A projector mount is a metal structure which supports a projector and secures it to a wall or a ceiling. The purpose of the mount is to remove the projector from the direct line of sight of people viewing the output of the projector while positioning it for optimum alignment with the projection screen. Projector mounts are most often used in auditoriums, school classrooms, and large public spaces, but as the popularity of the home theater has grown, they have become more and more common in private homes.
A projector mount must perform three functions: to attach the projector securely to the mount mechanism itself, to attach the mount mechanism securely to a ceiling or wall, and to allow adjustments in angle and tilt to obtain the correct projection height and angle. When selecting a projector mount it is important to know where you will be using the projector, what kinds of images you will be projecting, and what kind of screen you will be projecting on. These will determine how adjustable the mount needs to be and what kind of attachment, wall or ceiling, you will need.
Most projector mounts come in standard black, gray, and white colors to blend in with the environment in which they will be mounted. Mounts can also be ordered in custom colors for use with unique wall and ceiling colors. Some projector mounts have small, electric motors that allow the projector to be raised or lowered, making them virtually invisible while not in use.
Projector manufacturers offer matching projector mounts which are designed to support each specific projector. Universal mounts are also available that come with adjustable arms that can be lengthened, shortened, and twisted to match the mounting bolts on most projectors. Any projector mount will include a mechanism to hold or support the projector itself, a brace or arm to hold the supported projector away from the wall or below the ceiling, and a method to secure the support/bracing construction to the wall or ceiling.
Two measurements are of prime importance when positioning a projector mount: distance and height. Height is defined as the distance above or below the center line of the screen, and distance is measured as the number of inches from the screen to the projector lens. These measurements determine the size of the image being projected and the quality of the projected picture.
The specific height and distance differ for each projector and are determined by the size of the screen and the focal length of the projector lens. Each manufacturer will provide a manual with instructions on how to determine the correct position for the projector mount. In general, most projectors are placed approximately one and one-half times the width of the screen away and are positioned at the top or bottom edge of the screen.
Projector mounts can be purchased from office supply stores, electronic equipment stores, online, and from the manufacturer of the projector being mounted. Average cost ranges from less than $50 US Dollars (USD) to more than $300 USD depending on materials, size, and the weight of the projector to be mounted. The projector should always be purchased before selecting or positioning the mounting structure.