One way to better ensure that what you see is what the audience get is to use an LCD TV as your program monitor.
It’s fairly common practice in Video mixing setups to have a ‘program’ and ‘Preview’ monitors. The Preview monitor lets you cue up what’s coming next and the Program monitor mirrors whatever is going to the main LCD screen. The latter lets you set up out of the way, and still see what the audence are seeing….or does it??Usually these monitors are small (10″-14″) CRT video monitors. The problem is that it’s often hard to match the
image brightness and colour saturation between a CRT program monitor and an LCD projector with lower contrast ratio and different colours. Shots that look great on the CRT look terrible on the LCD projector due to the lower contrast ratio and differences in colour. Of course with Pro projectors this isn’t a problem, as they are capable of producing reasonable video, but for those of us pressing what are essentially business projectors made for Powerpoint into service at a VLOBLIVE gig, this is a real issue.
The first time I used a small cheapo LCD TV as my program monitor (because I had run out of other monitors) I was really surprised to notice that the match in contrast ratio, brightness, and colours was MUCH better than with my normal CRT video monitors.
Notice I say it was a better match NOT that it was good. The LCD TV had poor contrast ratio, poor brightness control and odd colours BUT they were overall more similar to the Projector and therefore I knew that if a shot wasn’t working on the LCD TV it probably wasn’t going to work on the projectors.
Small LCD TVs are getting really cheap now, so this is definitely worth trying out.
Oh, and as a bonus, they are MUCH more portable than their CRT counterparts.
P.S. You will still want to setup the contrast and brightness properly, as detailed elsewhere on this