How To Use A Projector in A Living Room

Gone are the days when the idea of having a projector in a living room was at best – odd and at worst, a misconception. Thanks to the advent of small form factor projectors, users can enjoy plenty of light for an open style living room.

This article serves the purpose of convincing you that the idea of using a projector in the living room is awesome and worth every bit of consideration. It will not only help transform your living room to an entertaining space but afford you a great viewing experience.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to watch a newly released action-packed movie on a beautiful 100+ inch projector screen instead of a 55″ television? yeah, that’s what I thought too. Contrary to popular opinions, Projectors are not just limited to basement converted man-caves and dedicated home theatres. Improvement in technology has made it possible for such optical devices to produce ample light for a living room.

WHY PROJECTOR BRIGHTNESS IS NO LONGER AN ISSUE

There was a time when projectors had issues with producing superb bright images in ways that picture quality was not affected by ambient light. Lumens is the unit used to measure the brightness of a projector. The higher the lumen count, the better the projector. As such, getting a projector with a high lumen count was quite bank-breaking. You can now get projectors with high lumen count at affordable prices. It is important to note that the number of lumens required for a room is dependent on the ambient light in the room. Projectors need just a few lumens to properly light the screen if there is a little or small amount of ambient light.

Since living rooms have bits of ambient light entering them, you can make use of dimmable lighting or install blackout window shades. If you still have challenges with reducing the ambient light then consider getting a projector that has a much much higher lumen count. A projector of about 2000 lumens can beat moderate ambient light, while somewhere close to 3000 can drown a considerable amount of extra light. Remember, brighter does not always mean better because if you blast 3500 lumens in a pitch-black room the viewing experience will be a bit blinding.

HOW TO SET UP OR POSITION A PROJECTOR IN THE LIVING ROOM

There are a number of available options for positioning a projector in a living room without stress. The stressful part is where you would have to connect cables from the projector to the A/V receiver. Creativity will go a long way in helping you achieve your desired set-up.

The following are options that you should consider for setting up your projector.

  • Installing the projector on a ceiling.
  • Placing it on a shelf just opposite the viewing area.
  • Setting it inside or on a coffee table.
  • Using a mobile projector stand.

Remember that mounting a projector or even placing it on a shelf may not be suitable for some living rooms. Take out time to read through subsequent paragraphs in order to know which of the options will be best for your room. Also, you can get great ideas for hiding and positioning a projector in a living room here.

INSTALLING THE PROJECTOR ON A CEILING

It is common to see projectors being mounted in home theatres because the distance from the ground to the ceiling is not too much. As such, it might be difficult to install projectors on the ceiling of living rooms if the ceiling is too high. To get the best possible setup with this method, it is important that the cables run through the ceiling instead of walls as it would look off-putting and tacky. The goal here is to get the best setup that suits the layout of your living room.

Did you know that there are motorized lifts that can hide the projector in a cavity inside the ceiling whenever you are not using it? Yes, like you rightly guessed, this method can be quite expensive and not easy to setup. You should consider using any of such if you don’t fancy seeing the projector visible at all times. If you ask me, I will suggest that you use a standard, fixed ceiling mount because it works well with all kinds of projectors. Here is an example of such projector.

PLACING IT ON A SHELF JUST BEHIND THE VIEWING AREA

If you plan on using the projector for a living room with very high ceilings, then consider placing it on a shelf just behind the chairs or couches. You can choose to use a bookshelf/cabinet or even a floating shelf that is wall-mounted. There are different ways which cables may run with this kind of setup.

It can be run inside the wall down through the floor, it could also be inside the wall up through the attic/ceiling or just down the wall on the floor. You should consider running the cable on the floor if you have something that can conceal the cables like a carpet.

SETTING IT INSIDE OR ON A COFfEE TABLE

We understand that installing the projector on a ceiling or placing it on a shelf just opposite the viewing area requires some level of handiness especially when it comes to mounting the projector and running cables. In addition, it can be extremely difficult to get a good position for installing the projector running the cables. Hopefully, there is the option of setting the projector on a coffee table facing the screen.

A projector with a short throw is your friend for this method. (This is one of the projectors that has a great throw distance). Let us get things in perspective, a short throw distance means the projector can be placed very close to the wall about 4 to 5 feet and still produce a good image. The only downside to this method is that one cant completely hide the connecting cables except they are strategically covered with rugs or a hole is drilled in the floor for such purpose.

USING A MOBILE PROJECTOR STAND

It is very unlikely for anyone to explore this option because it entails setting up the projector for use on a temporary basis and taking it back after use. This beg the question of whether the projector screen will be permanent or not. It is certain that people wouldn’t fancy having a permanent screen for a non-permanent projector. As such, there is a need for a portable projector screen which can easily be moved right? To make the approach more stressful, it requires about 10-20 minutes to set up the projector every time before use. That is too much stress to go through for the mere sake of getting entertained.

WHY IT WILL BE WORTHWHILE TO HAVE A PROJECTOR IN THE LIVING ROOM

Having a projector in the living room affords you great viewing experience in many respects. The experience is not any different when it comes to playing video games, watching movies or a football game. You must agree that a 100+ inch screen does really work wonders. It gives you the confidence to host gatherings and parties which friends and families would be impressed with. The price can be a bit expensive and the setup may look like a lot of work, but it is totally worth it.