I'm a sound guy. My boss is a lighting gal. Neither one of us are video or projection people. Until now, when we have an event requiring projection, we combine our efforts and have usually managed to come up with reasonable solutions using equipment available from our university's IT department. As projection technology has progressed, we find ourselves in need of projection beyond what we can do with classroom sized projectors and finally arranged to purchase something more useful to us. I'm hoping that people here can give me some ides as far as things to look for when buying projectors and lenses, and maybe some resources that I can look at to get a crash course in projection, so I know what I'm looking at when I see spec sheets. So far we have had a couple people come in who have snowed us with a bunch of techno-babble that I only half understand and then of course they "just happen" to sell a projector that does exactly what they say we need. I guess I'm looking ideas or information from something a little more independent. I've done some searches and some research but still don't feel like I know enough to make an informed $10000 decision. Any ideas or things to consider would be appreciated.
Ultimately, I have 2 venues that this needs to be designed for. Primary venue is an 800 seat proscenium theater. We would like to be able hang the projector from a DS pipe and shoot to the white back stage wall or shoot from an US pipe and rear project onto a screen hung all the way DS. That's 20 ish feet either way. We would also like to be able to shoot from the balcony rail to the stage, either the screen DS or the wall US. that would be a distance of 100 feet or so, Depending on where the screen gets hung or if we go clear to the back wall. I understand this would require different lenses and a very bright projector. Since this is for both theater applications and PowerPoint delivery during lectures, it need to be capable of cutting through stage and house lighting.
This projector will also get used during our graduation. Currently we hang the screen above the stage in our gym and rear project an image from the cameras so everyone can see students walk across the stage. Currently we use 2 2500 lumen Sonys with the images overlapped to make the picture brighter. It's almost bright enough. They put new brighter lights in the gym this year and everyone noticed the screen seemed darker and that's part of what's driving this whole thing. Given our 2 2500 (5 thousand lumens total? Does it work like that??) doesn't quite cut it anymore I'd guess we need to be in the 8000 lumen range maybe?
I'm still learning this video stuff so if anyone has suggestions, recommendations, or things I should consider, please help.