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Into AV - Advice on Home Cinema Projectors and Installations
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This page will give advice on Home Cinema Projectors, and how the best way is to install them.

We also do package deals to suit your requirements, wether it be a JVC DLA X55 projector with fixed frame screen or a budget projector with screen.

We can also provide diagrams as to where to put the equipment, and what cables to run where.

We can even design and build false walls to house the screen and equipment in, like what is done to the left.


        Home » Home Cinema Installations - A Guide to building your own home cinema choice » Home Cinema Projectors

Home Cinema Projectors and Installation

Over the last few years home cinema projectors have probably developed faster than any other piece of AV equipment. They have come along way since the large 3 lens washing machined sized eye sore on the ceiling of the local pub showing a blurred football match.

The arrival of full high definition has really made projection come into its own. Full HD on a 42” plasma is one thing but see it on a 9ft wide screen is another. The way a projector produces the image has greatly improved, technology like Texas instruments DLP chip and JVC’s D-ILA wire grid are now producing film like quality images with a very high native contrast.

Home Cinema Projectors

To make matters confusing there are a huge array of makes and models of projects on the market with very much exaggerated specifications. Most of these machines are modified conference and presentation models that have been marketed to the ever growing home cinema market.

My advice would be to stick with a company that solely manufactures projectors or that has a professional broadcast background. Not only do they have the edge on performance, most of these companies have only a small UK based division. This means any problems you might have are dealt with efficiently and there is always some good technical staff on hand to talk to. JVC all make some superb projectors at various price points and all have small setups in the UK dealing with their sales and technical.

Projector installation - Aligning the projector

To help align the projector most machines have an alignment grid that can be activated in the settings menu. This fills the pixels at the very edge of the image so you can be sure you are filling the screen correctly.

The below diagram shows a plan view and side view of possible projector positions. The horizontal plane of the lens should be placed in the centre of the screen with the screen and projector at a 90 degree angle to each other. As the screen is fixed to the front wall it relies on the front wall being perfectly square to the room, this is often not the case but will only produce a very slight discrepancy in the picture shape. This can be compensated by slightly overlapping the image onto the black borders of the screen. This is quite normal and common practice.

Many Hi-End projectors like the JVC X35 have optical lens shift, this allows you to offset the projector from the centre of the screen within the limits of the lens shift. The projector should still remain at 90 degrees to the screen or the image will be distorted.

Home Cinema Installations and help in installing one

With a fixed lens projector the vertical position should be approximately 5cm to 30cm above the top of the viewable part of the screen, with the projector sitting upside down on a ceiling bracket.

A projector with vertical lens shift can also be mounted the normal way up on a shelf. Depending on it’s range of lens shift it can be fixed anywhere within the area of the screen. A vertical lens shift projector should always be kept level and the lens shift used to move the image, do not tilt the projector.

Mounting Distance
The distance the projector can be placed from the screen is governed by the lens throw ratio. This is stated on the manufacturers specifications, it has two numbers. The lowest will show the closest the projector can be and the higher number the furthest away it can be. To calculate this you take the width of the viewable part of the screen and times it by these numbers.

For example: The throw ratio of the projector is 1.8 – 2.2:1 and you have a 2.3m wide screen.
2.3m x the lowest number (1.8) = 4.14m which is the closest the front of the lens can be from the screen.
2.3m x the highest number (2.2) = 5.06m which is the furthest the front of the lens can be from the screen.

The projector can be placed anywhere within these measurements but it is advisable not to place the projector on the limits of these distances as there can be up to a 5% discrepancy in the lens specification.

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