Customer: Forrest Chapel United Methodist Church
Location: Hartselle, Ala.
Vertical Market: House of Worship
Partner: Amber Video & Audio Services, Inc.
Product: Optoma TX7156 and TX615
What Closed the Deal: Mountability, affordability and ease of use combined with rich feature set
“Optoma makes good quality products. I’ve never had one single projector have any problems and some of them have been used six or eight years without stopping.”—Rex Free, president and principle installer at Amber Video & Audio Services, Inc.
“This projector gives people who have trouble reading the words in the hymnal or Bible a much larger version of what’s in the books themselves.”— Lori Nelson, church member and AV volunteer at Forrest Chapel United Methodist Church
Hed: Optoma Helps Forest Chapel Methodist Church Make Worship Heavenly
Dec: TX7156 and TX615 Bring Best of Multimedia Projection to House of Worship Applications
Although one of the oldest churches in its area, Forrest Chapel United Methodist Church isn’t afraid of integrating technology into its worship services. With the help of a local installer, the church, though, has upgraded to the latest projector technology to help worshipers follow along with the service even more easily.
“The PowerPoint projection follows our bulletin. We put up the words of the songs, scriptures and announcements to help people follow along,” said Lori Nelson, a church member who helps with audio visual tasks during Sunday worship. “It gives people who have trouble reading the words in the hymnal or Bible a much larger version of what’s in the books themselves.”
Learning New Ways to Worship
Founded in the early 1820s, Forrest Chapel Methodist began as a one-room building and has maintained its old-world feel ever since, with a sanctuary that seats about 150 people. Today, it has a small but faithful gathering of worshippers each weekend, who appreciate the help that a projected image gives them during worship.
Although it had been using a table top projector for over seven years, the church decided that it wanted a new projector that could be mounted to the ceiling. “We had a projector facing the front of the church sitting on a stand at the end of the piano,” said Nelson. “Getting around to the side wall of the church was difficult. We got tired of crawling over the projector stand.”
In consultation with a local installer, the parish decided to invest in a multimedia setup that included two projectors, a Blu-Ray DVD player, HDMI cables and an SVGA switch that could hook up to a notebook and switch between outputs. “The church has the option of showing movies or doing presentations easily,” said Rex Free, president and principle installer , an installer based in Moulton, AL. “It’s useful for weddings, funerals and other special services.”
The dual-projector setup allows images to be shown on both the front and the back walls of the church so that both the congregation and the worship leaders and choir can readily see the text.
Choosing the Right Projector
Free chose Optoma projectors for durability, flexibility and value. “Optoma makes good quality products,” he said. “I’ve never had one single projector have any problems and some of them have been used six or eight years without stopping. Optoma projectors are versatile and have a lot of features.”
He chose the Optoma TX7156, which delivers a bright, 3000 ANSI lumen image and 2500:1 contrast ratio and comes with a presentation remote, and the Optoma TX615, bright at 3500 ANSI lumens and high 3000:1 contrast ratio. “I wanted something that could be hung from the ceiling easily and Optoma has made it simple,” said Free. “In addition, Optoma offered an extra bulb for the same price, which we really appreciated.”
A switch allows the projection volunteer to readily control the projectors. “Most of us aren’t experienced with technology,” said Nelson. “Rex set up the system so we can turn the projector to black screen with a simple switch, so I can make changes without the whole congregation seeing it.”
Enhancing Sunday Services
Now, the mounted projector puts bright and easily seen images on both the front and back walls of the church—allowing worshipers to focus on the service rather than trying to find the right passages in worship books and bulletins. Meanwhile, the church has moved the older projector into its parish meeting hall to continue its usefulness for presentations at meetings and other gatherings.