Replacing Your Church Video Projector
About a year ago the bulb in our old video projector burned out. After scouring the internet for a replacement bulb, I found out that replacing the bulb would cost us just under $400.00.
That was not an option for my small church. So the hunt was on for the best church projectors for a small church.
- Replacing Your Church Video Projector
- Our Choices For The Best Projector For Church
- How To Choose A Projector For Church
- Best Church Projectors
- Best Projector For Church – Epson BrightLink 685Wi Projector
- Best Bang for Your Buck Projector – BenQ Wireless Projector
- Best Budget Church Projector – Epson PowerLite 1781W Portable Projector
- Best Projector for Medium Sized Sanctuaries – Casio 3100 Lumens XJ-UT311WN Projector
- Best Projector for Portability – Sony MP-CD1 Projector
- Which Video Projection System Did You Choose?
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This article is a breakdown of what I learned when looking for our next church video projector. I hope that my time and research will help you as you are looking for the best video projector for your church.
I should probably state up front that I am assuming you do not have a huge budget to spend on equipment.
I have been a small church pastor all of my life. I have never been able to spend money as it grows on trees.
So these church video projectors that I will share with you will not break your bank. In fact, all of them are less expensive than the replacement bulb for our old church video projector.
Our Choices For The Best Projector For Church
|Epson BrightLink||Large Churches And Sanctuaries||A+||Check On Amazon|
|Epson Pro EX9220||Small Churches, Classrooms, Multipurpose Rooms||A||Check On Amazon|
|Epson PowerLite 1781W||Mobile Churches, Classrooms||B||Check On Amazon|
How To Choose A Projector For Church
I think this would be a good time to talk about “What is best? ” Does “the best” mean the best price, the best quality, the best features? Alternatively, does it mean the best for your church?
I believe that the best means the best for your church. Every church is different. Every church has different needs. So I am going to try to help you find what is the best video projector for your church, not the top projector with all the bells and whistles.
Because of that, there are some things you should consider before buying a video projector for your church. Let’s talk about each one below.
What Are You Using Your Projector For?
As illogical as this may seem, the first thing you need to consider is what are you using the church video projector for? Is it for song lyrics? Is it for videos? Is it for PowerPoint Presentations? A projector that is adequate for song lyrics may not have enough video resolution for showing videos.
What type of software will you be using for your song lyrics? What about the video announcements? What kind of projector is recommended by your media software? Those are questions you need to ask yourself.
Where Will The Screen Be Located?
This may seem like a no-brainer since most churches place the screen above the stage, but there are more and more churches that are putting the displays to the side of the stage. Also in extended sanctuaries, some churches are placing a screen part way down the sanctuary so people in the back can see. You may even want to consider whether or not you want to use a projector or a flat screen monitor.
Knowing where you will place your screen may affect what type of projector you buy. If it needs to be seen from a long distance away, then it will affect how bright and how clear of a projector you need.
How large is your screen going to be? How large does it need to be? I have done an article on the screen size that you might want to look at. Suffice it to say that the larger the screen size you have, the higher the resolution and brightness you are going to need.
Video Resolution And Aspect Ratio
These are things that both affect the clarity and size of your video projector. Let me try to put this in language that is easy to understand. Aspect ratio is the shape of your projection. Older projectors used a 4:3 aspect ratio. They would project four units wide by three units high. It was almost squarish in look.
Most modern projectors now project in a 16:9 aspect ratio. That means that for ever 16 units wide, it is only nine units high. This makes the image much more of a wide rectangle shape.
The image resolution is the number of pixels (dots) that are used to fill up the rectangle. The higher the number of pixels, the clearer the picture will be.
If you are going to still use the 4:3 aspect ratio then you can get by with 1024x768 video resolution but if you are going to upgrade to the 16:9 aspect ratio then you really should use an HD projector that has a 1920x1020 video resolution.
How Many Lumens For A Church Projector?
The ambient lighting of your sanctuary or meeting hall is a significant consideration. As well as if you turn down the lights during worship or the church service for a more intimate setting while worshiping.
The brighter the room, the more lumens you will need to project. A lumen is a measurement of light. 1 lumen roughly equals the light output of one candle. In dark rooms, a 1000 lumen projector will work fine, but in a brightly lit room, you may need to go as high as 5000 lumens for everyone to see well. In my church, a 3000-lumen projector works fine, and we have quite a few large windows as well as fluorescent lighting.
Most churches mount their projectors on the ceiling. However, you should take into consideration how noisy the projector fan is and if this will be a distraction. Most projectors are relatively quiet, but the less background noise your service has, the better.
You should also take into consideration how far the projector will be from the screen. If you are replacing a projector, then this has already been done for you, but if this is a new install, the screen size and the brightness of the room will affect this decision.
Amount Of Projectors
Some churches are opting for a two projector system showing the same image at the same time. This is especially true in sanctuaries that are wider than they are longer. If you are using two projectors, then you need to consider if your equipment will handle sending out two video signals at the same time.
Thinking Beyond Just The Projector
Finally, you need to think about how you are going to connect your projectors to the equipment that is sending the video signal. HDMI projectors start to struggle when connected using a cable that is over 25′ long. The signal strength deteriorates in cables longer than that. So if your video booth or sound booth is over 25 feet from the projector, you need to think of another way to connect the projector or boost the signal strength.
There are both signal boosters available and wireless systems that will send your signal wirelessly to your church video projector.
Beyond connecting the video projector to the video source, you also need to make sure you can power your projector where it is mounted. I don’t think your church would appreciate an orange extension cable running along the rafters.
Best Church Projectors
Best Projector For Church – Epson BrightLink 685Wi Projector
The Epson BrightLink 685Wi 3LCD projector is one of the top-rated projectors, thanks to a variety of useful features and technical details. It offers HD displays, vivid colors, and wireless connections with up to 50 computers.
The Epson BrightLink 685Wi projector features 3-chip technology for vivid colors and brilliant images. It also offers a native resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels using WXGA technology. This display can project images up to 106 inches from just 4 feet away.
The 685Wi projector also comes equipped with an interactive pen. You can draw and write directly on the display using the pen to highlight details or take notes.
Pros and Cons
There are several reasons why the Epson 475Wi is the best overall projector, including the bright light. This projector offers 3400 lumens of color brightness, providing a clear image in almost any setting.
The light also has a long service life. When using the economy mode, the light should last for up to 10,000 hours, which is at least twice the normal lifespan for projector lamps.
Another benefit of the 685Wi is the connectivity. Like most modern projectors, you can connect to laptops, tablets, and smartphones using wireless technology. However, the 685Wi also allows you to connect 50 different devices.
In a classroom where every student has a tablet or computer station, you can display work from any of their devices on the screen. This is also useful in business settings, allowing participants to collaborate during a presentation.
The only issue that some users may have with the Epson 536Wi is the resolution. 1280 x 800 pixels is not full HD. However, most people will not notice the difference between this clear, bright display and a 1080p display.
The bottom line is that the Epson BrightLink 685Wi offers the best overall value. You get the brightest light available in this price range, along with a wide range of useful features for giving interactive presentations, including the interactive pen and the ability to connect 50 devices.
Best Bang for Your Buck Projector – BenQ Wireless Projector
When you have a limited budget but still need high-quality displays, the BenQ Wireless LED 1080p Projector is your best option. This projector provides the best bang for your buck due to the clear 1080p HD resolution and long-lasting lamp.
The BenQ wireless projector has a slim profile and full 1080p HD display. It also includes multiple presentation modes to best suit the environment, including cinema mode, lecture mode, and vivid color mode.
The BenQ is also a short-throw projector. You do not need to place it across the room to get a large display. When placed just 2 meters from the wall, you get an 81-inch display.
Pros and Cons
The CH100 from BenQ offers several advantages. The slim design makes it easy to carry when giving presentations on the go. It is also easy to connect to any laptop or smart device using wireless connectivity.
The next benefit is the LED light. Standard lamps have an average life of 4,000 hours. The LED light inside the can last for up to 20,000 hours before needing to be replaced.
The LED light is great when you want to conserve energy and avoid the cost of lamp replacements. However, it does only offer 1000 lumens.
A 1000-lumen light is typically recommended for classrooms, small conference rooms, and presentations for small groups of people. In larger conference rooms, churches, or large venues, you may need a brighter lamp.
In the end, the BenQ Wireless LED 1080p is one of the top projectors available. It provides great value and is perfect for use in almost any setting. However, it may not be suitable for use in brighter rooms such as large auditoriums.
Best Budget Church Projector – Epson PowerLite 1781W Portable Projector
The Epson PowerLite 1781W is the best budget projector. For half the price of the top projectors, you get a clear HD display and wireless connectivity.
The Epson PowerLite features a 3200-lumen bulb, which is exceptionally bright considering the price. It also provides wireless connectivity and HD-quality images of up to 1280 x 800 pixels. The total screen size is 110 inches.
The projector is lightweight and compact. It measures 11.5 x 8.4 x 2.1 inches and weighs just 4 pounds, which is convenient when you need to take the projector to different locations.
You also gain several useful presentation features, including easy image adjustment. With the auto horizontal and keystone correction, you can quickly adjust the image to perfectly fit the screen.
Pros and Cons
The PowerLite is one of the cheapest projectors that is worth considering. It costs a fraction of some of the other options and still includes a powerful light source.
Besides the price, there are other reasons to consider buying the Epson PowerLite projector. It is lightweight and easy to use, and it can connect with almost any device using wireless connectivity.
Along with the wireless connectivity, the Epson PowerLite can connect via an HDMI cable. It supports connections with computers, smartphones, tablets, Chromecast, and other streaming devices. The PowerLite also includes a quick setup feature for easily connecting mobile devices using a QR code.
The auto-adjustment features are also useful. You do not need to spend an hour trying to position the projector. Even when the projector is not on a flat surface, you can have a perfectly-centered display on the wall within minutes.
When you need to stick to a budget, the Epson PowerLite 1781W deserves your consideration. It is affordable, lightweight, and suitable for use in small or large rooms.
Best Projector for Medium Sized Sanctuaries – Casio 3100 Lumens XJ-UT311WN Projector
When giving a presentation in a large room, it is difficult to block all the light. For auditoriums, churches, and large venues, you need a projector with a bright light, such as the Casio XJ-UT311WN projector.
The Casio XJ-UT311WN projector includes a 3100-lumen light, which is perfect for large settings. The display has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels using WXGA technology. While this is not the clearest display, it is suitable for use in large settings and provides HD-quality images.
The Casio projector also provides multiple options for giving presentations. You can connect the projector to computers or laptops using wireless connectivity. You can also save the presentation to a USB stick or the internal memory.
Pros and Cons
The strength of the Casio projector is the light. It is one of the brightest lights available in this price range and it does not use a lamp. It uses a laser and LED hybrid technology with a service life of up to 20,000 hours. When used for several hours per day, you should not need to replace the light for five or six years.
The Casio projector also provides great contrast for a sharp image. The contrast ratio is 20,000:1, which is far superior to most of the other projectors discussed.
There are two small inconveniences. The 800p display is not full HD. If you want a clearer display, you need to consider the best overall projector. The Casio is also not very compact. It weighs over 12 pounds and measures over 13 x 13 inches. However, it does provide the option of mounting the projector to the ceiling, which is not provided by some of the other choices.
Overall, the Casio 3100-lumen projector is best suited for large settings. It offers a bright light with a long service life that is perfect for giving presentations in large classrooms, lecture halls, and auditoriums.
Best Projector for Portability – Sony MP-CD1 Projector
While most projectors are compact and easy to transport, they do not typically fit in the palm of your hand. The Sony Mobile Projector MP-CD1 is an exception. It is a pocket-sized projector designed for business professionals on the go.
The MP-CD1 weighs less than one pound and is about the size of a paperback book. It comes with an HDMI cable and an HDMI dongle. With the cable, you can quickly connect the projector to a laptop or an Android device. Using the dongle, you can wirelessly connect the projector.
The Sony MP-CD1 also features short-throw projection, so you do not need to place the projector far from the wall. The projector offers a maximum display size of 120 inches and only needs to be placed about 11.5 feet away from the wall. When placed just 4 feet from the wall, the display is 40 inches.
Pros and Cons
The main advantage of the Sony MP-CD1 is its size. This is the best projector for portability, as you can fit it in your pocket, briefcase, or even an extra pocket in your laptop bag.
Due to the size of the projector, it does not have the brightest light. It uses an ANSI 105-lumen light with IntelliBright technology. While it is bright enough for presentations in a medium-sized conference room or classroom, it may not offer the brightness needed for use in an auditorium or large space that allows more light into the room.
The MP-CD1 also has limited resolution compared to some of the other best projectors. The max resolution is 854 x 480 pixels, which is SD quality.
The drawbacks are related to the image quality, which is to be expected with a portable projector. It cannot fit a large bulb. However, the compact size also makes it more convenient. You can take it with you anywhere and it only takes 5 seconds to boot up.
Which Video Projection System Did You Choose?
I hope you have found this article informative in your search for the best church projector. My little church chose the Optoma video projector. It has served our purposes quite well. We have three other churches that rent our building, and all of them have enjoyed our new church video projector over the antique we were using before.