It took me several years to get around to mounting my projector properly, because I wanted to make it perfect. Also, I was hesitant to go into the attic to drop the mount from the ceiling. I went from using a TV as a stand (it’s hilarious to see people puzzle out why the couch was facing *away* from the TV) to using a cheap shelf as a stand. The problem was that the projector needed to be higher, and I wanted to free up the space below for storing other things.
|Before – the projector sat on a cheap standing shelf|
I planned to drop a mount (professional or home-made) from the ceiling for years but procrastinated because it would be a lot of work and I wasn’t even sure there was structural support at the top of the arch.
By the way, there’s a lot of support over at http://www.avsforum.com for choosing and setting up projectors, as well as selecting or even building your own mounts. Search around there.
I also don’t like the look of L-bracket shelves. They look cheap. I was frustrated at the lack of good options, but a co-worker finally convinced me to look into a suspended shelf, and that’s exactly what I needed. That also provided the push to actually start this project, which is coincidentally the most important part.
Cost was a factor, but finding a suspended shelf deep enough for the projector was the biggest hurdle. I finally figured it out – buy the cables and the shelf separately. There are lots of options for “cable shelf brackets” but I’ve ordered from here before (and this was one of the cheapest options)
So, to get this going I needed measurements:
- Width of the projector, and of the opening the shelf was going into
- Depth of the projector, including space for cables
- Weight of the projector (minimal – under 8lbs)
- Optimal height for the projector
I found that I needed about 15″ of depth to give room for the cables, which fit perfectly within the 16″ maximum depth of the shelf kit. You can go any width, so I went with 22″ to leave room for the projector between the cables, and a few inches on the sides. I put the height exactly where I would have put the mount from the ceiling, so that the top of the image is near the ceiling and the projector pointed straight ahead without an angle adjustment.
The expensive part was the glass. You could do wood with the kit but I like the look of glass. I needed something deeper than most pre-made glass shelves, so I got this and got a custom glass piece cut. That came out just over $50 for the 15″ by 22″ cut since I got 1/2″ glass. I suggest calling them first and getting quotes (and maybe even seeing if they sell the cable kit too). I think the spacers provided with the cable package would make 3/8″ glass fit snugly in the brackets.
If you found a different kit that handled 3/16″, you’d find places online that would ship the glass. With the 3/8″ and 1/2″ sizes the weight makes the shipping cost prohibitive and you are best off buying local. I researched the load that each thickness could carry with the width of the support cables, and all of them could handle well over the weight of the projector.
Installation was pretty simple with a drill and screwdriver (plus pencil and measuring tape of course).
|The freshly installed glass shelf|
And here’s the shelf with the projector (it looks cleaner than it should, since the cables and entertainment center aren’t in there yet).
|The initial placement – success!|
BTW that’s a Panasonic PT-AE700U projector. I bought it because the lens allows zoom from 1.0 to 1.2, which gave me the range needed to make it not be far too large (and spread thin) on the wall 17 feet away. I swear that projectors are designed for people in apartments or tiny homes.
Soon after I installed the shelf, I put an entertainment center to fill the space below which helped with storage quite a bit. The cables are fairly inconspicuous – I cable tied them together into a single cord that goes over the side and behind the entertainment center below.
This project wasn’t really that difficult once I was on the right path.