How to Set up Your Projector

How to set your projector & screen up correctly for perfect results.

Room Placement

The first thing to decide is where to place the projection screen in the room.   The things you need to consider are:
·    Is there are clear view for all of the audience
·    Can any presenter see the screen (or a monitor).
·    Is there power available & can it be safely accessed without creating a cable tripping hazard.
·    Where will this require the projector to be placed. Is there enough distance in front of the screen to place the projector.

Projector Alignment

To save a lot of frustration the first thing you need to do is get everything lined up properly & level.  If you don’t do this first it will be very hard to correct the problems later.  Over distance the projector will amplify any misalignment

1. The projector needs to be exactly perpendicular to the screen & horizontally in the center of the screen.   It may help to have someone stand further back & help you line it up with their eye.   Many projectors have their lense off center of the projector unit itself so if your is like that then remember it’s the lense that you want to line up not the projector unit itself.

correct projector alignment incorrect projector alignment

2. The projector is usually placed on a table but tables are notorious for not being exactly level.  It’s really worth packing a small spirit level to check the table.   You can even get a spirit level app if you have an iPhone or similar smartphone.   You may need to wedge some cardboard or paper under the table to level it.   Fold it as many times as you need to get the right width.  If you’ve come prepared a small rubber door stop wedge can be handy to have. Some projectors horizontal adjusting screws which can be used if you can’t get the table level.

3.Now your image should appear level with the top & bottom of the screen but your sides may not.  This is OK though.   These days almost all projectors have “Keystone Correction”.   The Keystone effect is what is caused by the screen being higher or lower than the projector is designed for.  Some projectors now have auto keystone correction but many are still manual.   Press the keystone up or down buttons to get it lined up.
keystone effect

4. Finally your image should be square with the top, bottom & sides.   You can now use the zoom control to expand the image to the full width of the screen.  It’s often difficult to get the image 100% accurately aligned so that is why most screens have a black border.  If you put the edges of the image on the black any misaglignment will not be noticeable.   It’s likely you’ll need to know focus your projector.   Now that you’ve done quite a bit of work lining things up you may want to tape down your projector to stop it being bumped but be careful not to block any ventilation holes.

Cabling

You will need to at least get power to your projector.  For safety try to avoid routing your cables across walkways where people could trip.   The best route is probably from the front since presumably people won’t be walking in front of the screen.   It’s common to also have a laptop next to the projector.  In this case you’ll want to use a powerboard so both the projector & the laptop can be plugged in.

Safety

Whilst setting up the projector is always important to be safety wise.

·    The light emitted from the projector is very bright.  Do not look into it.  It may damage your              eyes. 
·    As with any electrical appliance check that cables are in good condition. 
·    As mentioned route cables to avoid tripping hazards but you may also want to tape down cables      with gaff tape.
·    Projectors emit a lot of heat & need good ventilation.  Ensure that no papers or flammable     materials are near the vents.  

Following the above will help you quickly & professionally set up your projector & screen with a minimum of stress & give you great results.