Our friends at Projector Superstore were kind enough to write up a quick guideline post for when your church is ready to buy a new Projector. Take it away guys:

When it comes to the topic of projectors and presentations in churches, we all might remember an awkward situation due to a problem with the equipment. Maybe it was the time you had that amazing stock photo you decided to show in the middle of your sermon. It looked great on your office computer, but when you the PowerPoint slide came up during service, it was virtually unreadable. Or maybe it was the time you had a guest speaker who showed up minutes before service, and their laptop resolution was incompatible with your outdated projector. If you’ve been around technology in your church for very long, you probably have a similar story. How do you select the right equipment so that everything works correctly when showtime comes around?

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Know What You Need
When deciding on a projector for a church setting, there are a few important questions you need to know before choosing your new purchase:

1) How large of an image would you like to have (Height x Width)? Is this going to be on a smaller classroom screen in the Sunday school room, or the massive screen in the worship auditorium?

2) What will be the distance from projector to screen be?

3) What type of lighting is in the room? Is the room mostly ambient, or does it have lots of window lighting? Church rooms, especially worship sanctuaries, have to project images during some of the brightest times of the day, and sometimes you’ll have massive windows that cannot be shaded, in these cases brightness would be the most important feature to consider in your projector.

5) Are there any special needs you have in the room?  Control, networking, close captioning, etc. This is important to know just in case you’ll require any special hookups or inputs on the projector.

On the technical side, there are a two key factors when deciding on a new projector that you should take into consideration, resolution and brightness. Because most churches have fairly bright ambient lighting conditions, you’ll need to choose a projector with enough light output to give a bright and sharp image, and you also need a projector with a high enough resolution to match source devices and provide everyone with a clear, easy to read image.

Brightness
Brightness of a projector is measured by lumens. The higher the lumen count, the brighter the image you will get. However, there are other factors that can change the outcome, including the lens of the projector and the size of the image.  At Projector SuperStore, we specialize in helping you make the right decision as to the correct projector brightness for your particular installation.

Resolution
When it comes to the resolution of the projector, for many years the standard resolution was 4:3, known as XGA, which would give you a resolution of 1024×768 pixels. This would produce a non-HD image in the same format as a tube TV. This is still an acceptable resolution for applications where only song lyrics or similarly basic PowerPoint presentations will be shown. However, if you will be showing more detailed presentations, high-resolution images, using videos/images as worship backgrounds, playing videos, etc., you will definitely want to consider a higher resolution HD alternative. A high definition projector has almost double the number of pixels of a XGA projector. Additional pixels leads to a sharper image and better compatibility with HD sources. You will find projectors in the new widescreen 16:9 or 16:10 formats that we see in most modern computers and HDTV’s.  On the professional side, these projectors will give you what we call WXGA resolution (1280×800), capable of handling 720p content, or WUXGA (1920×1200) which is a full HD resolution, capable of projecting Blu-Ray quality, 1080p images.

The choice in resolution is yours. Generally, XGA will cost you less, but since most of our modern image sources are widescreen, including computers, cameras, DVD/Blu-Ray players, Satellite/Cable receivers, it would benefit you to consider a widescreen projector to take advantage of the higher resolution these sources can provide. If you are setting up a new room, a widescreen projector and screen would be recommended. If you are upgrading an existing system, keep in mind that you will want your projector and screen to be the same image format. If you upgrade to a widescreen projector, plan to upgrade your screen as well.

Help for Selecting a Projector
At Projector SuperStore, we are here to help you with the process of selecting and purchasing a new projector for your church or ministry. Our sales team has extensive experience in the industry, and can help you find the best model for your application. There are two ways to get in touch with us to begin the conversation. The first, and easiest way, is via a convenient questionnaire on our brand new House of Worship page. It only takes a few minutes to answer the questions, and then one of our team members will be in touch with you to continue the process. As an added bonus, for completing the online form, you will receive a coupon code valid for $25 off your next purchase of $125 or more. If you would prefer to begin the conversation over the phone, give us a call at 1-888-525-6696.

We know this process can be a bit overwhelming and that at times, even knowing where to start isn’t easy. Hopefully the information here helps to answer some of the big questions you may have had. And for the ones that weren’t answered here, you now have a resource for finding the answers. We look forward to working with you to help you find the perfect equipment for your ministry!

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For over 20 years, Projector SuperStore has been the premier source for affordable Audio and Visual equipment online. Our experts have worked with hundreds of churches across the nation and we’re here to help you integrate the right technology for your specific needs and bring your message to your congregation.

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