When Timberlake Church in Redmond, WA wanted to redesign its main stage, it asked FocusWorship for help in meeting its AV needs.
A Vista Systems Spyder X20 features prominently in the new install, which has a breakthrough LED wall at its center and numerous other display devices scattered across the campus.
FocusWorship is a rapidly growing, five-year old company in West Richland, WA that provides AV, lighting and LED wall systems design and integration to the worship community. Its just-launched FocusAVLED division offers similar services to the education, medical, corporate and theater sectors.
FocusWorship owner Dave Dartnall’s extensive background in worship ministry helped Timberlake Church “clarify the vision of what it wanted to accomplish on stage,” he said. “They needed something simple, compelling and high impact. A clean stage with an LED wall was the solution, creating and controlling all of the content digitally so they wouldn’t be wearing out a volunteer crew resetting the stage every week. And it was clear that Spyder needed to be the brain behind all the video distribution.”
Dartnall was convinced that an LED wall was the right solution for delivering the church’s message to a congregation that includes some very AV savvy people. “Timberlake Church is in the middle of Microsoft country, and some of the most advanced professionals in the world attend,” he said. “The church needed to speak the language of its congregation, and it was willing to make a significant financial investment to connect with them. The result has been pretty powerful and amazing: on the Sunday the new stage debuted, the media professionals in the congregation lined up to take a look at the control room.”
FocusWorship installed a proprietary 24x14-foot LED wall with 6mm dot pitch on the stage of the sanctuary auditorium. It forms the back wall for those on stage: speakers, pastors, and the band led by Julian Garcia.
“The LED wall’s picture quality looks like HDTV—only ten times better,” Dartnall said. “It’s crystal clear and stays bright even with all the stage lights required to record services, unlike projection screens that tend to wash out.” And unlike split screens that can divert a congregation’s attention from the leader or speaker, the single big LED wall supports the activity on stage without having congregants disengage from the worship service underway.
The LED wall is active from the moment people arrive in the auditorium displaying a countdown clock, points of information and scripture verses, then song lyrics, graphics, personal testimonies, and preproduced video content during the service. “It’s a very media-rich environment,” said Dartnall. Two angled projection screens, a bit higher than the top of the LED wall and driven by a pair of 6K lumen projectors, flank the center wall and display IMAG of the service.
“So far the Timberlake LED wall is the only one we know of in a church in the Pacific Northwest,” said Dartnall. “It’s exciting to be part of what we see as a rapidly growing trend.”
FocusWorship’s LED wall is “a very affordable solution for this market at just one-quarter the cost of most current LEDs available,” he said. It eliminates the need for expensive projector bulb replacement, offers low electrical consumption, and can last ten years in constant use. “The cost savings for an installation over time can be huge.”
Spyder delivers the video content to the LED wall and to an array of flat-panel TVs/digital signage displays located in the church lobby, nursery, an overflow room and other areas. “Spyder takes the video signal and spreads it to its different destinations,” Dartnall explained. “It can take a lot of other devices to do what Spyder does all by itself. It’s completely in a league of its own. Spyder is able to support the media-rich environment everyone is craving.”
Content sources in the dedicated control room include computers, DVDs, media players and live cameras. “We really need all of Spyder’s inputs,” said Rob Schulgren, lead installer at FocusWorship, “and Spyder’s amazing video processing capabilities. Timberlake Church also takes advantage of Spyder features such as PIP.” A High Resolution Systems UDC Spyder Touch serves as the touchscreen interface, he adds.
“The church has a technical director who’s built a volunteer team to man the LED wall," said Dartnall. “Just like Timberlake Church, Spyder values simplicity. So the technical director is able to preprogram all media before the service, and the volunteers just push the buttons on the UDC Spyder Touch to trigger content. I understand that the chance to use this sophisticated equipment has boosted the church’s volunteer base.”
One of FocusWorship’s technical engineers, Marshall Hopkins, was also a key member of the Timberlake Church install team.