How to Connect a Computer to a Ceiling Mount LCD Projector

By Fred Decker

Ceiling-mounted projectors typically connect through a remote box or wall plate.
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The aphorism that "a picture is worth a thousand words" holds true for business communications, and multimedia projectors are one common way to add pictures to your presentations and meetings. They're often set up temporarily on boardroom tables or rolling carts, but if you use your projector regularly, a permanent ceiling mount might be more appropriate. This places the projector's connections out of reach for day-to-day use, so your installer will typically run cables to a more suitable location such as a podium, wall plate or in-floor box.

Locate the projector's connection plate or box. If you're in an unfamiliar room, you might need assistance from staff.

Position your computer on a suitable surface near the connectors, such as a table or podium, and connect to an external power outlet if necessary.

Review the available connectors for the projector and supporting sound system. Depending on your computer's outputs and the projector's inputs, you may have several choices. An HDMI connection provides both audio and high-definition video, if it's available. Otherwise, use the computer-style VGA connection for your picture and the headphone-style mini stereo jack for audio, if necessary.

Connect a cable from your computer's HDMI output to the input on the projector's remote connector plate, or alternatively, use a VGA cable and separate audio cable. Turn on the projector. Wait until it has warmed up and is ready to use. This can take several minutes.

Select the HDMI or VGA input, as appropriate, using the projector's remote. Your image should appear on-screen.


On some laptops, you must use a specific keystroke combination to toggle your video card into a mode that supports both your built-in screen and the external projector. For example, on HP and Compaq laptops you hold down the "Fn" key and press the "F4" function key. Depending on your computer, you might have to press that key combination two or three times to enter the correct mode. Repeat the process after your presentation to return to the normal display mode.