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Projector Ceiling Mount

Projector ceiling mounts can usually be installed with simple household tools.

Mounted projectors are often utilized in a business setting. [©Jupiter Images, 2010]
©Jupiter Images, 2010
Mounted projectors are often utilized in a business setting.

Projector Ceiling Mount

Projector ceiling mount installation requires only basic equipment and can turn a living room into a home theater. Mounted projectors can also be used in the workplace to aid with presentations and workplace educational seminars. In addition, ceiling mount projectors save space, allowing users to have an excellent format for watching movies, without the need to purchase large-screen televisions.

The benefits of ceiling mount projectors include:

  • It is more difficult to block the light path
  • Wires and cables are not run along the floor
  • The projector is protected from damage
  • They take up no floor space

The disadvantages include:

  • The user may need to drill holes in walls and floor to run wires
  • They are more difficult to access than table-mounted units
  • Installation requires calculations to ensure proper screen position

Types of Projectors

There are many different types of projectors available for home use. Some projectors must be situated on a shelf or a table, while others can be mounted from the ceiling. Some companies, like Sanus Systems, offer ceiling mounting racks that will allow any type of projector to be converted into a ceiling mount projector.

Projectors differ in the type of picture they project. Ceiling mount projectors may project images in LCD, HD, or standard video format. Projectors also differ in how they connect to media players. Some connect wirelessly to digital video units, while others may require physical connections. Most video projectors will connect to a standard DVD or Bluray disk player, or to a computer.

Installing Wiring

Before mounting a ceiling projector, the user should determine the location of the speakers, the media player and the screen. To achieve a professional look, users may want to take the time to run wiring behind walls and above the ceiling. As this can be a difficult process, some users may want to contact a professional electrician for help in installing wires and ensuring a proper connection.

Alternatively, the wires for power, audio and video can be mounted to the walls and ceiling. It is advisable to first measure the space carefully to determine the length of wires needed to mount the projector in a variety of locations.

Calculating the Throw Distance

To ensure the best picture quality, the projector and the screen should be mounted squarely with one another, meaning that the x and y axis of the projected image must be aligned with the screen. To project an image that will have a width of five feet, for instance, you might have to mount the projector 10 feet from the screen, depending on the type of lens mounted on the projector according to Optoma Home Theater.

Every projector has a minimum throw distance, which is the point at which the projector is too close to the screen to focus the image, and a maximum throw distance, which is the point at which the image brightness declines until the image is not visible. On some projectors, the throw distance is not adjustable, while other projectors have zoom lenses that can be adjusted to operate at different distances.

Many projector manufacturers provide online tools or printable instructions to help users calculate the appropriate throw distance when mounting a projector. Canon provides a web-based calculator that helps users to determine the required distance between the projector and the screen to achieve images of different sizes.

Mounting the Projector

Before mounting the projector and the screen, it is advisable to mark off the area where holes will be drilled in both the ceiling and the wall with a pencil. Distances between all the markings should then be measured again to ensure accuracy.

If possible, the projector mount should be attached to structural components in the ceiling, such as wooden framing boards or studs, rather than hung from the ceiling material itself. Depending on the type of projector and the type of ceiling material, users may want to consult with a professional to ensure that the ceiling will support the combined weight of the projector and the mounting apparatus. The screen should also be mounted to structural material (not simply drywall) whenever possible.

Equipment necessary for the mounting procedure may differ according to the model of both the projector and the ceiling mounting apparatus. Basic equipment needed may include:

  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Electric or hand drill

Where to Find Additional Information

Additional information about mounting and adjusting ceiling mount projectors can be found on the web by visiting the manufacturers of various ceiling mounting equipment or video projectors. In addition, companies specializing in mounting projectors and installing home theater equipment will also provide information on mounting techniques. The Projector Pros provide hints and diagrams to help calculate throw ratios and other information.

In addition, most home projectors are packaged with written instructions and diagrams for how to mount the projector and screen. Those interested in setting up a home theater are advised to pay close attention to the directions included with their projector before beginning the installation process.

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