If you’re offering video services, why not offer to display videos with your own portable projector? Not only is it another billable service, but it’s a great way to insure that your video is presented in the best possible light.
This is a fairly straightforward service to offer. Wedding videographers who offer Same Day Edits or SDE have been projecting their SDEs for a while. The Same Day Edit is filmed and edited the day of the wedding, and then shown at the reception with a video projector.
Videos are very commonly shown during business meetings and events. In fact lots of meetings now include video.
This service is typically offered as a package deal which includes: projector, DVD or Blu-Ray player or laptop, screen, and expert technician (you) for a flat or hourly rate.
One way to start the business with little or no investment is to find a reliable local source of projectors you can rent with little notice. Start to advertise on your website that you offer video projection services and explain the service a little. And give them a number to call you and make a reservation. When you get a projection job, rent the projector and make sure you master it. That’s not a bad way to start any business service because you can get a feel for the demand without investing much money and if it takes off, you can begin to invest. If it doesn’t, you’re not losing money. After a few such rentals, buy your own projector and push your video projection services much harder.
What To Look For In A Projector
Most HD projectors were created for the home theater market. These projectors are designed for darkened rooms where it’s easy to control the lighting and they often assume there is a separate sound system. The lumen ratings for home theater projectors often fall below 2,000 down to as low as 500.
Most of these units are not suitable for your business, although the lines are blurring.
You’ll want a projector that is intended for the business user in a conference setting. Consider only consider HD projectors with 1920 x 1080 resolution or, if your budget is tight, 1280 x 720 resolution. Here are some specs to consider:
Specs for the Best 1080p HD Projectors
HD 1920×1080 (native 1080p HD resolution)
1500 – 4000 lumens brightness
5000:1 contrast or higher
240hz or higher refresh rate
Specs for the best 720p HD projectors:
Wide XGA (native 1280×800 resolution)
2000 – 5000 lumens brightness
2000:1 contrast or higher
120hz or higher refresh rate
Projector resolutions are generally described as one of the following:
We recommend WXGA or XGA. Much higher becomes a lot more expensive. When you are projecting from a laptop, that laptop has a native resolution that limits what the projector can resolve.
Lumen rating is one of the most important aspects of a projector that will be used in a variety of settings. It determines how far you can project the image and how bright that image will be. Between 2500 and 4000 lm (lumens) is good for medium-sized screens with some ambient light or dimmed light.
A simple rule is to have 1000 lumens per meter (3.28 feet) of horizontal screen. If the room is dark, you can go with less.
Here’s a viewing distance calculator which may be helpful:
Throw distance simply refers to the distances at which a projector can produce an image of high quality. If the projector is too close or too far from the projector screen, the image will not be focused and display will be compromised. Throw Distance = lens size x screen length. The standard lens is 1.2.
The normal lamp life of a projector can be anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 hours. Before you hit the “Buy Now” button, check the price of the replacement lamps for the projector you are considering. If you start with a used projector, the cost of replacement lamps is a very important consideration since you will be replacing the lamp sooner. Unlike many other types of bulbs, projector lamps dim with age.
Many computers feature DVI or HDMI output, keeps the signal in the digital domain. Choose a projector with an HDMI input.
What About Audio?
Many projectors assume you will be hooking up a separate audio system so they do not have built-in speakers. Unless you want to carry speakers as well, look for projectors with built-in speakers. And read the HDMI specs because HDMI often includes audio. Of course, this only works if your playback machine has HDMI.
The higher the contrast ratio, the more detail you can see on the projected image whether its numbers, pictures, text, or video. Contrast is what makes it possible to see the subtle shades of colors. So good contrast is all about seeing the details. Look for a contrast ratio of 5000:1 for a 1080 projector or a contrast ratio of 2000:1 in a 720 projector. But even a high contrast ratio won’t help much if the room is too light.
Aside from a white wall, tripod screens are the most affordable portable screens. But there are many interesting portable screen options from (http://www.da-lite.com). The projector specs determine the ideal size for the screen, but be sure to choose a 16×9 format for HD video.
The Client’s Room
Should you offer this service, you will encounter a variety of viewing areas.
When possible, you may want to look at the room beforehand to insure that it can be made dark enough to show the video. One advantage of making the “theater” as dark as possible is that it will focus attention on the video. Otherwise you might just have people treat like it’s TV, something people can easily ignore and continue their conversations.
Measure the distance from where you’ll put the screen to the middle of the audience. Your projector will give you “throw distance” which helps you determine where to place the screen.
Some Projector Options
You could consider buying new, refurbished units or used units. For refurb units check the manufacturer’s website and other sources. For used, there’s eBay and Craigslist. For new projectors here’s a variety of projectors.
This is an example of a home unit that might do the job. 1080p Full-HD image projection up to 200″ screen with built-in speakers
Price: $889.98 – $1,099.99
In addition to the projector, screen and laptop or DVD player, you may need a portable projector table and some extension cords.
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