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Cory Champion (Cmchamp)
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Post Number: 35
Registered: 04-2007

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Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 09:37 pm:   Edit Post

In order to utilize rear projection with mirrors properly, the highest quality mirror needs to be utilized for sure, or additional lumen loss and image quality will result.
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Bruce Burke (Flzapped)
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Registered: 04-2007

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Posted on Sunday, April 17, 2011 - 07:21 am:   Edit Post

Joe,

I'll try not to give a blanket statement either. *grin*

One method of dealing with the projector noise is to use rear projection where the projector is in its own room. If depth is a problem, fold the light path with mirrors.

-Bruce
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Joseph De Buglio (Joe)
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Post Number: 78
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Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 11:28 pm:   Edit Post

Great post Brian. You’re right. Every church is different. And while I love giving out blanket statements, churches should test things for themselves without any salesman around.

There is a lot of profit and ways to make extra money in projection systems. There is little to no profit for a salesman when you can go down to Best Buy and setup your own video system for church worship. Not only am I an independent consultant, I am also a customer too. If I can find a way to save a church some money and still do an excellent job in spreading the Gospel, that is what I will recommend. After all, they are spending the same money I tithe to my church.

At my church and many of my clients which include a wide range of denominations, the vast majority of them do 4 lines of text for the chorus and up to 6 lines of text for the scriptures. A little while ago, I measured the text that my church was using on their dual 10 x 10ft screen. Oddly enough they were projecting 6 inch text and 4 lines at a time. Remember this is a 4000 seat church that has a Pentecostal worship program. The furthest viewing distance is 160 ft. They were using only 30% of the screen with 4 lines of text. That is about the size of a 60 inch flat screen. I asked the projection person why the small text. She said, “the smaller you can make the text that is readable, the less eye fatigue. People remember more of what they read for singing if they can see the whole verse with a glance rather that forcing people to scan the whole area of the large screen.” Somebody did a study on this. Wow.

In the last two years at my church I have never seen more text that what I mentioned above although, I have to admit that for the WOW factor, two lines of text with 4 ft lettering is impressive. That would not likely happen in a Presbyterian or Mennonite or Anglican or Reformed Brethren or Christian Reformed Church and some Baptist groups....

Also there is a great difference between Plasma, LCD and LED. It seems that LCD and LED do a better job with text. What is your experience with them Brian?
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Brian Sager (Audiomaster66)
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Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 10:26 pm:   Edit Post

That's some good information but the best thing of all that was the last part: TRY IT SIDE BY SIDE. Being in IT in my day job I have seen more than one board room or conference room try to use a large screen TV and some of the text is not readable at the longest distances of only 20-30 ft. Alot of churches need more than just a few lines of text at a time. If you are wiling to limit the text to no more than 8 lines, they probably do look better than projection because of both brightness and contrast ratio. But again, it's all about the environment and application. For example, many churches are incorporating more and more moving video into their services. I don't mean movies but small 2-10 minute clips. Big bright projection is always better in that application. So it's all about balancing what you want to do. The other thing is churches are notorious for looking at the immediate need/problem and coming up with a solution to meet the need or fix the problem, nothing more, nothing less. Think about what you are doing and then take a step back and think about some of the things you COULD do. If it's not exorbitantly more expensive to spend a little more and get alot more capability, it's also always a good way to go.

An example of the latter, I tried for years to convince my church leadership to spend some money on having the ability to record services with multiple decent quality video cameras so that we can edit down later. They decided to stay with consumer video cameras that various individuals donated to the church when they bought new ones for themselves. Then we did a large Christmas musical as an outreach. They wanted to record it using the single crappy camera and save the tapes (VHS) and then take those and get them edited down for later distribution. They looked and sounded like crap. Can God use that? Certainly. But how much more impact would there have been if we had spent $10k or so for some decent video gear. That's just one example. To continue, when they finally decided to dump VHS because DVD was the way to go, guess what? They had to buy new video gear anyway. How many years did the ministry lack some effectiveness because of short sightedness? Only God knows.
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Joseph De Buglio (Joe)
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Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 09:50 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Guys,
Video projection has been a sour spot for me because those projector cooling fans are so loud that in my sound systems and acoustical friendly worship spaces, an open microphone amplifies the fan noise. In many churches the projectors are within 40 ft of the pulpit and when I fix a room and the sound system, fan noises – even those rated as low noise are too loud. So I have to find an alternative. Flat screen TV’s work just fine for text. Many flat screen TV’s have the same contrast ratio as street signs with all of the worship space lights on full. So what is the comfortable reading range of street signs? Here is what the highway traffic act says in both Canada and the USA.

“For guide signs on expressways and freeways, the prescribed numeral and letter sizes, according to interchange classification and component of sign legend, appear in Tables 2E-1 through 2E-4 of the MUTCD. The minimum sizes specified should be exceeded where conditions indicate a need for greater legibility.

For conventional roads in rural districts on major routes, the principal legend on guide signs shall be in letters at least 6 inches (150 mm) in height. On low–volume roads and on urban streets with speeds of 25 mph (40 km/h), the principal legend shall be in letters at least 4 inches (100 mm) high.

Lettering on street name signs should be at least 6 inches (150 mm) high (MUTCD, Section 2D.38). Supplementary lettering to indicate type of street or section of city may be in smaller lettering but at least 3 inches (75 mm) high.

An accepted “rule-of-thumb” to follow for legibility for signs other than Interstate is to have 1 inch (25 mm) of letter height for every 40 feet (12 m) of de-sired legibility.”

For a typical 60 inch screen you can view 4 lines of text up to 240 ft or 6 lines of text up to 160 ft and 8 lines of text up to 120 ft. Hey, I already have over 40 churches that made the switch that they all tested what I was saying before they changed them.

Typically I recommend a 3 screen setup. Left and right screens are for text, choruses and scriptures and a center screen for movies. Many church denominations don’t show movies but some do. For those that don’t, the two screens are good enough.

There are other things to consider too. Flat screen are cheaper. The half life of the screen in a church setting is about 80 years compared to most projectors which is 2 years. The screens are easier to mount and they can be mounted lower for more comfortable viewing.

When the bottom of the screen is the same height as the shoulders of the minister when sitting in the middle of the seating area, that gives the best view experience throughout the seating area of a church – including churches with balconies. It is less tiring to move the eyes from side to side rather than up and down. This is very important for people with glasses and more so with people who have bifocals or trifocals. LED screens can be place near the front of the stage so that there is no depth of field change when looking at the pastor or song leader and the screen.

So while a larger screen does have a big first impact impression, for people who have to look at them week after week, you have to study what makes things comfortable for long term viewing. In my church, the screens for text and messages are on the whole service. After 52 weeks a year that is 78 hours of viewing. The WOW factor came and gone 20 minutes into the first service for viewing text. To make an impression, we have a 50 wide center screen for video and it 30 ft off the floor. That is the WOW factor and it is used sparingly.

For projection of text – to say larger is better is misleading. The lower the contrast ratio, the larger you have to make the text readable. A typical projector has a contrast ratio of 2000:1 to 5,000:1 and you have to often dim the lights around the screens. A street sign has a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1. A LED screen can have a contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1 or higher. Some are advertized as 50,000,000:1 dynamic ratio (whatever that hype means.) In the end, the higher the contrast ratio, the smaller you can make the text to be comfortable. Remember also, as people get older, their ability to dilate their eyes to view lower contrast ratio text is much harder. That is why in the HIS System Standard it recommends 75 ft candles in the audience seating area. That is what people need to read their bibles in church. That is about the contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.

Churches like Willow Creek or TD Jakes or Crystal Cathedral, they are in a league of their own. Churches like those or churches that seat over 1500 people, video projection of some type is still the better way. Some are even using billboard LED signs in their spaces because the rooms are large enough to support that technology. The vast majority of churches are spaces that seat 700 people or less. What serves them best? When viewing is 120 ft or less what is better?

Now here is the kicker. When a church switches to LED screens, their viewing experience is better than what they have at Willow Creek and other large churches like them. Smaller churches can have it better than the big churches. So before your church upgrades it’s next video system, rent or borrow a 60 or 65 or 72 inch screen and flash some text on it. Get your older church members to give their assessment. Better yet have both with the same lighting conditions side by side. You will have a hard time looking at a projections screen after that. And don’t show a movie. That would be cheating……

Joe
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Brian Sager (Audiomaster66)
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Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 06:14 pm:   Edit Post

Actually here is a really good link for people to figure this out. http://myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator .html There are different but similar standards that apply true video (movies) but are somewhat different as it applies to computer generated media. Though what I have found is that if you tend to follow SMPTE or THX standards then you'll be generally be OK for computer generated sources too.

I wouldn't personally recommend that any church consider using a 60" for anything less than 25 feet or so. It creates way too much eyestrain. Unfortunately, when sizing a video screen it has to be based on the FURTHEST distance in which it will be used. Even a small church generally has a distance from front to back of somewhere around 40'. That translates to a screen size of somewhere around 8' or higher. I can tell you honestly, the bigger the better. Nowadays with projector costs so low, there is no reason why you can't get a 10' or larger screen and projector for around $3000. Obviously, screen size is only one of the variables when picking a projector. The throw (distance from the projector to the screen) and ambient light are the two most important to consider when selecting a projector.

Like I said bigger and brighter are always winning choices in a church setting.
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Jonathan E. Quist (Jeq)
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Post Number: 10
Registered: 09-2007


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Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - 04:21 pm:   Edit Post

This is a followup to Holly's question, but a bit off the original topic, so I'm starting a separate thread here.

The topic of projection comes up from time to time at our church. The current solution has been a large portable screen, and a small portable projector. Aside from the aesthetics of the projector sitting in the third row on an upended table balanced across two pews, the overall performance has not been great.

We've got an old-technology (3-lamp, if I have heard correctly) projector with a long-throw lens, and a second projector for spare parts. Concerns over operating costs have blocked attempts to do a permanent install with this donated system.

The pastor has asked, "Why do we need a screen? Why not a big monitor or two? Aren't we in the 21st century?" Sounds good, but my personal research indicated that for the configuration our room (long rectangle, a congregation that refuses to sit in the front 4 rows, and a balcony hanging over the rear third of the seating area) that in terms of image size, a large projection screen would be a less costly option.

My research then found relatively few sources with concrete numbers, however, and it looks like a lot has changed in the past year. Today (16 March 2011), a minimal search found a 60" plasma screen for $1200.

Joe's remarks about the cost of a pair of 60-inch monitors vs. a pair of rear-projection screens now has me wondering.

Are there standards for screen size vs. seating distance? For text projection, that should be a fairly straightforward number. For video, some magnification over direct line of sight is desirable, which of course would also factor in the camera(s), if any.

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