This article was first published on Church Technology Superstore and is used by permission.
Best Projectors For Churches And Houses Of Worship
Just like classrooms and boardrooms, churches often need good projectors, but if you’ve been put in charge of finding the perfect projector for your church and you’re not sure where to start, don’t panic because the task does not have to be difficult. Once you learn a little bit of terminology and what makes a great church projector, you can jump right in and start shopping because you’ll have the perfect projector in no time.
What Is a Good Projector for a Church?
Church projectors need to be appropriate for the group size and the size of the room. Other factors also come into play, of course, but this is a good starting point. As a general rule, below are some top-notch projectors that work with different group sizes:
- NEC NPMC372X 3700 Lumen Portable Projector
- NEC NPMC382W 3800 Lumen Portable Projector
- ViewSonic PG603X 3600 Lumens XGA Networkable Home and Office Projector
Medium Sized Houses Of Worship
- EPSON PowerLite 5535U Projector
- NEC 4000 Lumen Portable Projector – NPME402X
- ViewSonic PG703W 4000 Lumens WXGA Projector
- ViewSonic PG706HD 4000 Lumens Full HD 1080p Projector
Large Church Sanctuaries And Auditoriums
- Epson L610W 6000-Lumen WXGA 3LCD Projector
- Acer P6500 Large Venue 1080p Video Projector
- Epson PowerLite 2247U Wireless Full HD WUXGA 3LCD Projector
- NEC Display PJ-P525UL 5200 Lumens LCD Projector
Ultra-Short-Throw Projectors For Churches
- Epson BrightLink Pro 1480FI Laser Projector
- Epson PowerLite 675W 3200-Lumen WXGA Ultra-Short Throw 3LCD Projector
- ViewSonic LS830 4500 Lumens 1080p HDMI Ultra Short Throw Projector
Portable Projectors For Mobile Churches
- Acer C200 Portable LED Projector
- Epson Powerlight 1266 Portable Widescreen HD Projector
- NEC NPMC382W 3800 Lumen Portable Projector
Naturally, there are more projectors than just these, but these projectors are all rated very high and should work great once they’re put in the right sized setting
How Do I Choose a Projector?
To choose the right projector, you have to take certain things into consideration. The first thing you want to look at is the resolution, which affects how clear and focused the images will be once they are projected onto the screen. An XGA resolution, which is 1024 x 768, is perfect for most houses of worship, in part because it is able to clearly display large texts such as the lyrics to songs or even bible verses.
Widescreen content is a little different. For this, you’ll likely need either an HD (1920 x 1080) resolution or a WXGA (1280 x 800) resolution. This way, you are guaranteed to get screen images that everyone can see clearly regardless of where in the facility they are seated.
You also need to look at fixed projectors versus portable ones. The fixed projectors are heavy and installed permanently somewhere, which means you likely won’t choose this option for conference rooms and such. These types of projectors are only for very large venues, in part because they can weigh up to 20 lbs.
If you have a smaller group or you need to move the projector around depending on the function, you’ll need a much-lighter portable projector because they are more versatile and easy to carry from one room to the next.
Finally, you need to know the distance that the projector will be from the screen, because this can help make sure you get the right one in the end. When you shop for projectors, one term you’ll quickly learn is the throw ratio. The throw ratio is what determines the size of the image that is projected from a specific distance.
There are three basic categories of throw ratios. The first is an ultra-short throw ratio, which is considered 0.4 or less and is meant for large images that will be projected onto a screen that is just a few inches away. The second is a short throw ratio, consisting of 0.4 to 1.0 and which are designed for images that will be projected a few feet from the screen.
Finally, there is the standard throw ratio, or a number greater than 1.0. They are meant for large images that will be projected from several feet away. Once you determine the sizes of your images and where you intend to place your projector, deciding on the throw ratio should be fairly simple.
What Size Screen Do I Need for My Church?
Although there are all sorts of technical answers for this question, there is a much simpler answer that makes a lot more sense. As a general rule, you’ll need a projector screen that is 12 inches in height for every 6 to 10 feet of viewing distance. This means that if your sanctuary is 60 feet long and you have a projection screen at the front of the sanctuary, you’ll need a screen that is 72 inches high. This is how that number was determined: 60 feet divided by 10 feet, which comes out to 6; 6 times 12 is 72.
Naturally, other things come into play that may alter this answer a bit, including the font size, but this is a good starting point for determining how big the projector screen should be for your church.
How Many Lumens Should a Projector Have?
The lumens is essentially the brightness level of the white and color portions of the image, and as a general rule, 1500 lumens is an absolute minimum. This number is good for home theater projectors or areas where there is limited ambient light. For classrooms or conference rooms that have windows, a minimum of 2500 lumens is more appropriate, and for large rooms such as lecture halls and auditoriums, you’ll naturally need more than 2500.
You can also take a look at the size of your projector to figure out how many lumens you need. Below are some general guidelines you can follow:
- For a projector screen that is 6 feet wide: 2500 to 3000 lumens
- For a projector screen that is 8 feet wide: 3000 to 4500 lumens
- For a projector screen that is 12 feet wide: 4500 to 5000 lumens
Of course, these are just general guidelines to follow. If you have any questions or concerns about your specific situation, discuss them with the expert in charge when you are shopping for your projector because that person should be able to tell you exactly what you need to get the best results. Make sure you know the size of your projector screen and the size of the room you’ll be setting up in before you start your shopping, because this is what they will go by when helping you decide which projector to buy.
What’s Better: A DLP or an LCD Projector?
Another consideration when choosing the right projector for your church is the type of projector you’ll need; namely, you’ll have to choose between a digital light processing (DLP) or a liquid crystal display (LCD) projector. They both have advantages and disadvantages.
While an LCD projector tends to have sharper and clearer image capability, the DLP projectors are lighter, more reliable, and portable as well. With DLP projectors, you get portability, a higher contrast, pixels that are less visible, and an overall smoother video. But, you also get some “rainbow” effect and poorer reds and yellows when you’re operating at full power.
On the other hand, with LCD projectors you get better color in ambient light, no rainbow effect, and images that are much quieter. But you also have to put up with more visible pixels, a black that is actually a light-gray color, and poorer overall contrast.
So, which one should you choose? It depends on which features you consider the most important. Before you decide, think about the room you’ll be in, how much ambient light will be there, and how important it is to have a quiet projector as opposed to one that hums a little as you use it. Different church groups have different needs, and when you take all of these needs into consideration, it should be easy to decide which type of projector will work best for you.
Are Projectors Better Than TV Monitors?
Of course, the answer to this question is a subjective one and, therefore, you may get several different answers depending on who you ask. As a general rule, however, there are many good reasons to choose a projector over a television set, and here are a few of those reasons:
- Projectors take up no wall or floor space.
- Projectors are a lot more portable.
- Projectors aren’t easily knocked over by pets or kids.
- Projectors tend to provide you with more bang for your buck.
- Projectors allow you to do almost everything a TV set can do.
- Projectors create a certain ambiance, especially on movie night.
In the end, only you can decide whether you should purchase a TV monitor or a projector, but at least now you have a starting point when making this decision.
How Many Lumens Do I Need for a Church Projector?
Since the number of lumens you’ll need in your church projector is something you need to have a basic understanding of before you make a final decision, there are guidelines that you can follow to make sure you get the right projector in the end. If you need a portable projector and don’t mind dimming the lights when you need to, you can get a projector that is 2000 to 3000 lumens.
For congregations with 100 to 150 people in a room, especially if the room is bright, the lumens count should be 4000. If you’re planning to be in a bright room with 250 or more people, you’ll want 6000 lumens. Most sanctuaries end up using projectors with 5000 lumens, but the number can vary depending on other factors.