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Product Review
 

Peerless PRS-UNV Digital Projector Ceiling Mount

September, 2005

John E. Johnson, Jr.

 

Specifications:

 

● Ships Preassembled
● Quick Release
● Pitch: + 50 - 200, Roll 100, Yaw 3600
● Cord Management
● Handles up to 25 Pound Projectors

● Use with Ceiling Plate and Adjustable
    Column Tubing (Not Included)
● Size: 4" H x 9.6" W x 12.2" D
● Weight: 2.5 Pounds

● MSRP: $209 USA

Available from Full Compass

www.fullcompass.com

Introduction

Are you tired of having your digital projector sitting on the coffee table? I know I was.

So, I felt it was time to put it out of the way, on the ceiling.

There are lots of ceiling projector mounts out there, and if you have never installed one, it can be difficult to choose.

So, I consulted Shawn McLoughlin at Full Compass, which is a company that sells just about everything in consumer electronics, but also professional products such as studio lighting and microphones.

I told Shawn that I wanted something I could use not only for my own projector, but could adapt it for testing projectors sent to us for review. In other words, I wanted something flexible.

He suggested the Peerless PRS-UNV, which is a universal mount. Peerless also has mounts dedicated to specific projector classes, but the universal mount was perfect for our use, now, and in the future.

The Design

The PRS-UNV comes preassembled. But this means the gimbal mechanism that tilts. The rest of the parts are in several plastic bags.

"Oh no," I thought, "look at all those bolts and screws."

Well, it turns out that you won't need most of the bolts and screws. Peerless just includes a variety to fit the mounting holes on all kinds of projectors.

When you purchase the PRS-UNV, or just about any projector mount, you get a kit. This has most of the parts you will need (see next paragraph below). In the case of the Peerless, the kit contains three basic items: the gimbal mechanism that will let you tilt the projector up or down to the front (pitch), and up or down to the sides (roll). Rotation (yaw) is accomplished simply by turning the gimbal in the column tube (the tube extends from the ceiling mounting plate to the gimbal).

Note that you need to purchase the ceiling mounting plate and column tube separately. The basic set is Item # ACC571 ($28), which includes the ceiling plate and a flush mounting tube . If you want to have a longer tube, then get the plate by itself (Item # ACC570 - $21) and a tube of the desired length. I would suggest getting a tube of adjustable length rather than fixed length. This will let you move the projector up or down a few inches in case you are off a bit in your measurements. I got the 6"-9" adjustable tube (Item # ADJ006009 - $55).

Assembly

For the purpose of this review, we will assume you have determined the placement of the mount with respect to the projection screen, and have calculated the image size on that screen from the spot where the projector will be mounted. (These procedures will be covered in future technical articles.) If you have not done this, you should certainly not assume that you can simply use the zoom control on the projector to fill the screen. Zooms on projector lenses don't have the range to cover every situation. A quick and easy method is to just hold the projector up at the spot where it will hang from the ceiling and see where the image projects on the screen. If you can adjust the zoom to fill it from that position, great. Otherwise, you should consider a different mounting spot.

Lens shift is a feature on many projectors now. This lets you shift the image up or down, and side to side, without moving the projector. But don't let this feature make you careless. The center of the lens has the best sharpness, so you should mount everything such that you don't have to use the lens shift, namely on-axis with the center of the screen. Of course, if you cannot mount the projector directly on-axis with the screen, then the lens shift is necessary (consider that feature when purchasing your projector).

The ceiling plate has two screw holes so it can be attached to a ceiling joist. Here is a photo, shown below.

My projector needed to be mounted on a soffit at the rear of the room, rather than directly on the ceiling. So, I put a sheet of Melamine-coated plywood on the soffit, then the plate was screwed to the plywood, as shown in the photo.

Next, I screwed the column tubing into the threaded hole in the plate. You can see another hole next to the tube. That is for threading cable through. Of course, you need to have a hole in the ceiling in the same spot as the hole in the ceiling plate, to thread the cable down to the projector. So, the procedure would be to mark where the screw holes are going to be in the ceiling, as well as the hole for the cables. Cut the cable hole in the ceiling, thread the cables down through the ceiling hole, through the hole in the plate, then screw the plate to the ceiling. I am constantly changing cables, so I did not use the mounting plate hole for cables.

Use the included bolt to lock the height of the column tubing where you want it. You can change the height again later if you want. Don't forget to lock the column into the threaded hole with the small screw.

Now to the gimbal. In the photo shown below, the gimbal has been screwed onto the column tube. You can see the pitch adjustment screws, roll adjustment screws, and plate locking knob, which locks the projector plate into the gimbal.

Here is the mechanism that attaches to the projector. It consists of three arms that attach to a metal ring, an example of which is pointed out by the Bolt 1 arrow, with the other end of the arms attaching to three mounting holes found on the bottom of digital projectors, an example of which is pointed out by the Bolt 2 arrow. A plate in the center of the ring is attached using two bolts. The kit comes with four arms in case your projector has four mounting holes.

Before you attach this mechanism to the projector, you first need to attach the plate to the ring. It uses two small bolts that are screwed in from the bottom (that is why you need to do it first). The plate only slides in from one end of the gimbal, so depending on whether you will need to slide the projector into the gimbal from the front or rear, it is important to make sure you attach it to the ring in the proper orientation. The ring has a small slot that is to be orientated towards the front of the projector.

Then attach the arms to the ring, aligning the bolt with the hex slot facing up towards you, and the nut underneath the arm. Leave them loose rather than tight for now. The arms have slots for the bolts to pass through. Make sure you attach the bolts in the slot that gives you enough length to reach the projector mounting holes.

Next, place the ring, with the plate having been attached, along with the arms, onto the bottom of the projector, and slide the arms so that they intersect the projector mounting holes. You can use some of the Nylon washers that are included. There is a lot of flexibility here, so move the ring such that it is in the center of the projector for the sake of balance. Then tighten the bolts at the ring and at the mounting holes. (Note that most of the supplied bolts require a hex wrench, which is also included.) You can see in the photo that I bolted one of the arms in the middle, with one Nylon washer under each outer extent of the arm. This was because the mounting holes are not flush with the bottom of the projector, and I also found this (bolting at the middle of the arm) worked best for getting the ring to be exactly in the center of the projector.

Tighten the pitch and roll screws slightly, so you can slide the projector into the gimbal. Tighten the plate locking knob by pushing it in then turning it. This locks the projector into the gimbal. Then connect the AC power cord and video cable to your projector and turn it on. Loosen the pitch and roll screws so you can adjust the image such that it is square to the screen, then tighten the screw that locks the gimbal to the bottom of the column tube (you can see the head of this screw just above the roll adjustment screws in the picture of the gimbal), and you are done.

I found the Peerless unit to be easy to install and adjust. The instructions are not very clear, but that is not unusual.

Conclusions

The Peerless PRS-UNV Projector Mount can make a very nice addition to your home theater, by moving that digital projector off the coffee table or shelf, and getting it out of the way. This also means you won't have to adjust the projector every time you use it (projectors sitting on coffee tables have a habit of getting moved for cleaning the table). You may need longer cables, but I have found no problem with 24 foot component video cables or 30 foot HDMI cables.



- John E. Johnson, Jr.. -

Copyright 2005 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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