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Managing a Spiritualist Center

How to Install a Video Projector System in a Church
By:Brent Watkins

Churches have become one of the largest users of computer presentation technology. As religious institutions seek to keep pace with a more technologically aware membership, many churches have deployed highly sophisticated projection and digital signage systems. Software designed specifically for church worship presentations has emerged to leverage the power of video projection technology. Many church worship services now implement multiple video projectors to display video clips, song lyrics, and sermon outlines complete with graphics and motion backgrounds.

Assess the needs of your facility. A large sanctuary seating over 500 people will require a different projection system than a small chapel seating 50.

Choose the appropriate projector. Large facilities may require multiple projection screens to provide adequate viewing for the entire audience. Locate the rated brightness (measured in lumens) for the projector by reading the published specifications for a specific model. Choose a projector with more than 3000 ANSI lumens of brightness. Smaller facilities may make do with a single projector requiring less brightness.

Locate and install one or more projection screens. Choose a location with no visual obstructions between the audience and screen.

Choose a location for your projector. The distance the projector should be from the screen is approximately twice the width of the screen. For example, if the screen is 8 feet wide, the projector should be 16 feet from the screen.

Position the projector to avoid a "keystone" effect. Keystone refers to a skewed image that results when the projector is placed off-center from the screen. While projection lenses are designed for placement at the bottom or top of the screen without distortion, they will not compensate for projectors placed to the left or right of the screen. Make sure the projector is placed in the horizontal center of the screen.

Determine the location of the presentation computer and operator. The distance between the projector and video source (the computer running the presentation software) will determine the needs for cabling.

Mount the projector in a fixed location. Most projectors can invert the projected image when mounted upside down from a ceiling location. Using a fixed mounting surface provides security and consistency when implementing weekly presentations.

Connect the video projector to the presentation computer using a computer video extension cable. Use a cable that matches the jacks available on your computer and projector. Plug one end of the cable into an additional video output from the computer and the other end into the video jack provided by the projector. Adjust screen resolution as needed using the computer software. Your video projector is now ready to display computer presentations.

Route the presentation audio from the computer audio output into the sanctuary's sound system.