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can certain stage electrics cause a jumping screen projector feed

by:XY Screens     2023-11-06

Electromagnetic Interference: Can Certain Stage Electrics Cause a Jumping Screen Projector Feed?


In the ever-evolving world of technology, projectors have become an essential tool for various applications, ranging from educational presentations to professional stage shows. However, like any electronic device, projectors are susceptible to interference, particularly from electromagnetic sources. This article aims to explore whether certain stage electrics can cause a jumping screen projector feed and provide insights into mitigating this issue.

Understanding Electromagnetic Interference:

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) refers to the disruption of electronic devices caused by electromagnetic radiation from external sources. When an electronic device, such as a projector, is subjected to EMI, it may exhibit abnormal behavior, including a jumping screen projector feed. Understanding the sources and potential remedies for EMI is crucial in ensuring uninterrupted projector functionality.

Potential Electromagnetic Sources on Stage:

1. Lighting Fixtures and Dimmers:

Stage lighting equipment, including fixtures and dimmers, often operate using high-voltage electricity. These devices can emit EMI if not properly shielded or grounded, leading to disturbances in nearby electronic equipment, including projectors. Incorrect electrical wiring, improvisations, or faulty equipment can exacerbate the issue.

2. Audio Systems and Amplifiers:

Audio systems and amplifiers, such as microphones, speakers, and mixing consoles, produce significant electrical signals. These signals can generate electromagnetic fields that interfere with nearby projectors, causing screen jumpiness. Unbalanced audio connections or loosely shielded cables can also contribute to increased EMI.

3. Power Distribution:

Large stage productions require a considerable amount of electrical power, which is distributed through cables and distribution boards. Poorly shielded power cables or faulty grounding can result in EMI. Inadequate power distribution infrastructure may also cause fluctuations in the electricity supplied to projectors, leading to screen irregularities.

4. Wireless Communication Devices:

Backstage crew or performers often use wireless communication devices, such as wireless microphones, in-ear monitors, or walkie-talkies. These devices transmit radio waves, which can interfere with nearby projectors if they operate on similar frequencies. Inadequately regulated wireless communication systems can significantly contribute to a jumping screen projector feed.

5. Special Effects Equipment:

Stage productions often incorporate special effects equipment like pyrotechnics, fog machines, or moving set pieces. These devices may involve high voltages or produce substantial electromagnetic fields that can affect the performance of projectors. Inadequate grounding or improper installation of special effects equipment can exacerbate EMI-related issues.

Mitigating Electromagnetic Interference:

1. Proper Equipment Placement:

Careful consideration should be given to the placement of projectors relative to potential EMI sources. Keeping projectors at a reasonable distance from electronic equipment can minimize interference. Additionally, separating audio and lighting cables from video cables can reduce EMI.

2. Shielding and Grounding:

Electromagnetic shielding involves encasing electronic devices or cables in materials that absorb or redirect electromagnetic radiation. Special shielding materials, such as conductive foil or metal, can be used to minimize EMI. Additionally, ensuring proper grounding for all stage electrics is crucial to prevent EMI buildup.

3. Balanced Audio Connections:

Using balanced audio connections helps reduce interference caused by unbalanced signals. Balanced connections utilize a three-pin XLR cable, which cancels out electromagnetic interference. Upgrading audio equipment to shielded variants can also mitigate EMI-related issues.

4. Professional Wiring and Installation:

Hiring a professional electrician or audio-visual technician well-versed in stage productions is essential. They can ensure proper wiring, grounding, and installation of stage electrics to minimize EMI. Regular maintenance and inspections of equipment should also be performed to detect and rectify any potential issues promptly.

5. Frequency Coordination:

Coordinate wireless communication devices with projectors to avoid interference. Ensure that wireless devices operate on different frequencies or use frequency management systems that automatically switch to clear channels. Careful planning and coordination among the production team can mitigate frequency-related EMI.


Electromagnetic interference can indeed cause a jumping screen projector feed in certain stage scenarios. By understanding the potential sources of EMI and implementing appropriate mitigation strategies, such as proper equipment placement, shielding, grounding, balanced audio connections, professional wiring, and frequency coordination, one can significantly reduce the occurrence of jumping screen issues, ensuring seamless projection experiences during stage performances.

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