Long Throw Projectors

6 Replies

Long Throw Projectors

Posted by Joe Gimmarco on Nov 6, 2018 9:49 am

Hello all!

We are in the process of some much needed technology upgrades in the Jean Hower Taber Student Union. Our next venture is upgrading our long throw projectors, which are at least 10 year old dinosaurs. We are looking for a product that is affordable, as the budget is tight, and that is user friendly, as our student staff does most of our day to day setup. Our current Long Throw Projectors are rated at 7000 lumens but we would like for our new projectors to be more powerful. We have a significant amount of natural light in our ballroom that negatively effects our image quality. We are also looking to have HDMI connectivity on our new projectors. We welcome any input and suggestions.

Thank you!

Joe Gimmarco
Coordinator, Student Union Operations
The University of Akron
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Re: Long Throw Projectors

Posted by Ryan VanderVegt on Nov 7, 2018 12:31 pm

Hey Joe, 

Is this going to be a portable projector? Your best solution would be to install something and try to shorten the throw distance since a long throw will negatively impact the brightness. 

Another solution worth considering might be a rear projection set up. This really depends on how you're space is set up and if you have room for it but you can get a short throw lens instead and set up a rear projection screen which can give you better brightness in environments with lots of ambient light. 

In terms of the projector itself I'm a big fan of Panasonic projectors. They wont be the cheapest option but they are reliable. Do you have any other projectors in your facility or do you know what is deployed across campus. If your classroom support group already has a preferred vendor it might be worth working with them especially if they are getting a volume discount. 

The other idea I'll give you is this Panasonic ultra short throw lens. If you can't set up a rear projection this lens allows the projector to sit really close to the screen (like 3-4ft) and still project a large image. Its a really nice solution for space constrained installation but its also not cheap. 

I hope that is somewhat helpful. Its hard to make recommendations without knowing a bit more about your space/situation. 


Re: Long Throw Projectors

Posted by Chance Haugen on Nov 7, 2018 8:06 pm

Good evening Joe,
I think that Ryan gave you some really good advice.  My part of this is that if these are portable projectors, I personally like Epson.  The keystoning function on Epson is really good, easy, and flexible.

Since your projectors are 10 years old, you need to expect that the next set needs to last another 10 years.  Consequently, you most likely need to go with laser projectors.  While the initial upfront cost will be a bit more, they are brighter in general and the lamp replacement cost is zero.  BUT, they do have an end of life span.  Once the lasers to out, you'll need to replace the projector BUT their hours of operation are about 12,000 hours at least!

As far as connectivity, you'll need to look for HDMI and HD SDI.  Don't try to figure in VGA.  It's just not worth it.  Computers now a days don't even go standard 4:3.  If you aren't familiar with HD SDI, it has a max length of 250 - 300' versus HDMI's 40'.  Once we transitioned to HD SDI, it opened up so many more doors of flexibility for programs.  While the initial cost is there too, they are much more reliable than HDMI cords over the long run of setup/teardown/setup/teardown/etc.  You'll need to make sure to get adapters from HDMI to HD SDI but once you have those, it is easy to accept many different types of devices.

I'd be more than happy to chat more if you would like.  Good luck in your endeavor!

Chance Haugen
(806) 651-2394

Re: Long Throw Projectors

Posted by Andrew Goodman on Nov 8, 2018 11:43 am

I second Chaunce's recommendation to look into laser-based projectors. In addition to being very bright and robust, they turn on and off almost instantaneously. We replaced a couple of ten year old projectors in one of our ballrooms with a pair of Epson Pro L 1500s and they've been fantastic to work with. 

As far as brightness vs throw is concerned, I was recently corrected by our campus projection expert who informed me that the size of the image being projected has a greater impact on brightness than the proximity of the projector. The way he explained it was to think of lumens like paint. A quart of paint and a gallon of paint can give you the same results, the quart of paint just wont cover the same surface area. Similarly, a 10,000 lumen projector and a 5,000 lumen projector can produce images of similar brightness, but not at the same size. When we move a projector closer to a screen it appears to get brighter because the projected image is getting smaller. If we could change the lens so that the image size remained the same, the brightness would remain consistent.

So the important question to ask in this situation is how big of an image do you need to project? Projectorcentral.com has a great resource for calculating optimal image size and throw distance for a wide range of projectors. Once you've identified a few replacement candidates, plug them into calculator and see which ones will best fit your space.

Re: Long Throw Projectors

Posted by Kyle Gettelman on Nov 15, 2018 10:00 am

Our campus has been moving to the Epson Laser Projectors for a lot of our installs.  Above in the thread short throw was mentioned and I would agree with considering that option if you are thinking to go installed.  We just installed an ultra short throw Epson (8000 lumen)  into one of our venues and it has been well received because projector is about three feet from the screen which allows presenters to be more interactive with the screen without casting shadows.  Downside...the ultra short throw lenses are sometimes a bit more expensive than the expensive long throw lenses.  Also, be sure to consider lamp expenses and lift expenses (if needed) when thinking about laser versus lamp based.  Depending upon usage that could, long term, make a difference.

Re: Long Throw Projectors

Posted by Michael McKean on Nov 16, 2018 9:00 am

I would second everyone's notion of Laser Projectors with zero maintenance they pay for themselves over time.  I have heard a lot of issues with Epsons larger format projectors, the power assembly overheats and gives out.  I would definitely ask your dealer to extend the warranty.  We had to send one back after two months.


Michael McKean
Texas A & M Commerce
Associate Director

Re: Long Throw Projectors

Posted by Chance Haugen on Nov 17, 2018 4:04 pm

I will second the issue with Epson. We had one two months and it needed to be replaced. What I have heard is that they have been fixed and shouldn’t have further issues but it’s something to be on the watch out for. I still love Epson’s keystoning feature much more than Panasonic.