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Technology Showcase: LCDs for Houses of Worship

LCD flatpanels have varied responsibilities in worship facilities. 1/01/2009 7:00 AM Eastern

Technology Showcase: LCDs for Houses of Worship

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

LCD flatpanels have varied responsibilities in worship facilities.




CoolTouch Monitors RX-1701A

CoolTouch Monitors RX-1701A

In the 11th Century, the German monk Theophilus wrote “A Little Scroll of Diverse Arts” containing instructions for the production of stained-glass windows in hopes of encouraging his fellow architectural craftsmen to “show forth to the beholders a vision of paradise, bright as springtide with flowers of every hue.” Ever since, houses of worship have been adorned with glowing images that seem to come from on high.

Although the techniques of making stained glass have changed little during the ensuing years, today's churches, mosques, and synagogues will often present their congregations with images that have been digitally generated as much as those with heavenly illumination. While the competing technologies empowering digital displays bear witness to various advantages, it seems that LCD flatpanels are increasingly the choice for houses of worship because of their flexibility, long life, and lower cost of operation.

That can even extend to the largest imaging requirements where multiple LCD panels configured in a video-wall are competing with once-dominant video projectors to provide spectacle to the congregation. This has the significant advantage of being able to disassemble the videowall after, for example, the Christmas pageant season has passed and the membership wants to use those individual screens in other meeting areas.

In fact, modern houses of worship have found so many uses for digital displays that it is becoming difficult to identify HOW as a niche market anymore. Their needs range from typical digital-signage applications to entertaining the tots in child-care rooms to spreading the pastor's word in overflow rooms and even as confidence monitors behind the altars or reading tablets in the pews for the visually impaired. In addition, anyone surfing TV stations on a Sunday morning will be well aware that many religious organizations have invested in full TV-production capabilities. That inevitably involves the best of broadcast-quality monitors — which, since the implementation of Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directives in 2006, is a role being filled by the most critical quality of LCD displays.

As their prices drop, the popularity of LCD flat-panels is spreading into all areas of display requirements at work, play, or prayer. DisplayBlog — a display market news, analysis, research, and consulting firm — reports that overall U.S. sales of LCD screens has risen from 8,737,394 in 2005 to 22,556,437 in 2008, although current economic trends indicate this may slow in 2009. The domestic sales curve seems to bulge in the 30in.-to-39in. range, which represents 7,662,542 units sold stateside in 2008, while the 40in-to-44in. range alone accounted for 4,469,221 screens. DisplayBlog's research also reveals that almost 600 LCD screens 70in. and larger were sold last year, which indicates the extent these giants are encroaching on arenas previously reserved for plasma or projection presentations.


Technology Showcase: LCDs for Houses of Worship

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

LCD flatpanels have varied responsibilities in worship facilities.




LG Electronics 32LC50

LG Electronics 32LC50

But like any displays in public areas, LCD flatpanels installed in houses of worship differ from conventional TVs in that they are usually professionally installed, and although they're capable of 24/7 operation, they often have the ability to be scheduled to turn on or off at preset times. Their controls are commonly blocked from unauthorized hands, and their settings can be shared from one screen to another, often with a USB device or on a network, to provide a uniformity of image reproduction. And, as the times dictate, green features such as the ability to dim backlights or the implementation of LEDs as illumination sources are starting to top the wish lists of worshipful facility managers.

So while recognizing that almost any LCD display can find a home in some area of a house of worship, here is a look at the most interesting displays that major manufacturers would recommend for this most revered of venues.

Sometimes the message being shown to a house of worship needs to jump right out of the screen. Akira Digital Signage's ALM series of LCD displays stretches up to an 82in. size and can come with autostereoscopic (no glasses) 3D display. Offering 12 views through a parallax barrier, the ALM display's 3D imagery could be seen from a wide area although they also serve well as 2D screens. Models in the ALM series can additionally come with Radio Frequency Remote Controller (RFRC) control so the monitor can be used from any location, as well as Auto Cooling System (ACS), whose automated heat sensors and fans operate only when needed for quieter operation while maintaining optimal temperature. Akira has also given its ALM series what it calls the No Dismantle for Service (NDS) module system that allows for quick servicing without dismantling the unit.

Just last July, at the DigitalLife press preview in New York, AOC launched its new L42H861, a full 1080p LCD display offering multiple picture modes, V-chip for access control, and a viewing angle of more than 176 degrees — all from a 42in. screen enveloped with a glossy finish. The display comes with a swivel stand to be placed in a church lobby, but to get it off the floor of a sanctuary, the L42H861 is wall-mount-compatible with side HDMI inputs for convenience. It also features a 6000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and a 3D comb filter. For smaller meeting rooms, AOC recommends its 2230Fm display, a combination HD monitor, HDTV, digital picture frame, and multimedia player all rolled into a light 22in. frame. The 2230Fm display comes with a built-in media player, allowing the kids in devotional classes to view recorded missives of inspiration without the use of an external DVD player or PC.

If all your house of worship needs is a confidence display or production screen, CoolTouch Monitors would submit its RX-1701A 17in. rackmount monitor for your consideration. Set at a cost-effective price, the 4:3-aspect-ratio RX-1701A includes one composite video, one VGA (RGBHV), and one S-Video input, and it offers excellent picture quality even under high-ambient-light conditions with 300 nits of brightness and a 700:1 contrast ratio. It also has integrated audio playout as a standard feature, optimizing the RX-1701A for basic confidence monitoring while minimizing any added costs to the unit.


Technology Showcase: LCDs for Houses of Worship

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

LCD flatpanels have varied responsibilities in worship facilities.




Sanyo CE52SR1

Sanyo CE52SR1

A useful monitor for conveying interactive information to the faithful is the ER 17, the latest addition to CyberTouch's line of touchscreen LCD monitors. As a 17in. integrated, resistive touch-surface LCD monitor, the ER 17 has a widescreen aspect ratio that allows the display of more information while reducing the number of screens and increasing interactive efficiency. The touchscreen's communication to the CPU is via RS-0232, USB, or Pioneer DVD-V8000.

If the house of worship has installed production videocameras or has moved into its own broadcasting, it is going to need engineering-critical screens such as JVC's DT-V24L3DU 24in. broadcast studio monitor. As part of the company's professional Vérité line, the DT-V24L3DU is a true native pixel-to-pixel 1080p image display with additional screen area for status indications, waveform, and audio monitoring. Its 1920×1200 LCD panel provides uncompromised resolution, high contrast ratio with deep blacks and rich color, along with new low-latency circuits (<1 frame) and HD-SDI/SDI auto-sensing inputs with SMPTE timecode display. Since sound is as important as image, the DT-V24L3DU also has embedded audio with up to 12-channel audio-level display. JVC's DT-V24L3DU even accepts 1080/24PsF signals to support the most sophisticated HD video production techniques.

The 32in. 32LG30DC from LG Electronics has a handy feature called “USB cloning” that lets an integrator apply specific settings to multiple screens by transporting them on a USB memory stick. It also boasts LG's new Invisible Speaker system — tuned by renowned audio expert Mark Levinson — that incorporates the loudspeakers into the bezel surrounding the screen, thereby hiding unsightly loudspeaker grilles. This feature also allows a house of worship to easily wall-mount or place these TVs into smaller armoires because the integrated audio system requires less room than typical side-mounted loudspeakers. Electricity consumption on the 32LG30DC can be regulated through its various Dynamic Power Saving modes to set optimal picture settings for different environments. LG would also recommend its 32LC50, which comes with MPEG-2/MPEG-4 H.264 decoding, a 12,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and autosensing Remote Jack Pack (RJP), and can present customizable closed captions.

NEC Display Solutions has announced its largest LCD yet, the 82in. NEC MultiSync LCD8205. Describing it as “expansive,” NEC's LCD8205 was unveiled at September 2008's Digital Signage Expo East. This giant can be installed in either portrait or landscape orientation and even tiled together using its TileMatrix feature for a videowall up to four displays high and four displays wide to create a massive video canvas with a 328in. diagonal viewable area. NEC's new display also performs with 600cd/m2 high brightness for easy viewing in bright rooms, a significant 5000:1 contrast, and full high-definition 1080p resolution (1920×1080) for optimum clarity. For facilities on a more modest budget, NEC also offers its 32in. MultiSync LCD3215 and 42in. LCD4215 displays, each with 1366×768 resolution, 500cd/m2 brightness, and 800:1 contrast ratio.


Technology Showcase: LCDs for Houses of Worship

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

LCD flatpanels have varied responsibilities in worship facilities.




Planar Systems M70L

Planar Systems M70L

Although Planar Systems' displays are usually too upscale for most houses of worship, the company would be glad to offer its m70L, its first full-featured commercial-grade, 70in. high-definition LCD monitor. The Planar m70L includes high-end professional features such as built-in power management and automation, a 178-degree viewing angle, and broad video-source compatibility. The m70L — which has full HD 1080p resolution, extra-large screen size, and high brightness (600 nits) — comes with built-in tiling (Planar's Big Picture) and mullion compensation for applications requiring videowall configurations.

If you want to give the community area of your house of worship some truly unique interactive capabilities, Samsung offers its 820TSn, an 82in. infrared touchscreen LCD panel the company introduced at June's InfoComm and is ready to go right out of the box. It's fully equipped with a 3mm protective LCD glass panel so the touchscreen display will deliver information for years to come, and scheduling and controlling content are simplified with a built-in PC and Samsung's proprietary MagicInfo Pro software.

Four types of anti-image retention can be set to be activated automatically throughout the day on the 820TSn, contributing to longer panel life and greater reliability. If you want a videowall configuration, the Samsung 460Un-M 46in. LCD display is compatible with the Samsung MID46 Interlocking Display (ID) kit, which lets a congregation assemble even multisided videowalls themselves and then control all the panels over a single PC.

Not all worship sessions are under a roof, so if you want to extend the experience to the great outdoors, Sanyo has introduced its second-generation waterproof LCD monitor, the CE52SR1, which integrates Sanyo's revolutionary sun-readable LCD panel with marine-grade construction. The CE52SR1 offers full HD resolution (1920×1080 pixels) and a 1500:1 contrast ratio. The CE52SR1's sun-readable feature makes it ideal for viewing in broad sunlight with 1500cd/m2 onscreen brightness. The CE52SR1 is also highly resistant to typical weather conditions due to its impressive IP-66 (Ingress Protection) rating. Its frame and cabinet are constructed from a marine-grade anodized aluminum and were designed with a “no holes” ventilation system so its LCD monitor stays cool while being protected from dust and other weather conditions.

The PN-S525U 52in. LCD monitor from Sharp is designed for the most sophisticated display applications in both landscape and portrait modes with virtually no concern for image retention. This 2-megapixel high-definition display uses Sharp's Advanced Super View (AVS)/Black TFT panel for unparalleled image quality with a contrast ratio of 1800:1 and a pixel response time of 6 milliseconds. Sharp also recommends its larger brother, the 65in. PN-S655P. To show multiple types of content sources in HD, both monitors use Dual Fine Engine (DFE) technology, which improves the display of both digital and analog sources.


Technology Showcase: LCDs for Houses of Worship

Jan 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Jay Ankeney

LCD flatpanels have varied responsibilities in worship facilities.




Sony's GXDL52H1 is a 52in. ruggedized LCD display designed for installation in public areas, thanks to its IP-30-rated dust- and tamper-resistant aluminum chassis. The GXDL52H1 boasts a field-replaceable protected glass front panel, networking and tuner options, and a full high-definition 1920×1080 panel. It can be used as part of a multidisplay videowall, and it incorporates Sony's burn-in-reducing LCD technology. In addition, Sony recommends its FWD-S47H1, a 47in. LCD display with a thin 19mm bezel, RS-232C port, serial and LAN control, 1000:1 contrast ratio, and high 700cd/m2 brightness rating. The FWD-S47H1 also has internal processors for videowall applications.

Featuring a 46in. color TFT active matrix, the CD4620 wide LCD display (22.5"×40.1") from ViewSonic offers 176-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles and a 1500:1 contrast ratio. With a lifespan of 60,000 hours on its light source, the CD4620 is designed for extended service in a sanctuary. It can come with On Screen Display (OSD) turn-off, information OSD, off timer, OSD H-position, and OSD V-position and monitor information. It also has a power-saving feature. ViewSonic also suggests its 42in. CD4220 commercial display, which features a slim bezel design that's ideal for public information. The high brightness and contrast ratio and wide viewing angles of the CD4220 clearly communicates any message regardless of ambient light. The CD4220 can also be used to create a 5×5 display videowall for heightened impact.

Westinghouse Digital claims the tenets of its new 1080p monitor line are versatility, dependability, and functionality. These are the foundation of the company's new 47in. VM-47F140S and 42in. D42FMP1 LCD displays, which any church, temple, or synagogue would love to look at. Both are designed to be green products because they are Energy Star-certified, RoHS-compliant, and made with recyclable materials. To create content for those displays, Westinghouse would recommend its M470SWP multisource AV digital-signage system with an intuitive icon-based user interface designed for dynamic content creation and management. The M470SWP comes with its own media player with a hard drive for media storage.

MORE INFORMATION

Akira Digital Signage
www.akiradisplay.com

AOC
www.aoc.com

CoolTouch Monitor
swww.cooltouchmonitors.com

CyberTouch
www.cybertouch.com

JVC
pro.jvc.com

LG Electronics
www.lgcommercial.com

NEC Display Solutions
www.necdisplay.com

Planar Systems
www.planar.com

Samsung
www.samsung.com

Sanyo
us.sanyo.com

Sharp
www.sharpusa.com

Sony
www.sony.com/professional

ViewSonic
www.viewsonic.com

Westinghouse
www.westinghousedigital.com


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