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Old March 20th, 2007, 05:06 PM   #1
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Montage Presentations/Setups Question

Hi guys,

I am looking into buying a projector and screen to show photo montages at weddings. I was just wondering if you guys have any recomendations on good projectors as well as advice on the setups. I was thinking of useing one of those media carts like I used to see in college classrooms, using a laptop as a dvd player, and buying some speakers. Anybody have any cool setups they would like to share? And of course, thanks again in advance. As always I really appreciate the help....Ben
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Old March 20th, 2007, 06:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Ben Mahoney View Post
Hi guys,

I am looking into buying a projector and screen to show photo montages at weddings. I was just wondering if you guys have any recomendations on good projectors as well as advice on the setups. I was thinking of useing one of those media carts like I used to see in college classrooms, using a laptop as a dvd player, and buying some speakers. Anybody have any cool setups they would like to share? And of course, thanks again in advance. As always I really appreciate the help....Ben
Several points on this subject.

1st, just about any modern video projector will do the job, as long as it has a native resolution of 800x600 pixels or better and the minimum brightness is 1200 lumens or better. Native resolution is what the projector was built to display. Most projectors can display computer resolutions above and below their native resolution to some degree. My 800x600 projector will read 640x480 as well as 1024x768. The actual display is still 800x600, just expanded or reduced via a complex mathematical process. DLP projectors typically produce a brighter image when compared to LCD projectors, but the distinction is currently a subjective choice.

2nd, all video projectors will receive RGB signals via a standard 15 pin VGA connector as well as S-Video and composite video. If you wish to display video via a "progressive" collection of individual RGB RCA-type connectors as is common with many DVD players, visit http://www.cablesforless.com and look for a VGA to Progressive adapter. Cheap, and allows you to keep the color muddying crosstalk common to composite video and S-video to the absolute minimum.

3d, however you choose to connect to a video projector (composite video, S-video, or VGA), invest in at least 30 feet of the appropriate cable (I have close to 100'). I feel having the display device adjacent to the projector almost always unnecessarily complicates the presentation by forcing someone to walk up to the computer or DVD player to start playback. The announcement of the presentation has been made. Why distract the audience? Much better to start the presentation behind the scene. Media carts are very useful, provided they are carefully thought out. Poorly thought out, they are ugly.

4th, projection screens? The answer is "whatever works". My standard screen is a 6'x8' FastFold screen that demands at least 1/2 hour for assembly. I have front (reflected light) and rear (transmitted light) surfaces for the aluminium frame. Rear surfaces have a much better image quality, but it is difficult to find a venue that has space behind the screen for equipment. I do more front projection than rear. Light colored walls work. I will often hang my projector from the ceiling (upside down) in tight quarters and just use a vacant wall.

5th, sound. Unless your audience is 10 people or less, do not use the projector's built-in sound system. Regardless of manufacture, they built-in sound systems of all projectors are horribly inadequate. Always use a separate sound system. One approach is to send the audio to the DJ or Band's PA system, but this demands advance permission as well as the correct adapters to connect to that sound system. The other is a separate sound system. I can adapt to either, but my choice is my own system ... inexpensive and powerful, for less than $300.

In any case, the entire process of video presentation has to separated from production because it is a lot more work. If anyone wishes further details, plese feel free to PM me.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:11 PM   #3
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Ben, I am sure you will get decent advice around here but if I were in your situation, I would call around to some professional av companies who specialize in presentations. Ask them what they use and what they recommend you buy. A specialized company will most likely have the best advice and the best gear for the job at hand. I would be honest with them, let them know what you do and what you wish to do.....do not act like a prosepective client to them. Perhaps let them know that this is a service you wish to provide to your "wedding" clients....and not abroad.

I sub out any of my "presentation" work ie. the projection, screen and audio to a specialized company. The guy there told me the minimum you want is 1400 lumens, but I am not positive, they always use atleast 1600 lumen projector or better.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #4
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depends on what the clietns wants i guess..
i offer teh slideshows as standard in my middle package (most popular) BUT when they ask fora projetion, the slideshow itself is also upgraded.. more wediting work, but the potential to score more work from those alone is there..

anyways.. when they ask for projeciton, i charge for the projector, THEN i charge a seperate amount fo rthe screen as sometimes they may have an available wall or the venue may have their own screen.. its one less hassle..

of the screens i use i use a 2m x 1.5m self standing pull upscreen which can handle front or rear projection. its small, light and large enough to be viewed.

Anything bigger and i hire it...

I use a Panasonic AE700 HD projector.. rated at 1200ansi/2000:1 contrast, BUT this dont mean much as your environments always change.. so long as the environment is at room ambient lighting levels, you wont have an issue.. The brighter the lumens, the brighter the room can be for the projection to be viewed... thing to remember though is that reception venues are usually dark anyway..
With this rating to me, so long as u can see it in ambient light, thats all that matters.. with this unit, ive had it under fluro lighting and its still clearly visible, so i cant complain

The shows themselves are run either of a laptop in Cineform AVI 720p through media player, or standard Def PScan DVD
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Old March 20th, 2007, 10:49 PM   #5
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I use a cheap (relatively speaking) Dell 2200MP with a laptop and a portable 80" pull up screen. The projector has been more than enough for all the setups I have encountered and the screen size is also great. I have shown this at receptions from 50-400 people.


I setup the laptop and projector on whatever I can find at the reception rather than bringing a cart and that has never been a problem. I always have a high powered amp and speakers if I want to runt ehs ound as well. It is quite a lengthy process to setup everything so I would make sure you charge accordingly and setup enough time in the intinerary to take care of this without interrupting other important events you need to cover.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 09:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Joe Allen Rosenberger View Post
Ben, I am sure you will get decent advice around here but if I were in your situation, I would call around to some professional av companies who specialize in presentations. Ask them what they use and what they recommend you buy. A specialized company will most likely have the best advice and the best gear for the job at hand. I would be honest with them, let them know what you do and what you wish to do.....do not act like a prosepective client to them. Perhaps let them know that this is a service you wish to provide to your "wedding" clients....and not abroad.

I sub out any of my "presentation" work ie. the projection, screen and audio to a specialized company. The guy there told me the minimum you want is 1400 lumens, but I am not positive, they always use atleast 1600 lumen projector or better.
Having spent 23 years as one of those av professionals, this is good advice if the rental cost of the presentation equipment doesn't exceed both purchase price and the cost of your time involvement in, say, a year's time. Also keep in mind av rental companies usually keep the best and most reliable products in their inventories. If you do less than 12 presentations a year, it is probably a good idea to rent.
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Old March 21st, 2007, 10:07 AM   #7
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K, let me throw my two cents in. A couple of years ago, did a wedding reception where the bride wanted the slide show displayed on the wall.

I'll spare you the details, ugly as they were, but.

#1, don't use any of their equipment. Use either rented or something you own and can trust. Don't even trust that they will have a screen for you.

#2, get a sound system as suggested above, something you are familiar with.

#3, have a back up of your presentation in another format, dvd, avi, etc. If your dvd player chokes, you can fall back on your laptop or visa versa.

Ok one gorry detail, I didn't have the stupid 1/8 to 1/4 adapter so we had to lay the mic on the projector speaker. (shutter)
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Old March 21st, 2007, 10:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ben Mahoney View Post
Have any recomendations on good projectors?
There are about two dozen 1024x768 projectors with 2500 lumens under $900. In a dark room you could fill a 200" screen.
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