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Export HD movie to be viewed on Projector

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jesse austino
Export HD movie to be viewed on Projector
on Apr 29, 2010 at 12:10:19 am

Hello out there,

I have an 1920x1080HD movie that will be played on a projector. The clip is about 1.5mins long. What is the best export setting for this issue??? Thanks for any help.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Export HD movie to be viewed on Projector
on Apr 29, 2010 at 12:37:52 am

There are many different projectors on the market, and all have different capabilities, and besides that, you have given us no idea how you intend to feed your video to the projector.

Is the projector SD or HD?

Will you be playing from a DVD, a computer, or off tape?

David Roth Weiss
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.

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Alan Okey
Re: Export HD movie to be viewed on Projector
on Apr 29, 2010 at 12:47:09 am

It's less important to know what the movie will be viewed on and more important to know what will be playing the video. What will be connected to the projector? A DVD player? A computer? A video tape machine of some form? What is the display resolution of the projector? Is it a full HD projector, i.e. a native 1920x1080 16:9 projector, or a common multimedia projector (4:3 aspect 1024x768 or 1280x1024)? Please provide us with more information.

If the playback device will be a computer, then use Compressor to create a high quality full-resolution Quicktime movie using the h.264 codec. If the projector isn't full 1920x1080 HD, then you might consider scaling the output down to 1280x720 or even 1024x576. Turn on frame controls in Compressor's inspector window and choose high quality resizing. If your source movie is interlaced (1080i), make sure that progressive output is enabled and select medium quality deinterlacing . If this is your first time using Compressor, then it's time to read the manual.

Be sure to test the movie before your event to make sure that the computer it's being played on is fast enough to play back the movie without stuttering or having other issues. When you play back the movie on the computer using Quicktime Player, enable full screen playback.

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Walter Soyka
Re: Export HD movie to be viewed on Projector
on Apr 29, 2010 at 3:33:19 am

As the other posters have mentioned, the playback device will determine what the best output format is. If you are using a computer, then the available software will also factor in.

I don't generally encourage people to use computer playback for live events unless they have specifically set up their system for video playback. Power management, virus scanners, wireless network notifications, etc. all have tendencies to pop up at the worst possible moment. If you are giving your client a file for them to use on their laptop, it gets even scarier. There are still a lot of laptops in the field that would struggle with smooth playback of 1920x1080 h.264-encoded HD.

If you must go this route, let me add to Alan's advice: test the final media file on the show machine with a second monitor (matching the projector's resolution) attached. If the media will be played from within a Powerpoint presentation, use WMV and test it from within PPT and make sure that the video driver doesn't try to "help" by switching resolutions for video playback.

Also, it's standard practice in the events industry to always run live backup with a switcher for any media playback. We'll run the same video roll on two Beta decks, two DDRs, two computers, etc. This prevents a simple hardware or media failure from ruining your event and client relationship.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events

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James Goodman
Re: Export HD movie to be viewed on Projector
on Apr 29, 2010 at 3:54:49 am

For my HD work I burn a BluRay disc and connect via DVI to a HD projector for best results. 2 weeks ago I had to show a 8 min video at a fund raising breakfast in a Hotel using their projector which did not have HD capability so I used component from BluRay player to the projector and it gave excellent image quality. I have tried playing a hi res files on my PC laptop but it pauses at 6 min. I try and avoid DVD quality for HD work.

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Ernie Santella
Re: Export HD movie to be viewed on Projector
on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:25:42 am

Check out the WD Media Player. Works superb for HD presentation, Kiosks, client demos etc. The box is $100 and plays all types of HD material off a Flash drive! Brilliant.

I give them all my clients as gifts. So, when I want to show them their projects on their big screens at their offices, I just bring a flash drive and bingo, HD quality!

There's a couple of threads on this box.

I've recommended these for trade shows too. (No, I don't work for WD)

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Chris Babbitt
Re: Export HD movie to be viewed on Projector
on Apr 29, 2010 at 3:12:09 pm

I totally agree on the WD player. If you're going the blu-ray route, make sure you test the disc on the same player that will be used for the presentation.

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