Video Monitors > LCD Monitors
With the popularity of big plasma and LCD monitors being so evident in the home, there is naturally an interest from churches and their lay-people to see if the technology is right for their church. Typically, the question we're asked is if they're suitable for feeding the main video to the main seating areas of the church. The answer to this question is easily "no" in almost all circumstances. The reason is because the screens, even at their biggest, are simply not large enough to be viewable from all seating angles and especially distances. In order to work, one would need a series of mounted displays all throughout the room, which is both impractical as well as extremely expensive. That being said, there are still many excellent applications for an LCD monitor in a church and it's sanctuary.
For starters, it is important to determine what type of video feed that you are looking to incorporate into your service. If it's simply for words or other "static" images (images which tend to be still and stay on the screen for periods of time), then you will want to employ an LCD instead of a plasma screen. They are better suited for such use. However, if the majority of your presentations will be using DVD clips and other active images, then a plasma screen can be considered - though an LCD is still perfectly fine as well. All screens 37" and smaller will pretty much always be an LCD, as plasma's are not made for those sizes.
Also worth noting is that LCD computer monitors are more than adequate for video feeds throughout the church, though they only accept a VGA or DVI signal. With VGA and DVI cables being so thick, this is sometimes not the best solution; however, with the use of baluns, this can be a great option. Computer monitors are great because they're inexpensive and work quite well when you don't require one larger than 19".
One of the great applications for an LCD monitor is to use them for providing a video feed for those on the platform. In most video systems, the people leading the service from the platform (i.e. pastors, priests, choir members, worship teams, etc...) have no view of the projected presentation. Until recently, some churches would use bulky CRT television sets to provide a monitor, though they were quite large and they took up too much floor space. With an LCD, the options have become quite limitless, as there are even churches that use small 6" to 10" LCD's built into their podiums to follow the presentations.
The most basic form of providing a feed for the platform is to run a VGA cable from the 'Video Output' on a proper install projector (home theatre or consumer units rarely have an output). The VGA cable then runs to the platform, where it would typically split to multiple monitors using a VGA amplifier/splitter, and then run to the monitors wherever they are installed. The only issue with this basic setup is that the projector only outputs the VGA input, and not any other types of video that are also inputted. If all you require is the computer presentations, and nothing else, then this setup is perfectly fine and simple to accommodate.
In the more versatile setup, most video systems tend to incorporate what's known as a Scaler/Switcher, a device that takes a variety of inputs and scales them up to a VGA signal, allowing the feed for all of the inputs to be sent over a single VGA cable to the projector. This solves the issue mentioned above, as the VGA input into the projector now includes all other video signals that are switched between using the Scaler/Switcher. The unit that we recommend also features a second identical VGA output, a feature that makes wiring much less of a hassle. The reason for less hassle is because most churches will already have a defined route from the control location to the platform, while running a cable from the ceiling mounted projector down to the platform tends to be much more work. It also helps to make a central "hub" for the video system, simplifying where the video wires run to and from.
Another excellent use of an LCD monitor is with a video distribution system. Many churches are now incorporating video recording systems for getting their services and specials events into a DVD or MPEG format. Such a system can easily be amended to allow the same recorded signal to be sent through the church to various rooms, such as a nursery for example. Depending on your budget, there are a variety of ways to accomplish this. One could simply feed just the camera image without much fuss or expense, but many appreciate the ability to send the video from their computer presentations as well, especially in overflow situations. This requires a bit more equipment, and depends heavily on what you already have and are doing. For more information on such a system, please feel free to contact us here at Alectro Systems Inc.
The monitors can be mounted in a variety of ways, practically any way that you desire. Different applications will lend different options as the most practical, for example with video distribution you would typically only ever mount it to the wall. With platform monitors it really depends on your sanctuary architecture, and what will be visible without too much fuss. In some churches this might be the front of a balcony, in others the side walls of the chancel, and in some they may choose to have them mounted on wheels so they can be positioned anywhere on the platform for any given setup.
LCD and PLASMA Screens
We have access to a variety of manufacturers and different models here at Alectro Systems Inc., however their market is constantly changing their prices. For this reason we do not list any models on the web store, and simply recommend that you contact us for pricing and information if you would like to include one with your purchase.
B-Tech BT8432 Tilting Large Flat Panel Wall Mount
The B-Tech BT8432 Plasma / LCD Wall mount is designed for screens from 37" to 61" and weights up to 150 lbs. Will work with VESA and Non-VESA compliant Screens and features quick "Hook On" mounting for easy installation. The mount allows a screen to tilt +/- 15 Degrees with easy knob adjustment. Includes a locking bar for secure installation and all mounting hardware.
Da-Lite MPS-MCM Monitor Stand
The Da-Lite MPS-MCM monitor stand will work universally with most flat panel monitors, and the unique rail mounting system ensures an easy installation with the added security of a key operated lock. Heavy duty five inch casters provide a safe and stable transport of flat panel monitors when navigating uneven surfaces. Carpet glides are included for stationary applications.The nominal height of the top of the monitor is adjustable up to 42”. The MPS-MCM will hold up to 130 lbs., will tilt upward between 15 and 50 degrees from vertical, and is standard with a black powder coated finish. An optional skirt is available to aesthetically enhance the look of the stand.