When purchasing a projection system for a church this question inevitably comes up, “Can we install this ourselves?” The answer -Yes you can! We did! Our church worked with Fowler Productions who designed and ultimately sold us a full 16:9 projection system along with a choir/confidence plasma.
The screen that was designed for our sanctuary is a 12ft wide electric screen in the widescreen format and we went with a 6000 lumen widescreen projector. Fowler agreed that with the staff and volunteers we had in place our church would be fully capable of a sell install. They provided us with complete drawings and all the information needed to get the equipment in the right place. We hired an electrician to run power to the screen location as well as the projector and plasma locations. We arranged a couple of Saturday “workdays” at the church. Several of us had absolutely no installation experience but we were there and ready to help. We did have a professional carpenter on the volunteer team. Other than that, the rest of our “crew” were only experienced with a “honey do” list … handymen around the house.
The first thing we did was install the screen. We set up scaffolding in order to get to the height we needed to be safe. Once the screen was in place, we pulled cable through conduit that came out above the ceiling tile. We then had to pull it along the ceiling tiles and position it above where the projector would be located. That seemed to be the part that took the longest, since we had to move the scaffolding a few times to get from the back of the room to the proper mounting distance from the screen. Once we had the cable pulled to the projector and plasma locations we installed the mounting hardware. The projector mount was a little tough because we had to drill through a steel beam; we went through a couple drill bits but we ‘got er’ done. We then mounted the projector and connected all of the cables. After that we hit the power button to make sure it fired up (Just a suggestion, but it might be a good idea to test the equipment before you’re on the scaffolding.), but everything worked great. We then connected a computer to the VGA cable to make sure we had an image and lined up the projector with the screen. At that time we adjusted the screen drop; The screen has an adjustment that allows you to drop it to the correct point each time so we took care of that while the scaffolding was in place. All that was left then was hooking up the equipment at our control booth. Since only a few were needed in the control room, then rest of the crew were in charge of clean up duty in the sanctuary, which took the remainder of the day.
With the control room equipment install, the Design Drawing and Handbook that Fowler provided was fantastic. We’d used it for the pulling of the computer and control cable, but for hooking the rest of the equipment it came in big time. The connections were all laid out telling us exactly what went where. If you can hook up a computer or dvd player at the house you’ll be fine. I did have a question though during the installation that day, so I tried Fowler’s emergency 24/7 support number and someone actually answered the phone! The technician walked me through a setting adjustment and we were up and running. Later that afternoon, I called the technical support line with another question and again they took care of me. We got our system up and running and it looked great.
The following weekend we used it for the first time in our service and it’s amazing the response we’ve had regarding the use of media. I am responsible not only for putting the slides together for announcements, as well as the songs, but for running it. I use Easy Worship and let me tell you EASY should be in BOLD! So many people in our congregation have made it a point to tell me how adding the backgrounds and images to the songs have really enhanced worship and the videos that we’ve used for sermon illustrations have really impacted them. Our Pastor is getting the same response and is thrilled with what this investment has done for our church and ministry. Big thank you to Fowler for the design of our system and the support they’ve provided for us to help minister through multimedia.
Thank you again,
First Church of God
Mon, September 28, 2009
by Josh Tate filed under