. These models are usually more expensive than laser or lamp-based projectors, but they offer longer lifespans and produce higher image quality with less maintenance. Additionally, they tend to be more energy efficient than traditional lamps or lasers.

Key Features to Consider Before Buying a Short Throw Projector

When shopping for a short-throw projector, you should consider several key features. These include resolution, brightness, contrast ratio, and lens shift capabilities.


The resolution of a projector refers to the number of pixels used to create an image on the screen, with higher resolutions producing clearer and more detailed images. Generally speaking, most short-throw projectors offer resolutions of up to 1080p (Full HD) or 4K Ultra HD.


The brightness of a projector refers to the amount of light it can produce, measured in lumens. Most short-throw projectors have a brightness range between 2,000 and 5,000 lumens.

Contrast Ratio and Color Accuracy

The contrast ratio is the difference between the darkest and brightest parts of an image that a projector can produce. Higher contrast ratios result in sharper images with better color accuracy. Most short-throw projectors are capable of achieving contrast ratios greater than 10,000:1.

Lens Shift

Lens shift capability allows you to adjust the image’s position without moving the projector physically. This can be especially beneficial if your projector is situated in a space with limited flexibility or an unusual shape. Look for projectors that offer horizontal and vertical lens shift capabilities for maximum flexibility.

Connectivity Options

Finally, you should consider the type and number of connectivity options available on a projector. Look for a model with plenty of ports connecting external devices such as computers, gaming consoles, and other media sources. HDMI is the most common connection option for projectors today, but some models also offer USB, VGA, or DisplayPort.

Throw Ratio

In addition to the features already mentioned, you should also pay attention to the throw ratio of a projector. The throw ratio is the distance from the projector lens to the screen divided by the image’s width. Short-throw projectors usually have a throw ratio between 0.28:1 and 0.6:1, allowing you to achieve a large image size with minimal space requirements.

Installation Positioning

Finally, you should consider where you plan to install the projector. If you have a dedicated space for it, then you don’t need to worry as much about the throw ratio. However, if you plan on mounting the projector in a more unusual position, such as on a wall or ceiling, you should ensure that the throw ratio is suitable for your needs.

Installation Tips for Short Throw Projectors

1. Place the projector in the right position

When installing a short-throw projector, it is essential to place the projector in the right position. The projector’s throw ratio should determine the optimal distance from the screen. Additionally, you should make sure that the projector is leveled and that it is firmly secured in place.

2. Consider the screen size

When deciding on screen size, you should consider the room’s viewing distance and ambient light. For example, if the room is bright, you should opt for a larger screen to make the image visible. Alternatively, you may want to go with a smaller screen if the room is dark.

3. Check the keystone

The keystone of a projector refers to the angle at which the image is projected on the screen. The image will be distorted or skewed if the keystone is not adjusted correctly. To ensure that the image is perfectly aligned, you should use a keystone tool to make adjustments.

4. Adjust the focus

Once you have the projector in place, you should adjust the focus. To do this, use the remote to manually adjust the focus until the image is sharp and clear. Most projectors have an auto-focus feature, but it is usually better to adjust the focus manually for the best results.

5. Check the settings

Finally, you should check the projector’s settings to ensure they are configured correctly. This includes adjusting the brightness, contrast, and other image settings for optimal performance. Once you have done this, your projector should be ready to use.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of a short throw projector?

Short-throw projectors offer many benefits, including an enlarged image size without needing to be placed far away from the screen, reduced noise levels due to their lower wattage, and less eye strain since they do not require users to look directly at the projected light source. Additionally, they can reduce shadows and glare on the screen surface and help with space constraints in smaller rooms.

How much space is needed for a short-throw projector?

The amount of space needed for a short-throw projector depends on your chosen model. Generally speaking, most short-throw models take about 2-3 feet of distance between the projector lens and the wall or screen. This makes them an ideal choice for small offices or classrooms that do not have a lot of room to work with.

What is the difference between a short throw and a long throw projector?

The primary difference between the two types of projectors is the amount of space needed in order to display an image on a wall or screen. A long throw projector needs at least 10 feet of distance between the projector lens and the wall or screen, while a short throw projector can be placed as close as 2-3 feet from the projection surface. Additionally, due to smaller pixel sizes, most short-throw projectors offer higher image quality than their long-throw counterparts.

Are there any downsides to using a short throw projector?

Some downsides to using a short throw projector include the cost since they are typically more expensive than long throw projectors. They also may have limited compatibility with certain wall or screen surfaces, as some materials can bounce light back at the projector and cause image clarity and resolution issues. Finally, you may need additional accessories, such as ceiling mounts, to properly install and use a short-throw projector.

How do I know if my projector is short-throw?

Most manufacturers will list the throw ratio of their projectors in the specifications. The throw ratio is determined by dividing the distance between the projector lens and screen by the projected image’s width. A short throw projector has a throw ratio of 0.8 or less, while a long throw projector usually has a higher number, such as 1.5 or more. If you are unsure about your specific model, you can always contact the manufacturer for more information.

Can short throw projector replace TV?

Depending on the model, a short-throw projector can provide an image that is comparable to a TV. Many models offer very bright images and full HD resolution, which makes them suitable for both home theaters and office environments. However, they cannot completely replace TVs as far as audio quality goes since most projectors do not have speakers built in. Additionally, if you want to watch live TV broadcasts or stream content via services such as Netflix or Hulu, you will still need a dedicated streaming device like an Apple TV or Roku.

What accessories might I need when using a short throw projector?

The accessories you need for your short throw projector will depend on how you plan to use it. If you are mounting it on a ceiling or wall, you will need a bracket or mount that is compatible with the projector. Additionally, if you plan to connect audio devices such as computers and smartphones, you will need cables to connect them to your projector. Finally, many short-throw projectors come with lenses that can be swapped out for different image sizes and throw distances, so having extra lenses might come in handy.

What screen should I use when using a short throw projector?

The best type of screen for a short throw projector depends on your specific needs. Generally speaking, matte white screens provide the most accurate colors and contrast ratios since they do not reflect light at the projector lens. However, if you need a more portable solution, some screens can be attached to the wall with Velcro or mounted onto frames. Some short-throw projectors may even require specialty screens, so it is always best to check with the manufacturer for compatibility information.


Overall, the basics of short-throw projectors are essential to understand when considering a purchase. Short-throw projectors offer the advantage of displaying images from short distances and can be a great addition to any home or office.

They also have many features that make them very user-friendly, such as adjustable brightness levels, resolution capabilities, and various connectivity options. With all these benefits in mind, it is clear why many people are opting for short-throw projectors over other types of projection technology.

By understanding the basics of these devices, you can ensure that you get the right projector for your needs and budget.

Related: What Are Mini Projectors?

About the author

Johnson Sams