Why Do We Want Projectors?
The biggest selling point of projectors is their ability to create large images while remaining cost effective. Today’s efficient, ultra-bright, high resolution projectors can be installed in virtually any environment and can project images on almost anything. They can project on screens, walls, floors, and ceilings. They can even be used to produce totally decent images on curved walls.
Corporations use projectors to share ideas and collaborate. Standard conference rooms and boardrooms are the perfect home for a projection solution. Projectors can also be used as a digital signage source, displaying useful information that will be seen by many. Branding is very important for all companies. Logos are what customers see and identify with. Projection can be used as a marketing tool, with the capability to portray company logos in cool and unique ways.
Higher education settings use projection systems as learning tools. In the typical classroom setting, a projection set-up is an ideal option. Larger images provide the perfect learning atmosphere, as the students in the back of the room will stay engaged in the lessons. Projectors are also common in campus lecture halls, as well as theaters. Though todays LCD displays are big, they still pale in comparison to the capabilities of projectors.
Getting everyone involved is critical. Nothing is more important than getting information to the masses. Projection technology is the most cost effective method of creating bold images and spreading visual ideas.
The Installation Process
Pre-installation site walkthroughs are invaluable. Any information is good information to an installer. Getting a good feel of the room is important.
Calculating the throw distance is a priority when installing the projector. Finding that sweet spot is key. It is so important to get the projector centered on the screen. Just as important is making sure the screen is square to the projector. Keystone and corner correction are great tools, but should only be used when absolutely necessary. Too much image correction can begin to distort the picture, and make things look off.
A projection system can be installed in a matter of minutes.
A portable projector can be placed on a desk, a laptop can be plugged in, and an image can be shown on a wall in no time at all.
A “hang ‘n bang” as it’s referred to in the AV industry, is the basic ceiling projector with a simple screen option. This type of installation will only take a few hours for the installers.
Move up to recessed screens and things start to take a little longer. Some AV integrators will start to subcontract this type of work. It may be a good idea to ask the AV contractor, especially if you are looking for a one-stop shop.
As things escalate and become more complex, so will the installation. Open ceilings are everywhere in the corporate world. These types of installations will require some custom fabrication, usually mounts constructed of all-thread and unistrut. These mounts may also need to be painted to match the décor of the room, which adds even more time to the install.
There are several problems that may hinder a projector installation. The two most common are vibration and power (or lack of power).
Most AV integrators handle low voltage wiring. Typical projectors require standard 110v power. Electrical contractors or building facilities will need to be involved, and power placement, for both the projector and screen, will need to be coordinated with all parties.
The most visually pleasing method of getting power to the projector, in a drop ceiling room, is to have the outlet installed above the ceiling. The power can then be routed down through the mounting pipe and plugged into the projector. Some local code enforcement officials frown upon this method, and prefer to have the power installed in the ceiling tile. It really just depends on the local code, inspectors, and electricians.
Projectors do require maintenance. Projector lamps do have a shelf-life. Filters do need cleaning. Preventative maintenance contracts, or standard service contracts, are great. Otherwise, keep your storage room stocked and learn how to do maintenance on your own when these problems arise.
Projectors are definitely an asset to any company. They are reliable, easy to use, and get the job done.