4. Provide proper locations for projectors
The people on stage or around the altar are a smaller group, but they are at least as important to the success of the program or service as the audience. If you are using projectors, they must be able to deliver images behind the people on stage without blinding them. Nothing is more distracting to a performer, presenter or worship leader than a sudden flash of overwhelmingly bright light.5. Adapt the system to the planned content
Ironclad commitments are too much to expect during the programming phase, but it’s both legitimate and necessary to solicit ideas and general guidelines about how the space and the image-display technology will be used. Talk with your clients to distinguish high-focus informational content that needs both high resolution and high contrast from background or supportive images that can be less crisp and detailed. Will any or all surfaces be used for motion video? In general, motion video backgrounds need to be slow and subtle. There may be times when the presentation centers on film-style content, however. If so, that would certainly influence your design decisions.6. Consider staff capabilities and training
Here’s another topic for the programming phase. Staff positions for visual content creators may be on the increase, but for most churches most of the time, this will still be a volunteer contribution. You need to identify who those staffers and volunteers are, what strengths, weaknesses and experience they bring to the task of image creation, and how much use they can make of available technology. Stretching those capabilities can provide long-term benefits to both the individuals and the congregation. But you still have to make sure that the tools in place are accessible by the people in place at the start—a system doesn’t have a “useful life” unless people can actually use it.7. Look for a meeting point between architecture and image
I can’t recall ever seeing a 16:9 structural wall, and I bet you haven’t either. How will you adapt common image formats to the physical space, and how much can you do to adapt the space to the needs of image display? Now that we have 4k projectors and processors delivering 4,000 pixels horizontal resolution, maximum image size has increased. That kind of leading-edge technology may fall outside the scope of your project budget: if so, you will need to plan carefully in order to deliver the proper image content.
These are only broad-brush, general themes to consider when planning and designing a large-scale video project. Some of them may not be relevant—there’s little you can do to change the dimensions of a space when the project scope is confined to updating the AVL systems. Hopefully, these seven points will provide the proper starting points for your own investigations, so that devilish minor details won’t be overlooked until they become major problems.