Update 2017: The best short throw projectors for most people is the BenQ W1080ST. (see in-depth review below)
What is the difference between the regular projectors and short throw projectors, you ask? Why should I go for a short throw projector, when I can just as easily get a regular one? Well, let’s see.
To answer your first question, short throw projectors differ from the regular ones in a way that the short throw ones are designed to sit close to the screen, whilst the regular ones have to be at a comparatively greater distance from the screen to work in the best possible way.
Now, what good can the short throw projectors do to you? To keep it short and simple, if you’re someone who doesn’t want to miss out on the fun one derives from watching movies, giving presentations etc. on a big screen and you can’t find a regular projector feasible for your room, then these short throw projectors are to cover up for it!
In this post, read the reviews of the best short throw projectors, compare them using a comparison table and read everything there is to know about buying them.
Quick Picks: The Top 5 Short Throw Projectors
|Best Short Throw Projectors||Overall Ratings||Relative Price||Lumens|
|1. BenQ W1080ST||A+||$$$$$||2000|
|2. Optoma GT1080||A+||$$$||2800|
|3. Optoma X305ST||A+||$$$||3000|
|4. BenQ HT1085ST||A||$$$$||2200|
|5. BenQ W770ST||A||$$$||2500|
How do they work?
All you have to do to get these champs working is to place them about 2 to 3 feet away from your flat screen and adjust the projector according to the screen and these will be good to go!
Factors to consider about short throw projectors:
Before purchasing a respective short throw projector there are a number of things you must look up for if you want to make the best purchase.
This happens to be an extremely important decisive factor as it tells you about the brightness of the projected image. It is measured in Lumens and the average Lumen number is 3000. So a projector with a lumen number of 3000+ is one worth the purchase.
What a greater lumen number basically does is it enables your projector to give a high definition picture quality even while exposed to daylight, or any other light for that matter. For this very reason, it is always better to get a projector with a lumen number of 3000-5000.
In simple words, it tells you about the optimal distance between the projector and the screen. It is calculated by dividing the width of the projected image by the distance the projector has from the screen. Usually, the best short throw projectors are the ones with a ratio of around 0.38-.50. To sum up, the smaller the ratio, the nearer the projector can sit to the screen.
By knowing the throw ratio, you can easily choose a projector that is in line with your needs. If you plan to place the projector in a small room of say 25-30 feet, then one with a throw ratio of .45 should sit perfectly for you.
The lighting can either come from the traditional digital light processing (DLP) technology/ light bulbs or from the newer technology in terms of LED and lasers.
Technicians suggest it is always better to get a projector whose lighting source is either LED or Laser. This is so because light bulbs have a number of problems attached to them. Firstly, they will need replacement after some time and secondly they tend to lose their brilliance over time. LED and lasers, on the other hand, steer clear of any such problems.
However, DLP/Light bulbs are not so bad all together. They still happen to be used in various projectors because these light bulbs extremely cost effective and do not even need replacement before 5000 hours of usage. This means you can easily make use of these for a good period of time before they start creating troubles for you.
Now, DLP or LED, that is the question for you to answer!
The pros and cons of short throw projectors:
There are a number of pros and cons that are attached with short throw projectors. Let’s first take a good look at all the advantages that come from them:
- Firstly, these are perfect for those who have small spaces to operate these in as they can sit very close to the screen.
- Secondly, they prevent shadow obstruction that comes from people or things passing by the projector and ruining the fun of watching movies, etc. on a big screen altogether.
- Thirdly, it is easier to keep these projectors away from children etc. as once these projectors are right in front of you, you can restrict any unwanted interference from others, particularly kids.
- Fourthly, people operating the projector often complain of the projector light shining right in their faces, making them blind for the moment. So with these throw projectors, you won’t have to go through any such problem.
- Lastly, it is much easier to adjust short throw projectors to the screen, to ensure clearer and undistorted images, than it is to manage the regular projectors.
- Fixed offset: You will have to set your short throw projector at a fixed distance from the screen while setting it up. You cannot choose where to put it as it is already prescribed on the guidebook, which you have to follow one way or another. In other words, you may find it very inflexible in some ways.
- No zooming options: you cannot zoom in or out the picture to make according to your likes.
Reviews of the Best Short Throw Projectors
BenQ W1080ST happens to be one of the most popular short throw projectors these days. It surely has everything that it takes to be considered an amazing short throw projector.
First of all, it has a customer rating of 4.5/5, which alone, tells you a great deal about the superiority this projector has over others.
Now to take a look at the technical aspects; it has been designed to work just as effectively as does a regular projector, except that it will cater for your special needs, particularly, limited space.
It promises to deliver an exceptional picture quality, with 1080 Full HD experience. Not only will this increase the brightness of the projected image but will also emphasize on the slightest details in the picture. So, you need not to worry about missing out on anything either in your movie, your game or your presentation.
Furthermore, it is highly versatile in its range of picture modes. From Dynamic to 3D mode, and from standard to a cinema, it has the capability to project all respective images in a way beyond imagination.
To cut the long story short, this short throw projector is something worth having!
The GT1080 may be an extremely reasonable single-chip DLP projector designed mainly for gaming purpose. It’s high claimed brightness and inherent sound system build it simple to line up and use – you don’t want committed home cinema ‘cave’ – and its living-room friendliness is underlined by the very fact that it’s got an exceptionally short-throw lens. which means it will deliver, for example, a 100-inch image once it’s positioned only one meter from your screen or wall.
Also, Gamers can enjoy Optoma with its short throw lens as it will allow them to move freely within the area, while not worrying the flow of the game together with your own shadow on the screen.
If you are sick and tired of playing games and giving out presentations on a mere laptop/computer screen or are just looking to upgrade your home theater system but do not find your room in a position to support a large projector, then this little guy is all you need.
This optma X305ST short throw projector has features so amazing that you won’t be able to keep your hands off it.
First of all, it has been designed to project images from 40”-300” diagonal, enabling you to enjoy your games, movies, etc. on a much much bigger screen than could you before.
Secondly, it features 3D compatibility, which shall allow you to watch movies in 3D and feel as though you’re a part of that movie. Just, for a second, imagine yourself watching a horror movie in 3D, feeling as though the ghosts are just beside you, fascinating isn’t it? And not only will this make your movies interesting but will also give an edge to your gaming and presentations!
Thirdly, unlike most short throw projectors, Optma X305ST has a power saving mode incorporated into it, which will make sure to save energy whenever possible. This one feature shall save you from paying out heavy electricity bills, by saving cost on operating this projector altogether.
Lastly, it has a throw ratio of 0.626:1, which is almost the optimal throw ratio a short throw projector should have! This means you can set your projector much closer to your screen and get all the benefits that come from setting the two things close.
BenQ HT1085ST DLP Projector delivers near-excellent video quality, 3D, and a short-throw lens that helps you to show an enormous image even in a small space.
Like several home amusement projectors, the HT1085ST is quite bright.
I was ready to watch well-saturated television and sports content within the Cinema mode with the room lights on; mate this projector with an ambient-light rejecting screen, and you’d get even higher results.
The color management system worked better than in alternative “home entertainment” projectors I’ve tested.
The combination of a satisfyingly truthful image and sensible light-weight output makes for a fascinating television expertise, notably with sports, gaming, and brighter television content.
The HT1085ST’s black level was higher than average for its worth class, creating a creditably saturated film image with the great sense of texture that DLP delivers, and its ability to render fine black detail was superb.
Whether I watched 1080p Blu-rays, 1080i HDTV, or 480i DVDs, the HT1085ST served up a well-detailed image.
This benQ MS616ST has been designed in a way to cover up for all that you have been missing out on due to your limited space room. With short throw projectors on a leash, you can just as easily enjoy movies, presentations, games etc. on a big screen as do people with regular projectors.
Without further delay, let’s take a look at all this projector has at its disposal to offer you.
First of all, it features HDTV Compatibility: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, which shall provide you with an exceptional picture quality, making even the minutest details visible to the common eye.
Furthermore, it supports almost all picture modes. In simple words, you can use this projector for watching movies (even the 3D ones), giving out presentations, and a lot more with the dynamic and the SRGB modes.
And not only that, it gives out a projected image of 32”-300,” which shall be good enough to give you the cinema-like feeling while you sit in your cozy seat in your room.
It also supports HDMI, and has control terminals, which shall allow you to adjust the projector according to your needs. Hence, making the projector a lot more flexible than most of the short throw projectors out there.
However, the only darker side to this projector is that its lighting comes via DPL/light bulb, which tends to lose its brilliance overtime and may not work as effectively as does a projector with LED or lasers.
Nonetheless, this short throw projector is extremely popular and its pros definitely overweigh the one con it has!
With a customer rating of 4.5/5, this short throw projector has all that it takes to make it worth the purchase. It happens to be the world’s first 3D short throw projector, and not only that but it also happens to be the pioneer among those projectors that offer a 720p high definition picture resolution.
It has the capability to project images from a distance of 39 inches from the screen and emit a projection of up to a 63” image. Isn’t that simply amazing? What this basically means is that you need not have a large room to set this projector up in. You can easily get all the fun that comes from watching movies etc. on a big screen by putting this projector at a 39 inches’ distance from the screen and seize the day for yourself.
Also, with a brightness level of 2500 ANSI Lumens, BenQ710ST promises to deliver an optimum picture quality by making the colors on your screen a lot more desirable than ever before. And once, combined with the ultra-high contrast ratio of 10000:1, it will give out an even better picture performance by emphasizing on even the slightest details in your picture and minimizing any blurriness that may have existed in the first place.
Moreover, it has a built-in cooling technology that keeps the lamp from heating up every now and then, and hence, enhances the durability and the effectiveness of the projector. Also, once overheating is prevented, you won’t even have to replace your lamp very often, saving you a pretty good amount of money.
Furthermore, unlike most of the short throw projectors, benq710st has a dual HDMI interface, which saves you the effort of arranging and rearranging wires every time you want to connect your projector to a different device.
It also features a power saving mode, which saves you from paying out heavy electricity bills. How this works is that once it detects the projector, while turned on, is not being used, it will, all by itself, put it on the power saving mode, bringing the power consumption down to as low as 1W!
Lastly, to help the buyer make the most out of this projector, manufacturers offer a number of accessories that assist you in operating benQ710ST in the best possible way. It comes with a power cord, VGA (D-sub 15pin) cable. A remote control with battery, which shall allow you to adjust your projector according to your needs. A user manual CD, and a quick start guide, which shall make the whole set up a matter of seconds for you.
The W770ST is aimed toward a really specific section of the market and therefore it will not be for everybody. But if you discover yourself at a position wherever area is tight, then the short throw lens may come in handy. It is also very reasonable thus, if your budget is restricted, the BenQ might be a decent selection for those eager to attempt huge screen projection before committing to a costly model.
Despite the sub-£500 worth purpose, the build quality is good and also the lens itself worked well at forming huge pictures while not introducing any unwanted aberrations. The device is little and fiddly however the menu system is obvious and straightforward to navigate, creating setup fast and easy. There is a cheap set of connections at the rear, together with 2 HDMI inputs alongside a number of bequest connectors.
Difference between short throw projector and long throw projectors:
Short throw projectors, because of all the benefits that come from them, are in great vogue nowadays. By offering solutions for problems like limited space, shadow obstruction etc. they have managed to capture a wide market.
Moreover, as a result of rapid technological progress, manufacturers keep upgrading the existing short throw projectors by eliminating any deficiencies in them and making up for these loopholes by offering even better projectors, with much better features!
So, if you are someone who does not want to miss out on the fun that one derives from watching movies, playing games and giving out presentations on a big screen, but cannot find a suitable place to set it up in, then these projectors are what you need to get your hands on!
So which projector on this list do you consider to be the best short throw projector? Comment below, to tell us about it!