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Not Built for Video

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Dan Daley

How one integrator adapted a Michigan church for better sightlines.

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The general contractor removed the wall sections as well as the existing screen, mirror, organ loudspeakers, and the subwoofers for the PA system that were in the assembly. After clearing the space, a horizontal floor was installed 7.5ft. above the stage floor and set back behind the plane of the stage. Originally, it was to be used to rest the rear-projection mirror on, but issues concerning how leveled the floor could be made as well as vibrations from the stage changed the plan. Instead, a flexible Draper custom mount would support the mirror. That, in turn, acts as a shadow box for the system to limit ambient light behind the screen.

Encased in its transport padding, the mirror is 12'×36”×6.5' (L×W×H). The 36in. width is the same as the main door to the church. To get it inside, the door jams were shaved down. Once inside, it was jacked up on two material lifts and eased into place, and then secured to the mount. A Sanyo PLC-XP46 projector fitted with a LNS-W07 short-throw lens was then mounted on a Chief Manufacturing RPAU projector mount.

VandeHoef says that it took a full day and a half to precisely aim the projector and mirror; this was due in part to the discovery that the general contracting crew had replaced a structural beam in the space that was to be occupied by the mirror.

“Even with a very high degree of coordination with the construction crew, which we had, there was still the potential for crossed signals,” Zandstra says.

The nature of the church's layout still dictated that video displays be placed in areas where line of sight to the main screen was still not improved or not possible. Under the balcony, six Panasonic TH-42PH9UK 42in. plasmas on Peerless Industries PLCM-UN1 plasma mounts were installed; two Panasonic TH-50PH9UK 50in. plasma displays on Peerless ST650P plasma mounts were placed in the sidefill areas in the church. The new plasma screens had Belden low-skew Cat-5 cable pulled to their locations. (Belden also supplied the RGB cabling and audio/control cabling.)

Houses of worship are happy when savings can be found in budgets, and Parkway was able to help in that regard: Two of the church's existing Sony 42in. plasma screens were mounted on custom carts built by Parkway and are now used as confidence monitors for the stage.

The switching system was completely redone. An Analog Way Centrix CTX8022 seamless switcher with an RK8022-T T-bar controller was installed for main video switching, with two Analog Way Easy Cut ESC341 switchers installed for input selection and switching for the overflow projector and confidence monitors. An Altinex Multitasker 1×18 VGA D/A converter distributes the signal. All these elements were loaded into a Middle Atlantic BRK16 rack.

The existing Crestron AV2 control processor's software was updated to enable it to run the projector and the video switching equipment, as well as a Crestron Cage2 expansion unit. RS-232 remote control was added along with Cables To Go Minicom 38517 Cat-5 RS-232 extenders to beef up the signal for the longest home runs.

“Remote control for the old system had been infrared,” VandeHoef says. “Now they have positive power status on every screen in the system.”

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