AURORA, Colo. Having opened its doors nearly 17 years ago, Calvary Chapel Aurora, a small nondenominational church recently sought to upgrade its video projection capabilities. The church, serving as one of the many affiliates of the Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Calif., completed its projector and video upgrade in mid-August.
For the extensive upgrade, which featured four Eiki International projectors, planning for the project began more than two years ago, according to Assistant Pastor Jason Klein.
By deciding on the four projectors, the cost factor was noted to have played a major role in the decision.
"I moved here July of 2015, and they had already started looking at companies a year and a half before that," he said. "For the most part, it just felt that the sanctuary needed an update," as a means to further ensure its message would continue to be relevant and engaging.
In the three months since the install was completed by Brett Nelson of Nelson Audio & Light, based in Eldon, Mo., the church has been very satisfied with how its staff and volunteers have been able to transition and learn the new equipment.
"We pretty much use all volunteers," said Klein. "It has gone really well."
The church had initially looked into laser projectors and even LED wall technology as part of its upgrade plans before deciding to go with four lamp projectors for their space. Two of the projectors, a pair of LC-HDT2000 projectors offer 15,000 ANSI lumens brightness, a 3,000:1 contrast ratio and native 2K resolution to handle the imaging for the center screen. For the outer screens, a pair of LC-HDT700 Eiki projectors each with 7,000 ANSI lumens brightness, a 2,700:1 contrast ratio, and native 1080p work in the space.
By deciding on the four projectors, the cost factor was noted to have played a major role in the decision behind going with the projectors that were part of a three-week install.
"We got a quote on LED walls, but we found that laser projectors and LED walls are just too expensive right now," he said. In addition, the projectors were also chosen because they were considered the brightest and offering the richest color for the price point, while not sacrificing reliability.
During the weeks of the install, there were no delays or cancellations of any services to complete the work.
In deciding on the Eiki projectors largely based on a combination of price and features, Klein added that Nelson was integral in getting the most out of the projectors by working with the manufacturer on achieving the ideal setup in the worship space.
"They were able to work with Eiki and do something on the surface level, at the edge of the specs," he said. "Our screen size or our wall size is not anything normal as far as aspect ratio, but we wanted to fill the wall. The wall was not made as a screen, and there were no ratios that work with that. It was right at the edge of working, and they had them crunch the measurements of the room, and they were able to figure how to make it work."
In addition to the projectors, the church also had as part of its install Blackmagic Design video cameras and associated hardware, including a 2M/E switcher, along with reconfiguring the worship space's audio and lighting.
"(Nelson Audio & Light) interfaced the new system with our existing audio and video system altogether it went very smoothly," said Klein.
As part of the configuration, the video content comes from an iMac running Renewed Vision's ProVideoPlayer. The computer then feeds a Datapath X4 display controller, which splits the video before it is sent to the four projectors over HD-SDI.
The overall design, noted Klein, began with the church seeking to utilize its back wall for projection, which required a reconfiguring of the space, while also adding the ability to offer thematic material during different parts of a service.
"We wanted to have a projection wall behind us, and they figured it out. We had a wall back there, with an architectural cross mounted and inset on the wall, and we turned the wall into basically a screen," said Klein. "We had seen it done at other churches, but we didn't know how to do it with programming and projectors."
With the new setup, the center screen typically shows a themed picture or an abstract background video, while the two outer screens most often show live video of the worship team or pastor. Lyrics can be overlaid on any of the screens during a service.
Of the different aspects of the install, Klein figured the most challenging aspect was to coordinate the programming for the wall, but he noted that Nelson Audio & Light nonetheless handled that part of the install very well.
In the months since the install, Klein said the congregation has been impressed with the extensive updates by the church, and that Nelson Audio & Light has had to return just once to tweak some of the install work associated with one of the Blackmagic cameras.