Projecting Video

Projecting Video

Duncan Macleod

Teknotips on Projecting Youth Ministry
by Duncan Macleod
Back in 1984 I learnt how to use a film projector. I used 35 mm movies at youth group camps, at children’s holiday programmes, and in church. Movies cost between $40 and $400 to hire, depending on their quality and age. About the same time as I learnt to thread the film around all the spools, my church started to use videotape technology. At $5 a pop, this was obviously cheaper. The ethics of showing home videos weren’t as clear, however. We borrowed video cassette recorders, and even did a bit of filming. I have never used a film projector since.

So what’s the latest in presentation technology?

Multimedia presentations are coming back into fashion. They were around in the 1970s, but they were expensive and fiddly. You needed 12-track reel to reel tape recorders, a film editing suite, and projectors, all of which took ages to set up, and lots of money.


Now you can use video, compact discs or computer discs to record and play music, project still and moving images, and even provide room for interaction.Of course, presentation technology is still expensive. The issues of finance and expertise will always be linked with new information technologies.

But look what’s happened with the modern marvels of cameras, telephones, televisions, cassette and CD players, calculators, photocopiers, cell phones, faxes, personal computers, email and the world wide web. These technologies have become more and more accessible.

It can be done Wellington Joint Youth Committee held an amateur film festival in August 1997. Youth groups made their own 3 minute videos and presented them for judgement. The whole region gathered for a night of music, food and 3-minute videos screened on a gym wall with a video projector.At the Journeys Youth Conference in Tokoroa in September 1997 two video projectors and a slide projector were used to present the theme for the weekend. By hooking up a laptop to one of the projectors, we presented a 4-minute presentation of moving graphics and text.

We hired and borrowed the equipment on both occasions. But with the relative price of this technology coming down, more and more churches will be investing in video projectors. See the boxes below for a summary of the 3 most common options for video projectors today. This technology is developing all the time. Over the last three years, we’ve seen the marketing of multimedia projectors (able to use video as well as PC signals) at a more accessible price.

The two most common software packages for projecting computer graphics and text (like slides or movies), are Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Persuasion. We’ll have more on using these at this site in January 1999.

CRT Projectors The ‘traditional’ video projector uses 3 Cathode Ray Tubes and 3 lenses. Graphics resolution normally quite high. Require technical setup, as the individual images from each tube must be converged. Able to be adjusted for curved screen. Best for a fixed installation.
LCD Projectors Use 3 Liquid Crystal Display elements: red, green, and blue. Uses an incandescent lamp source and a single lens. Usually quite compact and portable. Cheaper. Minimal setup required. Unsuitable for difficult projection geometry or a curved screen. Best when portability required.
LCD Projection panels Large LCD element mounted in a frame, placed onto the stage of an overhead projector, using the OHP light source and optics. A lot cheaper. More suitable for computer graphics than for video. Tend to give a washed out image, particularly with a bright projector.
For more information on the latest technology in this field, especially as it relates to churches, try Fowler Associates. If you ask, they’ll send you a book on how to pick and choose a data/video projector.