Sometimes the spot you had in mind isn’t always an option when it comes to installing your new projector.
There may be a fan or light fixture in the way or a break in the wall across from your TV and you’re wondering if this is a deal-breaker.
The answer is no, it’s not a deal-breaker. You can place a projector at an angle.
This brings up a whole slew of new questions, so let’s look at what you need to know.
Does A Projector Need to Be Centered?
Wondering if a projector can be placed at an angle is an extremely common thing. Naturally, you’ll want to find the most convenient spot to place your projector and still have the best image possible.
That doesn’t look like the dead center of the room for a lot of people. It could be a difference as small as moving it slightly off to the left or mounting the projector on a completely different wall than the one across from your screen.
So. Can a projector be placed at an angle?
Yes! Your projector can be placed at an angle. All you need to do is make some adjustments to the picture.
However, if you can’t center the projector physically, you need to center the picture.
When you place a projector at an angle and don’t center it, the image might look distorted, fuzzy, or out of alignment. You might think that means whatever angle you’re placing it at isn’t going to work out. Fortunately, these are all things that can be easily fixed.
The most common issue that occurs is picture distortion, typically at the top and bottom. Most projector models come with a very convenient feature button called, “keystone correction”. It adjusts the size and angle of your picture when things aren’t lining up.
The “keystone correction” button can be either manual or automatic. Both methods only require a few simple steps:
- Display the Image:
To get a feel for how much your image needs to be corrected, display the image first. This way you’re not trying to guess at how much you need to change.
- Use the Dial or Buttons:
There will be either a dial or two buttons that allow you to move the image angle. Carefully use these to slide your picture while you’re watching it to ensure perfect adjustments.
- Zoom In or Out:
After getting the picture centered, you’ll most likely have to zoom in or out. Since you just shifted the lens side to side, the quality of the image can get disrupted.
The automatic keystone correction is very similar to the manual process. The difference is it can be much more accurate with adjustments. There’s a more mathematical approach within the projector if it’s equipped with an automatic feature.
Thank goodness for technology. We don’t know about you, but we’re not trying to do any math right now. Anyways…
- Display the Image:
Again, display the image so you know how much adjusting your picture needs.
- Scale the Image:
Automatic correction buttons use a digital scale to stretch or shrink and move the image until your desired adjustments are achieved.
- Zoom In or Out:
Since the image is being stretched or shrunk, the pixels will be degraded. By zooming in or out you’re more likely to get a clear picture.
While it is very convenient, keystone correction isn’t the most popular method for adjusting your image. Actually, most projector enthusiasts will tell you to try to avoid it all together.
Don’t let that scare you. The reason for this bad reputation is that keystone correction is likely to affect the quality of your image.
First, by likely we just mean more likely than the lens shift option. There haven’t been many reports of virtually any issues with quality following lens shifting.
On the other hand, keystone correction has a lot of reports that after using the feature, the image resolution drops by up to 50%. Jagged lines may appear throughout the picture, fuzziness can occur, etc.
Like we said before, stretching and shrinking an image affects the pixels. This isn’t unique to projectors; any picture will be distorted when the pixels are messed with.
Have you ever tried to insert a picture onto a Word doc that was too small? You probably stretched it out and ended up with a fuzzy image. That’s just how it works with pixels.
If you decide you want to avoid the keystone feature, see if using the lens shift is a better option!
The second most common adjustment is the alignment. Just like the keystone feature, most projectors will have a lens shift feature.
It works almost exactly the same as the keystone correction.
- Display the Image:
We’re sure we sound repetitive, but you need to display your image first before making any kinds of adjustments. Trying to fix it blindly will only cause a bigger headache.
- Slide the Image:
The lens shift feature means using the buttons (or dial) to slide the image either left to right or up and down for centering by shifting the lens angle.
Since the lens shift doesn’t stretch or shrink the image, the pixels and resolution are ultimately not affected. Therefore, you won’t experience the same distortion as with keystone correction!
And that’s it! See? We told you it was easy.
If you ever find yourself in a predicament with your projector, this information will be a great guide to ensure you get the most out of your investment.
Technology isn’t always perfect, but there are ways to make it better.
You’ve got your projector in place. You’ve adjusted the lenses to center the picture. You’ve answered the age-old question, “can a projector be placed at an angle?”.
All that’s left for you to do is kick back and enjoy your new home theatre. Or office theatre. Whatever you decide!
Vance is a dad, former software engineer, and tech lover. Knowing how a computer works becomes handy when he builds Pointer Clicker. His quest is to make tech more accessible for non-techie users. When not working with his team, you can find him caring for his son and gaming.