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Old 03-20-2010, 04:18 AM   #1
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Default Church Projector Project

Well, here goes. I'm getting help on another forum for this. Although they seem to know their tech stuff as well, I figured I'd also put this out there for my friends here at CF to help out with. Here's what I've got so far.

Objective: Install projector in church sanctuary and meet or beat the $5,000 budget.

Firstly, let me give you the measurables and the concrete decisions first.
-100" rear projection screen. 4:3 aspect ratio. Vinyl material (not plexi or glass).
-Fixed frame. Perm-Wall from Da-Lite.
-Projector throughput of 7-8'.
-Needs to be accessed/usable through networking...wireless or wired...preferably the former. See below for more on this, though. **SEE THE EDIT**
-Screen, projector, and extra lens need to total less than $4,000...but less is better if it's not a major loss in quality. Budget is actually $5,000, but we have some electrical that needs to be rerouted in the wall that the screen will be mounted to.

Okay. So that's that. Now for the question marks.
-Projector screen material: I've spoken with Da-Lite twice. I have been given example pictures of a church that used both Da-Tex and Dual Vision coated screens. They didn't buy quality projectors...they were around 1500 lumens, I believe. The Da-Tex hot spotted, the Dual Vision was uniform, but did not yield high contrast because of the quality of the projector. After speaking with Da-Lite, it seems we'll be going with Dual Vision for the screen material. We'll be investing in a quality projector, so I would rather it be uniform and have less contrast versus hot spotting just to have a little more contrast. Our lighting situation will be about 50/50 controlled, so we have some leeway which is why I feel Dual Vision is the way to go, not to mention that our worst half-angles are around 40 degrees vertical and 40 degrees horizontal, so we'd be covered by going with Dual Vision. It will also be nice because the Dual Vision is a white material, where Da-Tex and Da-Tex HC is gray and dark gray respectively; white will just look more "natural" in our sanctuary.

-Projector screen distributor/reseller: I have no clue where to purchase from. Prices vary from place to place, but I'd rather purchase from somewhere that has decent customer service and pay a little more for it. I have found the screen I'm looking for in a few places, one of them is here at this link: http://www.projectorzone.com/Da-Lite...ll-59x80-Video (and then the Dual Vision coating; $450), here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...xed_Frame.html, and here: http://www.projectorpeople.com/scree...name=Perm-Wall

If you know of any great places to purchase a Da-Lite screen, please enlighten me. I know lots of place to buy computer technology and whatnot, but this is new territory for me.

-Can the projector be networked? It really needs to be if we are to keep things simple. We've purchased a laptop to run the projector through wireless or wired networking. The wireless solution would be great. We could just network the laptop to the projector to run the slideshows and whatnot. However, if the projector only has wired networking available, I'll just purchase a wireless router to put with the projector in the room; then we'll network it that. Either way, if we can avoid running analog cables, that'd be awesome. If neither of those are an option with the projector, I would just dust off an old "junker" computer I have and put it in the room with the projector. Then I would just use remote desktop to control the slides. Wireless would just be great though.

-The PROJECTOR! This is the biggest question mark. I'm thinking we're going to need 3,000+ lumens to really make this worth our time and effort. It sounds like the Dual Vision screen material really shines when the fL (footlambert) is high (75-100fL). It's still good at 45-50fL, but that's what the washed out screen in this picture is on the right (this is the comparison picture that Da-Lite sent me; Da-Tex on the left, Dual Vision on the right): http://i42.tinypic.com/rgxqu1.jpg

Like above, it'd be great if the projector could be networked. Wired or wireless...but preferably wireless. I've tried to use the projector search here, but I don't come up with many results. However, I did seem to find a few that looked satisfactory. I found this Epson PowerLite 1725 (http://www.projectorcentral.com/Epso...rLite_1725.htm) and this Sanyo PLC-XU355 (http://www.projectorcentral.com/Sanyo-PLC-XU355.htm). I have not looked at any other websites to search for a projector, so any other "search sites" would be appreciated.


Alright. I know that was long. Let me sum up in one list.

-100" Perm-Wall "Dual Vision" Da-Lite screen.
-Through put of about 7-8'
-**Projector with 3,000+ lumens to get the fL count up to 75-100 to "beat" the ambient light if needed. Projector must be networkable.**

So basically, I need help finding a projector!

EDIT: I've got to say, I'm a little saddened. I just found another thread that AV-Integrated and Sheridan posted in and it looks like actual presentations can't be sent over network. . Being that the projector will be on the second floor and across the room (50 feet) from where the computer is, we'll have to go the remote desktop approach I guess, since running a VGA or USB-Cat5/6-USB extender would me more expensive than using a junker computer that I've got laying around. Well, shoot. It was worth the thought. Can't wait til they optimize video streaming for stuff like this. Guess it's just not the same as streaming your home network.

Second on-the-fly edit: Now that I realize streaming can't happen over the network, I'll probably have way more choices for projectors since before one of my requirements while searching was the networking option.

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Old 03-21-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Church Projector Project

I don't really know what my church has, but we use a 50 ft VGA cable from the sound booth computer to the projector. It's run along the ceiling, down the wall and back around to the computer. It works out fine. To control the projector we got one of those remote signal extenders so we can turn the projector on and off, or any other controls on it easily.

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Old 03-21-2010, 01:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Church Projector Project

Shoot. I forgot to mention it's rear projection...it will be upstairs and in a back room projecting into an opening we are cutting in the wall of the sanctuary. To run VGA would be at least 100ft to meet code requirements (i.e. not just strewn about and dangling). So that's why I'm thinking we'll just go remote desktop for now. Later on down the road, we can think about something hard-wired.

I'm still in cahoots as to what projector to buy. Obviously, it doesn't need to have networking now since I was mistaken on what that meant.

I'm try to figure out if the contrast ratio difference between this Sanyo and the next model up would be a big difference. If not, I'd like to save some cash.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Church Projector Project

You're best served with a commercial projector that's made to be run in these types of environments.


As for the connections, you're not going to want to run a 100ft VGA cable. The picture quality could be questionable, especially since you don't know whether or not there could be interference from nearby devices. You're going to want to split that signal using CAT5 or BNC-5.

Even then, I would really hire out a professional contractor who is able to handle this on a personal case-by-case basis. This is the kind of application where you need to know your limits and let others handle the job - especially when you're taking advice from people on the internet.
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Church Projector Project

I'm not sure we really need something "professional". I'll have a look at them though. Also, it looks like it cannot do 100" at 8'. Looks to me like it need 10'. But, the NEC calculator is pretty hard to use....

This will be run, at most, 3-4 hours a week. It won't be high use.

Also, about the last bit....that's exactly why I'm doing remote desktop right now. I would never attempt that. Just like how I'm not doing the electrical right now. I know how to do it, but if something were to go wrong, I'd want that to fall on to a licensed pro, not me. Sucks though cuz we have to keep waiting for them to move wires in the wall this is going in. Bugger. Like I said, though, if--in the future--our church comes up with the money to run hard wiring, then so be it. But I'm not worried about that right now.
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