A good Church AV system offers lots of fresh new ways to engage the congregation. Adding a visual aspect to worship, can enhance the all important Message – song word and bible text projection, video, DVD, and visual presentations are just some of the ways to do this.
An Audio Visual System can comprise anything from a single projector and laptop, projecting straight onto a wall, up to a huge system with multiple screens, projectors, cameras, vision mixing, streaming, recording and much, much more.
The scope of the system will depend on many factors but in particular these may include the size, design, layout, age and ambient light factors of your church and of course your budget limitations and specific church requirements.
Of these the layout and nature of the building itself can be the biggest factor – although you may think a system for a small church will be cheaper than for a larger one this is not necessarily true (see examples below).
Example Church 1:
A modern square church building with:
- 400 seating capacity
- No pillars or other restricted viewing
- Large flat wall behind platform area to mount screen
- Roof beams to mount projector at regular intervals
- Minimal windows causing low ambient light
This may allow for a standard off-the-shelf screen mounted direct to a wall with a single projector mounted from a roof beam and can be achieved fairly easily with standard products and little installation difficulty.
Example Church 2:
A traditional part-Norman Grade 1 listed building with:
- 200 seating capacity
- Multiple pillars or other restricted viewing
- Main arch with no obvious wall area to mount screen
- No roof beams to mount projector
- Many windows causing high ambient light
Although this building has half the seating capacity of example 1 it has many factors in its design that mean in order to achieve 100% viewing for the congregation it will be more costly, perhaps by a factor of 2 or 3.
PROs & CONs
Helps engage congregation
Hymn & Song books not required
Show text, image, video etc
Can be very easy to operate
Improves sung worship – heads up facing forward
Often requires approval (Faculty etc)
Can be visually obtrusive
Best solution may be beyond budget