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Topic: Church Projector questions
Joined: Jul 8, 2018
Posts: 1
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Hi our church has been having problems with our projector. The color is faded, a lot,the picture is blurry often. We have a great deal of ambien light, and a long throw. The projector we have is about 10 years or so old. It is vga. We started looking at new ones because it appeared that the lense was cracked, professionals that came out agreed. Today a gentleman climbed up and looked at it closely and said it was just spider webs, and looked very dirty inside.As far as I know it has never been cleaned or worked on other than replacing the lamp. He stated that we could hook up a hdmi cord using an adapter and that we would get HDMI quality picture and that would take care of our problems. The professional stated that there is no one that would work on the old one and we should just get rid of it. I have never heard (and it doesn't seem correct) that we can just use an HDMI cord and that will make the picture and color quality better on a vga projector. Looking for info. Thanks in advance.
Joined: Mar 28, 2005
Posts: 12,283
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What is the make and model of the projector you have?
How many hours are on the lamp?
How large is your screen diagonal?
What aspect ratio is your screen?

Projectors, especially those which are installed in unusual locations, need regular maintenance. This may include cleaning filters, cleaning (vacuuming) off the projector vents, etc.

The lamp, as it ages, dims significantly and can cause an image that was once bright and vibrant to appear VERY flat and dull. Getting a new lamp can bring life back to an older projector.

VGA is both a connection type and also a designation for resolution of a projector. Make sure you know which of the two you are actually talking about. Since almost NO projector is actually VGA resolution (640x480), it is more likely a XGA projector or even higher resolution. It likely has both a VGA connection, which is more appropriately called a DB15 connection. It also very likely has a digital connection of some sort like DVI or HDMI on it as that has been common for well over 10 years now.

So, you are likely hooked up from a computer using the DB15 (VGA) connection. This connection does not limit the quality of the video or much else. It is unlikely you can just switch over to a digital connection (HDMI or DVI) and see a marked increase in image quality. But, it is possible that the polarizers (if it is LCD) are fading or the projector lamp is getting old and dimming significantly. Those two items will greatly impact image quality.

How to check the digital connection? Just take a laptop up to the top of a ladder and plug it in directly and put the projector on the HDMI input. You can pick up a 25' HDMI cable for under $30 to test this yourself. But, I wouldn't expect much.

There are very real possibilities that the projector is just aging and wearing out, but it's a toss up. If it was appropriate when installed, then it may just need a lamp.

If you want to add digital, then you SHOULD. HDMI extenders over cat-5e are a few hundred dollars or so for a quality unit which will last for years and will give you the connectivity you should have for modern laptops and video devices.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.