What size projector do I need?

What size projector do I need?
What size projector do I need?

If you’re ready to take your movie nights, presentations, or gaming sessions to the next level, investing in a projector can be a fantastic choice. Projectors allow you to enjoy larger-than-life visuals right in the comfort of your own space. But with many options available, how do you determine the correct size projector for your needs?

The most common screen sizes range from 100 to 120 inches (2.5 to 3 meters) diagonally, although the size of your space will play a significant role in this. This is around 2.2m to 2.65m wide (based on a widescreen 16:9 projector), which justifies using a projector rather than a professional display.

In this article, we’re here to uncover all the essential details you need. We aim to ensure you grasp the concepts quickly and avoid drowning in confusing technical terms. So, let’s dive in and make things clear and straightforward for you!

Choosing the Right Size Projector: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Consider Your Viewing Environment

Before delving into the technical intricacies of projectors, start by contemplating the space where you intend to use your projector. Are you planning to set it up in your living room, a dedicated home theater, or even an office space? The dimensions of the room and the available wall area play a crucial role in determining the ideal size of your projector.

2. Determine the Screen Size You Want

Picture yourself enjoying a big image on a screen—it’s pretty exciting, right? But before you jump in, consider what you prefer. Do you want a vast cinematic experience that fills your view, or do you like a smaller display that fits just right in your space? Your choice of screen size will help you figure out the best size for your projector.

3. Understand Throw Distance

Throw distance is the space between the projector and the Screen. This matters a lot when picking your projector’s size. In a small room, you’ll need a projector with a short throw distance to make the screen size you want.

You’ll need projectors to cover the greater distance between the projector and the Screen in bigger spaces. The ideal distance depends on your screen size and personal preference. Here’s a general guide:

  • Smaller Screens: For screens around 80″ to 100″, a distance of 8 to 10 feet works well.
  • Medium Screens: Screens of 100″ to 120″ are good at a distance of 10 to 12.5 feet.
  • Larger Screens: If your Screen is 120″ to 150″, consider a distance of 12.5 to 15 feet.
  • Extra Large Screens: For screens above 150″, go for a distance of 15 feet or more.
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Remember, these are just starting points. You can adjust the distance to find the perfect spot where the visuals are clear and comfortable.

4. Calculate Screen Distance

Let’s do some math—but don’t worry, it’s not too hard. Measure how far you’ll put the projector from the Screen. This distance helps you figure out the perfect size for the projector. It’s like a secret tool to ensure the picture you get is super clear and excellent.

This Reddit thread offers insights and advice on finding the ideal screen dimensions based on room size, content, and personal preferences.

5. Aspect Ratio Matters

Projectors come in different shapes on the Screen, like a rectangle. We call this the aspect ratio. It affects how wide and tall the picture looks. 

You can find projectors with different aspect ratios, like 16:9 or 4:3. Picking the correct format for your projector screen is essential. The format is like the shape of the Screen. 

  • 16:9 Format: This is great for widescreen content, like movies and videos. It’s like what you see on most modern TVs.
  • 4:3 Format: This is more like a square shape. It’s suitable for older content or presentations.

So, when getting a projector screen, ensure it matches the format you’ll use most. That way, everything you show looks just right!

Projector Screen Size Chart

  1. Maximum Recommended Audience Size: 16:9 Screen

It’s essential to consider the audience’s screen size while setting up a projector so that everyone can enjoy a comfortable viewing experience. Here is a helpful table that lists the ideal screen sizes for various audience sizes on 16:9 screens.

Audience SizeRecommended Screen Dimensions
Up to 1080″ to 100″ diagonal
10 to 25100″ to 120″ diagonal
25 to 50120″ to 150″ diagonal
50 to 100150″ to 180″ diagonal
100 to 150180″ to 200″ diagonal
150 to 200200″ to 220″ diagonal
  1. Maximum Recommended Audience Size: 4:3 Screen

The projector screen size is essential for presentations and meetings to ensure everyone can see clearly and participate comfortably. The handy table below shows the ideal screen size for different audience sizes on a 4:3 screen aspect ratio.

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Audience SizeRecommended Screen Dimensions
Up to 1060″ to 80″ diagonal
10 to 2580″ to 100″ diagonal
25 to 50100″ to 120″ diagonal
50 to 100120″ to 150″ diagonal
100 to 150150″ to 180″ diagonal
150 to 200180″ to 200″ diagonal

6. Lumens and Brightness

Lumens, a crucial consideration in projector sizing, affect the brightness of your projected image. Think about the lighting in the space where you will be watching. Choosing a projector with a greater lumen count is vital if you anticipate having a well-lit space so that your visuals will stay vibrant and appealing.

To help you out, here’s a simple table that shows you the recommended brightness for different screen sizes. It’s all about making sure your visuals look great!

Screen SizeRecommended Projector Brightness
60″ – 80″2,000 – 2,500 ANSI Lumens
80″ – 100″2,500 – 3,000 ANSI Lumens
100″ – 120″3,000 – 3,500 ANSI Lumens
120″ – 150″3,500 – 4,000 ANSI Lumens
150″ – 180″4,000 – 4,500 ANSI Lumens
180″ – 200″4,500 – 5,000 ANSI Lumens

7. Resolution Considerations

Higher is frequently preferable when it comes to resolutions. Images are more precise and detailed at resolutions like Full HD (1920×1080) or even the breathtaking 4K. However, remember that the image’s perceived quality will vary depending on the size of your projector screen. Higher resolutions can be a definite improvement for larger screens.

8. Throw Distance for Your Projector

Throw distance is a fancy term that means how far your projector needs to be from the Screen to make the picture look good. It’s like finding the sweet spot.

  • Short Throw: If your room is small, you’ll want a projector with a short throw distance. This means it can be closer to the Screen and still show the big picture.
  • Long Throw: In bigger rooms, you’ll need a projector with a longer throw distance. It has to be farther from the Screen to show a big picture without distortion.

Think about the room size and where you’ll put the projector. The proper throw distance significantly affects how clear and fantastic your visuals are!

I’ve explained everything step by step and created tables for your convenience. If you still have any doubts, you can visually understand the topic better through this YouTube video.

Recommended Screen Size for Viewing Distance | How to Calculate Screen Size for Projector?

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9. Portability and Placement

Do you intend to travel with your projector or keep it in one place? Compact projectors are fantastic for individuals who value portability, making them perfect for last-minute movie evenings or presentations on the go. On the other hand, ceiling-mounted projectors can save you significant floor space if you’re seeking a more long-term option.

10. Room Lighting Conditions

Consider a minute to evaluate the illumination in the area you have selected. The size and brightness of the projector are more customizable if you have control over the ambient light. On the other hand, choosing a projector with more lumens becomes crucial if your space tends to be well-lit.

11. Ideal Screen Size vs. Available Space

As you dream of your ideal screen size, it’s crucial to harmonize this vision with the available room space. While an enormous screen might be compelling, ensuring it doesn’t overwhelm the room is essential. Striking a balance between your desired screen size and the available space provides a comfortable and visually pleasing setup.

Delve into this Quora thread to discover insightful discussions about determining the ideal projector size. Get valuable insights from fellow users on finding the perfect fit for your projection needs.

12. Test Before You Buy

Before committing to a specific projector size, whenever possible, test the conditions. Set up the projector in your intended space and project an image to gauge how it looks and feels. This firsthand experience provides valuable insight into whether the chosen size aligns with your expectations.

13. Trust Your Instincts

Amid all the technical considerations, take your intuition seriously. You know your preferences better than anyone else. Choosing the right projector size is a personal decision that should resonate with your instincts and preferences.


Q1: Can I use a projector in a well-lit room?

A: Absolutely! Just choose a projector with higher lumens to combat the ambient light.

Q2: What’s the ideal throw distance for a home theater setup?

A: Generally speaking, a throw distance of 1.5 to 2.5 times the screen width is advised for a typical home theater.

Q3: Is a higher resolution always better?

A: It depends on your choices and the size of the Screen. Although higher resolutions may not be as evident on smaller televisions, they are wonderful for larger ones.

Q4: How do I calculate the aspect ratio I need?

A: To determine the aspect ratio, divide the Screen’s width by height. For instance, 16:9 equals 1.78 when 16 is divided by 9.

Q5: Can I project onto a colored wall?

A: While technically possible, the right projection screen will produce sharper images with more accurate color.


Choosing the right projector size might seem like a complex task, but it becomes much simpler with a bit of understanding. As a standard range of 100 to 120 inches for home setups. By considering factors like your viewing environment, screen size, throw distance, and resolution, you can make an informed decision that enhances your visual experience. So, the perfect projector size is within your reach, whether you’re turning your living room into a mini theater or making presentations with impact.

Shabir Ahmad Seo
Shabir Ahmad Seo is a Guest Blogger. Author on different websites like Sthint.com, Filmdaily.co, Techbullion.com, and on many more. To Contact Shabir, write a mail at shabirahmadseo@gmail.com.