A projector might look simple from outside but setting them for watching your favorite content can be little tricky. You have to set the projector according to your size of the place. To help you out we have formulated some simple steps which would relieve you from brainstorming on how to set up your projector.
The process is crisp though slightly lengthy, the payoff will be satisfactory. However, before starting your setup, you need to keep all the cables and tools near your vicinity which will speed up the process.
6 Simple Steps to Set up Your Projector
Step 1: Arranging Setup Area and Placing the Screen
Place the Projector
Do you know where to place your projector? I mean do you already select the place? If not, then you should buy a projector first that will be suitable for the place you selected. For example, you are looking for a projector for your home theater, you should buy a projector that is completely built for the home movie experience. Similarly, if you need to set up your outdoor theater, you have to buy a projector that has enough brightness and contrast to be visible in the daylight.
If you haven’t selected any place, then you have to arrange a proper place to place your projector. The space for the projection entirely depends upon the throw distance of your projector and depending on that number you should make space.
Throw distance varies depending upon the screen and if you don’t have short throw distance, then it is recommended to arrange space in large rooms preferably hall area. Before placing your projector, you should move all the sofas and other furniture at the opposite end of screen areas so that you can get an uninterrupted view.
Place the Projector Screen
After preparing the place for projection, now it is time to arrange a right amount of space for the screen. A white wall also serves as an option for screening but if you want to enjoy decent quality and clarity, then always go for a projector screen. If you are placing your projector in your lawn, you should go for an outdoor projector screen.
For your screen, you should free some significant space in wall area where you will hang the screen because a projector can expand the size from 30inches to 350inches diagonally. Although the recommended size is between 50inches and 120inches as they reflect the best quality. So, if you don’t have a massive wall area, you should at least try to arrange around120inches for expansion.
Set up the Screen with Projector
Setting up the screen is quite easy, and it entirely depends on the type of screens you have bought. Generally, for indoor use, wall hanging retractable or portable projector screen are used as they are quite easy to fit in the wall. You just need to make a hole in the wall, or if there is an existing knob in the wall, then you can easily hang the screen.
However, if you don’t want to ruin your wall by making a hole, then you can use a screen with stand. While setting up the screen, you should stretch it properly.
Step 2: Introducing the Projector in The Designated Area
The trickiest part of the setup process is to place the projector at the right place so that it can offer the best projection. Generally, projectors come with three projection type:
For regular indoor setup process, it is always recommended for ceiling or front table projection as it is easy to set up. However, if you plan to opt for rear projection, you would either require a large space or ultra short throw ratio with rear projection compatible screen. For rear projection, you will have to opt for the 180-degree horizontal switch so that the frame properly fits in the display.
If you are going for front table projection, first you have to opt for a small table that has appropriate height so that it can project a squared image on the screen. You have to fiddle with the height of the table until it reaches the right height.
Now after getting the right height, you need to keep the projector in the middle of the screen so that it can adequately cover the screen. However, if you fail to do so, you will get assistance from the calibration option of the projector.
You can also opt for ceiling projection as it will save a lot of your space in the house and allow you to move in the room freely. While hanging the projector in the ceiling, it should be placed upside down, and you won’t have to worry about upside image because you can flip the image.
Determining the distance is the complicated part of ceiling installation, but you can solve it by finding it in the floor or from user’s manual. Then mark the spot with the help of a pole on the ceiling and screw the mount into position. For flexibility, you can attach the projector to the wall mount whose height can be adjusted. Wall mounted projectors generally are used in schools, colleges, and office meeting room.
Step 3: Hooking the Projector and Turning It On
In this step, you will have to power up the projector, and for that, you have to hook the power cable to any power source. It would be smart to use an extension to hook the power cable to the primary power source thus relieving any tension in the cable.
Then you have to connect the projector to the DVD player, Blu-Ray player, PC, laptop, streamer, DTH box, etc. with the help of HDMI or any other cable. This process is same whether you have a short throw projector or any other LED projectors.
After hooking all the required cables, you should power on the projector, and simultaneously you will have to switch on the external device. The projector will automatically detect the external device, although if it fails, then you can manually detect the source with the remote control.
Then select the projector placement in the menu so that projector can arrange the image orientation. However, if you can’t find the image orientation option in the remote, then you should get assistance from the manufacturer’s manual.
Step 4: Alignment and Adjustment of The Projection
To accurately project the visuals on the screen, you will have to align it, and for that first, you have put up a test pattern or a standard image on the screen. If you are using a table, then line the projector lens with the center position of the screen.
After placing it in the center, you will have to adjust the height of the table using adjustment knob or entering any extra item so that it is correctly angled at the screen. For ceiling mount, you will have to get on the ladder and adjust the angle or mount height. Check our guide of Projector Mounts.
Most of the ceiling mounts comes with tilt option and some with height adjustment so you won’t have any issue getting the angles right. While setting the angles, you should make sure that the ends of the frames should lie within the screens.
However, to get the proper view, you should completely fill the screen with the image, and for that, you can take help from zoom facility. Most of the projector manufacturers offer manual zoom while some also provide e-zoom which allows you to size the image correctly.
You should even get in touch with focus option and adjust the knob until and unless all the details are sharp. It is essential that you should get closer to the screen and check whether the all parts are focused or not. If not then you should check the placement of the projector in relation to the screen.
You can also utilize the keystone correction to make sure the image is completely rectangle from both sides. However, not all projector comes with both vertical and horizontal keystone correction. You can even use the lens shift to move the lens diagonally or vertically, but it is not readily available in all the models. Basically, it bars you to opt for the physical movement of the projector.
Step 5: Tuning the Picture Output
Once the adjustment process is done, now you have to focus on the process to tune all the settings to get the most excellent picture quality. In this process, you have to set the brightness, contrast, saturation level, sharpness, color temp, tint, etc. to a most favorable level.
You should make sure it shouldn’t go beyond the certain limit, otherwise, it would hinder the overall quality. You can avoid these, by choosing the picture presets given in the projectors, and you are most likely to find standard, cinema, vivid, dynamic, etc. picture modes. You should make sure the brightness and contrast especially if you are using the projector in the churches or any other big room with large audiences.
After setting the image quality, you will have to select the appropriate aspect ratio which you would feel suitable for you. Apart from these settings, you might also find auto iris, motion interpolation, gamma, video noise reduction, etc. These options are essential if that is a gaming projector.
Step 6: Setting the Audio
Setting the audio is the final step to complete the whole setup process and it always advisable to avoid inbuilt speakers as they are entirely useless. You can either opt for a stereo speaker, 2.1 subwoofer system or Bluetooth speaker for your room.
However, to get the best experience it would be a good idea to go for a 5.1 surround sound system or any home theater audio system.
Once everything is done, you just need to switch off all the lights in the room and start enjoying your entertainment.
Raymond is a Product Support Specialist at Canon USA. He mainly deals with the projectors. He completed graduation in Computer Science from Broome Community College. He is a former Performance Improvement Specialist of Jewish Home Lifecare. He conducted a lot of webinar as a guest speaker.