Friday, May 16, 2008

Surviving Your Computer Projector

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Below are a few essential items that may make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful presentation using computer projection. These are especially important if you will be presenting in a room without access to audio-visual support services.

  • Floppy Disk with Critical Files- In case you have a file that becomes damaged or unreadable, you will need backup files on floppy that can be reloaded.
  • Spare Bulb - A spare bulb is always good insurance.
  • Interface Cables - You may want spares in case of emergencies.
  • Remote Control - This gives you leader so you can present away from the computer projector and still use the controls.
  • Extension Cord - Rooms sometimes have the power outlets located in the most inconvenient locations. An extension cord may resolve such difficulties.
  • Ungrounded Plug Adapter - Some rooms may not have three-prong grounded outlets. A two-prong adapter will allow you to use these older power outlets without damaging the overhead projector plug. Make sure you know how to change the bulb in case it burns out during your presentation. Do not touch the glass surface of bulbs with your fingers, but handle bulbs by their metal or porcelain bases.

Computers Projectors: Think Before Presenting

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  • Where will the presentation be located?
    • How large is the screen?
    • How many people can be seated?
    • How can the lighting/windows be adjusted?
  • What computer projector will be used?
    • What is the resolution of the computer projector?
    • What is the brightness?
    • How large an image can be projected?
    • What is the distance from the computer projector to the screen?
    • Is a remote control available?
    • Is a spare lamp available?
  • What computer will be interfaced to the projector?
    • What is the resolution of the computer display?
    • What cable(s) will be required to hook up to the computer projector?
  • What interface cables will be needed?
    • Between the computer and computer projector
    • To the monitor
    • Between the computer and the network
  • How many people will be in the audience?
  • Do you have alternative plans (e.g. overhead projector and transparencies, slide projector and slides, or audience handouts) in case of equipment problem or failure?

Reasons Not To Use Computer Projectors

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Here's more:
  • Projector at back of room away from speaker
  • Not as effective in a fully-lighted room
  • No ability to modify slides and sequence during presentations
  • Short lead time (minutes) for preparing files for presentation
  • Potential connection/interface problems
  • Potential for hardware/software failure

Why Use Computer Projectors?

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Here are some reasons:
  • Continuous tone color images possible
    • Audience perceives movement as "very professional"
  • Some animation and movement can be used
  • No cost as compared to outputting slides and transparencies
  • Projectors relatively easy to transport
  • Display network materials from internet
  • Can use audio and video in either analog or digital form

Finding The Right Computer Projector

From Buyer Zone:

Nowadays, visually stimulating multi-media presentations are a must to keep business audiences captivated by your message.

One way to improve your overall presentation is by using an LCD computer projector. LCD projectors combine the functions of an LCD panel and an overhead projector into a single unit. The majority of LCD projectors are both Mac and IBM compatible and come standard with nifty features such as remote control, stereo, and video projection capabilities. Using programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint, computer projectors let you project presentations directly from your PC. The type of LCD projector that you choose will greatly depend on the room settings that you plan to use the projector in. Generally speaking, the brighter the room, the brighter the projector lamp that you will require. Lamp brightness is calculated in ANSI lumens, an industry standard measurement. You'll want a lamp with a minimum of 300 ANSI lumens for presentations that take place in relatively dark rooms. Many projectors can also project higher or lower resolutions by expanding or compressing the picture, but these methods will somewhat degrade the image.

LCD computer projectors currently range from just under eight lbs. to as much as 60 lbs. Expect to pay around $6,000-$8,000 for a portable LCD projector that supports true SVGA resolution.