Optimum distance of PJ to screen

Louis Mazzini

Active Member
I've just ordered a projector (PT AE500, sorry to be boring). I now have to figure out exactly where to position it. My screen size is fixed so, taking into account the PJ's zoom, I have a variable range within which to place it. My question is, do I put it as far from the screen, or as close to the screen, as possible? Wherever it goes I will get the same sized image using the zoom, but I'm sure there's an argument for using as much or as little zoom as possible, i.e. one extreme presumably means a better optical path. You lot seem to be perfectionists, so any ideas? Thanks.


Standard Member
Generally you want to be sat about 1.5x the screen width or more from the screen. From there you want the projector to be somewhere behind you (assuming you are ceiling mounting ;) )

When you first get your new toy the temptation is to go for the biggest possible screen and sit far too close to it :), so I would err on the side of having the projector further away so that you have the option of moving the seating further back without the projector becoming a distraction directly above your head :D

The zoom on the AE300 doesn't introduce any noticable distortion at either end of it's range, I doubt the AE500 is worse. Seems to be more of an issue when you start adding throw conversion lenses though.

-- Jon


I would suggest that anywhere in the middle 80 of the zoom would be fine. You can sometimes get a slight distortion of the image at the very extremes of the zoom, and having a little adjustment is also useful, so having it on the end-stop isn't the best idea.

You could argue that having it closed to the screen would be better as the light has to pass through less air (and so less dust particles), but the difference is so negligable for the environments we're talking about it's not a consideration.

I'd agree with Jon, just put it in the most convenient place, preferably out of your field of visions if possilble, as some people can find it a distraction.


Matt. :)

Louis Mazzini

Active Member
Thanks for that. Both my seating and screen are at opposite ends of the room (about 14' - smallish room). Screen size is 92" wide, so I'm happy that I'm accommodating a sufficient distance from the screen. Forgot to mention that, yes, the PJ will be ceiling mounted.

It was the question of possible distortion introduced by the lens depending on what degree of zoom is used that concerned me. Also, could the use of zoom introduce any other problems (contrast, brightness, colours, etc)? I just feel it's likely that there is a definitive answer on which end of the zoom range is preferable for PQ for a fixed screen size.



I have an AE300 on max zoom and have not noticed any distortion, doesn't mean its not there but I can't see it :) and I am sitting 8 feet away from the screen.

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