Tips for a ceiling mounted projector


Is a ceiling mounted projector the way to go for you?

Ceiling mounted projectors give the full media experience with theatre-style viewing. If you are using your 1080p projector in one room and it doesn’t need to be moved, then a ceiling-mounted projector is good option.

Installing a mounted projector can be a bit of a challenge so here are some helpful tips.

Ceiling restrictions

What kind of ceiling are you dealing with? This is important since the type of ceiling controls how high the 1080P projector will go and what type of ceiling mount kit you must buy. There are three basic ceilings:

  • Cathedral: Any tall, high rise ceiling resembling those found in a church. Difficult to mount anything onto due to height. You won’t be able to do flush mounting.
  • Structural:  The main ceiling, usually flat and at least eight feet high.
  • Suspended: Also known as a drop or false ceiling, this is a secondary ceiling hung below the main ceiling. This is most typically found in an office setting and can be less stable.

Mounting kit

Be sure to buy the correct mounting kit for your projector model. Each manufacturer will make a specific mounting kit for your particular model that will line up properly with the various mounting holes and ventilation slots. There aren’t really any generic mounting systems that work properly so don’t buy one!

Locate the ceiling stud (use a stud finder to locate the appropriate beam). Your ceiling mounting kit will have instructions and all the necessary hardware for mounting your projector.

Placement is crucial

If you want your projector to be flush to the ceiling, be sure to leave between 4 to 6 inches between then ceiling and projector so there ie enough airflow around the projector. You don’t want your projector to overheat. A projector too close to the ceiling will overheat causing it to shut down or have a shorter lamp life. Most manufacturers recommend a three-foot radius for proper ventilation. Most projectors are mounted upside down and the image is then inverted using the menu options.

Screen calculations

You’ll need to take the screen into consideration as well:

  • Screen height:  Your screen is an important part of the whole scenario. You need to have the right placement as well the correct height. Take your ceiling height, subtract three feet and that will give you your maximum screen height. Minimum height is three feet off the floor.
  • Screen width: What is the maximum width of your screen? If you’re using the projector for predominantly business presentations you want to install the 4:3 aspect ratio screen and the 16:9 aspect ratio screen for watching television or movies. For the 4:3 screen, take your maximum screen height and multiply it by 1.33 and if installing a 16:9 screen, take your maximum screen height and multiply it by 1.78—that number will be your maximum screen width.
  • Throw Distance: How far back do you need to go? The “throw distance” depends on your particular model; each projector throws a different image. Consult your manual for the manufacturer throw chart listing image size based on distance from the screen. This will determine exactly where the projector should be mounted.

Adjustments will be needed

After making sure the projector is level on the mount you’re ready to adjust the picture. Use the menu options to invert the picture and then align the picture using the zoom, horizontal and vertical lens shift controls. Adjust the focus. If your projector doesn’t have the vertical lens shift you will have to adjust the height of either the screen or projector. Your specific user manual will have more information.

Stay patient

Getting your projected mounted on the ceiling and everything working takes a bit of time. Stay patient knowing that once you have everything working, you won’t have to do any more adjustments. Your ceiling mounted projector will give you a great image and enhance your presentation or viewing enjoyment.

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