Why do churches need a projector and screen?

Whether your congregation is a small chapel or a mega church, projector screens for churches aid houses of worship in reaching the pinnacle of spiritual communication with their congregants. While that may seem like a lofty goal there is certainly a power in projection for helping members of the congregation engage with the service and community as a whole.

Using a projection screen in religious services

A church projection screen can be used in services in a variety of ways. They can display hymns and song lyrics making it easier to praise God together in one voice. Pastors and priests can punctuate the message of their sermons with imagery and excerpts from the bible, better holding the attention of their flock. Sanctuary screens can even help create a mood for a service with graphics and images to help set the tone.

Build your community with a projection screen

The power of a church projector screen of course isn’t limited to religious services and ceremonies. Projectors and screens make a fantastic investment for houses of worship. They can assist a congregation in building a vibrant Christian community with social gatherings like movie nights and gameshow events. They can help display information at fundraising events to better raise money for charity. Church projection screens can even help children in Sunday school learn about Christ with visual engagement.

Why get a projector instead of a TV for your church?

The biggest advantage projector screens have over televisions is the size options for the display. Projector screens allow for a significantly bigger display surface. To get the same size from a TV you’d need to get an incredibly expensive video wall. With a projection screen you get more screen for less money.

Projector screens also last longer. You can expect to get 20-30 years from a high quality projector screen whereas a TV might last you 4-6 years.

When you get a high end projector screen you can upgrade the projector multiple times making the screen futureproof. With a television you’ll need to replace the entire thing.

One added benefit of a projector screen is that you can retract it when not in use to better the aesthetic of the space.

Where can we buy a church projector screen?

Churches and other spaces of worship often require specific features and sizes for their projection needs.

General websites like Amazon often lack the selection of larger size screens needed for churches. The best place to buy a projector screen for a church is from an expert who specializes in projector screens.

Furthermore with a seller who specializes in projection like ProjectorScreen.com you’re able to get one on one service to help you find the best church projector screen for your community.

Size, Placement, and Brightness

What size projector screen should we get?

The projector screen size for your church depends on a number of factors. How big is your space? What are you using the screen for? Where are people sitting?

A bigger space is going to require a bigger screen. For large sanctuaries we usually recommend churches invest in a screen that’s at least 180” or 15 feet across. Oftentimes a screen of 200” or even bigger is what they really need.

For smaller churches using the projector screen for hymns and sing along lyrics a 120 inch projection screen is large enough.

When in doubt remember, BIGGER IS BETTER. No one has ever bought a projection screen for a church and said “I wish we got something smaller.”

Where should I place the screen?

For best results we recommend that your projector screen be placed in front of your congregation and not behind them.

Projection screen placement is very much dependent on what the screen will be used for. If you are showing hymns you will want to make sure the entire congregation can see them. If you’re going to show live video of the preacher your screen placement doesn’t need to take into account the first few rows as they’ll be able to see the pastor themselves.

Sometimes it’s better to have 2-3 screens on the stage for optimal viewability. The screen on the left of the stage will be more comfortable for the viewers in the front-right audience as it will be further away from them. A screen on the right hand side would be better for those on the left. A 2-3 screen setup allows for maximum viewability for everyone seated in the worship space, particularly wide ones.

How far from the projector should the screen be?

All projectors have something called throw distance. This is how far the projector can “throw” the light onto the surface. The distance between your projector and screen depends on the throw distance of the projector and the size of the screen. Generally the larger the size of the screen, the further back the projector is going to be.

You can use our projector screen calculators to help you determine where to put the screen for an optimal visual experience.

Viewing angles

There are some things it would take a miracle to overcome. One of those is an extreme viewing angle in your sanctuary.

The angle the light from the projector bounces of the screen is limited to what’s called a viewing cone. This cone is the optimal area where viewers can see the picture on the screen. The further you get outside the viewing cone, the dimmer and less clear the image becomes.

Wide sanctuaries need to make sure to take viewing angles into account when choosing a projector screen. It’s important for churches to get a wider viewing angle. Ideally you want to look for a screen with a 160-180 degree viewing cone.

With the way some churches are constructed it may be necessary to get two projectors and two screens so parishioners can see what’s on the screen no matter where they’re sitting.

How bright should the image on my projector display be?

When you don't have a bright enough projection on your screen it can look dull and washed out

The brightness of the image on your projector screen is determined by The light output (lumens) the reflectivity of your screen (gain) and the size of your image. These factors are combined to make a measurement called system foot lamberts.

It is recommended that churches buy projector screens with higher screen gain. The higher gain increases the reflectivity of the surface so more light from the projector is reflected to the viewers. The tradeoff with higher screen gain is the viewing angle is reduced.

This can be overcome by using a projector that puts out more lumens. The drawback is that higher lumen projectors cost more.

The screen size may also demand a screen with a higher gain and/or a projector with more lumens because the light is spread out over a wider area, reducing the brightness.

We recommend getting a projector with an output of at least 8000 lumens for a larger 200” screen. For a 150 inch church screen a 4000 lumen projector should be good enough.

Because prayer services are typically done with the lights on we recommend getting a projector and screen that give you a system foot lambert of over 60 Foot Lamberts (ftL). Don’t worry we’ve got a tool to help you calculate the system foot lamberts to make sure you have enough.

How much does a church projector screen cost?

Just like everyone else, religious organizations are always looking to get the most bang for their buck. It’s no different when it comes to screens. Some might be tempted to get a cheap church projector screen but these inexpensive screens are just that; cheap. When you don’t get a well made screen you’ll wind up with degraded picture quality preventing your congregants from fully enjoying their interaction with your chapel.

When it comes to quality items you can expect a church projector screen to cost between $800 and $20,000. This price range comes down to the needs of the church. If you need a bigger screen, with a higher gain and wider viewing angle it’s going to cost more. If you need a smaller screen for a Sunday school classroom you’ll be able to spend less.

To save money we recommend calling one of our projection experts who can guide you to the most cost effective options and can often provide special house of worship projector screen discounts.

What types of screens are there?

There are a wide variety of screen types for churches. Which style you need depends on how you’ll be using the screen in your place of worship.

For most religious places the screen types fall into one of these categories: ceiling mounted, wall mounted, floor standing, tripods and outdoor.

Ceiling Screens

There are two types of ceiling projector screens: retractable and hanging. You can find our collection of ceiling projector screens here.

Retractable Screens

Retractable projection screens are ideal for multipurpose rooms like social halls and Sunday school classrooms. They can be pulled down or put away either manually or with an electric motor as needed.

Hanging Screens

Hanging or ceiling mounted projector screens are better for sanctuary or chapel use where the screens don’t need to be put away. These screens are sometimes referred to as being flown. Having a non-retractable screen is preferable for most churches because they can be larger and last longer because they’re not being rolled up.

Wall Mounted Screens

Wall mounted projector screens are fantastic for churches with large sanctuaries. These screens are fixed to the wall providing a long lasting projection surface for displaying hymns so members can follow along, live video of the pastor speaking, or even help set the tone of the service with dynamic visual graphics.

Wall projector screens can even be retractable like ceiling screens. This is done when a worship space doesn’t have the ability to suspend the display from the ceiling but still want to put the screen away when not in use.

Find the best wall projection screens.

Floor Standing Screens

Floor standing projection screens are great for their versatility. They’re more mobile than wall or ceiling mounted screens and look more elegant than a tripod screen. Floor screens can be used in the sanctuary for services or moved into a social hall for a movie night.

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As the name implies, a tripod screen comes with a simple to set up and breakdown tripod stand. Tripod projector screens are especially great for smaller churches because of the flexibility they provide at a very reasonable price. One easy to move stand can double as a surface to show hymns in the service, be used at fundraising functions, or even help engage children at Sunday school with the power of visuals.

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Outdoor projector screens are a phenomenal investment for churches. These outside screens give you the opportunity to host popular social events like outdoor movie screenings. These family fun events can help your house of worship raise money and attract new members.

Outdoor projection screens also provide the flexibility to have large services under the splendor of God’s magnificent sky. Your congregants will rejoice at the fresh change of pace of an outdoor service. Getting a high gain projector screen will even allow you to hold services during the day.

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Fixed Frame vs Retractable

When deciding between a fixed frame or a retractable projector screen you need to look at where the display will be set up and what you intend to do with the screen.

If you intend to only use the screen in the sanctuary it’s usually more cost effective to get a fixed frame. Not only are fixed frames typically less expensive they also tend to last longer because the surface is not constantly getting rolled up and pulled down.

If you plan to have the display in more of a multifunction social hall being able to raise and lower the screen is important. That’s when it’s a better investment to get a retractable screen. Make sure you order a high quality screen to ensure that it will maintain its reflective surface after regular rolling and unrolling.

Manual vs. Motorized Retractable Screens

When it comes to retractable screens churches you have two options. Manual screens that you pull down by hand and electric projector screens that use a motor to ascend and descend.

Manual screens are good for smaller spaces like classrooms and meeting rooms.

When it comes to using a screen in your sanctuary you’re much better off with a motorized projector screen. Why go through the hassle of trying to manually roll up a screen that’s hanging from the ceiling, when you can do it automatically with the press of a button?

What projector screen brand is best?

When getting a projector screen for your church it’s important to trust in the brand. Draper, Da-Lite, Stewart and Screen Innovations are the best brands for church projection screens. They offer premium well made screens that are the best choice for a house of worship.

Some companies like Elite Screens give extended warranties to houses of worship.

If you need help deciding, one of the projection experts at ProjectorScreen.com is eager to help you choose the best projector screen for your church. Give us a call at 888-392-4814.