Home theaters are becoming commonplace. Everything from huge DLP Projection TV’s to customized acoustic walls/ceilings built to augment the 8-speaker surround-sound is proffered to the home theater enthusiast. Cinema (or stadium)-style seating is even available for the home! But not every home theater is created equally. Perhaps the most important consideration for the ultimate home theater experience is the projector…specifically, the HOW, WHICH, WHERE and WHAT…

Choosing The Right Projector Mount

Rob Buehl

Choosing The Right Projector Mount

Author: Rob Buehl, ImportAdvantage, Inc.

Home theaters are becoming commonplace. Everything from huge DLP Projection TV’s to customized acoustic walls/ceilings built to augment the 8-speaker surround-sound is proffered to the home theater enthusiast.  Cinema (or stadium)-style seating is even available for the home!  But not every home theater is created equally.  Perhaps the most important consideration for the ultimate home theater experience is the projector…specifically, the HOW, WHICH, WHERE and WHAT…

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How – how do you want to mount your projector?

The key to a wonderful home theater is the quality and placement of the projector.  And while the projector is the focal point of your viewing experience, it shouldn’t be the first thing people see when they enter the room!  That is why many people opt to mount their projectors to the ceiling or to a wall, which not only keeps their expensive equipment safe, but also keeps it from blocking anyone’s view. This article will focus on ceiling-mounted units.

While most projectors are mounted to the ceiling by inverting the projector and attaching the mount to its underside, be aware; some projectors cannot be inverted. You can easily determine whether or not your projector is “invertible” by examining its underside. If there are no threaded screw holes visible, it cannot be inverted. Additionally, if your projector is very heavy and bulky, it may also be a non-invertible unit. Otherwise, it is likely that your projector can be inverted. If so, you have 2 options in terms of ceiling mounts:  1) a ceiling mount that serves as a platform so your projector can sit upright; or, 2) a mount that acts as a clamp.

Projectors generally weigh 10-50+ lbs, making it imperative that you mount your projector to a load-bearing surface. To ensure secure mounting, verify that your ceiling joist will support your unit’s weight. Assuming you have metal studs, joists, trusses or ibeams, research manufacturers offering the right accessories to address your specific mounting needs. With the correct hardware, your projector can even be mounted to brick, concrete, or cinderblock surfaces.

 

WHICH way should I ceiling mount my projector - flush to the ceiling, or the “drop down” option?  Again, most projectors are manufactured to be mounted flush (also known as “low profile”). However, if you prefer the unit drop down from the ceiling, a flange (ceiling plate) and extension pipe are necessary to properly position and secure your projector.  (Again, it is important to research various manufacturers to determine what each offers, since many units come fully equipped with ceiling flanges and/or extension columns.)

 

Where is the optimum position for my projector?
The closer your projector’s lens parallels your eye level, the better. However, most projectors cannot be mounted at eye level because of other “things” in the room (including people and furniture!), which is why most people prefer ceiling mounts. Today, projectors generally have a built-in “keystone eliminator,” which digitally resizes images, and allows for an image to come from virtually any angle. This feature, combined with all the “givens” that are part of the projector mounts (tilt/pitch, yaw, roll), and the correct projection screen material for your home theater, allows for a bright, vibrant image from almost any projector locale.

 

WHAT features should I consider when purchasing a projector mount unit? 

  • Adjustable Tilt/Pitch control
  • Adjustable Yaw (rotation)
  • Mast Telescopes (extension pipe)
  • Universal, Low-Profile or Flush Mount Plate
  • Mounting and Security Hardware
  • Operating options:
    • remote control (via radio frequency and infrared technologies);
    • “hands on” dry contact closure
    • 12-volt trigger



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