Projectors feature larger displays than most of the TVs you’ll find on the market today. The only issue you’re going to have is knowing how to set up a projector the right way. While many projectors are pretty self-explanatory when it comes to plugging them into your computer and turning the display on, you may find that some projectors have more to their setup.
Once you’ve bought a projector, it will be time to figure out elements such as space, image focus, and contrast settings. You’ll also want to have a place to project the images or movies onto, so have that set up in the meantime.
To make things easier and more systematic, we will show you the most common way of setting up a projector.
How to Set Up a Projector: The Steps
1. Find a Display and Position It Properly
First, you’re going to need to figure out where you want the display to be. You’ll have to have enough space, especially if you plan on having the projector project a more prominent display. You should purchase a screen, but having a flat and even surface still works.
Most projectors can display images that are 40 to 50 inches, but others have a display of up to 300 inches. The bigger the image, the further back you’re going to have to place the projector. You’re going to need space for and a correctly angled surface to put the projector onto. You may need to plan to move other furniture or objects in your home or office to give a clear space from the projector to the screen.
Some projectors allow you to mount them onto the wall or ceiling, but this is only if you’re sure you want it in that specific area. Once the projector is mounted, you won’t be able to easily adjust the location.
2. Adjust the Height
Most projectors need to be lined up with the lens facing the bottom edge of where you’ll be projecting to, so you’ll need to find a desk or TV stands of the correct height to place it on. This means you’ll need to set up the bottom of the display screen with the projector. If you don’t, you may not have a clear image.
You’ll find that desks, TV stands, and adjustable tables will be your best bet when setting up the projector. Just be sure to account for how far back the projector needs to be, as you’ll have to arrange the furniture to fit this requirement.
3. Connect the Projector
The next step is to connect the projector to either a PC, cable box, or game console. Most projectors are designed to be connected via HDMI cord. However, you may need different types of converters.
That can range from VGA/DVI, HDMI, micro USB, etc. You may need to purchase the appropriate adapters, as the projector may not have the cords you need.
Once you’ve got the right cords, you’ll need to plug everything in. Plug the HDMI into the projector and the other end of the cord with or without the adapters into either a cable box, PC, or console.
You’ll want to make sure that the cords aren’t bending at an angle, or else they could snag, rip, and get damaged. This can cause your projector to experience short circuits, so make sure you have the cords neatly organized. A good rule is not to bend the cords by more than one and a half times their diameter (“minimum bend radius”)
Once you have the projector turned on and running, you will want to make sure it’s adjusted horizontally. An excellent way to do this is by projecting an image of a straight line or other geometric shapes onto the screen. You can then use this as a guide to make sure that the projector isn’t slightly tilted or off balance.
Put coins, books, or other objects underneath the projector if it isn’t lining up correctly. If the projector seems to be off balance, check the table and make sure that it’s an entirely horizontal surface. After you check and the projector is still off balance, you may need to check the legs on the projector for damage.
5. Adjust Settings
The next step is to adjust the settings to make sure that the projector has the correct settings for the environment. You’ll find that you’ll need to dim the lights and have the room exactly like how you were going to use it to play movies or video games. This can help you correctly adjust the settings and determine those that need to be changed.
Adjust the focus until you see the details sharply on the screen. If the center of the projected image ends up focused and the rest doesn’t, then you may need to check to see if the projector is at 90 degrees to the surface it is sitting on.
The last part of adjusting is to make sure that the projector settings are appropriately selected. That includes adjusting the brightness, contrast, and colors on the screen. You’ll be able to do this by using the buttons on your projector, or with a remote if supplied with one.
6. Select the Picture Mode
Just like TVs and monitors, you’re going to have to set up the right picture modes or else the image won’t appear as clear. The best setting for a dark room is the movie setting, and the lighter rooms will require other settings. If you’re planning to play video games, choose the gaming mode, and for sports go for the motion mode.
7. Get Better Sound
While projectors feature decent sound, they aren’t that good when it comes to watching movies or playing video games. You’re going to want to get a full sound system which can support the type of sound you like. The best type of speakers for a projector would be Bluetooth enabled because you won’t have to worry about any extra cords.
Setting up a projector may take some learning by trial and error, but eventually, you’ll be able to do it. Projectors offer you larger screens, better image quality, and a home theater atmosphere. Invite your friends over for a movie night, the boys over to watch the game, or to play video games.
If you’re looking for other practical uses, you can take it to business meetings, set it up in the classroom, or use it for a presentation. Hopefully, we’ve demonstrated how to set up a projector correctly.