Monitor or projector?
October 12, 2010 9:29 PM   Subscribe

My wife lectures in a dusty and sometimes harshly sunny environment (barns) to groups of 15 to 20 people, and needs a way to show videos.

She will need to display videos of horseback riders from her MacBook in a way that will preserve fairly subtle levels of detail for a group of up to 20 viewers, so contrast and resolution will matter a lot. The monitor or projector needs to be light enough for her to carry and set up by herself. She'll need some kind of stand in the case of a monitor, or an easily deployed screen (that can be cleaned) for the projector. The whole rig needs to fit in the back of a station wagon.

I am leaning towards a monitor plus some kind of DIY mount, since I don't see big advantages on the projector side of things besides portability, and the price for monitors is significantly lower. I'm a little worried about the harshness of transport and the environment.

Any recommendations? Any video artists or VJ folk with suggestions?
posted by MisterMo to Technology (3 answers total)
LCDs are typically brighter than Plasma. With LCDs an IPS panel is better than VA which is better than a TN.

There's a difference between anti-glare and anti-reflective. Anti-glare is a matte finish (microscopic variations in the surface) that diffuses the light but it also diffuses the picture so it'll slightly affect the video quality. Anti-reflective is a chemical coating that affects the refractive index and again it'll negatively affect the image quality. The opposite would be a glossy screen that's physically flat and doesn't affect the refractive index but those are highly reflective and it sounds like they won't work for you.

If you can have 1080p video then obviously that will compensate a lot for the quality losses of anti-glare/reflective, and be sure to turn off any fluorescent lighting in the room because that'll make it more difficult on the eyes.

(I won't recommend any particular models, they change quite frequently)
posted by holloway at 1:54 AM on October 13, 2010

I do something similiar, playing shows at primary schools at daytime (sunny rooms, varying crowds).

I'm using sizable LED-TVs, in flight cases, and the flight cases doubles as stands.

Upon arrival, you lift the TV out of the case (LED-TVs are light, easy to handle), tilt the case upright if you need the height, place the TV on top of the case, hook in the Macbook. Rig time up and down: 30 seconds.

For her use a single 30"-40" something LED TV could fit the crowd. Go to a store and test size/distance/picture detail to find the right one. LED-TVs have pretty good visual clarity in daylight, they are very thin, weigh little and their cost is not much higher than LCD. The flight case is probably going to be more expensive than the TV.

Maybe that could work for her? She could save space and weight on the flight case if the TV has a detachable foot-stand that she LOVES to clip on and off every time, but I'd recommend the minimum rig time, and the stability of a wider flight.
posted by gmm at 1:56 AM on October 13, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you both!

We have an LED TV (with anti-glare), and it is both bright and light. I was just worried about banging around and dust, but a flight case would definitely help (as long as it isn't too heavy...)

The reminders about fluorescents and render level are also helpful.
posted by MisterMo at 10:03 AM on October 13, 2010

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