This article, published in the spring is an update on projectors which are more than suitable to grace church sanctuaries. Considering the need for high quality presentations of videos, song lyrics, message points and scripture, this is one that deems another look.
Seeking to provide some level of direction of where to begin in your search, we took a glance at a number of projectors, and narrowed it down to 10 different brands and models that we thought were worthy of consideration.
Recognizing how with the litany of models available comes with a laundry list of features, we deemed it necessary to winnow down the field by selecting models that are running WUXGA technology, or have a 1,920 pixel-by-1,200 pixel resolution, the top resolution available for Extended Graphics Array displays, at a resolution that is similar to Full HD (1920x1080).
Beyond just deciding which projector or projectors have the best features, a key to deciding on what will work best for you is to have a basic grasp of what the system's capabilities are, what you will need, and to plan beyond your immediate needs.
Plan on getting started? Look over this checklist of 11 points first:
1. As tempting as it might be, for what seems to be logical don't start with a projector! Instead, decide on the best application - with choices ranging from Easy Worship to ProPresenter 6, while figuring out exactly what you want your worship service to incorporate, which could include elements such as Image Magnification (IMAG), environmental projection, testimony videos, announcements, hymn lyrics, etc.
2. Where will you position a projection screen? The location most often chosen is above the stage.
3. How large of an image will you want to display for your congregants? Try to avoid having an image too small that could cause many of your congregants to struggle reading what you're displaying. Or so big, that it overwhelms the worship space and becomes a distraction. And to get it right the first time, it's best that you don't guess on what size you'll need for a screen, as an accurate measurement is the way to go.
4. Ambiant lighting. For a worship space with large windows, the matter of brightness of a projector is an integral element that should not be ignored, because the more natural light introduced into a worship space, the harder it will be for the projector or projectors to capably do the job. Therefore, we here at WTD thought it would be wise to only include any suggested projector that runs on a minimum of 5,000 lumens for brightness.
5. Decide on where the projector can best be mounted. Things like ventilation and fan noise should be a part of that decision. To try to provide a reasonable range among the many relatively quiet projectors on the market, the dB range for the 10 selected units begins as low as 28 dB, up to a reasonable 43 dB. Regarding where to mount a projector, the ceiling is often the best location, especially if you plan on using the projector during each worship service.
6. Throw distance. Calculate first what the throw distance (the distance from the tip of the projector's lens to the screen) will be between the projector and to your installed screen. Then determine what the lens' required throw ratio will need to be, figuring out the throw distance, divided by the screen size.
7. Just one, or more? Beyond just deciding what projector you will use in your worship space, you will also need to figure out whether more than one will be required to fit your needs. If you opt for more than one, plan on syncing them up, to be able to show the same media across multiple units.
8. Beyond just projectors, one must determine how the projectors will be connected to associated equipment, like processors or cameras: how will they be wired, while also making sure that all wiring is safely run to all the necessary locations.
9. Power. Where will that equipment connected to the projector be located, to where it would make the most efficient use of their connections?
10. Training and maintenance. Who within your church will be tasked to operate the projection system, along with the associated equipment? Will it be easy enough for that person or any other subordinates asked to run the system?
11. Look beyond the first Sunday. Thinking ahead to when that projector would be used during services, what might you want to do down the road? Is the system you're considering an easy candidate for upgrading?