Following are some guidelines if you are involved in an organization who brings in speakers with computer based presentations.

See Projectors under products for specific model specs.

The most common way or making presentations in 2007 is with a video projector, which will normally project an image up to 300" (25 ft. diagionally).
In the future large flat pannel displays may be more common.

Recommended video presentation kit:

  1. PC with and external VGA monitor connector, CD drive and USB port and a relatively current version of power point. or Mac with same plus VGA adapter.
  2. Projector with minimum SVGA (800 x 600) resolution. Most in the last 8-10 yrs. have this resolution or higher. XGA (1024 x 768) is the most common projector resolution now.
    A projector with brightness of 1,000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 300:1 is serviceable for most applications with an image up to 4x6', but newer models have 2,000 lumens which will work with images up to 9x12 in most rooms.
    See DLP vs LCD below.
  3. 12' extension cord with two outlets (for PC and projector)
  4. Screen (optional)
    A flat matte white surface has a gain of approximately 1. A good screen has a gain of 2 which has the effect of doubling the brightness. Glass bead screens can have gain up to 2.5 but reduce the viewing angle to 30°.
Usage Guidelines and software: Projectors may be sensitive to the sequence in which you power things up. Usual sequence is:
  1. Connect the computer video output to the projector video in. (The video in port on newer projectors may look different (it's a DVI) than the video out on most PC's. The projector should come with a cable with the correct plugs on each end.)
  2. Turn on projector and wait for logo on the screen.
  3. Turn on the computer.
  4. You may have to hit function-F8 (or fn-F7) to get the PC to send the video signal out the external connection. (If the above doesn't work, there may be buttons (e.g. reset) on the projector to get it so search for a signal again.
    Or right-click on the desktop to get video options.
Some projectors come with a USB connector which goes between the projector and PC and allows you to control the PowerPoint from a remote. It may require some software be loaded in the PC. You don't have to use this since you can use the forward and back arrows on the PC to go through the presentation.

If the speaker has a video presentation with sound, you may need the following:

  1. External powered speakers that will plug into you headphone jack (most laptops have a headphone jack). Some projectors have built in speakers.
  2. The correct software and codec (video decoder sftwr). i.e. just because you can play some .avi files with the Windows Media Player on your PC doesn't mean you can play all, because they may have been recorded with a different codec. If people have video presentations, they should bring their own laptop. See:

Projectors under products for specific model specs.
Video resolution standards
Audio Video

last updated 22 Sept 2007