The Most Important Advice: Test

The most important piece of advice for those contemplating using any of the large screen display systems is that there is no substitute for doing a full test of the planned system in the place you are going to use it.  This is the best advice whether you are considering the purchase of large screen monitors, projectors, electronic overhead panels or PC to TV converters. 

graphic of preahcer using television to display scriptureThe reason for this is that the effectiveness of the presentation is really a function of how the whole system works together. For electronic overhead projection panels and computer projectors the most important factor may be image brightness. What you see at an in-store demonstration may be under ideal lighting conditions. For the PC to TV converters the test may be to see how the system interacts with your existing large screen TV. 

First Impressions
In my first demonstration of PC to TV converters for the local church I hooked up live to an 25 year old TV in class without first making a test run. The image quality was so bad that several people were "soured" on the technology from the beginning. Not a good way to get the church interested in new uses for the computer!

The effectiveness of the use of large screen systems may also be a function of your software and computer hardware.  As previously noted, you can't get 16 million colors out of a computer displaying only 16 colors and your usefulness of such a system is no more useful than your software.

Professional Advice
Large screen systems can be very expensive. This free guide is not all inclusive. PRIOR TO MAKING EXPENSIVE PURCHASES IT MAY BE WORTH YOUR MONEY TO GET THE ADVICE OF A PROFESSIONAL MEDIA CONSULTANT. This guide is too limited to tell all the possible problems. 

I hope that this guide is helpful but want readers to understand that just because they read this guide doesn’t mean that they will be able to ferret out all the potentials and pitfalls. Talk to others who have tried this before, read magazine reviews and do research. Visit churches, schools and businesses that are already using this technology and learn from them. A good source of information is Fowler’s “Video Projection System Guide” (1-800-729-0163 or Fowler Inc.). Most importantly, have a demonstration done in your facility hooked to your equipment.

This article wouldn’t be complete without a statement concerning content.  I will quote a long time presenter who said it best “Technology is great when it enhances instruction.  The greatest computer projection system in the world cannot enhance a poorly prepared and presented lesson.”  Make sure that you really have something valuable to say.  Don’t let the medium become the message.

The increased usage of the computer in the Bible class is inevitable. Public schools and colleges are using this technology more and more and as better religious software becomes available then the advantages for church use greatly increase.


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