The 1,500-seat Worship Center at the Centerville Campus of Fairhaven Church in Ohio has been in the process of renovation for the past few years. Installed just in time for this year's Easter services a 135-panel Elation Professional EPV6 LED video screen with high resolution 6mm pixel pitch.
"We chose to go with an LED wall due to our desire to future-proof' the Worship Center and set us up for the next decade or more visually," explains Mike Rall, who heads a full-time video staff at Fairhaven. "The debut of the LED wall at our Easter services provided an incredible visual experience for the nearly 8,000 attendees that weekend as we were able to create custom in-house videos that spanned the entire length of the wall, really tying in the themes of our songs and other special elements together well."
Out with the old
In March 2012, some of Fairhaven's Ministry Arts staff attended the Seeds Conference at Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and were blown away with their two 16x9 LED screens and how much "pop" it gave to their visual experience. "I think all of us were sold on the idea at that point, rather than just replacing old projectors with new, better projectors," Mike says.
Dan McLaughlin, a partner at Elation dealer Scenic Solutions of West Carrollton, Ohio, explains what the church was looking for in an LED video panel. "Fairhaven wanted a high definition, seamless yet easily configurable video solution," he says.
Before installation of the LED wall, Fairhaven used three projectors that were over 10 years old and positioned nearly 100' away from the actual screens, which were starting to warp. They were going through lamps every 6 months, if not sooner, and the visual quality was deteriorating, especially within the last couple of years. "At times, we would even intentionally overexpose our camera shots in an attempt to at least have something half-decent looking on screen," Mike states, adding that since the projectors were in the control room, there was a 20+ degree temperature increase on Sunday mornings. "That could get pretty uncomfortable during the summer months since the HVAC couldn't keep up with all the heat generated in the room."
Fairhaven's EPV6 LED wall
The EPV6 LED wall at Fairhaven is 9.5' tall by 51' across and play as three 9.5 x 17 foot screens with 45 panels per screen for a total of 135 panels. Fairhaven currently has each screen tethered together to create a wall with a 3:1 (16:3) aspect ratio and adjust its height from time to time depending on the specific service or weekend needs. All three screens, which can be individually operated, are free hung on separate trusses. On Saturdays the center wall is flown in to the deck for a pre-taped sermon while on Sundays it is lifted into position and laced together as one screen for live performances.
"At this point, we want to ease our congregation into this new gear and be conservative with our usage of the panels, although from time to time we will still produce special in-house videos that span the entire length of the wall," Mike comments. Eventually the vision is to either install a grid system in the ceiling and replace the existing, even dangerous, catwalk to allow the wall's placement to shift from side to side, front to back, and up or down; or split up each of the panels to use for additional staging elements, integrated into the platform design for a particular weekend or message series.
The most obvious advantage of the LED wall, Mike says, has been the visual impact it has had throughout the entire space. "It adds an entirely new presence that can even overwhelm you if not used tastefully.
Currently, Fairhaven uses the video wall primarily for worship services each weekend, and occasionally other church-related events, but also make it available for outside events. They recently hosted a "Sovereign Tour" concert with Michael W. Smith and will be welcoming the "Love Worth Fighting For" conference with Kirk Cameron & Warren Barfield in June, where they plan to use the wall more extensively.
For more information contact: www.elationlighting.com
Design an installation services were provided by Scenic Solutions of West Carrollton, Ohio.