Projector on the Podium

Discussions about using TVs, projectors, laptops, tablets, smartphones, DVD Players and other media players in meetinghouses including standards, management, how to connect to them, proper use, and support.
shanebankhead
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Projector on the Podium

Postby shanebankhead » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:44 pm

I've always wondered how other Stakes deal with this, so I thought I'd just post this general inquiry:

We are often asked (as I'm sure you are) to play video clips or slides during a meeting while someone is speaking. But the typical "projector-on-the-pulpit" setup has always bugged me. The way these buildings are designed, the projector wants to be sitting right in the middle of the pulpit in order to get the proper throw and keystone. This obviously doesn't work when someone is standing there talking into the microphone, so we do what I think most people do, and place it off to the side.

It has always bothered me because I'm kind of a freak for a clean installation, and equipment and cords sitting right on or next to the pulpit can be ugly and distracting during a meeting, especially if your projector fan gets noisy. Also, putting it off to the side adds some horizontal keystone to the image, which drives me nuts.

I'm wondering if anyone has done anything to deal with these problems. Has anyone tried using a projector with horizontal keystone correction? Or has anyone found a projector that can do a short throw, so the projector can be positioned behind the speaker without sacrificing image size?

We actually have one building in our stake that has a built-in projector, which is very nice. But we're moving into another stake center, and I'm sure we will never have the funds or permission to do that again. So I'm trying to figure out the most professional setup we can pull off in the new facility.

Or maybe I'm just being obsessive, and nobody cares about the projector on the pulpit & a little horizontal keystone...

Just curious if anyone has any thoughts.

-Shane

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Postby lajackson » Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:56 pm

SBankhead wrote:But the typical "projector-on-the-pulpit" setup has always bugged me.

Or maybe I'm just being obsessive, and nobody cares about the projector on the pulpit & a little horizontal keystone...


We put the projector just to the side of the pulpit, and noticed that one side is better than the other. Our pulpit is older, and has a rather large "shelf" where we can put things like tissue boxes and squish them when the pulpit is lowered all the way.

And when it comes to a little keystone, we are so happy to make the equipment work and be able to see the picture that we worry about little else.

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Postby scgallafent » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:19 pm

SBankhead wrote:I'm wondering if anyone has done anything to deal with these problems. Has anyone tried using a projector with horizontal keystone correction? Or has anyone found a projector that can do a short throw, so the projector can be positioned behind the speaker without sacrificing image size?

I've seen reviews over the past year on projectors that have throw distances less than 10 feet. They tend to be pretty pricey, but a throw distance of eight to ten feet would solve your problem.

Google will find them (short throw projectors) and you'll have to spend some time reading through the various reviews.

kylejhunt-p40
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Postby kylejhunt-p40 » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:03 pm

Our setup is probably worse, but I'll mention it anyway :) We put the projector in the pews, in the middle about 3 rows back. W/ our equipment this gives us the biggest possible display, but it does present it's own set of problems. Whenever someone wants to speak and show slides or something we end up moving them away from the pulpit and give them either a lavalier or a hand mic.
I'd love to ceiling mount our projector, but it's not really possible given the construction of our Stake Center. Good luck!

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Postby techgy » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:31 pm

kylejhunt wrote:Our setup is probably worse, but I'll mention it anyway :) We put the projector in the pews, in the middle about 3 rows back. W/ our equipment this gives us the biggest possible display, but it does present it's own set of problems. Whenever someone wants to speak and show slides or something we end up moving them away from the pulpit and give them either a lavalier or a hand mic.
I'd love to ceiling mount our projector, but it's not really possible given the construction of our Stake Center. Good luck!


Try having a member of the ward/stake with carpenter skills make you a small wooden cart with a lid that can be tilted to accomodate the projector. That's what we have and it works like a charm.

We place the projector on top of this cart and place the cart right next to the pulpit. It's probably about 2 feet to one side, which is enough to permit someone to still stand at the pulpit and speak and still use the projector.

When we're done the cart gets put away in a closet behind the choir seats.
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:01 pm

techgy wrote:Try having a member of the ward/stake with carpenter skills make {...}


Oh, that brings back memories of when the projector was the size of a small coffee table. Worked great. I'm just glad that smaller, better projectors made that unnecessary.

Of course, you might want to check into ordering a portable podium and just have the speaker work from the side. We have a few of them we use in the classrooms. Unless you can really get your image up high, having the speaker in the middle is likely to block the audience's view of the presentation.
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techgy
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Postby techgy » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:13 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Oh, that brings back memories of when the projector was the size of a small coffee table. Worked great. I'm just glad that smaller, better projectors made that unnecessary.

Of course, you might want to check into ordering a portable podium and just have the speaker work from the side. We have a few of them we use in the classrooms. Unless you can really get your image up high, having the speaker in the middle is likely to block the audience's view of the presentation.


To complete the story, the projector cart we have WAS actually made when the projector was much larger. However, there's more to the cart than just a surface to support the projector. There are two shelves on the cart that we can use to support a DVD player or whatever else is needed for a broadcast.

We keep a spare DVD and VHS player on hand and the cart has come in very handy.
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mprusse
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Project onto a portable screen

Postby mprusse » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:17 am

Another thought would be to move the projector completely away from the speaker and project it onto a portable screen. Most of the presentations I see in chapel meetings are poorly authored and include way too much text that is much too small to read anyway. Putting a screen closer to the congregation, say down in front of and to the side of the speaker, brings the images much closer to the viewers and avoids keystone problems.

Just my $.02 worth.

silid
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Postby silid » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:40 pm

I'd like to see the use of ultra short throw projectors as permanent installations in chapels with good connectivity and an a/v cabinet with dvd players. Hitachi make some nice ones.

It has got to the point where conference is no longer the only times a projector is used and in fact they are now used at nearly all training meetings. They can be a great aid to teaching and they should be more accessible.

shanebankhead
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Postby shanebankhead » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:17 pm

Try having a member of the ward/stake with carpenter skills make you a small wooden cart with a lid that can be tilted to accomodate the projector. That's what we have and it works like a charm.


We actually have a guy in the stake with a metal shop who built us a very nice steel projector pedestal with a small platform at the top tilted just the right amount for our projector. It makes for a nice clean installation, but still doesn't fix the problem that the projector wants to sit right where the speaker is standing in order to get good framing and keystone.

I'm liking the idea of getting a good short throw projector, so the projector can be placed behind the speaker, where it won't be distracting.

I'd like to see the use of ultra short throw projectors as permanent installations in chapels with good connectivity and an a/v cabinet with dvd players. Hitachi make some nice ones.

It has got to the point where conference is no longer the only times a projector is used and in fact they are now used at nearly all training meetings. They can be a great aid to teaching and they should be more accessible.


I hear you. We are regularly asked to do slide shows, powerpoint presentations, DVD clips, etc.- often from multiple sources during one meeting. Our stake presidencies are often businessmen who are used to giving multimedia presentations, so they expect a basic level of technology capabilities in the meetings they conduct.

It gets even more complicated when you're trying to distribute that video to rear screens, building TV modulators, and your broadcast encoder. We are moving into a new stake center next month, and the system they're installing is very crude, so we have a lot of work to do in order to do the kind of meetings that our stake leaders are accustomed to...

Now that they are incorporating video clips and slides into General Conference and other church broadcasts, it is changing the way that our leaders are planning their meetings and presentations- especially these large local multi-building broadcasts that we are doing now.

With our new stake center almost finished, I'm a little frustrated with the fact that the church building department is clearly not on the same page with our needs and the technology that the church is instructing us to use. As a result, most of the stakes I have seen in our area (including ours) are forced to take a very unprofessional "duct tape & bailing wire" approach to meeting our technology needs. Anyway, that's my rant- no disrespect intended, but it sure would be nice to see some simple improvements to the "standard" building plan just to bring us into the 21st century...

I'm curious to hear anyone elses solution to the main chapel projector. I'll update this thread when we make a decision on our own installation.

-Shane


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