Projecting an image onto the ceiling?
July 2, 2014 3:49 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in projecting a device's output (HDMI, Thunderbolt, whatever) onto the ceiling for truly lazy reading or movie watching while in bed. Is this possible?

Something that does HDMI, Thunderbolt, and (dual-link) DVI would be ideal. (Also, I would like a unicorn pony...)

Has anyone tried this? Does it work? My ceiling is that white rough plaster stuff but on the whole a big enough white surface that I'd like to give it a shot. I assume that for watching movies and for text with a big font, it might be workable...

Presumably, I'd want something that's relatively small, and doesn't generate a ton of heat, that's relatively stable on the bed with some tossing & turning, and that I'd have to aim it straight up ont the ceiling?
posted by raspberry jam and clothes iron to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
There certainly exist small digital projectors that accept all sorts of inputs, and there's no obvious reason why you couldn't point one upward. But I don't think you'll be able to rest it on a squishy, bouncy bed and still keep it in reasonable focus. Putting it on a bedside table would be better. You'd probably need something to support it, too. Most projectors are build to be stable when horizontal, not vertical, and most have all their connectors in the rear, which makes it awkward to rest it on that side. But then, a lot of projectors can be mounted on a ceiling, which is to say, they can be bolted to something. That could help.

Alternately, you could aim it horizontally but put a mirror in front of the lens to reflect the projection upward. Yes, this would flip the image, any decent projector can be set to flip it back.
posted by baf at 4:32 PM on July 2, 2014

It doesn't look good - see if you can borrow a projector and see how it looks, first. There's a reason people use special screens for projecting to.
posted by destructive cactus at 4:32 PM on July 2, 2014

If it's a really rough surface but you don't want to get a proper screen you can use a sheet or a large piece of paper and tack it to the ceiling. It's not perfect but can work well enough.
posted by pmcp at 5:46 PM on July 2, 2014

Search "wall+mounted+short+throw+projector" and find one in your budget.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:46 PM on July 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you seen these lazy glasses? You can be even lazier and skip the projector setup step.
posted by srboisvert at 6:04 PM on July 2, 2014 [10 favorites]

Actually, there is a very good reason why you shouldn't point it upward: projector bulbs get really hot, and orienting it in a way that it wasn't designed for can fry parts of the projector as a result (or so I'm told).

A mirror is really the way to go, unless you find a projector that is designed to project upwards.
posted by igowen at 9:09 PM on July 2, 2014

Those lazy glasses look like a joke but have great reviews.
posted by xammerboy at 10:39 AM on July 3, 2014

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