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Church Projector System

616 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  armystud0911

I am installing a second projector system in a church and looking for some feedback on the equipment I need to buy.  They currently have 1 projector running off a computer.  They have 1x2 splitter for the projector and the computer monitor right now.  They want to split the signal to a second projector showing the same output of the computer. 


I need to spec out:

-new projector:  $1000-$2000.  Would i be able to run widescreen if im splitting the vga connection from the computer?  I think it will have to the be same resolution as the existing projector if im not mistaken. 

-mount( was thinking monoprice)

-VGA distribution amp (or a 1x3 splitter, not sure)

-Projector controller (currently have Extron MLC52) wandering if i could find a controller that works with 2 seperate units.

-CAT5/6 Balun cabling or 50ft vga from the computer to the projector. 


Thanks for any help that you can provide.  I am doing my own research as well but wanted to get some feedback from anyone willing to comment.
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At church, you should never split a signal from the computer, you should be running a multi-display system that allows the person running video to organize and view what is going on before being sent out to the projector, you can do separate formats and resolutions. There really isn't any added cost to do this anymore since pretty much every mac or PC from the last decade should allow you to do it. However, even if you did split the signal like you are mentioning (you SHOULDN'T!) the projector or monitor should be able to scale the resolution accordingly if you choose a different one. Personally, I would choose to go with the projectors native resolution and let the computer monitor make do.

As for what format to use, you have to pick whats best for the church, if you are displaying words for worship, I have found that 4x3 is the best but some have just gotten so used to widescreen, that is what looks best to them now. However, if you ever do widescreen video clips, than you can make the argument for a widescreen projector, they have certainly gotten cheaper recently but the classic XGA - 1024x768 projector remains the king for low cost and super high brightness.

Brightness really is the most important factor in determining what projector to get, you really need something that is as bright as possible, I have found that around 5000 lumens is the sweet spot, going much above that starts to get super expensive per additional lumen of output. Have you looked at the Eiki EIP 5500? It is a 5500 lumen PJ from a very solid manufacturer for about $1300 with XGA resolution. If you want a bit more brightness, you can get a Sharp XG-PH80XN, 6300 lumens for just under $2k. Your screen size really plays into things more than anything though, most smaller to medium size churches have something around 90x120 screens or bigger if there is only one of them. I would say you should find a projector that gives you at least 75fl on the screen, you may be able to go down to 50fl if you have to but 75 gives you more visibility with ambient light, it is hard to get enough brightness in a light room at church.
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I just had a thought, since you are adding a second projector, what will your new format be, are you going to run a projector on each side with the same screen size and aspect ratio? I probably wouldn't do a different aspect ratio than your current PJ simply since I don't think you guys are ready for a projection system with multiple input formats, you have to have take special care that they both look formatted properly and that takes additional equipment, software and manpower.

The existing projector is facing front for the audience, and the secondary one will be on the back wall for the worship leaders.  Therefore it could be a different size/format.  Thank you for the all the info!
You really can do it anyway you want. With the future of all PCs running widescreen, I wouldn't recommend wasting money on anything 4:3 anymore, but as mentioned above, you still get the most bang for the buck with 4:3 projectors, especially XGA versions.

But, there are some good 1280x800 projectors out there which are nice.

I do like the idea of running multiple video cards to get the outputs you need, but realistically, in this situation, I'm thinking you want ease of use and a single output which is mirrored across 3 different displays is typical. This means a 1x3 distribution amplifier (or larger).


Something like the above is an excellent 1x4 VGA D/A.

You can pick up decent VGA cables at Monoprice to keep price down.


Not sure, but I think in this setup, if you are on a budget, then matching the original projector and monitor in resolution makes a lot of sense. Yes, in the LONG term, you are going to want everything widescreen, so maybe starting now is a good plan.

I would personally go widescreen. Widescreen isn't even the future, it's now. Every laptop you buy has it, almost every monitor is widescreen and every TV being sold today is 16:9.... maybe wider.
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I don't even know if I would worry about having two different formats, in my experience, about 99% of the public has no clue of what they are watching is stretched or not in the first place, I think many of them are just so used to it that that forget what a non stretched image looks like.

To summarize, you do not need a second video card to output different signals to different displays, every PC, Mac and Laptop already has the ability to do this if it was made since the late 90's, I am not aware of ANY that don't do two separate displays (okay there probably is some odd duck out there but it most likely isn't your computer).

Secondly, if you do wish to do widescreen on the new PJ, which is completely fine, you don't have to worry about sending it a different signal because the projector will automatically detect the different resolution and scale it accordingly. On AVS here, people will only want to input native resolutions and aspect ratios but in a church projector system that will be used for the worship team at the back of the church, it probably doesn't matter one bit. You can feed a projector just about any signal and it will work fine as long as it isn't bigger than maximum, but most projectors take a max of 1080i/p video and 1600x1200 computer, more than enough.
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