ATLANTA Large windows and projection often present rather large challenges.
For Perimeter Church, it had for years been utilizing two side projection screens, but Perimeter technical director Steve Simmons noted how about two years ago, the church's pastor, Randy Pope, "did a study on comprehension," thinking about a change. Following that research, the pastor determined the need to transition from projection to LED screens at the church, while also planning to add a center screen.
Perimeter Church no longer has to keep its blinds closed to keep video images sharp with the introduction of three NanoLumens LED screens earlier this year.
Simmons noted how the church, located in Johns Creek, a northeast suburb of Atlanta, with its "floor to ceiling windows," regularly contended with significant shadows when using projection, he said. After changing to LED, "The first thing you noticed with our (new NanoLumens NanoSlim Engage 2.5mm pixel-pitch) side screens was how bright things and vivid they were compared to projection. Now we can open the blinds, and the video stays sharp. Our dynamic range of our video was also significantly improved, to where nothing is washed out on the images."
Beyond just the eye test, the individual pixels on each of the screens measure out to display a combination of 16 million colors.
As much as there has been improvement with the side screens, though, Simmons highlighted how the addition of a center screen in the church's sanctuary has been beneficial to its 5,000 worship member community.
"Having a center screen has been a game changer. Having a big 40-by-22 foot wall makes a big difference to how our ministry envisions events," he said. "From sermon points to scripture passages, we will be able to keep that up there, and have some gains with regard to comprehension. Anything to make that clear will make it worth it."
For a church that will be celebrating its 40th year next year, the renovation of their sanctuary with three NanoLumens displays has been received very positively by its congregation, according to Simmons.
"Everyone loves the center screen," he said. "People have said that they enjoy that they can connect and engage by looking at the lyrics on the center screen while singing without having to look to the side screens."
While the side screens were introduced to the congregation during Palm Sunday (mid-March) of this year, the center screen was rolled out just three weeks later.
Overall, the install of the three LED units took about three weeks.
"The side screens took about two weeks, and the center screen less than a week to get it all dialed in," said Simmons. A significant amount of time he noted was to make sure that "all the panels perfectly aligned, and that there were no dark lines or bright lines or gaps. Overall, the installation was very quick and very smooth."
Much of that due diligence in the install of each panel was in part because the side LED walls are incredibly close to Perimeter's congregation, and a large part to why the side walls design configuration was with 2.5mm pixel pitch panels, while the center wall operates with 6mm pixel pitch panels.
"The side panels protrude out into the congregation, while the center screen is about double the distance," he noted. "The closest viewer to the center screen is about 55 feet, and the closest to the side screen is probably 25 feet."
In deciding on NanoLumens, Simmons noted the company's proximity was a key factor in their decision.
"They were able to be flexible and working around our schedule," he said. "When you have this many panels—the center screen is about 480 panels—there is a lot of project management, and that they could get down the street and get us up and running over the weekend (was helpful)."
Beyond just the install, the company also worked closely to determine the right pixel pitch for each screen, while the church paired up with Tradecraft to design the rigging and low-voltage design for the install, managing the install in-house.
"We needed to integrate it with our workflow, while making it friendly for volunteers," he said. "When we decided to design this, we wanted the possibility of removing a few panels (on our own), and wanted to make sure how they were laid out, and they assembled all the panels on-site."
By having NanoLumens' headquarters so close to the church, it has proven to be beneficial already in the four months since the three screens were installed in the space.
"Our center screen had a couple power supply failures, and there had been a couple issues with subpixels on the side screens, where they would stay on red and not go to black, those kinds of things," he noted. Despite those issues, "NanoLumens has been incredibly responsive, coming out typically within a day."
In the months since the install, Simmons said the church has found the new technology to have certainly met its intended goals.
"For us, we don't want to turn up the heat up too fast, we want it to be an add to the service and not a distraction, we have a lot to learn moving forward, but from a technology standpoint, that has been a win all the way around," he said. "Even the volunteers think that the system is easier to use, even though it has become more complex."