the width of the projected image. Most sources identify a UST projector as one with a throw ratio of 0.38 or lower. For an ST projector, the throw ratio range is 0.38 to 0.75. Traditional projectors offer throw ratios in the 1.5 to 3.5 throw ratio range.
So if an ST projector has a throw ratio of 0.5, and you want to project a 60-inch-wide image, the projector should be placed 30 inches from the screen. That’s just two-and-a-half feet from the screen, mounted from the ceiling if you’d like.
Most ST and UST projectors are based on tried and true Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology, which is lit by a replaceable bulb. But more and more models are coming on line that use Light-emitting diode (LED) technology, lasers, or a combination of the two, to provide longer-lasting, more consistent and energy-efficient light.
Adding further to the attraction of ST and UST projectors is the interactivity available with many models.
Using a special pen, presenters and viewers gain the ability to annotate what’s on the screen from anywhere in the room. This takes the concept of the whiteboard to new heights. Some of these projectors are even 3D-capable. Many offer support for tablets and smartphones.
Another variable is audio. Many ST and UST projectors come with built-in speakers and amplifiers.
Not surprisingly, UST projectors are priced at a premium when compared with ST projectors, but as time passes and more models come online, prices of USTs are dropping (while STs are getting even less costly). According to high-tech market research firm PMA Research, sales of short-throw projectors accounted for 20 percent of overall projector sales volume in the first quarter of 2013. PMA characterized short-throw as showing “strong momentum.”
When purchasing any projector make sure to check the warranty. Most vendors list their offerings in the specifications.
Two things are for certain: Short-throw projection is here to stay, and ultra-short throw projection is likely to become more dominant in the coming years.
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