In my last article I talked about maintaining your lighting system. Today, we're going to get into maintaining your video projection system.
The main component of a typical video projection system that needs maintenance is the video projector. Before you start, however, make sure the projector is completely cool. Some projector lamps are delicate and can break if the projector if moved while hot.
Most of today's video projectors use lamps that generate a lot of heat. Therefore, keeping the projector air filters clean, as well as the projector housing itself to keep dust away from the air intakes, is important. Filters should be cleaned regularlyprobably every three to six months depending on how much you use it. Your projector manual should give a recommendation.
While you are at it, also clean the projector lens with denatured alcohol. Apply the alcohol to a cloth first, and then use the cloth to clean the lens. Denatured alcohol evaporates completely and doesn't leave a residue, unlike many glass cleaners, so this is one of the better cleaner options. It's also less harsh than ammonia solutions.
Be sure to replace your projection lamp as soon as its rated hours have been used up. Delaying may cause the lamp to explode (not merely burn out), and this could damage key components in the projector requiring a far more expensive repair than merely the cost of replacing the lamp on time.
If you have a video switcher that sits on a table-top, keep it covered when not in use to keep dust out of the controls.
For projection screens, it's probably best if you simply dust them with something like a feather duster. If you get dirt on the screen, consult the user's manual for the screen to see what the manufacturer recommends. There are a variety of materials used in making screens, and some have special coatings applied. Cleaning with the wrong type of solution, or even rubbing the screen surface, can damage it. Therefore, following the manufacturer's recommendations is important.
As you've read in these last few articles, regular maintenance is important in protecting the value of your technology investment. Many maintenance items are best done quarterly. This may be a good opportunity to have an "all hands on deck" maintenance party for your tech team. Many hands make for quick work, and this is an opportunity for the team to come together as a group and build relationships (which is difficult to do on a busy Sunday morning). Make it a pizza party as a thank you for their service and for taking some extra time to come help maintain the equipment they use each week.