What is the difference between long throw and short throw projectors

Do you often mix the terms: long throw and short throw projectors? If yes, do not worry at all. We are here to sort out your confusion. The basic and primary difference lies in how far away a projector can be from the screen. The main difference between long throw and short throw projectors is the distance between the projector and the screen. Long-throw projectors are placed farther away and short-throw projectors are placed closer to the screen, allowing for a larger image in smaller spaces.

Remember that if you have bought a long throw projector, it should be placed away from the screen. In the case of a short throw projector, it needs to be placed and kept closer to the screen.

Besides considering factors like brightness, contrast, resolution, zoom range and other technical specifications, you must wisely decide whether to go for a long-throw or short-throw projector! The remaining details regarding the difference between LT and ST projectors are mentioned below:

What do we mean by ”throw”?

Throw means the amount of distance which should be determined beforehand so that a smooth image can be projected on the screen. You can easily determine whether it is an LT or ST projector by looking at the initials of the model number. LT is abbreviated as a long throw, and ST is abbreviated as a short throw.

Furthermore, it also depends on the projector lens regarding determining the throw distance. It is generally seen that LT projectors should be placed six feet away from the screen. They are suitable for large rooms, large halls, and even big conference rooms and meeting rooms. In the case of ST projectors, they can project greater images even if they are placed closer to the screen. They seem to be a suitable pick for small rooms.

Thus, the throw ratio remains higher for a long throw projector than a short throw projector. That is why for this respective reason, LT projectors are kept away from the screen. And ST projectors are kept very close to the screen.

Short Throw Projectors

As mentioned above, a short-throw projector is placed closer to the screen. It is equipped with a special and premium quality lens to create a larger image even if the projection distance is kept shorter. Suppose the distance between the projector and screen is four feet; then the image size can easily reach 100 inches without distorting or blurring the picture quality!

One of the noticeable benefits of getting an ST projector is that it is perfect and seems the best pick for square-footage homes and apartments. However, they are costly to buy. LT projector is cheaper, and the ST projector looks comparatively costly. It is just the throw capacity of the lens which makes ST projectors less budget-friendly.

You can have this respective projector for playing video games. They do not need a large room to get set up and can easily display large projections. Professional from the business community has become the biggest supporters of ST projectors. In addition, they look exclusively portable and lightweight.

The throw ratio of this projector lies between 0.4 and 1. It means that for every foot right there from the projection surface, the projected image’s width will increase between 1 to 2.5 feet. The only drawback of these projectors is that they need extra processing power to convert rectangular images smoothly and digitally into trapezoids. They often get hot, which is another minus thing to spot in them.

Long Throw Projectors

Talking about the LT projectors! It is commonly noticed that the throw ratio of this projector is greater. According to experts, placing the LT projector at a 6 feet distance from the screen is suggested. Only then you can reach and successfully acquire 100 inches of projection.

These projectors look perfect for large halls and exhibition spaces. You can have them display business presentations and even set up them in outdoor theaters and concert halls. 

Remember that if you move the LT projector closer to the screen, you will not get a larger image. In fact, the image will shrink and become blurry and distorted. Rest, they are available at low price rates. LT projectors are not at all costly like we have ST projectors. They do not have to transform the image geometrically, which is why this projector type remains moderately priced. 

We all know that every good thing has its cons as well! Discussing the downsides of LT projector, here you go! The major issue associated with these projectors is that shadows often appear on the projected image. The distance between the projector and the screen is kept longer. This is why the issue of shadows has become a common thing to be spotted in LT projectors.

In addition, these projectors cut out an ample portion of the usable space. In other words, the space between a projector and a screen cannot be utilized. Lastly, LT projectors remain vulnerable to more glare.

Which is better to choose? Long throw or short throw projector

It depends on your preference regarding whether you want an LT or ST projector. However, we have highlighted a few important details which will help you determine which projector type to go for:

  1. Short-throw projectors remain appropriate for small rooms, flats, apartments and cramped accommodation spaces.
  2. Long-throw projectors look highly suitable for large living spaces.
  3. Short throws are always preferred for catching up with the best home theatre experiences. 
  4. Short-throw projectors seem to be generally better for bright rooms. However, long-throw projectors can even perform well in a bright room if they are packed with the appropriate amount of lumens.


That is all from our side, and we hope you have comprehended the basic difference between short-throw and long-throw projectors. If you want to give us your feedback, please feel free to do that. Always remember that Long Throw (LT) projectors are kept far from the screen, and Short Throw (ST) projectors are kept closer to the screen. Stay connected and in touch with us.

Hi there! My name is Haris Rehman, and I review projectors for homes, movies, and offices. My passion for all things audiovisual has led me to test and review a broad range of projectors for consumers to help them make informed purchasing decisions. The reviews I provide are honest and unbiased based on my understanding of what makes a quality projector. Check out my blog for the latest reviews and insights.

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