How you will be mounting your projector can affect which projector you choose to purchase. A projector will dictate your throw distance and therefore your image size and what size screen you require. A permanently installed projector requires some consideration of the variables that will be involved.
What kind of ceiling will you be mounting the projector to?
- Cathedral – high rise ceilings, open, vaulted.
- Structural – a non cathedral ceiling that is eight feet or more high, usually enclosed.
- Suspended – ceiling tile system, t-bar.
There are many variables to consider when mounting a projector.
- Do you want to flush mount or suspend the projector from the ceiling?
- Will suspending the projector impede a view?
- What would be the most aesthetically pleasing?
- Would flush mounting make the projector “invisible”?
- How will the cable be accessible or run?
- Visually, can you tie the projector in with a speaker cluster or some other architectural element?
- You will need to consider that a flush mount requires four to six inches between ceiling and projector. Cathedral ceilings require a suspended mount.
Watch a demonstration of installing the Chief Ceiling Projector Mount: Installing a ceiling mount
You’ll need to know the exact projector model that you will be installing. Projector mounting plates are made to fit a certain model projector’s mounting holes exactly, and this varies from one model to another. Most projectors are mounted upside down on the ceiling and have a menu selection to invert the image.
Click on the link to take a “Projector Tour” from NEC Display Solutions: Projector Tour
Throw distance is the distance between the projector and the screen. The farther between the two the larger the image. You’ll need to know how far back you have to install the projector in order to fill the designated screen size. Each projector model may throw a different image size. Manufacturers produce “throw charts” that list image size based on distance from the screen. This is required information that easily obtainable on the web or often projector spec sheets.
Click on the link to calculate throw distance: NEC Image Calculator
Projectors are an investment. It makes them desirable targets for thieves. Your projector may already have some built-in security features. Projectors may have password protection, or security cards that completely disable the projector to unauthorized users, they may be IP addressable on a network, or even house their own CCD camera. If the projector is going to be in a high visibility or easily accessible area, then you may want to consider these physical security options:
- The simplest option is to order a projector mount that has a clamp device. The clamp device shrouds the projector on both sides to keep it from being removed from the mount. It is secured by a set of security screws that require a special Allen wrench.
- The second option is a security cable. The security cable attaches to the side of the projector via lock. The cable is then secured to the ceiling mount.
- There is also a LCD projector security cage. This cage is made of heavy duty steel and your projector would fit right into the cage. The cage is secured by security screws that use a special Allen wrench.
Ventilation intakes and outputs can affect the performance of the projectors cooling system. Overheating will shorten lamp life and projector life. It can cause irreparable damage to projectors. Always ensure the the intakes and outake vents are clear.
Adequate ventilation is your primary consideration in
protecting your projector investment!
Most manufacturers recommend a three-foot radius for ventilation around your projector. Security cages offer the best ventilation, as the potential airflow is on 6 sides. Make sure that once mounted, NOTHING (beams, other equipment) blocks projector intakes or outputs.
Now you are ready to place the projector. In both the cathedral and structural ceiling applications you will place the projector on the existing structures. The suspended ceiling kit applications will have the projector attached directly to the ceiling tile that is included in the kit. In any of these applications you may use an extension pole to drop the projector to the height of the screen or you may flush mount both the structural and suspended ceiling applications. All mounts come with pitch, or roll or yaw or all of them. Get the best physical alignment you can. Then use the projector’s keystone adjustment or 3D Reform™ to fine tune your way to a squared image.