History Outreach Tips

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Choosing A Portable Projector.

  • One member asks: Any suggestions for a small projector for showing and demonstrating the History Trust digital archive, our digital exhibit, etc. to volunteers and board members?
  • Members respond!

Choosing A Portable Projector.

There are so many choices out there it’s hard to spotlight one model or technology. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • It’s all about the Lumens. For example a formerly 60-watt bulb is around 800 lumens. That’s apparent brightness and for presentations you want 3-4,000 lumens or above in case you are set up in a bright space. 
  • The next thing is you want it to be able to “keystone” both horizontally and vertically so no matter what angle it is set up at, you can correct the parallax so the image remains square or rectangular.
  • Finally, pay attention to the inputs. It should have at least one HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) and a USB receptacle. And it never hurts to have a VGA as well. That way just about any device can connect, providing you have the right dongle.* Just make sure you have that port on your laptop or an adapter between them. 

Some projectors have a USB port that will accept a thumb drive so you can show a presentation directly from it without a laptop. That’s handy but not mandatory.

If you have a Mac, you can download an app for your phone that allows you to control a Keynote or Powerpoint presentation from it allowing you to move around the room. That’s always handy but you have to connect both the phone and the laptop to a wireless network for it to work. On PC laptops, you can usually get a small remote control. Either allows you to not have to sit at the machine at the back of the room or have someone there with you having to constantly ask for “next slide.”

Three Epson models were suggested by members, ranging in price from $200 to $600. Lower priced ones may not have high enough resolution for text or image details.

* A dongle is a small piece of computer hardware that connects to a port on another device to provide it with additional functionality, or enable a pass-through to such a device that adds functionality. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongle)