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Clear Connection

“Recognized as one of the grandest mosques in greater Toronto, the Jaffari Community Centre (JCC) is an Islamic, 161,000-square-foot multi-faceted facility that hosts cultural, religious, educational, athletic, recreational, and communal activities. The JCC features a spacious main prayer hall with large windows and abundant natural light. Legacy projector systems previously served the expansive space, but over time their reliability and performance had declined, and lamp replacement had become an issue. “We looked at replacing those systems with newer laser technology projectors but considering the use of the space and having to combat sunlight and fluorescent lighting, we decided to explore other options,” said Syed Mahdi Rizvi, JCC audio visual team lead. Previously, as a strategy to manage the amount of light in the prayer hall, the mosque had some of the lights rewired and placed on a separate circuit so they could turn off specific lighting fixtures to help improve visibility of the projector screen images.

The JCC audio visual team retained Ontario- based Branch Audiovisual which in turn partnered with Planar on a solution that involved two nearly 16-foot-wide, 9-foot-high Planar MGP Complete 217-inch LED video walls with a 2.5mm pixel pitch (MGP2.5). The video walls are mounted 11.5 feet above the ground on either side of the main pulpit area in the prayer hall. “As a non-profit, the client had to be mindful in terms of their spending. That’s where Planar MPG Complete came in,” said Jorge Rodriguez, director of project management at Branch Audiovisual. “The solution met their budgetary needs and at the same time, gave them the biggest bang for their buck.”

“We achieved the brightness and the clarity we needed,” says Rizvi. “As soon as you walk into the prayer hall from any side door—or if you’re standing in the very back—you can easily see text and content.” Within the prayer hall, mounted PTZ cameras are used to relay a live feed of the Iman on the Planar MGP Complete LED video walls when he is speaking, allowing the crowd to see his face clearly.

“There are many parts of the sermon that cater to the emotional wellbeing of the audience and the facial cues of the speaker are key in this regard,” Rizvi said. “Being able to see a person’s expressions as they describe a scenario or tell a story is important for building that connection.” The mosque regularly uses the LED video walls with prayer ceremonies to display text for people to follow along. They also occasionally show videos from other religious centers or display live streams from around the world. And whenever they can, they will show a sign language interpreter on a lower corner of the screens for the hearing impaired. “Everything—even if it’s very text heavy—shows up nice and clear,” Rizvi said. “Before, we would hear things like, ‘The screens are not bright enough’ or, ‘It’s too blurry,’ and now we don’t hear any of those concerns.”’

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