Sony Projectors
Church spreads word of gospel with integrated projection system offering full multimedia capabilities

Church spreads word of gospel with integrated projection system offering full multimedia capabilities

When the Calvary Cathedral of Praise recently relocated to a larger house of worship in the Kensington section of Brooklyn, the church installed a comprehensive presentation system featuring Sony projectors, monitors and color video cameras.

"Because of the size and design of our new facility," said Osbourn Ross, Calvary's chief financial officer, "it made sense to go high-tech, enabling us to offer full multi-media capabilities that bring the congregation even closer together."

The Pentecostal church utilizes two Sony VPL-FX50 SuperSmart projectors, two professional PVM-14N5U production monitors and two DXC-390 high-resolution color video cameras. The integrated projection system enables the church to capture and display everything from video clips, special events announcements and words to songs and hymns on two large screens for the benefit of its 2,500 congregants.

State-of-the-Art Projectors Offer Full Multi-Media Capabilities

The SuperSmart projectors, mounted to the church ceiling, display images on two 11-by-8-foot screens hanging on both sides of the pulpit 30 feet away. Prior to the top-of-the-line projectors, the church made use of transparencies to communicate church information and words to hymns.

Ross, a former electronics salesman, said he specifically chose the Sony VPL-FX50 projectors because of their "excellent" overall picture quality, "extreme brightness" and throw capabilities, adding that they met the church's technological and budget requirements.

Sony's three-panel LCD projector features brightness of 3,500 ANSI lumens, XGA resolution, four-times digital zoom, an RGB enhancer for crisp image reproduction, digital keystone adjustment and a variety of inputs (including DTV, HDTV and DVI-I for digital/analog signals), a PCMCI slot for network connectivity and a 10 Base-T Ethernet connection. Sony recently introduced the VPL-FX51 SuperSmart projector, the company's next generation system, which raises the brightness level to 5,200 ANSI lumens.

Calvary utilizes the projectors to display full multimedia presentations - "virtually anything that can be generated from a computer or a VCR to PowerPoint slides," Ross said.

During services, the projectors display words to songs and hymns (utilizing a popular software program built specifically for religious institutions), video clips from previous services or special events, images of the Reverend and/or other speakers on the pulpit, and members of the congregation worshiping.

The projectors are also used to display 30-second promotional clips of upcoming events - an element that Ross says "grabs the attention of our congregants the most."

Professional Monitors for Video Production

Calvary also features six Sony monitors - two of which are situated on the pulpit enabling Pastors and the choir to view what's being projected on the adjacent screens. The other monitors are strategically placed in the church's lower balcony. A monitor in the church lobby displays the previous week's services.

Calvary also utilizes two PVM-14N5U professional broadcast monitors in an editing suite, where production of video clips and recordings of services are created. The 14-inch (13-inch viewable area, measured diagonally) Trinitron color monitors feature 500 TV lines of resolution for optimum picture performance.

Robotic Color Video Cameras for Capturing The Service

The church uses the three DXC-390 color video cameras to capture video of the pulpit for projection on the screens during service. One of the cameras hangs from the ceiling in front of the pulpit and the other two are mounted on walls on either side of the pulpit to capture the congregation worshiping, Ross said.

Ross remotely controls the video cameras, which offer high resolution, powerful picture contrast controls and pristine color reproduction in a compact case with inconspicuous footprint.

The church records its Sunday service and uses a popular video-editing program to compile the footage onto VHS tapes for distribution to homebound parishioners. The tapes are also available for check out. In addition to traditional church services, the cameras are used to capture special events and gatherings, such as baptisms and weddings, Ross said.

"The cameras are a very important part of our ability to maintain close contact with our congregants," he explained.

A Broader Vision

The installation of the integrated projection system is the church's first step toward branching out into other multi-media services that extend beyond the house of worship, Ross said.

"We have a broader vision within the church that includes the use of technology to create compelling content that we can share with our congregants," he added.

Author Notes:

Shayda Fraser contributes and publishes news editorial to  An online look at projectors, home theatre and accessories; such as digital, video, screens and slides.

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