There are lots of options for A/V techs looking to determine one of the most basic calculations of the job – throw distance. By nature, this value is used to determine how far away a projector can be set up from a screen. Once a tech knows how far they’ll be throwing an image, they can determine how big of a screen they can use. The basic formula most pro’s use when figuring throw distance is one foot of screen width to every two feet of separation between lens and screen.
Once the throw distance is determined, A/V techs need to establish the throw ratio. This formula requires a bit more basic multiplication – screen width times throw distance. For the mathematically challenged, these numbers can easily compound to create confusing delays once on location. Factor in the reality that most A/V techs are in charge of everything from screen setup, audio configuration, and lighting, it’s not out of the question to ask for a few shortcuts whenever possible.
Thankfully, the development of mobile applications that handle these calculations have made A/V techs more efficient, which means their productions stand a better chance of going off without a hitch. While there are plenty of apps on the market claiming to handle this increasingly important part of the show, we’ve found some of the best apps that you should consider downloading and trying on your next project.
Note to Android users: Many of the apps listed here have links to iTunes. If you see an app you like, check out Google Play to see if the Android version has been developed yet. These are getting updated all the time.
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