What is a Long Throw Projector?

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Updated February 8, 2023

If you’re wondering, “What is a long throw projector?” then you’re probably in the market for theater projectors. A long throw projector can project a large image from a big distance. They’re made to be placed far from the screen by several feet or more. Most conference rooms, lecture halls, and movie theaters use long-throw projectors.

Alternatively, there are tons of types, such as ultra-short-throw projectors, LCD projectors, and LCoS projectors. For a premium experience fit for a movie theater, the best projectors for the job are long-throw models. These can be 3D projectors and projectors that work outside. You’ll also want to ensure they have a great dynamic contrast ratio, native resolution, and preferably an optical zoom setting.


  • These models are great for many activities, such as playing video games on a larger image for a premium experience or playing movies with high color accuracy.
  • Aside from being a projector for gaming or watching movies on a homemade outdoor projector screen, a long throw projector makes an excellent addition to outdoor theaters with larger screen sizes to project onto.
  • Using this type of projector results in a larger picture with a sharper image and impressive color accuracy, leading to a premium experience for viewers.

Explaining Long Throw Projectors

The question “What is a long throw projector?” can be explained easily, much easier than comparing the difference between short-throw vs long-throw projectors. The projector-to-screen relationship is complicated, and there are a ton of technical terms to know. The native resolution, dynamic contrast ratio, and more are crucial to picking the projector compatible with you.

Understanding the throw ratio is the next step, which requires a little math. If you’re wondering, “What is projector throw ratio?” then keep reading to understand more about throw distance.

Insider Tip

Ultra-short throw projectors are excellent for providing a high-quality image while removing any issues with image distortion from obstructing objects or passersby. Keep in mind they work great when these projectors are positioned correctly. 

Why Throw Distance Matters

Throw has been thrown around quite a bit so far, like in ultra-short-throw projectors. The idea behind this term is that the projector lens must “throw” light at the screen, and the screen size must accommodate this. Throw distance determines what screen size your projector is capable of working with.

If a portable projector is more your style, there are plenty of options to pursue. The question “What is a Pico projector?” is an excellent place to start.

Usage of Long Throw Types of Projectors

Now that you know what throw means, it’s time to break down what it has to do with projectors producing a high-quality image. These are cheaper projectors that are easily affordable to most people. Long-range models are perfect whether you have a 120-inch image to produce for movie night or play video games on a big screen.


If your projector’s remote control runs out of batteries, you can lose access to many of its technical features, so always keep spare batteries in stock.

These are primarily useful for those seeking a huge image with accurate colors and a sharp picture. Long-throw models produce excellent color reproduction at an affordable price range.

The Benefits of Long Throw Projectors

When it comes to types of throw, the longer end of the range has several benefits:

  • Excels at being used as a business projector
  • Far less expensive than short-throw models
  • Great for your in-home theater space

The Drawbacks of Long Throw Projectors

Every type of projector on the market has shortfalls. These models are no different:

  • Cannot provide high image quality in small spaces
  • Must be placed at least 6ft away from the projector screen
  • Not a versatile projector due to room size constraints

STAT: In 2020, there were 5,798 cinemas in the United States. (source)


What is the best throw distance for a projector?

That depends mainly on what you plan to use the projector for. There are ultra-short throw models, standard throw projector models, and long throw. Figure out what space you’re looking to project in, and go from there.

What is a throw ratio for a projector?

Throw ratio tells you at what distance you can project a specific image size. You can find your throw ratio by diving throw distance over width. Having a correctly sized image is crucial for an immersive experience.

Are short-throw models worth it?

A short-throw projector is fantastic for smaller living spaces or similar locations. While they can be expensive, the shorter distance between the projector and the projection screen makes up for that.

How can I get a brighter image with high ambient light?

If you have a lot of ambient light, you need to neutralize that light as much as possible. A well-lit room is the enemy of a bright picture. Figure out what light sources are around, and unplug or turn off as many as possible.

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