In its vision statement, Hope Lutheran church proclaims its commitment to reaching out "in increasingly innovative ways" to members of its community in North Dakota's largest city. This promise is reflected in the church's enthusiastic participation in imaginative charities like Backpacks for Kids, through which it collected 10,748 weekend meals for school children; and in its Christmas "YOU-Tensil Tree" that invites worshippers to donate cooking tools for disadvantaged families by hanging ladles, spatulas and the like on an evergreen.
Not surprisingly, when Hope Lutheran was ready to upgrade its lighting system, they were interested in something vibrant, colorful, engaging, and forward looking in keeping with the church's commitment to innovative outreach. Excel AV Group of Maple Grove, MN provided these capabilities, using LED video panels and moving fixtures from CHAUVET Professional.
"This is a very forward-looking church that wanted to create an engaging environment with a bold video panel display and moving heads, but at the same time wanted a look that would be inclusive for more traditional worshippers," said Caleb Dick, system designer for this project at Excel AV Group. "The Chauvet video panels were critical in helping us achieve this goal, because they were very bright, assembled seamlessly, and since they were easy to program, they allow the client to create a variety of looks."
Excel AV Group used 60 of the PVP S5 video panels from CHAUVET Professional to create an impressive 16' wide by 10' high video screen in the center stage area over the altar. During traditional services, the panels display fewer colors, more subdued graphical images and generally simpler text. When the contemporary services start later on a Sunday, the images on the video panels are more contemporary and accompanied by gobos and spots from the moving fixtures projected onto the church's walls.
The church had been using a 4:3 rear projection screen, with a blacked-out projection room behind it, but direct sunlight on the display surface made projection all but unusable. Since there is so much direct sunlight flooding the church, and even directly on the screen, Excel needed very high brightness and contrast. Plus the panels needed to have tight enough resolution to be seen by worshipers who sit as close as 30 feet away from the video wall.
With 1,500-nit illuminance, 5.2 mm pixel pitch and 140° viewing angle, the PVP S5 panels delivered the performance the Excel team was seeking at Hope Lutheran. "After viewing content the first time, our client put his hands in the air and yelled, Woo!'" said Grant Kluempke, operations manager at Excel AV Group. "To see the excitement and awe of the staff solidified that this was the right product. The PVP S5 exceeded expectations."
The panels were relatively easy to install. The rigging and wood trim were coordinated with the architect and general contractor, with additional detail drawings provided by Excel. Five 20A circuits were pulled in specifically for this wall. The church required that any LED wall specified would seamlessly link and become one coherent display, and really like how well they morphed together.
The video, graphics and text displayed on the video wall are received from Renewed Vision's ProPresenter software, live cameras, and other sources. Content is scaled to 1080P with a Kramer switcher/scaler and fed to the various displays/distribution around campus, with one feed going to the Chauvet LED wall driver. The 1080P signal is scaled down to 960x576, the native resolution of the LED wall.
Along with the video wall, Excel AV Group added four Legend 330SR Spot moving fixtures to the existing lighting system. These are dual purpose in a sense; they provide static illumination like a leko type fixture for some applications, but with the ability to change position, color, and angle to create different looks. When they are dimmed, re-aimed, and then turned up again for traditional services, no one notices they are moving fixtures. The church also uses them to project colored gobos on walls and some aerial effects for the contemporary services.
Excel also added four Q-Wash 419Z-LED RGBW moving washes at a second campus Hope Lutheran has in Fargo. This campus has a lower ceiling and less ambient light, which makes the Q-Wash better suited for this application. They are used for washing walls to create an engaging environment.
This project reinforced and furthered the vision statement of Hope Lutheran Church - constantly looking for new, innovative ways to engage worshippers.