NEC video wall technology enriches mass experience for parishioners
Date: 26 Jul 2012
Category: Digital Signage Solutions
Churches embracing the digital age to attract and communicate with their congregations
Melbourne – 26 July 2012 – NEC Australia’s world-class LCD matrix video wall technology is boosting the audio visual experiences at some of Sydney’s largest Catholic churches to deliver a closer liturgical encounter and removing higher costs associated with supporting legacy projector equipment.
Celebrating Mass for a Catholic priest today demands more than a microphone, altar, projector and screen to deliver a sermon that engages parishioners.
Fr Chris de Suza of Penrith’s iconic St Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church, and his development committee, were faced with the perplexing dilemma of dealing with its ageing audio visual (AV) system, “We had restricted vision from our existing screens and the projectors didn’t have the capacity to adjust to differences in external light. And, very frustratingly, the sound was largely unintelligible. The cost and growing frequency of maintenance could also no longer be sustained.”
The St Nicholas of Myra’s video upgrade was part of a wider AV overhaul, aimed at improving the church’s ability to spread the Word, to provide parishioners a richer and more engaging high-definition visual experience of the Mass.
The Penrith parish of the Parramatta Catholic Diocese has become an advocate of the latest audio visual technologies in its quest to improve parishioners’ experience of its services and to provide a contemporary spiritual environment.
Three other Sydney Catholic churches, including Penrith’s iconic St Nicholas of Myra Church, have also upgraded their visual systems with Kirby Productions and NEC to support ever growing congregations, such as Myra Church which now reaches to 700 parishioners. NEC’s modular X461 UNV 46-inch multi-screen “matrix” video technology has enhanced the visual experience of the Mass for parishioners seated both near the altar and also for those at the end of the Church hall.
Improving visual capacity and brightness was the parish development committee’s primary concern because the existing projector-based system had proven inadequate at supporting visual communications and was costly to run, requiring servicing three times a year.
St Nicholas of Myra’s development committee appointed renowned Castle Hill Pro AV specialists – Kirby Productions, who deployed a three by three configuration of NEC’s modular X461 UNV 46-inch multi-screen “matrix” video technology, offering parishioners far brighter visual clarity to see images and follow text prepared by the church -- critical components in fostering stronger engagement in the Liturgy.
Local parishioners have responded enthusiastically to the Church’s new AV system. Fr Chris said, “Because everyone in the church is enjoying being able to easily follow Mass, there’s increased participation and improved attention throughout services.”
Blake Kirby, general manager at Kirby Productions, said: “Each project we undertake is approached differently. There’s never an off the shelf solution. In building our schema for St Nicholas of Myra we factored into the design process the 270 degree seating arrangement, ceiling height, travel of the sun and other light source issues.
The interlocking video wall displays are designed to maximise visibility at a distance and minimise interference close-up that can be caused by broad bezels – the frame that supports each interlocked screen.
At less than 7 mm, the subtle bezels deliver seamless expressiveness to parishioners close-up or at a distance. The system has helped cut maintenance costs and is capable of scaling up to 10 by 10 configurations that provide a 460-inch video wall, suitable for schools, conference halls and venues for large congregations.
NEC’s screen matrix also permitted the church to remove two roof-mounted projectors, helping overcome ambient light that impeded screen visibility as seasons changed, which impacted morning Mass sessions in particular.
Additionally, with the new video technology, the church could optimise pew seating arrangements by reclaiming space previously required to support two legacy high-maintenance projectors.
Holy Cross College Chapel in Ryde and Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church Caringbah have also invested in NEC’s 46-inch multi-screen “matrix” video technology to support large format video and images, an increasing requirement to engage attendees effectively during Liturgical services.
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