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Permanently Installed Projectors

Planning to install a high-powered projector in your sanctuary? Before you buy, here are a few things to consider.

Projector Throw Distance
Every projector has what is known as a throw distance. The throw distance of the projector will determine the size of the projected image from a specific distance. The exact throw distance varies from projector to projector due to differences in optics.

Generally speaking, you get about one foot of image for every two feet back your projector is from the viewing surface. That means, using a typical lens, if your projector is 10 feet back from the screen, you should get an image of around five feet wide. [see image]

What does this mean to you? It means you will need to make a couple of important decisions before choosing an installation projector. First, you need to decide how and where the projector will be mounted. You should also have a range of acceptable screen sizes in mind.

Where to Mount Your ProjectorThrow ratio
In our experience, most churches prefer to keep their projectors out of sight and out of mind during services. Projectors can be mounted from the ceiling or wall, and can be virtually unnoticeable.

However, if you mount your projector from farther than 25 - 30 feet from your screen, you may need to invest in a long throw lens to keep your image size smaller. Remember our rule about one foot of image for every two feet back? With a regular lens at 30 feet back you would have a 15 foot diagonal image, a bit larger than recommended.

Long throw lenses run from $1,200 to $2,500 in addition to the cost of your projector. Many high-powered projectors ship without a lens, with the understanding that an long throw lens will most likely be needed.

Quick Tip: When installing your projector, try and make it accessible for regularly scheduled filter changes and maintenance. Projectors with network capabilities can be set up to send reminder Emails when routine maintenance is required.

Determining Screen Size
Da-Lite recommends the following steps in determining the size of screen that is best for you. Da-Lite Screen Size Suggestions
  • Screen height should be approximately equal to one-sixth the distance from the screen to the last row of seats, allowing text to be read and detail to be seen in the projected image. Ideally, the first row of seats should be approximately two screen heights away. [see image]

  • The bottom of the screen should be a minimum of four feet above the audience floor, allowing those seated toward the rear of the audience to see the screen. This may require additional screen "drop" for ceiling hung screens.

Quick Tip: We recommend that you buy your multimedia projector before purchasing your screen. Why? Because even with a good plan, things happens, and custom-made screens often cannot be returned. Install your projector (and long throw lens if necessary) first. This will give you a chance to make sure the projector meets your brightness and fusibility expectations.

Can We Install the Projector and Screen Ourselves?
The answer to this question is usually yes. With the help of a few qualified members of your congregation, and our dedicated tech support, most of our church customers have been able to install the projector without the need for a costly technician. We suggest that you use your best judgment for difficult installs, since saving money is not nearly as important as keeping your congregation safe.

Quick Tip: When installing a screen, be careful to avoid locations in front air conditioning vents and drafty areas. A swaying screen can be an unpleasant distraction. If unavoidable, a tensioned screen may be an alternative.

Quick Summary:
  • Projectors with a standard lens project around one foot of image for every two feet back from the screen.

  • Projectors mounted more than 25 to 30 feet from the screen will likely need a long throw lens.

  • Projectors can be mounted out of sight, but should still be accessible for routine maintenance.

  • Long throw lenses for projectors typically run between $1200-2500.

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