The Ultimate Guide To Projector Throw Type

Table of Contents:

  • What is a projector throw?
  • Importance of understanding the different projector throw types
  • Guide to projector throw types
    • Long throw
    • Short throw
    • Ultra short throw
  • How to ensure you find the projector throw type you need
  • Wrapping It Up

When on the hunt for a new projector to add to your home theater system, there are a number of factors that should be taken into account—from brightness to resolution. But one of the most crucial factors that are often overlooked when choosing a projector is the difference between projector throw types.

What Is A Projector Throw?

A projector throw refers to the distance between the projector and the screen—hence the term, since a projector "throws" light onto the screen to display images. 

The throw depends on the lens of the projector, which has a significant impact on the image quality and size. This is measured in terms of "ratio" and is determined by dividing the distance of the lens by the width of the projected image. Thus, the higher the throw ratio, the closer you can place the projector to the screen. 

Importance Of Understanding The Different Projector Throw Types

At present, there are three different projector throws: 

Knowing the differences between these three types will not only help you choose the right projector for your home theatre needs, but will also help you decide how far you can place the projector away from the screen and what it will mean for your image size.

In this guide, we'll explore the pros and cons of these projector throw types, as well as some great product recommendations from WEMAX, to help make it easier to decide which one is best for you.

Guide To Projector Throw Types

ideal outdoor projection screen

To put it simply, the main difference between long and short-throw projectors is how far from the screen they are required to be set.

1. Long Throw

As its name suggests, a long throw projector is intended for longer distances and is meant to be positioned further away from the screen compared to short throw projectors. 

Its main characteristic is that it has a higher throw ratio–typically greater than 0.50. This means it will always project an image with a width that is smaller than the distance of the projector from it.

Most long throw projectors are designed to be used for distances greater than 6 feet since they are capable of projecting clear images from farther away.

Best Used For: Large home theaters and open spaces

Since long-throw projectors project images from a considerable distance, they are the perfect choice for spacious home theaters, churches, and concert halls.


  • Great for outdoor use, since there is less image distortion even if placed on an uneven surface
  • Better image quality because of the higher throw ratio
  • More affordably priced than short throw projectors
  • Good option if the screen is far from a power source


  • Since it's positioned further away, it's more susceptible to screen obstruction -- such as shadows from people passing by
  • Less flexibility since they are typically set up in a fixed place in the ceiling or at the back of a room. 

2. Short Throw

A short throw projector is meant to be set or mounted close to the projection screen—typically having a distance between 3 to 8 feet from the screen. 

Compared to long throw projectors, a short throw projector has a lower ratio that ranges from 0.36 or less.

Despite being relatively closer to the screen, this type of projector is still capable of producing large-sized images by using either a high-quality lens or a geometric chip that warps the image before it is projected onto the screen.

Best Used For: Small home theaters and apartments

Because it can be positioned as close to the screen as you want, a short throw projector is a great choice for areas where space is an issue, like smaller home theaters or small apartment units. 

It's also a good option for schools. Since the projector can be positioned closer to the screen, teachers can walk freely in front of the class without worrying about obstructing the view with shadows.


  • Smaller and more compact in size, making it easier to carry around
  • Less screen obstruction since there is minimal space between the projector and the screen
  • Reduced eye glare
  • More space efficient


  • Can get hot due to extra processing power
  • More expensive price tag because of the premium lens
  • Always requires a flat and even surface to avoid image warping, so not ideal for outdoor use

READ MORE: Short Throw vs. Long Throw Projector: Which Is Better? 

3. Ultra Short Throw  

An ultra short throw (UST) projector is a ramped-up version of the short throw projector -- having an even lower throw ratio, making it ideal for providing big images in even smaller areas. It also eliminates two of the common drawbacks of both long and short projectors: less eye glare and disruptive shadows.

It's meant to be used at very short distances and is even capable of projecting 150-inch images as close as 12 inches from the wall.

Best Used For: Smaller entertainment areas like the bedroom or living room 

Because a UST projector can be placed nearer to the screen, it's incredibly space efficient and can be used as an alternative to a regular TV for home use in the bedroom or living room.


  • Projects big pictures even in really tight spaces
  • Easier installation, since there's no need for ceiling or wall mounting
  • More space efficient
  • No eye glare or shadow disruptions
  • Some models even come with built-in speakers for more surround sound


  • More expensive than both short and long-throw projectors
  • Some models have built-in cooling fans to prevent overheating so they can be a bit noisy when in use 

How To Ensure You Find The Projector Throw Type You Need  

Wemax UST Projector

When choosing a projector throw type, it's important to consider these crucial factors if you want the best viewing experience:

1. Ultra Short Throw Projector vs. Regular Projector

Compared to regular projectors (long and short throw), an ultra-short throw (UST) projector is specifically designed with an incredibly lower throw ratio—projecting big pictures in even the smallest of spaces.

Thanks to its close proximity to the screen, a UST projector effectively eliminates two of the most common issues of normal projectors: annoying eye glare and disruptive shadows. 

If you're looking for a UST projector that comes with all these features and more, then the WEMAX Nova is your best bet. This compact 4K UST Projector has an ultra-short throw ratio of 0.233:1—so you can turn any small room in your home into the ultimate home theater experience. 

Don't be fooled by its portable size; the WEMAX Nova is built to provide superior HD resolution with outstanding colors and excellent brightness. It's capable of projecting massive images and videos of up to 150 inches.

Completing the home cinema experience is the WEMAX Nova's built-in Dolby HD speakers that provide crystal clear audio without feedback. This is a smart projector that's compatible with most streaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max,so you can enjoy all your favorite movies and shows right from the comfort of your own home. 

2. Available Space And Placement

As with other home theater equipment, the space where you want to set up your projector is one of the most important factors to consider.

As a general rule, short-throw and UST projectors work best for smaller areas while long-throw projectors are ideal for larger and even outdoor areas. It's important as well to take into consideration the curvatures of the room -- whether or not you have the space to mount your projector, or if you can easily set it up on a coffee table or shelf.

If ease of installation is a major factor for you, then the WEMAX Nova is a great choice for you. No need for ceiling mounting or complicated cabling, as this laser projector can be easily set up anywhere and as close to the screen as you want.

3. Brightness

A projector's brightness determines how dark the room should be in order for images to be seen clearly. This brightness is measured in lumens.

To ensure you get the best home cinema experience even in a well-lit room, the WEMAX Nova is equipped with an incredible rating of 2,100 ANSI lumens. This greater amount of lumens translates to a brighter and clearer projected image. You can also apply these ways to make your projector brighter in case you have concerns on projector brightness. 

READ MORE: Why Brightness or Lumens Matter to Projectors

4. Light Source: Bulb vs. Laser

Almost all projectors utilize one of two types of light sources: laser or bulb. Do projector headlights use regular bulbs? It depends on the type of projector if it is an LCD, LED, or laser projector. But if you want crisper visuals at a shorter distance, a laser-based projector like the WEMAX Nova is the way to go.

The WEMAX Nova is a laser-based projector that features patented ALPD technology. This allows the light to be used more efficiently for finer detail—providing a wider color spectrum with deeper and more vibrant images and video resolution. Despite delivering long-lasting brightness, this high-end projector is designed to reduce eyestrain by diffusing light while still providing better picture contrast.

READ MORE: LED vs. Laser Projector—Which Is Better?

Wrapping It Up 

As with most home theater equipment, choosing the right projector can be a daunting task. But knowing the pros and cons of different projector throw types—whether long, short, or ultra short, is the first step to making the process so much easier.

If you live in a rented apartment or only have a small room available, then a short throw or UST projector is your best bet. But if you're building a larger and more spacious home cinema, then a long-throw projector is the way to go. 

Regardless of which projector you choose, WEMAX has everything you need for your home theater setup.

WEMAX is the leading brand for laser projectors, portable projectors, LED projectors, and projector screens of all sizes that provide a real home theater experience. If you want to know about making the most out of your home theater, be sure to sign up for the WEMAX newsletter for more tips, how-tos, and exclusive deals.

Related Blogs from WEMAX

How to Use Projector Throw Ratio to Know the Best Screen Size

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