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Projector Blog: Connecting audio to a projector or how to get audio from a projector

Connecting audio to and from a Projector

A very common question which comes up again and again:
"How do i get the audio to the projector (usually ceiling mounted) then back down to the amplifier?"

The best way to wire up the home theatre is definitely through an amp. But sometimes people get a bit mixed up with the order they should cable things up. From the source e.g. bluray player/media player etc it is best to run a HDMI cable to the amp. The amp will separate the audio to the speakers that it is powering then will have a HDMI output to go to the projector.

Some of the benefits:

- Send multiple sources to the projector with one HDMI Cable.
- Easily switch between the different sources
- High quality digital audio without sound delay

Projector Wiring Diagram

Without an Amp?

In a business situation or in a home theatre on a budget where there might not be an amp. If you would like to use some external speakers or a sound bar to boost the audio the best way is still to go direct from the source. Send the video to the projector then the audio directly to the speakers.

Why wouldn't you send audio to the projector then back?

Cable Distance
The projector is usually quite far away (in cabling terms) on a ceiling mount. If you have your projector around 4 metres away from the screen and all of the equipment at the front of the room running cables up the wall and accross the ceiling will be around 7-10 metres. Then doubling this to have audio coming back increases the cost of cabling and could delay the audio to the video image.

Audio Quality
Most projectors do not have an audio output at all, the ones that do will mostly have a stereo headphone jack on the back. Taking a high quality digital signal from a bluray player with 5.1 channel audio or better and changing that to an analogue stereo signal decreases the audio quality dramatically.

Audio Delay
Long cables plus the projectors internal processes to extract the audio from HDMI could very well add a small delay to the audio. Suddenly you have a picture that is not in sync with the sound.

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