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Technology Showcase: LCDs for Houses of Worship

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

LCD flatpanels have varied responsibilities in worship facilities.

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LG Electronics 32LC50

LG Electronics 32LC50

But like any displays in public areas, LCD flatpanels installed in houses of worship differ from conventional TVs in that they are usually professionally installed, and although they're capable of 24/7 operation, they often have the ability to be scheduled to turn on or off at preset times. Their controls are commonly blocked from unauthorized hands, and their settings can be shared from one screen to another, often with a USB device or on a network, to provide a uniformity of image reproduction. And, as the times dictate, green features such as the ability to dim backlights or the implementation of LEDs as illumination sources are starting to top the wish lists of worshipful facility managers.

So while recognizing that almost any LCD display can find a home in some area of a house of worship, here is a look at the most interesting displays that major manufacturers would recommend for this most revered of venues.

Sometimes the message being shown to a house of worship needs to jump right out of the screen. Akira Digital Signage's ALM series of LCD displays stretches up to an 82in. size and can come with autostereoscopic (no glasses) 3D display. Offering 12 views through a parallax barrier, the ALM display's 3D imagery could be seen from a wide area although they also serve well as 2D screens. Models in the ALM series can additionally come with Radio Frequency Remote Controller (RFRC) control so the monitor can be used from any location, as well as Auto Cooling System (ACS), whose automated heat sensors and fans operate only when needed for quieter operation while maintaining optimal temperature. Akira has also given its ALM series what it calls the No Dismantle for Service (NDS) module system that allows for quick servicing without dismantling the unit.

Just last July, at the DigitalLife press preview in New York, AOC launched its new L42H861, a full 1080p LCD display offering multiple picture modes, V-chip for access control, and a viewing angle of more than 176 degrees — all from a 42in. screen enveloped with a glossy finish. The display comes with a swivel stand to be placed in a church lobby, but to get it off the floor of a sanctuary, the L42H861 is wall-mount-compatible with side HDMI inputs for convenience. It also features a 6000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and a 3D comb filter. For smaller meeting rooms, AOC recommends its 2230Fm display, a combination HD monitor, HDTV, digital picture frame, and multimedia player all rolled into a light 22in. frame. The 2230Fm display comes with a built-in media player, allowing the kids in devotional classes to view recorded missives of inspiration without the use of an external DVD player or PC.

If all your house of worship needs is a confidence display or production screen, CoolTouch Monitors would submit its RX-1701A 17in. rackmount monitor for your consideration. Set at a cost-effective price, the 4:3-aspect-ratio RX-1701A includes one composite video, one VGA (RGBHV), and one S-Video input, and it offers excellent picture quality even under high-ambient-light conditions with 300 nits of brightness and a 700:1 contrast ratio. It also has integrated audio playout as a standard feature, optimizing the RX-1701A for basic confidence monitoring while minimizing any added costs to the unit.

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