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Topic: projected PPT slides not bright and very hard to read
Joined: Jan 27, 2014
Posts: 1
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Our Church projector has been working ok, but lately, the light seems to be dimmer and the slides are increasingly harder to read on the projection screen. We are using a Macbook Pro 8GB with Keynote presentations. I have tried using the Keynote (Powerpoint) to make the slides lighter, enhanced contrast etc, but this does not help. I am wondering if the projection bulb is going out. How do I diagnose if the bulb failing?

The Projector was installed a number of years ago. I do not have an installation disk with drivers for this Sony projector and am unable to find firmware or downloads so I can operate the projector from the the Macbook.

how do in find out if a bulb/bulbs are going out?
If it is not a bulb, how do I increase the intensity of the light projected to the screen?
Is there a download for my Macbook (new) so my computer can control the projector?
Joined: Feb 6, 2014
Posts: 1
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We are having a similar problem, except ours changes. We have a 6 year old Planar. We set the brightness for our slides during the week while we make the presentation. Sunday morning, we have to either make them brighter or darker. Sometimes it even changes during the service, in which case there is nothing we can do. I changed the bulb, which made absolutely no difference. I called the company, and they said no parts were available. But she did tell me that the ballast would probably be the cause of our problems. Perhaps it might be for yours, too. I did not know there was a ballast. The new bulb for ours is not just a bulb, but an assembly with circuit boards. I was surprised that the ballast was not on the board. Hope this helps, Jon
Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 13,162
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With most projectors, brightness should not change mid-presentation, but will definitely fade over time. With a model that is older, it certainly is advisable to change the lamp from time to time to maintain optimal brightness.

It is something I repeat over and over, but at the end of the day, brightness matters. An absolute minimum rating is 80 advertised lumens per square foot of screen space which is to be utilized. Some places have a 100+ square foot screen, which calls for 8,000 lumens minimum, and they wonder if 4,000 or 5,000 lumens will work.

The answer is that it will not work well, and will get worse over time. It may look good on day one, but look terrible after a couple of months. But, if you have a 50 square foot screen, then a 4,000 lumen projector should look very good on day one, then not as good after a few hundred hours of use.

But, if things look terrible, then it's time to get a manufacturer branded original replacement lamp. There are tons of OEM lamps out there which are not necessarily the same quality as the manufacturer branded lamp and should be avoided in my experience.

Plan and budget for replacements every 1,000 hours of lamp usage. Typically lamps hours are listed in the projector settings. After replacing a lamp, be sure to reset the lamp timer.

Oh, and projectors don't need drivers typically. They may come with a CD with manuals. They may offer some software online for monitoring, or similar, but not often. To view the MacBook on the projector, plug the MacBook into the projector. For operation, it may be a web interface or specific software which would be on the Sony website.
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