Questions You Have Been Asking

video on web sites
tablet computers
Skype and video chat/conferencing
Computer for projection

Q: How can a church put "streaming" video on their web site?

A: Find some answers in the "Using Video" section.


Q: What have you heard about the I-Pad and other tablet computers?

A: Those who have purchased them have found them usefull for the following:

  • Keeping a calendar and contact list (I-pod also)
  • Checking E-mail
  • Writing short e-mail
  • Surfing the web (including movies on YouTube)
  • Reading e-books
  • Presentations (Lee Spitzer used one instead of a laptop for his the GRR Minister's Conference.)

Recommendation: A tablet is best for consuming, but is less efficient for producing. That is, activities listed above - except writing e-mail - are ones that the user "takes in" rather than "sends out."

Apple's I-pad has the greatest share of the market, but others are available. Amazon's tablet is due out in November 2011. It will be much cheaper than the I-Pad. Major manufacturers such as Asus and Lenovo have also introduced tablet computers.

Q: What does it take to use Skype (or, chat via Yahoo, GMail, or other video chat?)

A: Here is what you need:

  • A computer
  • A fast (broadband) connection to the internet
  • A webcam with microphone (Most laptops have these now. If you are using a desktop, you can get a good webcam that you plug into the computer USB port. Logitech and Microsoft are two who sell these)
  • Skype Software - a free download (or other service)
  • Several minutes of your time to set up the software and test the webcam, microphone, and speakers (remember, others will be talking with you and you want to hear them)

Q: Does a church need to purchase a laptop to be able to use a projector?

A: Not necessarily. Although the price difference difference between laptops and desktop computers has narrowed (laptops have historically been much more expensive), laptops have decreased in price to the point that it makes sense to consider a purchase of one for your projection needs.

Q: What must a computer (laptop or desktop) have in it to be able to do well at supporting/running projections?

A: The most important part is the size of System Memory and the size of Video Memory. Do not purchase a computer for your projection needs that is built with "Shared Memory."

One way manufacturers have brought the prices of computers down is to combine these two memories into what is referred to as "Shared" memory. There is no dedicated Video Memory. What Video memory there is in this "Shared" memory is borrowed from the System Memory. For example, if a computer you are looking at has 512 Megabytes of "Shared" Memory, then the amount of memory available for running programs is 512 Megabytes less whatever memory is set aside for running video. A good place to start today with Video Memory is 128 Megabyte. So, you actually have only 364 Megabytes of System Memory. Such machines are generally slower, despite the fast processors, and often "hang."