Adding multimedia can bring your worship to a new level. Here’s how to find the projector for your congregation.
Multimedia can enhance the worship experience through graphics, animation, text, sound, music and video. You can use it to to showcase your congregation’s unique personality and values. But any multimedia needs to be properly delivered and that means finding a projector that suits your needs. It all starts with identifying your needs before buying a projector.
What to consider
- Location: Where are you going to be using the projector? Is the projector needed for Sunday school in a smaller classroom or for worship in a much larger space? Your location will determine the type of projector you need as well as the height and width of your screen.
- Proximity: How close is your congregation going to be to the projector? Do you need to project through a large space or a smaller more intimate space?
- Lighting: Does your church get a lot of light? Do you have to project images during the brightness time of day in a room with massive windows? The amount of light your space has determines the brightness of your projector.
- Facility: Do you need any special options such as close captioning, an Internet connection or hookup to a sound system? You may need special hookups or inputs on the projector.
- Functionality: Is the projector going to be used solely in your Sanctuary or will your church also be using it for meetings, outreach work or presentations in the community?
- Size: Large venues usually opt for a 15 to 20 pound projector that is installed in one area. Smaller gatherings may opt for a smaller portable projector than can do double duty.
A projector’s brightness is measured by lumens. The higher the lumen count, the brighter the image. For most churches with large sanctuaries a 5,000 lumen projector is the best standard for brightness. These super bright projectors can handle plenty of ambient light, particularly the light coming through large stained glass windows. It’s best for crowds of 100 to 150 people. For larger crowds in sanctuaries that sit 250 or more, a 6,000-lumen projector may be the best choice.
Portable projectors will have a lower-lumen range between 2,000 to 4,000 lumens in brightness and be suitable for a normal conference room with dimmed lights.
The lumens needed will determine the type of projector needed:
- 6,000 lumens for 250 people in bright Sanctuary
- 4,000 to 5,000 lumens 100 to 150 in bright Sanctuary
- 2,000 to 3,000 lumens for off site presentations
Resolution is the number of pixels that fill the image. The higher the resolution, the crisper and more detailed the image. For many years the standard resolution was XGA, a 4:3 ratio that gave a resolution of 1024×768 pixels. This is a non-HD image – the same kind as seen on your standard TV. XGA resolution is fine for displaying large text such as hymn lyrics or bibles verses in a basic Power Point presentation.
For more detailed presentations including high-resolution videos or images, you will need a higher resolution HD projector. Widescreen projectors will have16: 9 or 16:10 formats that is found in computers and HDTV. A WXGA projector uses1280 × 800 resolution and is capable of handling 720p content. A WUXGA projector uses 1920 × 1200 resolution which is a full HD resolution capable of projecting widescreen and 1080p images.
Smaller churches with a modest budget will be happy with projectors in the $1000 range. Larger congregations with larger facilities may spend several thousand up on both the projector multi-screen setup.
After you have chosen your projector, you’ll need to consider the type of screen needed. Learn more about setting up projectors and finding your screen:
- – Grey vs white projector screens
- – Projector screens and the gain factor
- – Screens and your projector