At Calvary Chapel Melbourne in Brevard County, Florida, worshippers aren’t the only ones undergoing a transformation. When the church, with locations in Viera, Melbourne, and Sebastian, decided to completely upgrade their A/V technology system, it knew switching from standard to high definition visuals would be a key component of the renovation. The flagship Melbourne campus, which opened its doors in 1997, would be the launching point.
The church’s lamp-based projector system, in place for over 10 years, was failing and required lots of maintenance in the preceding decade. Sr. Production Manager Dave Allen knew he wanted an HD system to modernize the church and make worship more dynamic, but he also wanted to ensure the new projection system made installation simpler and maintenance cheaper and less frequent.
Calvary decided on Panasonic PT-RZ12K Solid Shine™ laser projectors to displace the previous manufacturer, and also updated its Chapel to laser technology with the PT-RZ570.
The switch to Panasonic Projectors resulted in over $85K in savings and seamlessly edge-blended, color-uniform images in a lightweight design that reliably brings worship services to life.
Pre-renovation, 16' x 9' I-MAG screens flanking the stage ensured the pastor’s message could reach and inspire all the worshippers that fill the 2,800-seat Melbourne church, which additionally broadcasts to the 1,100 seat chapel in Viera and the 1,100 seat high school auditorium in Sebastian. However, the church’s lamp-based projector system, in place for over 10 years, was failing and required lots of maintenance in the preceding decade. Sr. Production Manager Dave Allen knew he wanted an HD system to modernize the church and make worship more dynamic, but he also wanted to ensure the new projection system made installation simpler and maintenance cheaper and less frequent. The church’s Chapel also required updated front-of-the-room projection technology.
After exploring multiple projector manufacturers and undertaking live comparison ‘shoot-outs’ between the top two contenders, Calvary decided on Panasonic PT-RZ12K Solid Shine™ laser projectors to displace the previous manufacturer, and also updated its Chapel to laser technology with the PT-RZ570.
It was during this shoot-out that the PT-RZ12K’s contrast, color, and brightness impressed the decision-making team. Using the Dynamic Contrast feature, the PT-RZ12K achieves a contrast of 20,000:1 while still in power saving mode. Despite achieving true black, the projector is anything but dark. The stunningly bright 12,000 lm, 3-chip DLP PT-RZ12K covers Rec709 and, in contrast with its competitors, achieves a pure white balance. The PT-RZ570 classroom-based projectors deliver 5,400 lm (center) / 5,200 lm. “When your goal is inspiring worshippers’ spirits, vivid and bright image quality like that delivered by the PT-RZ12K and PT-RZ570 is key. In a side-by-side shoot-out, Panasonic’s image quality was simply unmatched,” explained Allen. Importantly, Calvary Chapel is able to maintain the high contrast and uniformity of brightness and color even after many years of use thanks to a built-in brightness and color sensor.
In addition to using a PT-RZ12K on each of their I-MAG screens, Calvary Chapel replaced their brick-and-mortar stage sets with digital scenery by edge-blending two PT-RZ12K projectors on a 60ft wide x 18ft high backdrop screen. With the new digital set, the church can change the wall multiple times during the service, not only saving time and money on purchasing and placing set pieces, but also enabling them to deliver dynamic, stirring visual scenery that brings the sermon to life.
When comparing projectors, Calvary Chapel knew that flexibility, including the ability to edge-blend, would be paramount. While the competitor model would have to be installed in a stacked position to create an image that can span the screen, the PT-RZ12K’s edge-blending feature adjoins edges in a multi-screen system to create a smooth and seamless image. In addition to offering a seamlessly blended image, the PT-RZ12K can correct slight variations in the color reproduction of individual projectors, enlarge images up to 10 times (vertically and horizontally) without the use of any additional devices, features full 360-degree omnidirectional installation, and offers the unique Geometric Adjustment function to make adjustment for irregular screens fast and easy.
In the mission critical application of live worship broadcast, the PT-RZ12K’s redundant laser light source maintains high brightness with minimal fail-safe laser module design. With backup input mode, in case of signal distribution failure, the projector automatically switches over to the back-up input signal within 0.3 seconds, ensuring no black-outs. The reliable Auto Power Management feature also prevents potential downtime due to under voltage.
However, it is the reliability of the Panasonic team that most impressed Calvary Chapel. “I’ve personally had great experiences with reliability: I rarely send any product back and when I do, it’s a great experience. Working with Panasonic has been exceptional, ironically because I haven’t had to call them in for anything since we’ve had the projectors installed. The technology delivers as promised and ensures the focus is on the message delivered during worship, and not technical issues. When I did meet directly with Panasonic during installation, the team was professional and made sure Calvary’s every need was exceeded.”
As laser projectors, the PT-RZ12K and PT-RZ570 projectors were designed to drastically reduce maintenance needs, making them cost-effective options. With a winning combination of a shielded laser drive, high performance eco filters, and patented efficient cooling systems, the projectors deliver 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation.
Noted Allen, “Previously, we were having to replace $600 lamps (two in each projector across seven projectors) about once a year. Plus, the projectors were getting older so were starting to have some maintenance issues that required costly repairs. Overall, we are saving about $85,750 over the life of these projectors compared to their predecessors. This doesn’t event account for the fact that the Panasonic projectors don’t take up as much power. Instant on is a huge benefit from an event management perspective, and from a cost-savings perspective, we don’t worry about losing lamp time every time the projectors get turned on.”