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Old February 25th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #1
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Projector for Church Advice Needed

I need information on what is the best projector for Church.

Situation:

The ceiling is way to high to mount from so it must be mounted up in the balcony approx 60 feet from the screen. The screen is a ‘pull down’ type (sort of like a window shade) that is approx 6 feet wide and the height depends on how far the screen is pulled down.

They want to use the system mainly for powerpoint presentations so that the congregation can see the words to hymns that are not in the hymnal. Also they don't want to have to turn the lights down because they are the type that takes a long time to come back on. Also would create problems for the video. So we are talking about a lot of lumens.

I have been looking at a Sony VPL-FX52L that looks like it should have the needed specs but the price is a bit high for the budget and availability of it seems to be special order which means it cannot be returned if it doesn’t work for them. Also there is the added expense for a long throw lens.

So what is the best solution for their needs that won’t break the bank?

Thanks in advance,

Danny Fye
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Old February 27th, 2008, 03:19 AM   #2
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I know its not the best answer to your question, but I would recommend you contact projectorpeople.com. they offer discounts to churches and have quite a lot of good advise to give. From my dealing w/ them, they really seemed to know their gear.

cheers!
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Old February 29th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #3
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www.projectorcentral.com

Very very good resource for incredible amounts of information. I used to work at a professional A/V installation firm, and i would advise that you (if possible) have someone with this type of knowledge to come in an consult with you about possibilities.

There is no ceiling too high to mount from (not really, but i've installed some ridiculously long poles before). So the cost of buying a projector with a huge lumen output and a long throw lens could maybe in fact be offset by bringing the projector forward. If you can't dim the lights, and ESPECIALLY if you have lots of natural light from windows, you will be very disappointed with your image unless you spend a LOT of money on a SUPER bright projector.

This is a big issue, with too much to cover here, but it really boils down to your budget/needs analysis. Figure out where you can compromise and go from there.

Just my 2 cents, but make sure you calculate very carefully what your lumens on the screen end up being because you'd hate to buy a projector, install it, turn it on and have your heart sink.

Hope this helps... let me know if you have any specific questions.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 06:22 AM   #4
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Forgot to ask - is is possible to rear project? If your facility would allow this, if you have the space to do so... this would probably be far more cost effective with better results than front projection.

The more you get into this though, the more you realize how many factors play a role in this process. Shape of room, size, ambient light, screen size required, requirements of church in terms of aesthetics, budget.... etc.

This is why hiring a professional company a lot of times makes sense. But this plays back into the budget thing... sometimes it makes sense, others it doesn't.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 10:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Backus View Post
Forgot to ask - is is possible to rear project? If your facility would allow this, if you have the space to do so... this would probably be far more cost effective with better results than front projection.

The more you get into this though, the more you realize how many factors play a role in this process. Shape of room, size, ambient light, screen size required, requirements of church in terms of aesthetics, budget.... etc.

This is why hiring a professional company a lot of times makes sense. But this plays back into the budget thing... sometimes it makes sense, others it doesn't.
I was about to reply to your previous post and ask about rear projection.

How much space is needed behind the screen?

There is a baptismal fount directly behind the screen and about a max of 6 feet to the wall. I've read of problems with humidity so I had the idea of mounting the projector in a room just behind the baptismal fount and have just the lens go through the wall to project to the screen.

Problems are: The wall is very thick at this location. It would not be possible to use it during a baptismal service. How to make it look nice.

Main goal is to project on a screen the words of hymns that are not in the hymnal so as not to have the expense of having to buy dozens of little song books for every special hymn that someone wants to use. Also powerpoint presentations.

Speaking of rediculously long polls, this Church would require one if a front projector is used.

We have been using a borrowed projector that is setup on top of a board on top of some pews about 20 feet away. I do not know what the lumens are but the lights do have to be turned down low to see it well. This is bad for the video I do and the lights are very slow to come back on because of the type they are.

I told the people in charge what you said about having this professionally done and they just won't listen. They are way too much into cutting costs. I don't blame them in a way but I am concerned that they will end up having to buy it all twice and not get the desired results.

Go to my web page and look at the video in the 'previous video' section and view the service from February 10, 2008. Especially chapter 3 which pretty much shows what we have. This is a wide view from the front of the balcony. The lights were turned off in the sanctuary with only the rostrum lights on. I used Vegas to make it a little brighter. I just provided a more direct link below.

Ok, this is getting a bit long so I will stop here.

Thanks much,
Danny Fye
www.vidmus.com/scolvs
http://www.vidmus.com/scolvs/02-10-2...-10-30-am.html
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Old February 29th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #6
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after the projector...

After you get the projector installed I highly recommend using something other than just PowerPoint to project song lyrics.

If you are a PC person look into MediaShout.com

If you are on a Mac look at ProPresenter.com

They both are around $400 but it will be the best $400 you can spend for a quality job. Both are used for song lyrics, Bible Verses, and they both can incorporate previously created PowerPoint documents.

If you have any questions about this just send me an email.

Thought this might help!
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Old February 29th, 2008, 10:37 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jason Boyette View Post
After you get the projector installed I highly recommend using something other than just PowerPoint to project song lyrics.

If you are a PC person look into MediaShout.com

If you are on a Mac look at ProPresenter.com

They both are around $400 but it will be the best $400 you can spend for a quality job. Both are used for song lyrics, Bible Verses, and they both can incorporate previously created PowerPoint documents.

If you have any questions about this just send me an email.

Thought this might help!
Thanks,

I will tell the people with the money and see what they want to do. Most likely they will want to go with a PC computer.

Danny Fye
www.vidmus.com/scolvs
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Old February 29th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Backus View Post
Forgot to ask - is is possible to rear project? If your facility would allow this, if you have the space to do so... this would probably be far more cost effective with better results than front projection.

The more you get into this though, the more you realize how many factors play a role in this process. Shape of room, size, ambient light, screen size required, requirements of church in terms of aesthetics, budget.... etc.

This is why hiring a professional company a lot of times makes sense. But this plays back into the budget thing... sometimes it makes sense, others it doesn't.

I just talked to the person who handles the money and we decided to go with a portable rear projection system. The projector would be at the back of the rostrum and the screen would be in front of it.

Question, how close can the screen be to the projector and still work properly? How much lower than the screen can the projector be? The table at the back of the rostrum would probably not be high enough to be 'inline' with the screen.

Portable because they want to be able to use the system downstairs and not have to buy two systems.

So what would you recommend for this type of setup?

Thanks much,

Danny Fye
www.vidmus.com/scolvs
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Old February 29th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #9
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Not sure about the distance but the position of the projector doesn't really matter you can adjust the keystone and the horizontal and vertical axises can be adjusted on the projector itself. It can be higher or lower than the screen.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 02:09 PM   #10
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I'm not too familiar with portable rear projection systems. The distances and positioning specs are dependent on the projector itself. Avoid using keystone if possible, it distorts the image. Stick with lens shift if you can, but as a general rule of thumb, just try to position the projector where they tell you to position it (in the manual).

Typically rear projection systems work best when they are fully enclosed. So i'm not sure what a portable setup would look like.

I've dealt with people like the people you describe that handle the money. It's very hard to convince them for some reason that you get what you pay for. It's especially frustrating when it turns out what is "good" to them is terrible to you and others, so convincing them becomes a bleak affair.

The main downside to rear projection that you may or may not be aware of is viewing angle. Typically rear projection displays and projection setups have pretty narrow ideal viewing angles. If you have a very wide congregation this is solved by either a central front projection setup or two rear projection setups, one on each side. If you have a relatively narrow sanctuary, then you might be able to get away with it.

Like i said though, there is really a science to this process... but it seems like the decision has already been made, so i won't go into too much detail. If i get a chance i'll look at some portable RP setups and offer up my advice if i have any.

Any idea what the actual budget is?
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Old March 1st, 2008, 01:26 PM   #11
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Consult a Pro, this a very expensive gamble, and definetly NOT a DIY thing to pull off succesfully, very well worth the cost of involving a good integrator.
as far as rear projection it IS critical that the projector room be completely blacked out with no light intrusion from the rest of the room.
if you are going to front project from 60 or so feet, keep in mind the need for a lens (possibly into the thousands) to be able to throw, on top of the projector cost.
if you are limited to only 6 or so feet from behind the screen then you need to consider the cost of a mirror system (if your going to do the rear projection system) , either way there is some very specific math involved. and none of these items are cheap (if you want good performance) .
go to the screen manufacturers websites they have some tools to help out with throw and mirror systems. the mainly used manufacturers are "Stewart" and "Da-lite" contact these guys first. then do yourself a favor and get a good integrator involved, otherwise youre gambling alot of money without a re-assurance of performance, and most retailers will not take returns once a projector has been permanently installed.
I have installed at least 57 to 100 projectors in churches ( and many times more in VTC rooms) in my previous career as an integrator and have "Fixed" (at a high cost) at least 50 previous botched DIY attempts to this properly, and unfortunately this is not a "cheap" thing to do well, no matter how cheap the new presentation projectors seem to be getting.
Proper alignment and lens shift IS the only way to get the best image without distortion, you should never use the keystoning features on ANY projector as it will definetly distort the image as well as giving up some of the resolution to do so. proper installation, and alignment in all 3 axis are key to successfully pulling it of properly.

as far as how far a projector needs to be from the screen, it depends on the size of image you are trying to create as well as the lens ratio.

Also keep in mind the additional cost for video DA amp (to give the video signal oomph to go the distance) and the RGBHV cable to get the signal to the projector (about 3 bucks or more per foot) and all the termination needed BNC and the tooling to do this (not to mention skilz) , also the remote IR repeating if the projector is not where you can easily reach with remote. if you are going to display anything besides computer (and you will want to ) then consider the cabling for these sources and DA amps for these, and you'll need to be able switch between the sources from remote so that kind of makes the control kind of a necessity.

hate to be harsh but ive seen this situation way too many times in my life, and it always ends up NOT giving the performance that people expect and costing much more in the long run.

at least hire a pro to consult on the issue, it will save you lots of headache.

Last edited by Gerry Gallegos; March 1st, 2008 at 01:40 PM. Reason: added info
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Old March 1st, 2008, 07:41 PM   #12
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I do a lot of projection work and have used dozens of projectors in a variety of places and spaces.
There are a lot of issues to consider and to do it right is not cheap. Rear projection is good in that you can walk right up in front of the screen and not case a shadow, BUT you must have a screen that is made for it. It sounds like there is already a screen in place, and I would bet that it will not work for rear projection. To replace it will be costly.

How far back the projector is from the screen will determine the size of the image produced. Typically, to rear project you purchase a projector that can does not come with a lens, so that you can purchase a wide angle. Most WIDE angle lens are fixed at ~ 1 to 1 ratio. That means at 10 feet back from the screen the image is 10 feet wide. Oh, and by the way, these fixed lens require the projector be mounted in the center of the screen, which means if the 'bulls eye' of the screen is 10 feet in the air, the projector would need to be 10 feet in the air.

A few projectors offer a zoom wide angle lens, but they are usually like 1.3 - 1.8 to 1.0 meaning you would need even more distance from screen to projector, but these can usually be located on the floor or hanged upside down such that the lens is a the same height as the top of the screen or image desired.

Honestly, I think you should put the projector into the booth, but you will need to purchase a projector with the right lens for the screen you have.

The Sony VPL-FX52L has a decent amount of lumens, but in a brightly lighted space even 6000 lumens can get washed out. A lot depends on the size of the screen as you are dealing with the inverse square law. A slightly bigger screen drastically lowers brightness. How big is the screen?
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Old March 1st, 2008, 10:31 PM   #13
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We could post all day... and thats what we'll do if need be, but as you can see there is a lot to consider.

And like Gerry has stated, so many people try to DIY it and end up paying to have it redone, or live with a crappy system because they can't pay to have it redone. I myself have gone in after crappy DIY applications and have seen some horrendous things.

If you spent a large amount of time researching everything thats required to do what youre thinking about doing and carefully planned it out, that may be possible - but its usually best to just find someone with experience.

The problem is, that doing so can be expensive, so its a tricky situation. Proceed with caution!
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 12:53 PM   #14
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On another note.

You need to explain to the "committee" type folks that the church exist with one main purpose in mind and that is to convey a message. this cannot be done with fancy drapes, or a fancy fountain in the entrance or a fancy stained glass, this is done with audio and visuals, period!!!

if you cant hear it... message is lost.

if you cant see it... the message again is lost.

explain that younger people (new members) will more likely stay and contribute when the experience is more visual (current trends).
the whole big screen in the sanctuary today is no longer an option for churches wanting to attract and keep members (not to mention conveying the message).

It never seizes to amaze me how mis-guided some church committee folks over look what is really important and spend all the funds on silly things, and not consider the AV systems the most important expenditures.

Blessings
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