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If you do a lot of presenting and often have to connect your computer to various projectors supplied to you by whatever vendor you are speaking at, it's going to be helpful to know some basic things about projectors in general. If you are always presenting in the same place, like a classroom or conference room at your office, you are in good shape because you will already be familiar with your standard projector once you've gotten it set up. But if you are the traveling sort of presenter, you don't always know what size room you are walking into, what kind of projector you will be using, where the projector is going to be positioned, and there are always other unknown factors. So in this video, I am going to go over a couple of features and characteristics that most projectors share in common.
First of all, all projectors have a Power button to turn the projector on and off. Now, in some projectors, you are going to have to press the Power button twice: once to turn the projector on and another time so the lamp actually warms up and starts projecting. Then it might take anywhere between a few seconds to a minute before that lamp gets warmed up and bright enough so you can see the image on your screen. Now, assuming you've connected the projector to your computer and your computer is turned on, you should see your computer screen being projected. In the previous movie, we looked at how to set up your computer to display on a projector or external monitor, so refer back to that movie if you need a review.
Now, if you still don't see your screen, look for a button labeled Source, or Input on the projector; many projectors allow you to plug in multiple sources simultaneously, which can be convenient if more than one computer or video device, like a DVD player, has to be plugged into the projector at once. If you don't see your computer's display up on the screen, it's possible your projector is set to the wrong input. So you are going to want to press that Input or Source button. Now in some cases, a menu will appear, letting you choose an input; in other cases you will press the Input or Source button repeatedly, and toggle through the sources until your computer screen shows up.
Some projectors will even automatically scan through all the sources, stopping when it finds a video signal. Now, once a projector is properly projecting on your screen, you will mostly likely need to adjust the focus. Focus is often adjusted with this ring around the lens. Just turn it until the image looks sharp. Now, even when the image is in focus, it still might not look quite right. Maybe the image is too large to fit on the screen, or maybe it's too small. Moving the projector further away from the screen or closer to the screen can usually solve this, but that's not always an option.
Many projectors also have a zoomed dial for making minor size adjustments. After you zoom, you most likely will have to focus again as well. Now, another common issue that might crop up is a slight distortion of the projected image, known as keystoning. That's when the image looks more like a trapezoid rather than a rectangle, and this is usually a result of the projector projecting at too extreme an angle, either up or down. Most projectors have an adjustable foot or legs to raise or lower the angle of the projection.
Now, if that doesn't do the trick and the projector is too low, you can try propping it up on a stack of books or something else to raise it up a little bit. Projectors frequently also have keystoning buttons specifically for adjusting the shape of the projected image. So try adjusting those keystoning buttons, if necessary. And when your presentation is over, and it's time to shut things down, press the Power button once, which usually turns off the lamp, but then keeps the fan running in the projector.
Projector bulbs get very hot and letting the fan cool down the system before the power goes completely off can help preserve the life of the bulb. Depending on the projector, it might shut itself off after it's sufficiently cooled down, or you may have to press the Power button a second time to completely turn off the Power. Again, all projectors are different, and you'll have to spend a little bit of time examining the particular projector you are paired with, but these tips should help you get up and running a little bit more quickly.
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