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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
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Old June 13th, 2005, 03:00 PM   #1
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Advice on projectors

I am bidding on a job where the client also wants me to project a video at the event itself. In the past I have thought about purchasing a digital projector so I can offer this service but until now I haven't had the need. I don't mind making the investment as I'm sure I can make money with this additional service.

Does anyone have any advice on the specifications I should look for in the projector? I am looking at DLP SVGA models. I am interested in any experience with the amount of Lumens and Contrast ratio I should have. Since I plan to use this at larger events I am concerned about image brightness and quality.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 04:12 PM   #2
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It's difficult to make exact comparisons between the ratings of the different brands of projectors. Based on earlier experience with a 10,000 lumen Barco DLP projector on a 44' wide screen, here's my general impression.

Remember, we were using these projections on a while scrim surface, not an actual reflective screen material, and we were competing with stage lighting. So if you're in a completely dark room with a high gain screen you may get away with less. But 10,000 lumens was acceptable bright for our use. So do the math for your screen size, and remember that brightness is an inverse square function: in other words, it's based on the area of the screen rectangle.

If your screen was 22' wide it would have 1/4 the area of my 44' screen, which would imply that 2500 lumens might be bright enough. It the screen is 11' wide that would be 1/16 of the area which implies 625 lumens. Having said this, brighter is always better! I had a chance to see Barco's XLM-H25 27,000 lumen projector on a 20' wide screen and it was stunning with HD footage.

Personally I'd try to find an affordable unit in the 2,000 to 2,500 lumen range. DLP is going to be more expensive than LCD and you will need to decide if it's worth the difference. A good LCD projector can be nice, although I'm told the image degrades steadily with use whereas DLP does not and may be a better long term investment. You might also want to look for something with at least 1280 horizontal pixels in case you want to project HD in the future.
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Old June 13th, 2005, 08:56 PM   #3
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Without knowing your exact use it is hard to tell what you would need. I have a bare min home theater at the moment and my projector is an older NEC lcd the MT1030+, anyway at only 1100 lumens at about 12 feet from the screen (a silver piece of fabric) and a projection about 7 feet wide it is completely visable with all the basement lights on (all fluorescent). As a home theater piece I can't say enough about having a projector it is worth every dime. I would say that if you get one with a home theater in mind and you can get other uses out of it go for it. I would think that 2500 lumens would make me insanely happy. I don't know if you have found but they are a great website for all things projector.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #4
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In most venues I have seen for wedding video presentations, a 9'x12' screen is about as big as you will be able to get if you consider all of the logistics imposed by the banquet hall. These will include food service traffic lanes, permanent decor, sightlines, and just about every other inconvenience you can imagine.
If you are going to connect a dvd player to the projector using the S-video connection, you are essentially introducing a 720 x 480 pixel image into an environment designed to produce 800 x 600 pixels, and the S-video image really is not very crisp. A better approach would be to acquire an adapter that allows connecting the RGB outputs of the DVD player to connect to the projector's 15 pin VGA port...or run the prsentation from a laptop computer.
On a 9' x 12 screen, a 1200 lumin image will appear a bit thin. 1500 lumins will appear much nicer, and 2000 lumins will be very, very good. However, it will be difficult to find an SVGA native resolution projector that produces 2000 lumins. When you get to that output level you will find XGA (1024 x 7680 native resolution, which is an immediate plus!
If, however, you find yourself more limited to screen sizes of 6' x 8', or even 7.5' x 10', you will find the lower lumin SVGA (800 x 600 native) projectors to be quite satisfactory. Just be sure that whatever you purchase, it has some lens zoom capability and 30 degrees keystone adjustment.
My opinions are based upon 23 years of staging events in the meetings and conventions industry.
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