Flexing video at the Washington Seventh-day Adventist Camp Meeting
USA: With more than 18 million members, the Seventh-day Adventist church is one of the fastest-growing Christian denominations in the world. As a ministry, the church seeks to enable its community through education and outreach activities which includes annual Camp Meeting conferences. Working with the Washington Seventh-day Adventist conference in Auburn, Washington in the USA’s northwest, technical director Bryan Shaner was looking to implement LED video technology into a revamped production design at the Auburn Adventist Academy.
‘I’ve been working with the Washington Seventh-day Adventists Camp Meeting since about 1998 and we currently have about 110 churches in our organisation,’ shares Mr Shaner. ‘Every year, each state holds their own conference where all the churches, schools and organisations within that state congregate in one location, and in Washington we hold our Camp Meeting at the Auburn Adventist Academy. During the two-week conference, we have multiple events in various locations held throughout the day and we then use the gym for a general assembly area.’ It was in that assembly area where Mr Shaner deployed Flexlite 6.9mm LED video displays from Nashville, TN-based Pixelflex. High-resolution Flexlite LED displays are capable of a 15-degree curve in any direction. The company also lauds the brightness of its display panels, their high-refresh rate, their pre-calibration to ‘help decrease failure and ensure perfect colour and brightness’, plus a preview test mode for verification of signal and power connections
‘A couple of years back we first started talking about the possibility of using LED video but at that time the pixel pitch wasn’t what we needed, so we purchased 10K projectors with a rear-screen mirror,’ continues Mr Shaner. ‘Over the next few years, we were never really happy with image quality and we were spending a lot of money on replacement lenses and filters. This year, we revisited the possibility of LED video and after looking at a couple of manufacturers we loved the ease-of-setup of the Pixelflex technology and the fact that the content wouldn’t get washed out when we layer in our stage lighting. Plus we would no longer have to worry about bulbs, mirrors or filters.’
As the decision was made to implement Flexlite into the production design, Mr Shaner began the load-in at the Auburn Adventist Academy without the assistance of a typical crew. ‘Since we were no longer bound by projection technology, this year we decided to create two Flexlite LED video screens with each measuring about 6m wide,’ adds Mr Shaner. ‘Once the product was onsite it was surprising how quickly I was able to assemble the walls with the assistance of one of our pastors who just happened to be walking by. I also love how using the Flexlite technology gives us the ability to create any size or number of screens that we want, and the support from Pixelflex is outstanding. When you’ve previously lived life with a projector you are constantly thinking about screen size and throw distance, but when you move into LED video that all goes away and you have so many options to now create dynamic visual content.’
Throughout the course of the the 2016 Washington Seventh Day Adventists Camp Meeting, Mr Shaner recalls watching as attendees and event organisers all marvelled at the performance LED displays. ’Going into this design our biggest concern was the image quality and brightness because of our experience with the projectors,’ Mr Shaner remembers. ‘But on the contrary, when I turned the stage lighting on full, it didn’t affect the image quality or brightness of the Flexlite LED videowall at all. Everyone was extremely pleased because no matter if you were in the front of the house or the back, the image quality was crisp, clean and consistent. When you consider the ease of set-up and the maintenance costs of LED video vs projection, there really is no comparison, and our Pixelflex LED video wall looked phenomenal.