Australian churches turn to NEC
AUSTRALIA: NEC Australia’s LCD matrix video wall technology is boosting the audiovisual experiences at some of Sydney’s largest Catholic churches. The Penrith parish of the Parramatta Catholic Diocese has become an advocate of the latest audiovisual technologies in its quest to improve parishioners’ experience of its services and to provide a contemporary spiritual environment. Three churches, including St Nicholas of Myra Church, have upgraded their visual systems with Kirby Productions and NEC to support ever growing congregations.
Father Chris de Suza of St Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church, alongside his development committee,faced with the dilemma of dealing with the old A/V system. ‘We had restricted vision from our existing screens and the projectors didn’t have the capacity to adjust to differences in external light. Plus, very frustratingly, the sound was largely unintelligible,’ he explained. ‘The cost and growing frequency of maintenance could also no longer be sustained.’ The video upgrade was part of a wider A/V overhaul, to provide parishioners a richer and more engaging high-definition visual experience of the Mass.
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 Castle Hill pro A/V specialists – Kirby Productions, which deployed a three by three configuration of NEC’s modular X461 UNV 46-inch multi-screen matrix video technology.
Local parishioners have responded enthusiastically to the Church’s new A/V system. ‘Because everyone in the church is enjoying being able to easily follow Mass, there’s increased participation and improved attention throughout services,’ noted Father de Suza.
‘Each project we undertake is approached differently. There’s never an off-the-shelf solution,’ added Blake Kirby, general manager at Kirby Productions. ‘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. The system has reportedly helped to cut maintenance costs and permitted the church to remove two roof-mounted projectors, helping overcome ambient light that impeded screen visibility. Additionally, with the new video technology, the church could optimise pew seating arrangements by reclaiming space previously required to support two legacy 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.