Choosing Projector Settings and making Themes fit

Hi All.

Just trying to set up OpenLP for the first time and seeing how closely I can make things look like our present arrangements.

Have yet to hook up to our Epson EB 1940W Projector which is WXGA.

We project to a 4:3 screen. Using VGA at either end and a VGA/ethernet adapters and ethernet cable to cover most of the distance. We have to set up fresh each week.

I have looked at this Manual page to help me figure out how to configure things propoerly.

Our Laptop uses a recommended 1366 x 768 setting in case that is picked up OpenLP or for that matter the projector.

Can anyone point me to answers or outline in detail the steps to achieve the following;-

1 Work out which settings will give the best "full screen" picture via the projector. These would be settings on laptop, in OpenLP and on Projector - though at present we try to avoid doing anything like that on projector end.
2 How to set up themes to work full screen - at present I have black bars
3 How to get DVD (and maybe the same applies to video files) clips to appear full screen, even on my laptop there are thick bars all around
4 How to import our present "backgrounds" all picture files and add them to themes in bulk if possible - can folder structure be retained for the different types of "backgrounds"
5 Taking things back a step. I'd like to be able to give out instructions for ideal settings  for people submitting images, Powerpoints, Impress and so on to make the best - we currently have our Songs displayed in Full screen but some of the powerpoints supplied to me  are full screen and some have wide bars at the sides.

There's probably more or different questions I should ask but I think I should stop there - pretty sure someone has been down this path before and there's a whole guide out there I've missed




    1. The best "full screen" picture is often achieved by using the projector's native resolution.  According to the product page (, your projector has a native resolution of 1280 x 800, which is a 16:10 ratio.  The laptop you connect to should auto-detect the resolution and send video output to the projector at that resolution.

    2. The problem here is that your projector and your projector screen have 2 different ratios, which means you're guaranteed to have black bands unless you change to a different projector screen of the same ratio, or else change the projector output to match the 4:3 screen ratio.  You can often change the resolution in the projector's menu, but this will often mean a lower overall resolution.

    3. This problem will likely be solved when you solve #2 above, but it also depends on the video ratio the DVD itself is in (ie. widescreen or normal etc).  I recommend playing video in OpenLP through VLC.

    4. Typically, backgrounds are defined per-theme, so you need 1 theme for each background image, and then you can apply the theme to the various service elements (Bible, Song, etc).  I'm not sure of a simple way to auto-import each image into a theme, but if you're technical, you could look at the structure of a theme file and script something to do it for you.  (If that's way beyond you, let us know.  Someone may be able to help out there.)
      What's your current method for applying backgrounds?  Explain more about your folder structure and how you use it now.

    5. This will also be best answered once you've got #1 and #2 solved.  That will give you an "ideal resolution" to work with.  If I misinterpreted this one, please clarify.
    Also, welcome to the forum!  Keep the questions coming.  :)
  • Thanks for your welcome and help there Milon.

    1 There is a further problem aspect and that is that the laptop (as many in the budget range I think) has a limted range of screen ratios and 1280 x 800 isn't one of them.  The full list is 
    1366 x 768
    1360 x 768
    1280 x 768
    1280 x 720 (this is the one that currently shows up for screen 2 (the projector) in the screen resolution ( and that works OK with Songpro - bar the blank bars at each side on one of the powerpoints supplied each week re notices but not the other. as they both come from the same source I assume that its a powerpoint settings matter)
    1024 x 768
    With only the top and bottom ones bolded (which I presume to mean native)

    But our songs screens all show up well and usually the speakers powerpoints also come out ok - so in songpro its largely just one of the church supplied notices that doesnt fill our 4 by 3 screen.

    Projector has at some time in the past had at least these two key settings switched from Auto to Normal
    Settings are
    Resolution - Normal (the other choice being wide)
    Aspect - Normal (other settings being 16:9, Full, Zoom & Native)
    The Computer seems to offer the following bolded esolutions for the projector
    1680 x 1050
    1440 x 900
    1280 x 800
    800 x 600
    There are plenty of other resolutiona one can find between these though by clicking on the slider

    I remain puzzled by all these different numbers, I wonder if someone somewhere has a chart or table to work out how best to proceed.

    2 New screens are possible but will the same other equipment offer similar problems as there are no matching native resolutions, is that right?

    3 I was running the DVD in VLC under OpenLP and loving the control  of adding timed clips this gives compared to the non-existent control in my outdated Songpro version.  But why would it be appearing with thick borders all around and I can't see any obvious OpenLP controls over the size of this. I would have expected that it would either have at least filled top to bottom with bars each side. Do I somehow have to set defaults in VLC itself which OpenLP will pick up?

    4 Currently I'd have to say that scripting would be beyond me.
    In truth we have a key 10 backgrounds that we use very regularly 1 for bible and the rest for songs. At this level its probably simpler to just import them as images via the OLP Media Pictures interface and then add them to a new a theme.
    We do have between 50 and 100 other pictures we have used as backgrounds many were former regulars but more important perhaps are the ones we may want to use again for special services - Christmas  Baptisms  Parties etc.
    As I understand things I can;t bring in these images in bulk and if I create a whole load pf themes with them they become harder to scroll through.  So a file structure isn't absolutely essential for pictures or themes but do they exist?
    Incidentally, are there places where OLP users share themes and pictures etc etc?

    5 Guess I don't have enough to move this forward

  • Oops, I thought I had replied, but I guess not.  Sorry for the delayed response.

    1. Can the computer use 1280 x 720 for the projector?  It's generally best if they match, but it's not a real issue if everything shows up properly.

    2. I believe that's correct - you don't want to change your projection screen (in my opinion) unless you're happy and satisfied with the resolution you've got on the computer and projector.  (If you change resolutions in the future, and if it's a different aspect ratio, you'll again have black banding issues to deal with.)

    3. I'm not quite understanding what's happening when you project video from OpenLP.  Could you explain further?

    4. I'm at work right now, so this is all off the top of my head.  Take it with a grain of salt.  ;)
      I believe OpenLP uses a single database per "type" (images, Bibles, songs, etc) and I believe by default those databases are stored in the user's personal data folder.  Which means each user's databases will be separate and unique if I'm correct.  At our church, our video laptop has only 1 user account, so this is never an issue for us.  The data path is configurable, so you can put everything in a common location instead if you like.

      About the folder structure for themes - I don't think there is.  We have less than 10 themes, however, so it's not something I've looked for before.  Images, however, *do* have a sort of folder structure.  You can import images into OpenLP and assign them to groups, which really helps with the organization.

    5. Once you've got your process a bit more clarified, this will be simpler.  I suggest holding occasional / on-the-fly training sessions, and get everything written down once it's settled.  But that's all my opinion - do what's best for your setup.
  • Go in to the OpenLP Settings, choose override display position, in there put 1280 width 800 height, this will let you see what it looks like on your computer screen but at the right size for the projector. Change it back to the other checkbox when using the projector.

    (Note this will probably be too high for your laptop screen)
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