How To Make The Most Out of An Awful Projector

Wouldn’t it be awesome if every church was equipped with an amazing projector?

C’mon…dream with me here.

I’m talking about a 4K, smart-car-sized beast of a projector with more lumens than you can count. Yes—these are the things that I dream about. But back in reality, I know that this simply isn’t the case. While many churches have projectors at their disposal, they typically aren’t anything to write home about. I’ve worked with my fair share of mediocre PJ’s and I understand that sometimes church budgets don’t allow you to purchase the best piece of equipment for the job.

So rather than shaking my head at your current setup, I thought I’d offer a couple quick tips on how you can make the most out of your current projection system (even if it’s really jacked up).

1. Choose The Right Colors

Take some time outside of Sunday to sit down and experiment with your projector. See what colors show up the best and which ones are MIA. This will help when selecting which content you’ll use on Sunday mornings. There will be some colors that naturally show up better (typically blues and greens in my experience), while other colors (such as reds and oranges) may not come through as well on cheaper models.

2. Adjust Your Projector Settings

This one seems simple enough, but if you’re not careful when adjusting, it’s possible to actually make things worse. While displaying various colored graphics, adjust your projector’s brightness and contrast to make sure that your picture shows up as bright as possible without becoming washed out. Be sure to test your new settings under the normal conditions of a Sunday service, such as window lighting.

3. Adjust Your Room Lighting

Even the most expensive projectors are affected by room lighting. When you’re working with low-budget PJ’s, you have to get a bit creative with the lights surrounding your screen. The lower the house lights, the more your image is going to show up. Consider disabling the light fixtures that are closest (especially when working with florescent lighting).

4. Test Media Before Service Begins

Probably the biggest tip that I could give you is to make sure that you test out every piece of media before the service ever begins. Even if you play the greatest mini-movie or use the latest pack of motions, if your congregation cannot see them, it’s all a waste.

So, have you ever dealt with an awful projector or other piece of equipment?


Kendall Conner

Kendall Conner serves as the Creative Pastor at Piedmont Chapel in Greensboro, NC. He is a graphic designer, video editor, and all-around media geek, but above all enjoys seeing lives changed. Together with his beautiful wife, Holly, they strive to use media to spread the message of Christ and equip others for ministry.


  1. What about resources when you are looking to replace the mediocre projector?

  2. I have a projector that always has a scrolling brown line that goes right over the screen. It’s not the best thing you wanna show off to the church. We just got a new bulb about a year ago but it didn’t help. Any idea what it could be?

    • Kendall Conner : August 19, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Does it have the line even on different sources or across the menu? It sounds like a bad cable from your computer or some kind of electrical interference. It also could just be a dead line of pixels. A new bulb will not fix any of these issues.

      • Wow just now saw this but yes I must be electrical. Our church is really old and were always having electrical issues. Also just recently, when I would be doing worship the brightness would fade in and out to almost black and white. It looked so terrible. Trying to get my pastor to do something with this.

  3. Have you tried using the Color Management facility in Windows and Mac to adjust the colors? I did this with one projector and had pretty good results.

  4. Around advent this year we had a projector with a bad video card (or something) that was causing some of the pixels to go white. We knew we wouldn’t be able to get a replacement for a few weeks, so for the whole month we did galaxies, stars, snowy night skies, Aurora Borealis backgrounds. Not only did people not notice the missing pixels but a lot of them commented how much they loved the starry atmosphere for the season. Sometimes things just work out.

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