How to align a ceiling mount projector with the screen

Written by dan zisko
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How to align a ceiling mount projector with the screen
(Charlie Schuck/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A ceiling-mounted projector can transform any normal television room into your own home theatre. The ceiling-mounted projector can provide an incredible picture and surround sound while helping to keep those pesky wires out of the way. A ceiling-mounted projector, however, is only as good as its orientation to the screen. If the projector is not aligned correctly, the visual will be distorted and hard to see. If you are planning on hanging a projector, you need to make sure that it is aligned correctly.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • One piece of 3/4-inch plywood, 20 inches by 20 inches
  • 3-inch drywall screws
  • Stud finder
  • Drill with 3/8-inch bit and screwdriver bit
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Ladder

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  1. 1

    Hang your screen according to the manufacturer's directions. Measure the width of your screen on the diagonal from the top corner to the opposite corner on the bottom. This measurement will determine how far back you need to hang your projector (See Resources for tips.)

  2. 2

    Measure the projector distance which corresponds to the size of your screen using the measuring tape and make a mark on the ceiling. This mark should be measured from the centre of the screen.

  3. 3

    Place a stud finder on the ceiling at the mark and use it to locate the ceiling beams. A stud finder is a tool that locates beams and studs in the wall via an infrared signal. Slide the stud finder over the ceiling to locate beams on opposite sides of the centre mark. Use the pencil to mark the location of the beams.

  4. 4

    Place the piece of plywood on the ceiling so it covers both the centre mark and the ceiling marks. Drill through the plywood into the beams using the 3/8-inch drill bit making at least four holes, two in each beam. Attach the plywood to the ceiling by driving the 3-inch screws through the plywood and into the beams.

  5. 5

    Remeasure the distance from the centre of the top of the screen to the location of the projector and make a mark. The mark should now be on the plywood and it should match the distance you measured in Step 2. Measure the distance from the centre of the projector to one of the side walls. Measure the distance from the projector location to the same side wall. It should be the same.

  6. 6

    Place the mounting plate for the projector on the plywood at the mark you drew. Screw the mounting plate to the plywood at this location using the drywall screws. Attach the projector to the mounting plate, following the manufacturer's instructions.

  7. 7

    Turn the projector on. Measure the distance from the lens of the projector to one of the image's top corners. This should match the measurement from the lens to the other corner. Use the keystone keys on the projector to widen or shrink the image so it matches the size of your screen. Twist the focusing dials on the lens to get a sharp image.

Tips and warnings

  • Be patient and take the time to adjust the projector if necessary.
  • Make sure the projector is securely attached to the ceiling or it can fall causing bodily harm and damage to the projector.

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