Bright projector with a short throw and other features
September 4, 2018 10:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a relatively bright projector that has a short throw, which will be used for projecting backgrounds on a wall while filming videos.

The wall area is approximately 7X10, and I'll need to be able to cover the whole area. I have a few mounting options, depending on the projector. I have about 5 feet of throw distance if I mount it centered on the ceiling, but can increase that to about 8-9 feet if I can mount it off to the side by a significant amount (which would require side keystone adjustment and/or lens shift). If I mount it to the side with keystoning, I would also potentially be able to use 2 projectors (one on each side), and in that case brightness wouldn't have to be as high (assuming it's cheap enough to buy a pair).

I'm not projecting video (or at least not very much), this is mainly for colored backgrounds and other moving light effects while filming and streaming music performance, so I don't need very high resolution. My main concern is reliability and being able to properly adjust the image to cover the wall (which isn't flat and has lots of protrusions and variances, so resolution and image quality isn't as much of a concern, since the variance and distortion in the wall treatment will wash all of that out).

Budget is a concern. The projector will get about 5 hours of use a week at most.

I have lots of experience working with projectors in the past, so "user friendly" is not a concern.

I'm hoping to get suggestions for specific models to look into, preferably in the under $500 range, but I can be flexible.

posted by markblasco to Technology (4 answers total)
How about painting the wall green instead and adding the background in via editing software?
posted by jsturgill at 12:11 PM on September 4, 2018

I think the nicer Viewsonic short throws might work for you but getting 7’ of height might not be possible, you’ll have to check the specs. Also brightness might be an issue. Projector databases like this one can be extremely helpful.
I have a “mini CAVE” at work using VS LS830s and they are bright and sharp, but are only projecting about a 5’ high image
posted by q*ben at 12:21 PM on September 4, 2018

I don't think you are going to find anything new that's both bright enough and with short-throw optics for $500. Maybe if you went with an older used 4:3 projector? 7.5x10 is the closest 4:3 standard projection screen, so your ratio is closest for a 4:3 projector anyway...

eBay has a projector search that allows you to pick the aspect ratio and lumen output. Here is a search for 4:3 and 5000-7000 lumen.

However, for the throw distance you are looking at a .4 lens. Snorkel lenses do exist for some older projectors, but they are still very expensive, even for used glass.

Have you thought about renting from a local AV rental house?
posted by tomierna at 12:49 PM on September 4, 2018

BENQ has a decent short-throw... maybe check ebay for a used one if new is too pricy
posted by wowenthusiast at 10:29 PM on September 4, 2018

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