You probably wish to see a perfectly aligned screen when you turn the projector on. Alas! It isn’t always the case!
You actually realize an accurate alignment isn’t that straightforward, and you need to make a fair bit of adjustments to make your projector fit the screen.
Many high-end projectors come with a lot of digital adjustment tools like Quick Corner or Keystone Correction. They certainly help ease up the alignment process.
But you can’t solely rely on them because a perfect projection also requires physical adjustments such as zoom, roll, lens shift, and so on.
So whether it’s a digital adjustment or a physical adjustment for your projector, you need a solid guide to get everything done.
Now don’t get intimidated by these ‘so-many’ adjustments as they’re simpler than you actually think!
Let’s start checking them out right here!
How Do I Adjust My Projector to Fit the Screen?
Well, we’ve got the answers for you!
To make the guide more convenient, we’ve divided the projector adjustments into two parts — Physical Adjustments and Digital Adjustments, each of which contains its own set of jobs to be accomplished.
Let’s dive into the details below!
1. Physical Adjustments
Let’s start with the physical adjustments that you’ve to make with your projector. These adjustments can also be called manual adjustments as they need manual intervention.
Some of these adjustments include Determining Throw Distance and Positioning the projector, Adjusting the Lens Shift, Leveling, and Adjusting the Roll.
So how will you be implementing these adjustments? Let’s find them out in detail below.
Throw Distance & Positioning
How far should you set the projector? Let’s do some maths for that (easy ones!).
Throw distance refers to the distance between your projector and the image thrown on the screen. It’s an important consideration when it comes to the positioning of your projector.
There’s an indicator that can help you choose the best throw distance called the Throw Ratio. If you divide the Throw Distance with the Image or Screen Width, you get the Throw Ratio.
This ratio tells you what size of the image you can project with respect to the distance the projector is positioned in.
A throw ratio of 2.0 will mean that for every 1 foot of image width, the throw distance must be 2 feet (meaning the projector should be 2 feet away from the screen).
Luckily, today, all projectors mention the throw ratio in the user manual or box. So all you need to do is multiply the number with the screen width to get the desired throw distance.
Generally, the throw ratio lies in the range of 1.3 to 2.5, which requires you to set the projector 83.2 to 160 inches away from the screen based on the projector throw ratio.
Adjusting Vertical & Horizontal Lens Offset or Lens Shift
Now we move to another major projector adjustment called the Lens Shift. This will allow you to adjust the image angle. It’s a very important feature if you’re using a projector for a home theater or a conference room.
This adjustment will help you position your image more accurately and provide flexibility in installation so that you can avoid some installation maths!
Lens shift or offset allows you to move the lens up and down (vertical lens shift) or left and right (horizontal lens shift) within the projector’s housing. You can generally do that using a dial, joystick, or mechanical menu buttons.
In some projectors, you get the Adjust Lens Shift menu on the control panel. Once you access that option, you can use your remote’s arrow buttons to adjust the projected image position (horizontally or vertically) as required.
It’s different from Keystone Correction, which we’ll be talking about later. If you can correct an image with Lens Shift, you’ll rarely need to use the Keystone Correction tool yet have better-looking images.
Some of the more reasons why you should be adjusting the Lens Shift horizontally or vertically include:
Leveling or Straighten the Projector
Leveling or straightening the projector is important for making it fit the screen accurately.
While setting up a projector, you’ll want the projected image to be perfectly leveled and straightened. Most projectors today have the built-in leveling option.
But if you don’t find one in your case, you may need to do it by adjusting the tilt of your projector.
It could even require you to unlevel the projector to project a leveled or straightened image.
Adjusting the Roll
Once you’ve got a leveled projected screen, you can move to fix the projector roll. The reason for making this adjustment is to level both the projector and projector screen.
To do that, you can use a torpedo leveling tool, put it on top of the projector, and adjust the project legs/ceiling mount until it gets completely leveled.
2. Digital Adjustments
Now let’s check out some digital adjustment features or built-in tools with most projectors today.
These adjustments play an important role in displaying a perfectly aligned projected image.
You may see the top corners of the screen very well leveled up, but the bottom corners are not! In fact, you could see some trapezoid-shaped images!
This issue occurs when the project isn’t set up directly in the center of the projector screen.
So what to do in that case? There’s an industry-standard tool that comes with all projectors to correct that. It’s known as Keystone Correction, a digital control to fix the image shape.
Generally, you should access the keystone correction menu from the control panel. You can use the remote arrow keys to adjust the angle correction horizontally by pressing right/left keys and vertically by pressing up/down keys.
You should be doing it until the image looks completely rectangular. Although this tool is used to correct image distortion, it could affect the image quality if the distortion is noticeable.
So make sure to find out the projector offset from the manual and position it accordingly. The offset indicates image position relative to the centerline of the lens.
You can adjust the Lens Shift tool; however, some projectors don’t include this tool. In contrast, all the projectors have a built-in Keystone Correction feature.
You’ll have to adjust the zoom settings after adjusting the angle and correcting the keystone because your rectangular-shaped image may not fill up the space entirely or could overlap with the screen edges.
To do that, you should have a zoom function knob on your projector. Simply dial it up/down to let the image fit the screen. Doing so will enlarge the image size and give a better view.
Be careful as the zoom function can distort the image if not adjusted properly.
A Quick Corner is a built-in tool found in Epson Projectors. It’s a great tool that automatically detects the screen corners and fits the image accurately into the screen.
It’s not a common feature to all the projectors out there, and you can always use the manual options described above, such as Lens Shift or Corner Adjustment, if you’re not happy with the outcome of the Quick Corner.
After doing all the hard work, you might still face issues with your projector. You could see the sky is green or the skin complexion is blue!
If you see anything like this, it means you’ve got a problem with the calibration of your projector image. Image calibration requires you to adjust different video settings for the best possible results.
These adjustments include image contrast, brightness, saturation, sharpness, and hue. You should easily access all these features in the control panel and fine-tune the adjustments accordingly.
Some projectors have automatic calibration features and require a single click to calibrate the image.
To satisfy multimedia viewing with a projector, you must achieve the optimal adjustment to make it fit the screen accurately.
It might seem like plenty of work, and making these adjustments isn’t like going through a simple checklist.
You’ll have to revisit all the physical and digital adjustments multiple times to get things working together. Just remember a simple key, be patient and give attention to detail.
Eventually, you’ll have the projector perfectly aligned and ready to provide a fantastic multimedia experience!