We recently made a change. Instead of meeting in the church sanctuary, we will meet in the multi-purpose room. We wanted to replace the outdated projection system in our multi-purpose room with a modern one. I then determined the size of the church projector screen and the viewing distance.
I didn’t realize there would be many opinions about church projection screen sizes. Here is my attempt at helping you to make an informed decision.
Tips for Choosing the Right Church Projector Screen Size and Viewing Distance
Make Use Of A Wide Screen Projector and Screen
Many antiquated and outdated systems still use a 4×3 screen size. The industry is shifting to 16:9. You are outdated if you still use the older size. Today’s TVs and monitors all use widescreen formats. Only the older TVs used the 4:3 ratio. Make sure your TV is current.
Find out the primary purpose of your projector and screen
For what purpose will your church projection system be used? Are you going to use it for lyrics? Is it going to be used for sermon illustrations or video announcements? Are you going to use PowerPoint or another presentation software?
You should ask these questions because they will impact the size of your projected screen.
According to traditional wisdom, a screen should be 12 inches high for every 6-10 feet viewing distance. If your sanctuary is 60 feet long and the screen is mounted on the wall in front of it, you will need a 72-inch screen. Sixty feet divided by 10 ft times 12 inches equals 72 inches.
This isn’t always the best or most efficient way to go. Sanctuaries may have low ceilings if you have a 6-foot screen and 9-foot ceilings.
This is why I asked you the following questions. You can overcome this ratio by using a larger font in your PowerPoint presentations or worship slides. It is more difficult to overcome if you use video announcements or sermon illustrations.
We are using a ratio of 12 inches to 15 feet and a larger font. The screen reads well. We don’t use much video. Some video is used, but everyone can see them. This is not the surround sound cinema experience you would get in a movie theatre.
Take a look at the screen and where it should be placed.
Aesthetics are just as important as screen size or viewing distance. It might not be very pleasing for everyone to see a big honkin’ screen in the middle of a beautiful chapel. Motorized screens can be made invisible when it is being used. Consider placing smaller screens at the sides of your church rather than in the middle. You might consider placing a second screen halfway back if your church is long.
Take a look at the sanctuary you have and consider how it will look in relation to its architecture and design.
There you go. Now you can calculate the size of your church projector’s screen and its distance. If you’re using video, 12 inches is required for every 6-10 ft. You can travel up to 15-20 feet if you’re not using video.
I hope this helps.