Top 10 tips for great video projection
1 Choose the brightest projector that your budget will allow. There is a big difference between a 2500 ansi SD NTSC table top projector and a 5000 ansi HD-SDi projector, especially if you are showing video or graphics in a well lit room.
2 The size of screen(s) should be proportional to the size of audience and room size you have. A good rule of thumb is an equation of 1/10. If the room is 100ft long divide by 10 and your screen height should be approx 10ft tall. For HD that would be 9x16ft screen and for SD that would be 10.5x14ft screen
3 Check the manufacturers recommendations as to whether the projector needs to be placed level with the bottom of the screen, or whether the projector needs to be in the center of the height of the screen. This helps reduce keystone, having to lens shift too much and helps with focus on the screen edges.
4 When showing graphics, or anything from a computer, ask what is the native picture size of the projector and have all the graphics and presentation materials made to that size. This will ensure the best quality of presentation and ensure the picture fits the screen size your using.
5 Short throw or long throw lens? The closer you can get the projector to the screen the brighter the image will appear. Especially if you are in a room where there may be smoke or fog effects as used at concerts, etc. Obviously there are going to be unavoidable situations where you have to use a long throw lens.
“ask what is the native picture size of the projector? and have all the graphics and presentation materials made to that size”
6 Power is something that most people take for granted and just plug into the nearest 110/120v outlet available. On the pro side, especially with multiple projectors the choice of power should be 208v. The projectors function cooler and more stable as there is less amperage being used.
7 Connections to projector have come a long way in a few years. The days of RGBHV and YC or composite are long gone. Most projector now take DVi, HD-SDi and even HDMi. Use the new connections especially for HD.
8 Cabling is really dependent on how far the projectors are from the switchers. HD-SDi cable runs out of length at 100mtrs, but for the best and fast speed there is nothing to beat fiber optic cables from switcher to projector. Even allowing processing time for the fiber connection boxes the latency is not noticeable. On shows where we have had to use long lengths of fiber cable, we have had to time delay the video as the picture arrives so many milli seconds before the PA system. – (must be something to do with that speed of light thing)
9 Back up systems – even with the latest and greatest projectors, problems can still occur. A projector that cleared quality control at the warehouse can become problematic upon delivery at the venue. Sometimes just the rough road conditions, shaking the projector can loosen cards inside or even damage a lamp. On larger corporate events use 2 projectors focused onto one screen and then you can decide whether to have them both live at the same time and match the focusing up on the screen to eliminate a double image, or one of the projectors can be on but not receiving signal from control. it is in back up mode.
10 Pro-Active maintenance on Lamps, Lenses and Filters. I put this in to remind everyone that projectors need care and attention like any good piece of equipment.
Make sure that the lens is clean and that there are no specs of dust on the front,or back of the lens to provide a clear picture.
As a projector is used on a continuous basis, the lamp life physically deteriorates the more it is used. Lamp manufacturers do not guarantee that their lamps will emit “x” light lumens until the lamp blows rather they provide a length of hours the lamp should be used for before change. The manufacturer specifications may say something like good for “500 hours”. This is the optimum lamp life for that model of projector to guarantee a certain brightness. You can go over the manufacturers time limits but you will be able to see a decrease in the brightness of the output of the projector, and you risk the higher probability of the lamp blowing during the event.
Lastly, most projectors have a filter in them normally at one side or at the back of the unit depending on fan placement. After a period of time these filters can become dirty and slow or even stop the projector air flow. When this happens the projectors sensors will turn the unit off until you take it apart and clean or replace the filter. Not something you want to happen mid show! Take a few minutes once a month and look at the filter, clean and replace as necessary.
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Resource Group AV