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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been tasked with replacing my church's video projection system, and it's turning into quite a little challenge, so I'm hoping for some help.


We're currently using PowerPoint to project words, graphics, motion backgrounds and the occasional video. What we'd like to do is replace the current center projector with pull-down screen with two projectors and screens in the corners of the stage area, hung from the ceiling. Because of the low ceiling height and a large duct that runs above the stage, we need to do rear projection.


Details:
  • The screens themselves will be either 16:9 or 16:10.
  • I measured an available width of 6.5 - 8 feet, giving a diagonal in the neighborhood of 90-110 inches.
  • The throw distance is 3-4 (maybe a little bit more) feet.
  • Ideally I'd like to be at 1920x1080 or 1280x720 resolution.
  • The projectors will be mounted from the ceiling.
  • We have what I'd call standard stage lighting, and I should not have any problem keeping any lights from pointing directly at the screen. The room itself is lit using some incandescent lights, but isn't particularly bright (think movie theater lighting). We typically don't have these lights on for half the service.
  • The distance from the screen to the back row of seating will be about 50-60 feet.
  • We'd like to be in the ballpark of $1,000 per projector.


I've been spending some time over at Projector Central using their database, and I've gotten as far as finding a few possibilities from Optoma (W306ST and TW610STI+), but I haven't had a chance to look at other brands yet.


Does anyone have any recommendations? Any other advice? If I've missed any needed details, please let me know.


The computer for the projector will be located in the sound booth, which is at the rear of the room (roughly 75-100 foot cable run). Everything seems to be moving towards using HDMI as the preferred cabling. Any issues or preference there as well?


Any thoughts on a screen or material that would work best in this situation?


Thanks!
 

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You want no less than 80 advertised lumens per square foot of screen space.


You will want a 16:9 screen, not 16:10. This way if you move towards video and add flat panel displays, the aspect ratios will match.


If your distance behind the screen to the projector location REQURES short throw, then you MUST use a tab-tensioned screen of good quality. Period. Short throw projectors do not work well with any waves in the screen material due to the sharp angle of projection. A half inch variance in the screen distance will results in several inches or even a foot or more of distortion on the screen itself. It is FAR more common to use a good projector with interchangeable long throw lenses at the back of a church facility that project forward onto tab-tensioned motorized screens that drop down.


The cable run should not be HDMI, but be HDBaseT which uses cat-6 cable and two baluns to convert from HDMI to the cat-6 and back.


What I constantly see being done with these setup requests is a budget that is made based upon using bottom of the line boardroom projectors which are then attempted to be jammed into the completely wrong space and then people wonder why it looks so poor, or try to figure out what their completely inappropriate budget really needs to be raised so that they can buy the right product.


I would say it goes: Determine your needs, figure out what product on the market satisfies those needs, THEN make a budget.


What it sounds like (to me) has occurred is the equivalent of saying "We need transportation" - "Entry level cars are around $20,000" - "Our budget is $20,000" - "We need a vehicle that can transport 20 people at once."

It should be: "We need transportation that can support moving 20-30 people at once" - "These are several of the options which meet this goal." - "This is the price associated with those options that is appropriate" - "We will need between $XX,XXX and $XXX,XXX"


Just a thought that putting a budget before research may not yield a solution with the desired results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated  /t/1525661/church-projector-recommendations#post_24564767


You want no less than 80 advertised lumens per square foot of screen space.

I've seen a few numbers floated around, and unless I'm miscalculating, at the highest size we're looking at we've got 36 square feet, which comes out to 2,880. I've been trying to keep the criteria for projectors as I've researched above 3000 (and closer to 3500), so it sounds like I should have that covered. Granted, that's those are numbers listed on the spec sheets and I'm sure the lumens will drop off as the bulb wears out.
Quote:
You will want a 16:9 screen, not 16:10. This way if you move towards video and add flat panel displays, the aspect ratios will match.

Good point. I was originally looking at 16:9, but I've seen some posts that made me at least consider 16:10, namely for lyrics and such, but I'm fine with 16:9.
Quote:
It is FAR more common to use a good projector with interchangeable long throw lenses at the back of a church facility that project forward onto tab-tensioned motorized screens that drop down.

I would love to use a front projection setup, but the air duct and low ceilings I mentioned in my original post mean we either have to lower the screens to the point where heads would be in the way, or I'd have to do a short throw from the front.
Quote:
The cable run should not be HDMI, but be HDBaseT which uses cat-6 cable and two baluns to convert from HDMI to the cat-6 and back.

I'll keep that in mind. I thought I had read that the conversion from HDMI to cat6 and back introduced lag into the signal, which would not be ideal. The current system in the building (which is not ours), is using HDMI to run to the projector and I hadn't noticed any problems with the signal itself.
Quote:
Just a thought that putting a budget before research may not yield a solution with the desired results.

I didn't feel like I was putting budget before research and identifying the necessary specs, but maybe it comes across that way. We looked at lumens, screen size, throw distance, contrast, intended usage, ambient light, connections, and the performance and specs of the current project, then started pulling up projectors that matched those criteria. Most everything I initially looked at fell in to a $800-$1300 range (as I recall), which is why I put that figure in the original post. No one has actually given me a budget, but I didn't think we were needing $2,000+ based on our specs. Now if I'm wrong, please feel free to say so, and hopefully why so I can better understand what I'm looking for.
 

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Good to hear that budget isn't set. This can sometimes shock people, because if going short throw, rear projection, on a motorized screen I would expect that screens will run about $2,000 each.


If you don't have screens yet, they will be expensive for tab-tensioned, motorized, rear projection. I'm assuming you want motorized screens back there.


You will want to watch the short throw as models that can do over 100" short throw aren't as common and 1080p short throw is still rare. For your needs, they are non-existent! In fact, of the 45 results returned, only one of them is 1280x720, the rest are 1280x800 native resolution.


Here is the list of short throw, widescreen projectors, with at least 3,000 lumens and under $3,000...

http://www.projectorcentral.com/projectors.cfm?g=1&hide=0&st=1&mfg=&p=300&p=3000&w=&r=&br=3000&br=30000&ll=&ltg=&t=&db=&dt=&c=&ar=Wide+%2816%3A9-10%29&dvi=&wr=&sp=14&pjl=&pjw=&pjh=&td=&i=d&is=&sort=brt&sz=15


About 20% of them can't do an image diagonal above about 100", and I would rule them out.


I would also rule out mirror bounce short throw projectors as they are definitely not in the same league as optical short throw projectors.


Mirror bounce ones are like this one:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/Optoma-TW695UT-3D.htm


The image bounces off a cheap mirror onto the screen. It shortens the throw distance, but definitely hurts image quality as the mirrors just aren't very good and are a bad combination with the short throw distortion already being introduced.


The NEC right at the top of the list seems like a solid candidate really:
http://www.projectorcentral.com/NEC-NP-M352WS.htm


1280x800 resolution, 3,500 lumens, 110" diagonal from 3'9" lens to screen. Sub $1,100 street price seems to make sense.


If HDMI cables are in place, then keep using them, but at that distance, they could cause some issues. HDBaseT does not introduce measurable lag and is the most common professional means to extend HDMI to significant lengths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated  /t/1525661/church-projector-recommendations#post_24565128


If you don't have screens yet, they will be expensive for tab-tensioned, motorized, rear projection. I'm assuming you want motorized screens back there.

Actually, the screens will be fixed. No need for them to be motorized at all.


Thanks a lot for looking through the ProjectorCentral listings. I'll definitely look through them and see what I can find.
Quote:
If HDMI cables are in place, then keep using them, but at that distance, they could cause some issues. HDBaseT does not introduce measurable lag and is the most common professional means to extend HDMI to significant lengths.

I'll also look closer into HDBaseT. The existing HDMI run is going to need to be replaced as it's also not ours. There's a couple flat panels throughout the building that are connected via cat6, but I'm not sure it's using HDBaseT.
 

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You may want to give DaLite and/or Draper a call about testing out different screen materials for rear projection. They can send you some samples and will help lead you in the right direction for a screen. Let them know the size, and that you are using a ultra-short throw projector and they can help steer you towards the best screen material in their lineup for your situation. The use of a fixed frame screen instead of a motorized screen will significantly decrease your overall cost on materials.
 
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