Oftentimes, visual technology seems to be isolated to the sanctuary, when in reality your news can be distributed throughout your building.
From second projection systems installed in the back of the sanctuary for various applications to TV’s installed onstage, backstage, in foyers and even in remote classrooms many are finding out just how handy these systems become.
Let’s start with a second projection system installed in the back of the sanctuary. Being in the audio visual installation business we find ourselves designing in such systems for a number of uses. The most popular two reasons are for choirs on stage and seating in the round.
Choirs often times can only see the pastor preaching from behind. This eliminates all visual resources being projected throughout the sermon for these singing folks. By placing a second projection system in the back of the sanctuary, choir members are able to experience the fullness of every message taught.
Another great way a choir can use a second projection system is by having the words up to be seen for every song – just like the congregation. This can help boost your enthusiasm for new choir members. How often do we find that people may want to join our choirs, yet are intimidated by not knowing the words to every song when they join?
A second projection system installed in the back of the sanctuary is also very beneficial for houses of worship who offer seating in the round complete with tables. An economy camera will help fill in the altar view for those with their backs to the stage area, as well as being able to present the same sermon notes and pictorials those facing front are viewing.
This same system can also be used to project a site map for children as they are dismissed after the children’s sermon. This is a very handy tool for visitors needing to find their way for the first time.
Grace Community Church of Cape Coral Florida has done the above and found it to be very beneficial for many settings.
Let’s say your budget doesn’t allow for a full second projection system to be installed, yet your choir would still appreciate being able to see lyrics and sermon notes. A TV placed strategically on your stage will do the same job.
TV’s can be placed in several areas throughout your building. The Church At South Lake in Clermont Florida opted for a small remote camera and TV system to be installed backstage for drama use. Now theatrical participants are able to see what is going on up on stage without being spotted from the wings.
Two more TV’s were installed in the lobby area for announcements and overflow use.
Grace Community also opted for TV’s to be placed in several remote locations. Starting with the Narthex, two monitors were installed for announcements and overflow uses. A third TVwas installed out in their lobby used for continual use of scrolling or looping announcements, thus making it is easy for anyone stopping in to check out upcoming events, service times, and other information.
Macedonia Church of the Living God located in Leesburg Florida made the decision to install a remote camera/TV system into their fellowship hall. These guys found a way to incorporate a great visual of the live action in the sanctuary for “pennies on the dollar.”
This system is a dynamic tool for them as on many occasions they need to utilize an overflow area. The remote camera is mounted in the sanctuary. The audio for the camera shot is provided by the ceiling speaker system. They put this systems to use strictly for the remote camera, however they are able to use a VCR or DVD player for other functions taking place in the fellowship hall.
Looking for a way for those in the mother’s lounge to keep up with the sermon? A remote camera and TV once again will do the trick. By installing a camera, using your ceiling speaker system, and adding a TV to the lounge you will find those needing to “sit out” the service in this area will enjoy feeling a part of the service when circumstances do not allow them to be in the sanctuary.
Now that we know some of the places these visual wonders may be used, we will hit on some installation tidbits you may find very helpful.
TV’s are TV’s right? WRONG! Because a church is normally considered a commercial facility, should you decide to save a few bucks and purchase TV’s on your own at your local superstore, you may pay for it down the road.
Commercial grade TV’s are made with commercial grade settings in mind. For instance, should your superstore TV be the cause of a fire, your insurance will most likely may not cover the damage. Why? Because you are using a consumer grade product installed in a commercial setting.
Are you looking to combine an audio signal with your video signal as opposed to using your ceiling speaker system separately?
The type of equipment you will use for your video distribution system will vary.
A distribution unit amplifies and splits the signal.
If you are going to use an RF (Radio Frequency) signal you will be utilizing a distribution unit offering combined signals for both audio and video.
This alleviates having to use a remote speaker system (such as ceiling speakers) by being able to listen directly to the speakers on the TV itself.
Switching units bring a whole new light to versatility.
If you are looking to project your image on your main screen from your projector, run looping announcements in your foyer, and show the same DVD in 5 separate classrooms, all at the same time you will definitely be getting into the switcher realm.
A switcher allows the operator to send different inputs to different locations.
The Church At South Lake used what is called a matrix switcher. This unit handles four video inputs with audio and four outputs with audio. This allows them to be able to select any of the four inputs and send it to any of the four outputs.
Converters take one signal and convert it to another type signal. In depth, it takes a high resolution commuter signal and converts it to a lower signal known as composite for TV viewing.
As you can see – the sky is the limit when it comes to installing remote TV systems.
From simple to elaborate projection systems and TV systems can be our friends when they are incorporated in throughout our buildings.