What Is an Ultra Short Throw Projector & Is It Worth It?

As home cinemas increase in popularity, projector technology evolves to respond to the ever-growing demand.

If you want to create your own cinema, you may have heard of Ultra Short Throw projectors. They’re among the most expensive choices for home cinemas, but what are they exactly, and are they worth the money?

Ultra Short Throw projectors are devices that can project images onto a screen from a very short distance. They are highly priced ranging between $1,000 to $7,000 but are worth it considering that they allow you to have your own home cinema even in smaller spaces.

is an Ultra Short Throw Projector worth it

If you’re still unsure if you want to buy a UST projector, keep reading. I will explain what these projectors are, how they work, and what are their advantages and disadvantages. I’ll also include a guide on buying a UST projector.

Also read: Short Throw vs. Long Throw Projectors

What Are Ultra Short Throw Projectors, and How Much Do They Cost?

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A UST projector is an electronic device that projects an image onto a screen from a very short distance. If you use a UST projector, you can place it much closer to the screen, making it possible for you to enjoy the cinema-like experience anywhere in your house, even in a small room.

There’s a general rule to help you determine the ideal distance of traditional projectors from their screens. Some brands have specified distances for each model, but either way, the projector is typically placed ten feet (three meters) or more from the screen.

UST projectors can cost between $1,000 and $7,000. The price of a UST projector depends on specifications such as:

  • Throw ratio (distance from the screen)
  • Picture quality
  • Sound system
  • Smart features
  • Light source

Cheaper versions have lower overall picture quality and higher throw ratios, but they are still better in these aspects than traditional projectors. 

A $1,000 UST projector will not be able to provide the best quality and overall experience. To get the best bang for your buck deal, look for projectors between $3,000 and $5,000.

How Do Ultra Short Throw Projectors Work?

You may notice that UST projectors look pretty different from regular projectors since they don’t have front-firing lenses. Instead, they have minor cuts on their top edges or even on the back that “throw” the enlarged image into your screen. 

Typically, UST projectors bounce images through several internal lenses, creating a significantly larger image reflected on the screen. Multiple powerful lenses allow the projector to enlarge the size of images without requiring a certain distance from the screen. 

Instead of lamps, UST projectors use laser light sources. These laser lights are brighter and more intense, providing better focus and clearer, well-defined images even if the room isn’t dark.

UST projectors can be placed inches away from the screen and in a bright room, and they will still produce a large enough image that is clear and not diluted by the light.

Because of their advanced technology, UST projectors can work perfectly well in any space, giving you a cinema experience in your home.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ultra Short Throw Projectors

ultra short throw projector

Ultra short throw projectors have become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing users to project large images onto any wall with minimal setup. These projectors have many advantages over traditional long-distance projection models, but they also come with some drawbacks.

UST Projectors Advantages

UST Projectors provide an immersive viewing experience. They have some distinct advantages when compared to traditional projectors, making them the ideal choice for home theater systems.

They Can Be Placed in a Strategic Position

The ability to “throw” images from a shorter distance is the main selling point of UST projectors. They allow you to project images in a small room and or place the projector somewhere out of your way. Furthermore, they require minimal installation space and can be set up almost anywhere.

They Work in Brighter Spaces

Traditional projectors typically need a dark room in order to project crisp and clear images. If someone lets light into the room, the images become diluted, and you may not be able to watch anything. UST projectors solve this issue by using lasers, which have a much brighter and stronger light.

Using a UST projector, you can watch a movie in a room with regular brightness. Not only will you be able to see everything clearly, but you’ll also experience everything in high quality, practically like you’re watching TV.

They Are Quieter

The use of lasers also makes UST projectors quieter than traditional ones. The lights that traditional projectors use heat the device up quickly, prompting the fans to start working. As a result, regular projectors can make a lot of noise, which may ruin your viewing experience.

On the other hand, since UST projectors use lasers, they don’t heat up right away. The fans don’t need to work as much, so the projector generates less noise

They Last Longer

Thanks to their laser light technology, UST projectors typically last longer than traditional projectors. The laser lights that UST projectors use are less prone to issues and deteriorate more slowly than the lamps traditional projectors use.

With a UST projector, you can watch your favorite movies on your own “big screen” for years with no problem.

Additionally, because laser lights deteriorate slowly, the quality of the images you’ll get will remain excellent for a much longer time.

Often, the image of traditional projectors degrades with the projection lights, causing colors to change and the image to become less crisp. You won’t have the same problem with UST projectors.

They Have Built-In Speakers

Modern UST projectors feature built-in speakers that enhance your home cinema experience. The sound quality of these speakers is similar to those of TVs.

More impressively, the sound quality can be even better than a TV since the built-in speakers are located on the back of the projecting device, which is directed toward viewers.

UST Projectors Disadvantages

UST projectors allow for much more space and flexibility in a home theater setup. However, there are some drawbacks to using ultra short throw projectors that you should consider before making your purchase.  

They Are Larger Than Traditional Projectors

When it comes to size, UST projectors have the disadvantage of being bigger than most traditional projectors. All the lenses needed for the UST technology require a certain amount of space, so a lot of UST projectors can take up quite a lot of space. 

Positioning Can Be Tricky

Setting up the projector can be more of an issue with UST devices, especially if you want to project on a screen rather than another flat surface. UST projectors don’t have certain optical image-shifting features that could help make setting up easier. 

Distance Makes a Significant Difference

UST projectors use multiple lenses to create a super-sized image for projecting from a small distance. While this gives them all the advantages I mentioned, it also makes them very sensitive to changes in distance. 

Moving the projector half an inch (approximately one cm) can make a massive difference in the image projected to the screen. You should be extra cautious not to move the projector while watching; otherwise, you might spend a while fixing it.

They Are Expensive

UST projectors are more expensive than most TVs or traditional projectors. The cheapest ones are around $1,000, and they won’t give you satisfactory performance. 

On the other hand, you can get a decent TV or regular projector for a few hundred dollars. Naturally, the experience that a good UST projector offers is on another level, but if you’re on a budget, it’s better to explore other options.

What To Look For in an Ultra Short Throw Projector

If you’re thinking of getting a UST projector, you need to keep in mind certain aspects that can help you understand what a good projector should include:

  • Resolution: 4K is ideal for a home cinema, better than 1080p. UST projectors with 4k resolution offer great clarity with extremely high-resolution images and vibrant colors. 
  • Throw ratio: UST projectors typically have a throw ratio of under 0.4, but the best ones have even lower ratios.
  • Brightness: You should aim for 2500 to 3500 lumens. However, more lumens don’t necessarily mean better quality.
  • Sound system: All UST projectors have built-in speakers, but some of these systems are not high-quality. If you’re not willing to spend more on a separate sound system, get a UST with high-quality speakers.

Conclusion

Ultra Short Throw projectors are great devices that allow you to project images from a very short distance, unlike traditional projectors. They use multiple lenses and laser lights for projection, which gives them the ability to project clear images even in bright spaces.

However, they can be quite expensive, with prices up to $7,000. Mid-range priced UST projectors can be a better choice, offering high-quality images and a great watching experience for a relatively reasonable price. However, if you’re on a budget, you may want to check out traditional projectors.

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