Questions about computers/projectors

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by exscentric, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. exscentric

    exscentric
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    1. What is the smallest wattage that would work in a small church adequately?

    2. How much do the bulbs cost for these? I heard that they were sky high in the past?

    Don't speak much but one would be soooo much nicer than an overhead.

    Thoughts on best brand would be nice as well.
     
  2. 4His_glory

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    1. I depends on how bright the room is where you want to use the projector, I have used a 1500 lumen for a while that works well, but in well lit rooms it can be hard to see. I would recomend at least 2000 lumens if not 2500.

    2.The price on the bulbs will vary depending on the projector you get. Last I checked they were between $300 and $500, but you don't need to change them that often. I have never changed mine in 5 years and I have used it frequently.

    InFocus is nice, but you can't go wrong with any of the top brands. Personally I use a NEC which has been great for my needs.
     
  3. mcdirector

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    I have a little Epson. I'll have to get you the details tomorrow because it's at school. It's worked like a charm. How big a room? I have a large classroom, but it is a classroom.
     
  4. exscentric

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    Usually these are small auditoriums and classrooms, 70 people or so max.

    2-300 bucks - about what I heard. My overhead will do just fine thank you :laugh:

    Good to hear they last a long time - I was afraid they were like 35 mm projector lamps - always carried two of them when I was on the road :laugh:
     
  5. rbell

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    When you say wattage, you mean brightness...and the unit of measuring brightness are lumens. I wouldn't go less than 2,000 lumens. Some of it depends on your lighting. Do you have a bunch of big windows that let in a bunch of light? Do you have the capacity to turn off or dim the lights near your screen? Our auditorium, packed out, seats 700. We have large stained-glass windows, ...thus quite a bit of daytime ambient light...and some stage lighting that frankly is too harsh. So we went "high-dollar" and got a 3,500 lumens projector. But, as with most technology, 2 1/2 years later, you could buy much more for the money now. WIthout knowing your place...ballpark here...an average-lit church that seats 200 folks, I'd insist on 2,000-2,500 lumens. You'd rather be better-lit by a bit than under what you need. If folks can't see it, you might as well not have it.

    Some suggestions I would make:
    • Unless you know you need access to it (unless it MUST be portable), have it professionally mounted and set up in the ceiling. It keeps it out of the way, and usually you get your best projection this way.
    • We also had a 2nd projector installed to hit the back wall. That serves as our "teleprompter." A simple VGA line splitter sends the same signal to both. That may or may not be too much money for ya.
    • These are the features we couldn't live without on ours:
      • The Freeze (freezes the screen), no show (black screen), and keystone correction. For example...if there's a boo-boo, we can freeze the screen, go into PowerPoint, fix the boo-boo, and un-freeze. No one's the wiser. We also will freeze the front projector (but not the back) if we want the choir/soloist/dramatists to have words available, but not for the congregation.
      • An IR repeater. This is a receiver that transmits the remote signal to the projector. We have it down by the computer & sound board. This keeps us from having to point the remote at the projector. It's sometimes hard to get the projector to "see" the remote from ground level. They are around $100 or so (we have 2--1 for each projector). Well worth it.
      • At least 1 RGB input (that's your "monitor cable"), 1 S-video input, and 1 "RCA video" input. That way, you can use a computer, a DVD, a VCR...you get the picture (hey, I made a funny!:type: )
    • We use EIKI projectors for our "sanctuary quality" units (Higher cost, better stuff, more features). We use Dell for our portable stuff (much cheaper, good enough for most portable stuff). One thing I like about EIKI stuff...the remotes don't take an engineering degree from MIT to use. As was said earlier, bulbs are getting cheaper, and we haven't replaced any of ours in 2 1/2 years, and they seem fine. However, we did go ahead last year and buy replacement bulbs for each unit...we had a new budget and the money was there, and it insured against any obsolete parts being unavailable (though frankly, if you stick with mainline brands such as EIKI and NEC, you're probably fine).
    • "Cadillac" option: your best projection would be utilizing rear-screen...in other words, your projector is behind the screen. You get much better brightness & contrast that way, but you have to have the room for it, and not just any screen works.
    Hope I wasn't too "geeky," but I thought I'd be thorough.

    RBell
     
    #5 rbell, Mar 19, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007
  6. mcdirector

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    exscentric

    Let me throw something else out there you might be able to use.

    Before I got my projector, I used a computer to TV adapter that worked really well with most TVs - and again depending on the size of the room.

    They are available at Radio Shack for around $50 -- last time I got one anyway. I went through several because I used them every day

    The trick with these babies is that you have to put less on a power point slide and make the font bigger, but it's very doable.
     
  7. exscentric

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    Thanks all.

    mcdirector: That is my next thought. I use my laptop with a tv for my computer class and works quite nicely as long as the printing is bigger. A lot of churches have tvs these days so that might work well. 19" flat screens are getting cheap as well :laugh:
     
  8. rbell

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    following up on mcdirector's comments...

    She's referring to a scan converter. I'd "pony up" about $100 and get a nicer one. It will allow for higher resolution and thus a better picture. Better models will also give you several output options:
    • Your VGA cable ("monitor cable")
    • S-video
    • RCA video (the old kind that goes into your VCR)
    • component video (3 RCA-looking outputs)
    Your poorest video quality will be your RCA. And if your cable is more than 20-25 feet, you might want to buy a "signal amplifier." In fact, I have a signal splitter/amplifier that allows me to hook my scan converter up to 4 TV's...it also boosts the signal so that it looks sharper. If you use scan converters & TV's, remember:
    • Use S-video cable if you can. Signal's better.
    • like mcdirector said, (especially if your resolution suffers), be prepared to grow your fonts and shrink amount of stuff per page.
    • By and large, non-serif fonts (fonts without "tails" and stuff...Franklin is a non-serif font) do better than serif fonts (like Times New Roman). Also, the color red in fonts and backgrounds is pretty much your enemy. These things are accentuated when using a scan converter, because your resolution suffers somewhat.
     

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