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Last updated: May 19, 2021
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There are many types of projectors out there, and one emerging category is that of ultra short throw projector. The best ultra short throw projector will show crisp images on a large screen and have enhanced features to make their price worthwhile. Regular projectors are placed either at the back of a room or mounted to a wall which can be cumbersome to work with. Short throw projectors are closer to a wall, but ultra short throw projectors can be placed almost comically close, up to 4 inches from a wall. This ability is due to their technology which projects the picture upwards instead of just across a room.
To help understand what ultra short throw projector will work for you, we’ve compared four of the best on the market. We looked at various specifications like screen size, display technology, contrast ratio, brightness, and resolution. We also highlighted any features that make each projector stand out from the other ones.
In order to bring you this information, we’ve looked at manufacturer specifications, product reviews, and customer expectations. We then put that information into an easy-to-read table. Each product also has in-depth information including highlights, pros, and cons. Finally, at the end of this article is a buying guide with specific information about ultra short throw projectors. We aim to make your purchasing decision as easy as possible.
The Optoma GT5500+ is a great, portable ultra short throw projector. It can create a screen size of 80 to 100 inches which is large enough for both business presentations and home movies. It is incredibly easy to set up, which is nice as not everyone is technically savvy. It includes multiple connections so that no matter what device you are pairing it with (mp3 player, laptop or smartphone) you can make use of this projector.
The brightness of the Optoma GT5500+ is 3500 lumens which is extremely bright. This means that you will have a clear, crisp picture and the color options will be exactly what you expect them to be. With a resolution of 1920*1080, you can have a nice image free of pixilation.
As far as distance, the Optoma GT500+ is the definition of ultra short throw projectors. It needs to be placed only a mere 13 inches away from a screen for it to be able to project its picture of 100 inches. This means that no matter what space confines you have, this projector won’t disappoint. And if you’re looking for more projectors of this type, be sure to check out our article on the best 3D projectors.
Why did it make our list?
Very easy to assemble
One-year limited warranty
Large screen size capability lends to diverse purposes of the projector
This little projector packs quite the punch. The LG HF85LA has a lot of bells and whistles and is perfect for any serious projector aficionados. It can project images from 90 to 120 inches, which is larger than any of the other projectors on this list. It also has an impressive contrast ratio of 150,000:1 which results in crystal clear images and dazzling colors.
For audiophiles, the LG HF85LA can be paired with Bluetooth speakers for a truly surround sound experience. The technology behind this projector features a laser lamp with a lifespan of 20,000 hours. This is impressive and allows peace of mind to use the projector as much as you would like.
While some ultra short throw projectors are best used in the office, the LG HF85LA was meant for a home theatre experience. It uses a Wi-Fi connection so that you can stream content from Netflix or Amazon Prime, as well as any smartphone, tablet, or computer. Your choices are endless.
The design of the LG HF85LA looks almost futuristic. Its polished white construction makes it seem like a home accessory, rather than just another piece of technology. It can blend in with your décor without seeming unsightly.
What makes it stand out?
20,000 hour laser lamp lifespan means plenty of viewing time
Large 90 to 120-inch display screen is better than other similar products
If you want a powerful ultra short throw projector that will last for a long time, then look at the LG PF1000UW. This projector uses LED illumination which means that the internal lightbulb will last up to 30,000 hours. For those that have used old school projectors in the past, this is a welcome feature.
The screen size is between 60 to 100 inches, which means that whatever the purpose, this projector can handle it. The distance it needs to be from the wall to work is almost unbelievable. For a 60-inch screen size, the LG PF1000UW needs to be positioned just 4 inches from the wall. A 100-inch screen size takes just 15 inches. No matter where you set the projector up, you will be able to see the picture in full clarity.
A huge bonus of the LG PF1000UW is that it has wireless capabilities. You can use Android phone, or iPhone, tablet or mp3 player for this projector. You can also connect it to a gaming console, or BluRay player via an HDMI cable. No matter what type of media you want to be played through this projector, you have a variety of options.
What makes it stand out?
Wireless capabilities add for large amount of playing options
LED technology means never having to change a lightbulb
Set up distance is unbelievably short, between 4 and 15 inches
If you want an ultra show projector, but are on a budget, then the LG Electronics PH450UG is a great product to consider. While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other, more expensive projectors, it can meet the demands of most people.
With a screen size of 40 to 80 inches, this is perfect if you have a small room but still want a big picture. The 450 lumens brightness is definitely not as strong as other models, but again, will work just fine if you are giving a presentation or need to show larger images. Its resolution is only 1280 * 720, but this should be plenty big if you are projecting in a family room or small office.
The LG Electronics PH450UG has an HDMI input and an audio output as well as a USB port. This means that you can hook up a variety of devices to the projector. It weighs just 2.4 pounds and is extremely portable. Great feature if you need to move it from one room to the other.
The one-year warranty on parts and labor means that you can rest easy that the manufacturer will help you out if anything goes wrong.
What are our favorite features?
Perfect for smaller spaces and work presentations
Performs well despite sticker price
What could be better?
Low price means minimal features
Smaller maximum screen size than other similar products
Things to Consider
Buying an ultra short throw projector can seem confusing, but not after a bit of research. Technology should be seen as helpful and not overwhelming, and this is achievable with a bit of knowledge. Here is a helpful buying guide that describes important terms and information to know before you start your product search.
What can an ultra short throw projector be used for?
An ultra short throw projector can be used both at the office and in the home. Its name, ultra short throw, refers to the fact that the throw distance between the projector and the wall it will project on, is extremely short. Depending on how large of a picture you want on the wall, this ‘throw’ distance will vary between 4 and 15 inches.
Ultra short throw projectors can be used for work presentations, slide shows, or as a home media venture.
What features to consider while looking for an ultra short throw projector?
When looking for an ultra short throw projector to purchase, it’s important to know what all of the specifications mean. Here is a guide to the terms that you will see on the package together with their explanations.
To understand the throw ratio, you need to understand a bit of math. The throw ratio is how far the projector has to be placed away from the screen or wall in order to produce an image. The ratio starts with a screen that is one foot wide and then you can do a bit of math to understand the distance needed for the actual size of the image.
Traditional projectors will have a throw ratio of 1.5, which means that to project onto a 10-foot screen, you will need to place the device 15 feet back.
10 x 1.5 = 15
Ultra short throw projectors have a throw ratio less than 0.4. The LG HF85LA has a throw ratio of 0.19. For this device to project onto a 10-foot screen, you will need to place it 1.9 feet back
10 x 0.19 = 1.9
You can also get short throw projectors, which have a slighly larger ratio than ultra short throw ones, but still less than a traditional projector.
Screen size is an important consideration when buying an ultra short throw projector. Most screen sizes will be between 60 and 100 inches wide. Be sure to measure the location that you want to project an image upon to ensure that the projector you purchase will work for that space.
This is quite a technical term. Some projectors show images through LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) panels. This technology is fairly straightforward and it is easy to adjust the contrast and brightness with such projectors.
Other projectors use DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology. This uses tiny mirrors that reflect images. Advantages include high contrast, light weight, and a lack of pixilation.
It’s important to know the maximum size that an image can be displayed on a screen from an ultra short throw projector. This number appears in the native resolution, and it measures the number of horizontal and vertical pixels. The Optoma GT5500+, LG PF1000UW, and LG HF85LA have resolutions of 1920 x 1080 while the LG Electronics PH450UG has a smaller resolution of 1280 x 720.
Nobody wants to have to squint to see a movie, which is why the level of brightness is so important. For ultra short throw projectors, this is measured in lumens. This can range from the LG Electronics PH450UG which has a brightness level of 450 lumens to the Optoma GT5500+ with its 3500 lumens.
Another math term here. The contrast ratio refers to how much brighter a white image will appear on a screen than a black image. The higher, the better. The Optoma GT5500+ has the lowest contrast ratio on this list at 25,000:1. The LG PF1000UW and the LG HF85LA have the highest contrast ratios at 150,000:1.
If you’re not particularly tech savvy, then it’s important to have a warranty for your product. All of the products on this list have a one-year warranty, which is the industry standard. If you are worried about any future repairs with your projector, there are optional warranties that you can purchase.
The more you spend on an ultra short throw projector, the more features you should get. For example, the LG HF85LA has a laser lamp with a life of 20,000 hours. The Optoma GT5500+ has a 3D-sync port which is really cool as you can use 3D glasses. This is perfect if you’re into immersive gaming.
One important feature to look for is wireless compatibility. Even if you don’t always use wireless features at the moment, chances are you will in the future, and it is much easier to connect two devices wirelessly than fiddling around with a bunch of cables and wires.
However, don’t feel pressured to purchase a projector that has a bunch of fancy features. If these are things that don’t interest you, or you have no use for, then there is no point in spending extra money on them.
What are the advantages over other types?
Ultra short throw projectors have the unique advantage of taking up a lot less space than traditional projectors. While they are relatively small in size, you don’t need a large room, shelf, or ceiling mounts. This makes having an ultra short throw projector a lot more versatile. They are usually quite easy to set up and if they have wireless capabilities, then can be moved from room to room with ease and convenience.
If you are using an ultra short throw projector in the classroom or at the office, you can set it up and not have to worry about where you walk. Gone are the days of hastily walking through the image as you cross the room. Likewise are the tripping hazards of all the cables.
While ultra short throw projectors are slightly more expensive than traditional projectors, they are actually relatively affordable. The benefits that they provide are generally worth the bit of an extra price bump, especially if you know you will be getting a lot of use out of one.
What are the basic precautions when using an ultra short throw projector?
Be sure to treat your ultra short throw projector as you would any other electronic device. Do not pour water on or near the projector. Leave ample space around the fan and ventilation holes so that the unit won’t overheat. Be careful when handling the projector and don’t shake it or drop it.
An ultra short throw projector can seem like a novelty toy, but it is a sophisticated piece of technology and should be treated so.
To give you more information on ultra short throw projectors, here are a list of common questions and their answers.
All of the ultra short throw projectors are portable and wireless. They all come with an AC power cord, but they also all have battery power. However, some will last longer than others. If you don’t have a power source to charge your ultra short throw projector, then consider the GT5500+. It uses AA batteries, which means you can bring back up ones and change them out for continual use.
Yes. New technology developers are well aware of the vast scope of gaming, so almost all ultra short throw projectors will be able to connect to gaming consoles. Depending on the model, some will have crisper images or better audio, so if you are a huge gamer, you will want to invest in a higher end projector.
Sometimes. Most ultra short throw projectors are built to be connected to a variety of devices. Even the most basic projector will have an HDMI port and a USB port. However, when it comes to wireless capabilities, some ultra short throw projectors, like the LG HF85LA will only connect to Android or Windows operating systems.
All of the ultra short throw projectors on this list are Bluetooth compatible. Thankfully, newer, and almost all high-end, projectors now have this capability.
If you want a budget ultra short throw projector, then look no further than the LG Electronics PH450UG. It is budget-friendly but still has enough features to make it worth it. Its 80-inch screen size means that you can still enjoy a lot of movie action with this projector.
For a truly upscale ultra show projector, go with the LG HF85LA. Its amazing 120-inch screen size and 20,000 laser lamp life mean that you can skip the line at the movie theatre and enjoy the latest blockbuster at home.
The Optoma GT5500+ is the best ultra short throw projector on our list. It is compact, has a great screen size of 100 inches, and is fairly affordable. It is perfect for both the office and home and will work well for a long time.