Short Throw vs Long Throw Projectors: Understanding the Differences

Short throw projectors seem to have advancements over traditional or long throw projectors. The major distinction between short and long throw projectors is the distance factor.

A short-throw projector can be operated with a distance of 3 to 8 feet between the device and the projecting surface. On the other hand, long throw projectors require at least six or more feet in distance in order to produce a 100” image. 

Short and long-throw projectors are created for different settings and target audiences. Continue reading to discover more about short throw vs long throw projectors.

Short Throw Projectors

Short throw projectors stand for advanced projectors that are capable of creating clear 100” images with a distance as short as mere 3 feet from the projecting surface. A more advanced innovation is the ultra short throw projector which only needs a few inches of space from the screen. 

Advantages of short throw projectors

This types projectors have been mostly demanded for their short throw innovative and advanced features and benefits. Here are some unique and useful features of short throw projectors.

  • Saves a lot of space: Since the projector does not have to be placed far away from the screen to achieve a larger image, they are an excellent alternative for smaller entertainment spaces. 
  • Very easy to use: Short throw projectors seem significantly simpler to install and use than regular projectors since they don’t take up much room. There will be no need to move any furniture or deal with tangled connections.
  • Very less interruptions: Because of the narrow space between the display and the projector, there is little likelihood of shadow interference.
short throw projector

Limitations of short throw projectors

Everything comes with some disadvantages. Short throw projectors are no different. Here are some limitations of short throw projectors that still persist.

  • Too much energy required: As great as small throw projectors are, they generate a lot of heat because of the energy required to process huge pictures with a small throw distance. Furthermore, these projectors are incredibly sensitive and require a flat surface to generate a sharp, clear image.
  • Expensive: Short throw projectors are comparatively expensive that traditional long throw ones because of their advanced features.

Long Throw Projectors

Long throw projectors generally require a lot of space; that is, they need to be placed quite further away from the screen. They hence take up a lot of space with a larger throw ratio.

Long throw projectors need to be at minimum of six feet farther from a wall. Their throw ratio is greater than one. The width of the picture projected by the device is less than the distance between the display and the projector.

Advantages of long throw projectors

Long throw projectors, despite being a less advanced model, have their own benefits and advantages. The advantages of long-throw projectors have been discussed in this section.

  • Larger screen size: A long throw projector can project images as large as 200”. Hence, they are great for large settings like home theaters, conference rooms, etc.
  • Excellent picture quality and outdoors capability: Long throw projectors are a great choice when you intend to project outdoors. The reason is that long-throw projectors are less prone to distortions even if the screen is uneven and not totally smooth.


Again, just like short-throw projectors, long throw projectors also come with a set of limitations or disadvantages.

  • Complex setup requirements: With long throw projectors, you will need a power source and cables which can be a bit messy. It is difficult to set up or install the entire thing and some might argue that the experience is not worth the work.
  • Need more space: As you already know, long throw projectors need plenty of space between themselves and the screen to create a big enough image. This can be a limitation if you want a projector for a smaller room.

Comparison of Short and Long Throw Projectors 

Long throw projectors and short throw projector are more different than you expect them to be. They both have distinct features, advantages, and disadvantages which make them unique.

CriteriaShort Throw ProjectorsLong Throw Projectors
Throw DistanceShort distance from projector to screen, typically 3-8 feetLong distance from projector to screen, typically over 8 feet
Image SizeLarge image size can be projected in a small spaceLimited image size due to distance restrictions
Placement FlexibilityCan be placed close to the screen, even on a coffee tableRequires a large room for installation and adjustment
BrightnessBright enough for dimly lit roomsRequires brighter bulbs for better image quality in brighter rooms
PortabilityEasy to move and set upHeavy and difficult to move
PriceTypically more expensive than long throw projectorsTypically less expensive than short throw projectors
Image DistortionMay experience keystone effect due to short distanceMay experience distortion due to long distance
MaintenanceGenerally low maintenanceRequires frequent bulb replacement and cleaning

If you are looking for a projector for a small room, you might want to go with a short throw projector since they take up less space.

Short Throw vs Long Throw Projectors

On the other hand, if you want an outdoor projector, you should choose a long throw projector since they work better outdoors and on uneven surfaces.

In settings like classrooms, there are chances of people walking past the projector causing shadows in case there is a long throw projector. In such circumstances, short throw projectors are better suited.

Choosing the Right Projector

Before purchasing a product, you need to evaluate your choices and options properly. You need to make sure what you are buying serves your motive and that you get your money’s worth.

We are here to help you out with that. You will have all information about what to look at before you make your purchase.

#1. Size of your room

The first question you need to ask yourself is where you want to set up your projector. The size of your room will help you determine whether you want to purchase a short-throw or long throw projector. 

If your room is large, you can choose any one of them. However, a smaller room will necessitate a short throw projector.

#2. Intend of use

The second question you need to consider is why do you need a projector? If you need one for frequent outdoor movie dates with family or friends, you may want to choose a long throw projector. On the other hand, if you want it for a classroom, you should go with short throw projectors.

#3. Budget

Budget is a big deal. You always have some kind of financial restraint (well, mostly). This is a big factor to consider before getting off and purchasing something.

Also, to get your money’s worth, you need to evaluate whether the price you will be paying for the product is worth it or not. Short-throw projectors are pretty expensive. In comparison, long-throw projectors are mostly less pricy.


So, basically, long throw projectors and short throw projectors each have legit advantages and disadvantages which you will need to evaluate before deciding which one to purchase. This article is supposed to help you choose the ideal projector for your home or office.

Hope you get a clear picture of short throw vs long throw projectors. 


Which type of projector is better for a home theater setup?

Home theaters are often a small setup where short-throw projectors can be the most beneficial because they require less space.

Can A Long Throw Projector Be Used In A Small Room?

No. Long throw projectors need at least 6 feet of distance from the projecting screen. Small spaces will not allow a clear and big enough image with a long throw projector.

Are Short Throw Projectors Less Expensive Than Long Throw Projectors?

Definitely not. Short throw projectors are considerably more expensive than long-throw projectors. There are several reasons for this. The major reason is advanced features like the elimination of the need for a power source.

Do Long Throw Projectors Have Better Picture Quality Than Short Throw Projectors?

It really depends on some factors. Short-throw projectors generally have higher color contrast, but lower saturation which makes them a better option for displaying real-life images. Long-throw projectors, on the other hand, have less color contrast and enhanced saturation, making them an excellent choice for graphical presentations.

Can A Short Throw Projector Be Used To Project Onto A Large Screen?

Yes. In fact, short-throw projectors need a very small space to create a large image. So, short-throw projectors can definitely be used on large screens.

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