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# What is a Good Throw Ratio and Why Does it Matter?

• 2024-08-12

Specifications for projectors can be an overwhelming amount of data that might not make sense to a new projector user. Finding a projector that works in your space and projects great-quality images means you have to review these and understand the specifications. Brightness, color, and audio capabilities can be easier specs to compare, but what about throw ratio? The term throw ratio is used with every single projector, but what does it mean and why does it matter? In this article, we’ll break down what throw ratio is and how it affects your choice of projector.

## What is Throw Ratio and Throw Distance?

When setting up your projector, you’ll need to understand the throw ratio and throw distance as it directly affects the size of the image you’re projecting. Let’s break down with these terms mean.

Throw ratio is the width (W) of the image in relation to the throw distance (D). Let’s say the throw ratio on a projector is 2.0, that means that for every 1ft of image width, the projector needs to be 2ft away. The formula for this is D/W = 2/1, but don’t worry, most projector pages have a clear description or graph of the ranges the projector provides. If you’re still unsure or want to make sure you’re calculating this correctly, looking up a projector calculator can be beneficial. We recommend using this one: CALCULATOR HERE

Throw distance is the specific distance from the lens of the projector to the screen surface/wall. This distance will usually indicate how large the image will be, which is why many projectors provide a range for throw distance and screen size. For example, a projector may have a throw distance of 8.5ft with a screen size of 100in, meaning if you place your projector 8.5ft from your screen or wall, your image will be 100in. If a projector says you can project up to 150in at 10ft, that means that is the largest image the projector can produce without it becoming distorted.

Both throw ratio and throw distance should be the first thing you look at when deciding on a projector. The distance your projector is from your screen or wall changes the size of the image it produces, and if you get one with the wrong throw distance it will lessen the quality of your viewing experience. Some projectors have a zoom lens, which can adjust the size of the image directly without moving the projector, but this may affect the image quality. It’s best to place the projector at an optimal viewing distance without too many adjustments.

## How Do You Calculate Throw Ratio?

As we mentioned above, throw ratio is Distance divided by Width (D/W), which can be calculated on your own or with the help of a projector calculator. An easy way to calculate throw ratio is by taking a measurement of your space, from the screen/wall to where the projector will be, and dividing that by 2. If the distance is 10, then the width would be five or 10/2.

Let’s also consider the opposite, W/D. You may know what size of projected image you want but are unsure about where the projector will go. You’ll start with the size, for example 5 feet, and multiply by 2. The projector would need to be about 10ft away, so you’ll look for a projector that offers a throw ratio within this range. Since projectors always provide ranges, you’ll have to make sure your distance calculation fits within the provided range.

Another thing to remember is that some projector lens specs will provide two different throw ratios, one that specifies the distance without adjusting the zoom and one that provides the minimum and maximum zoom settings. The ability to zoom is beneficial for portable projectors or ones that may not sit in the same space regularly. However, if you’re planning to mount your projector in place, select one that fits the throw ratio without utilizing the zoom ratio.

## Why Does Throw Ratio Matter?

Throw ratio matters because it directly affects the quality of your viewing experience. You can have the best projector on the market, but if it’s not placed correctly or sized for your space, you won’t be able to enjoy the content you’re watching. A proper throw ratio is necessary for optimal projector usage and easy setup, both for fixed positions and portability.

A standard throw projector will have a larger distance range for projection and is great for bigger spaces or theater rooms. A short-throw projector has a shorter distance range that works great in smaller spaces or bedrooms. Not every projector has the same throw distance though, so be sure to check the specs before deciding on a projector.

Top Left W5800 / Top Right X3100i / Bottom Left GV50 / Bottom Right X300G

Here are some projector examples with varying throw ratios:

• X-Series: Three gaming projectors, the X3100i, X500i, and X300G, that offer the ultimate gaming experiences anywhere. The X3100i is the standard throw projector with a throw distance of 100in at 8.2ft, designed to build your dream game room. The X500i is a short throw projector with a throw distance of 100in at 5ft, made to transform any space into a gaming haven. The X300G is a short-throw portable projector with a throw distance of 100in at 5ft, built for you to create a gaming space anywhere.
• TK710 & TK710STi: Two casual gaming projectors that provide great gaming experiences and fun movie nights. The TK710 is a standard throw projector with a throw distance of 100in at 8.4ft. The TK710Sti is a short throw projector with a throw distance of 100in at 6.5ft.
• HT4550i & W5800: Two home theater projectors that projector colors exactly as directors envisioned them. The HT4550i is a standard throw projector with a throw distance of 100in at 8.3ft. The W5800 is a standard throw projector with a larger throw distance of 150in at 16.6ft.

Whether you decided on a standard throw or short throw projector, BenQ has great quality options that fit all indoor and outdoor spaces. Check out all our projector options here and find the perfect match for all your needs!

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