What to Include in an RFP When Choosing a Projector and Screen

Understanding budget and considering types of video content used are just two important factors when writing an RFP for a projection system.

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What to Include in an RFP When Choosing a Projector and Screen

Vivitek DK8500Z Laser Projector

Wouldn’t it be great for both the customer and the company providing the service for both parties to understand exactly what the solution is that’s needed? Unfortunately, when customer create requests for proposals (RFPs) to deploy technology solutions within their organizations, much can be lost in translation. Let’s take a look at some considerations customers should take (and integrators should follow up to clarify) when creating a projection solution RFP:

RFP First Steps

Consider Content

It is important to first determine which type of content is going to be presented. Excel spreadsheets may require a different resolution than videos or even Powerpoints. Audience size and room size are also very important. Bigger is not always better; projection screens can actually become too large for a room.

Clarify Budget

Projectors range in price from a couple hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Major factors associated with projector cost are lumens (brightness) and resolution. Standard conference rooms or classrooms will be fine with a projector in the 3,000- to 5,000-lumen range. In larger venues, such as lecture halls, high-lumen projectors will be required. Also, if the room has a high level of ambient light, a brighter projector will perform better.

Get Screen Clarify

The type of screen used will also affect the budget. There are countless screen options, including fixed-frame, roll-down manual or roll-down electric, recessed in the ceiling, or mounted on the wall. Screen material is not standard, either; available options are high gain and high contrast. Projectors can be shot on whiteboards, though care must be taken. Regular dry erase whiteboards can create hotspots and make the image difficult to view.  Projection screens can also be painted directly on the wall using special screen paint.

Effect on Network

Basic projectors typically do not live on the network, though they can be on the network in a few situations. Remote monitoring is available on most projectors that have a LAN port. This feature gives the user the ability to monitor diagnostic information, with the most important being the lamp timer. If a projector is controlled via LAN, it may also reside on the network. In either case, the projector can be assigned a static IP address or it can obtain an IP address dynamically.

It is important to first determine which type of content is going to be presented. Excel spreadsheets may require different resolution than videos or even Powerpoints.

Physical Space Requirements

The installer needs to know how big the room is. How high are the ceilings? Is it a drop ceiling with 2×2 tiles? Is it on open ceiling? Is the ceiling metal or concrete? Are there any obstacles in the way of the projector? If a recessed ceiling screen is installed, are there any obstacles in the way of it as well? Is there power in place for the projector and/or screen?

Planning for Projectors in Requests for Proposals

Configuration Factors for Projectors in an RFP

Projectors can be installed in two ways: front projection installations have the projector in the room. This is the most common and cheapest installation. In a rear projection setup, the projector shoots on the back of the screen. This type of projection produces a higher quality image, it will be less susceptible to ambient light, no shadows, and no projector fan noise. Rear projection does require a “control” room, which takes up valuable space. They also require more expensive, often permanent, screens.

Plan for Vibration

Projectors are also prone to vibration. Even a tiny bit of movement around the projector will translate into bigger movement of its image. Vibration can sometimes be cured using specific mounts. In some cases, the building just shakes.

TechDecisions Resource: Download the Free RFP Checklist

Set Lamp Life Expectations in an RFP

Typical lamp life for a projector is right around 2000 hours. Anything over 2000 hours is gravy. Manufacturers will claim longer lamp life, using power save or eco modes on the projector, but who wants that? We want bright! Laser projectors have become increasingly prevalent lately as the prices drop. These laser projectors will yield around 20,000 of life, nearly 10 times that of standard lamp projectors. With all good things comes cost, and of course laser projectors do cost a little more than their standard lamp counterparts.