Setting Up a HD Projector Home Theater System

Setting Up a HD Projector Home Theater System

Many issues must be considered when opting to set up an HD projector home theater system. Factors such as control over ambient light, dimensions of the area that the system will be installed in, the format of the media versus the format that the HD projector is optimized for, connectivity, and optimal sound system setup are some of the major areas that should be researched before installing an HD projector.


A projector’s light output is measured in lumens. Most HD projector systems operate in the 700 to 2000 lumen range. However, it should be noted that that brighter is not always necessarily better. Ambient light can have a drastic effect on the quality of the viewing experience. For example, if the ambient light levels in the area are high or hard to control, (daytime outdoors, a room with few curtains), then you will require a HD projector with a lumen rating in the 1500 to 2000 range. Conversely, if the area has a lower level of ambient light, then the 800+ lumen range should more than suffice.

Area Dimensions

Nothing would be worse than purchasing a HD projector that is either too small or too large for the area it is being used in. To combat this, most retailers will provide a screen size calculator. The effectiveness of this tool is contingent upon the purchaser knowing the distance from the front of the projector to the area being projected upon. This value is also known as the throw distance.


Projectors come in two primary formats, 16:9 or 4:3. This is a reference to the aspect ratio. 16:9 is the standard for HDTV, while a 4:3 aspect ratio is used for standard television. It is wise to purchase a projector that is congruent with the signal being projected. However, a 16:9 image projected onto a 4:3 screen results in very little wasted screen space, optimizing the cinematic experience.


Picture quality is determined by the source input. Naturally, an HD projection system is optimized for a high definition input source, (Blu Ray, Playstaion3, or HD DVD/ TV signal source). Keep in mind that most of these sources will require a HDMI cable from the signal source to the projector itself, to work correctly.


An HD projector is only a projector. Most of the systems on the market do not include any sort of sound system. This means that sound from the signal source will have to be directed into a separate sound system. As most HD projectors are installed in relatively large spaces, a surround sound system that can handle the acoustics of a large area is suggested. Large, vibrant picture, mated with small, inadequate sound is surely an undesirable union.

As the market stands, there are a plethora of manufacturers selling HD projectors. Utilizing the aforementioned guidelines should make the selection/installation process less daunting.