How do we determine what projector and screen we need for our church?
Things to Consider:
There are many different projectors and screens on the market from many different manufacturers. Once you weed out the lower quality ones from the good ones, you are still faced with determining screen size and surface material, projector brightness, and an overwhelming list of specifications. So - how do you determine what is right for you.
The first thing to decide is whether you want a portable screen or a permanent one.
Portable Screen Projection System:
Before you start thinking about the projector, you need to choose the screen. If the system is to be portable, and you don't want an elaborate screen setup, you should probably go with a high quality Tripod screen. The largest one available is 8 x 8 feet. There is no point however in buying a square format screen, since video projection format is 3 x 4 ratio. Therefore you should get a 6 x 8 foot screen. This will give you the same size image, without 2 feet of wasted screen surface.
With an 8 foot wide screen, an XGA resolution projector with 3000 lumens will work great under just about any lighting conditions. We sell excellent quality screens and projectors.
For more detailed information on screen and projector specifications and selection, visit out Video Projection page
You always need to select the projection screen before you choose the projector. In order to determine the proper size for the screen, measure the distance from the screen surface the the farthest person viewing it. Divide this distance by 6 to get the height of the screen. The width of the screen should be 4/3 times the height. For example, if the farthest seat is 54 feet, then the screen height should be 54 / 6 = 9 feet. This would make the width 9 x 4 / 3 = 12 feet. The screen in this example would be 9 x 12. This gives you the ideal size for video clip and movie projection. If you are only using it for words, you could get away with a slightly smaller screen, but if you can fit the right size one in your room, it is best to go with it.
In almost all cases, a Matt White surface is best. There are many other surfaces, some give you a brighter reflection, but at the cost of a narrower viewing angle. The Matt White gives an excellent image with wide, consistent viewing angle.
If you want a motorized screen, there are many different control options, from an AC wall switch located near the screen, to a Radio Frequency remote control. A manual screen might be acceptable as long as the screen is not too large and you will leave it down for the entire service. Once you get into a manual screen larger than 10 feet wide, you should consider one with Controlled Screen Return.
After you have chosen the screen, you now need to decide on the projector. The projector brightness and resolution are determined primarily by the screen size and room lighting. In most church settings with no direct lights or sunlight on the screen, 3000 Lumens with XGA resolution is good for screens up to 8 feet wide. A 3500 - 4500 lumen. XGA projector works great with a 10 to 12 foot wide screen. Once you get up to 14 and 16 foot screens, you should probably increase to around 5000+ lumens with XGA resolution.
Now you need to decide whether to install the projector or keep it portable. The distance from the screen to the projector is usually about 1.8 times the width of the screen. You can get optional lenses to allow you greater distance if needed. If the projector is portable, you can use it in other locations. Because it shines up onto the screen, you need to keep the path clear of obstacles and people. If it is installed, you should drop it from the ceiling so that it is level with the top of the screen. Don't try to make your own mount. We sell excellent projector mounts which will save you a tremendous amount of frustration.
Above are some of the main considerations in selecting your projection system. Please note that when you are comparing projectors, there are a lot of important specifications besides brightness and resolution. For a detailed explanation, go to our Video Projection page.