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church av installation








With many Churches occupying older, listed buildings we can offer a sensitive ear and help come up with solutions which will respect the aesthetic of your building.

Church projector installation can sometimes be as simple as using a long lens to project from the back of the church, but usually it will require a bit more thought. Whilst we can't do magic, we are able to design custom mounting equipment, and use long or short lenses to help conceal equipment to make sure you only see the things you want to see, and not the equipment and cables behind the scenes.
We are happy to visit you on site and spend time brainstorming to explore the possibilities for your church. Each element of the system can be considered in relation to the building - projector screen and its mounting requirements, the projector itself, including long distance or rear projection, the cabling for video and power, and then things like the interface with your audio system and designing it to be controlled by non-technical users.

Read some of our installation examples featured below and book a survey with PracticalAV.
Preservation of the view to the main stained glass window was key to the church’s requirement when we were designing this system. By utilising the latest “Smart Glass” technology, the projection screen can be switched between clear and translucent – leaving a clear view of the window when the projector is not in use.

The system uses a 6700Lumen WXGA projector with standard lens, and is projecting to the rear of the smart glass which is a 2.7m wide 16:10 format panel.  By using a “rear-pro” projection system, the throw distance to the screen could be kept to within the range of a standard projector lens – thus keeping the cost down. The projection screen is hung from main roof joists above the nave/transept using long thin steel wires, and is positioned between nave and chancel at 3m above floor level – this provides a comfortable viewing angle, but is well clear of pedestrian traffic below. Additional 50” TV type screens were installed to the North and South aisles to provide visibility to the whole church.

Cabling was kept to a minimum by using a modern HD video distribution system which utilises thin “CAT6” network cable (by using black cable and carefully chosen routes, the video cables are all out of sight or fully concealed in existing duct routes).  Installation impact was kept to a minimum - only 8 holes drilled into brick (TV’s) and 3 small holes drilled into wood (2 cable routes, and 1 electrical pyro cable to roof), with no damage to any stonework – this minimalist installation methodology is part of our approach and is aimed at respecting building heritage and making the work approval as smoothly as possible.
Smart Glass - St. Peter’s Church, Burton On Trent, Staffordshire.
SONY 75" 4K TV
A long running project in a listed church building, requiring about 18 months to achieve DAC/Faculty.   After a successful installation of a new audio system in 2017, the church embarked on the next stage of funding and gaining approval for the installation of a 75" screen in the choir, and a secondary 46” screen in the side aisle.  

A central projection screen had been ruled-out due to obscuring the stained-glass windows, so the requirement was to have a side screen large enough to be clearly visible from the rear, but on a folding wall arm which would allow the screen to be tucked-away in a vertical orientation against the wall.   Photographs show the engineering works (prior to painting and boxwork) which went into fixing the screen in place.

A heavy-duty wall arm was resin-fixed into the stonework , with precise positioning to fit within the limitations of the structural and decorative aspects.  Minimal cabling for power and networked video signal were  run from the opposite side of the choir, and concealed both under floor and in 15mm copper piping which is unnoticeable.

The audio and video systems were integrated together, and the existing hearing loop connected too.
Sony 75" 4K TV on a Chief articulated wall arm, with rotating bracket for storage in portrait orientation
A novel solution with two Ultra-Short-Throw projectors mounted on custom wall chassis’ to avoid the need for large projector, long lenses and long cable runs.

The various architectural features of the church, plus the organ and heating system meant an exacting challenge on the positioning and installation front. The projectors are 3000Lumen XGA UST models, mounted approx 50cm in front of the 1.8m fixed-frame screens.  Cabling was concealed by routing through the storeroom and office behind the screens, and then routed under floor to the rear sound desk.

Laptop connections from front and rear were provided, switchable from the sound desk.  A large, new hearing loop system was also implemented to take advantage of our engineers working under the floors on the other cabling.
St. Mary’s Church, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
The school chapel was fitted with a big projection screen hung behind the front arch, beneath a vaulted dome, with the requirement that the screen retract as high as possible when not in use.

A large 4.5m 16:9 Sapphire Smartmove screen was installed into the rear of the arch stonework – positioned as high as possible.

The screen features a dual winch system which lowers the screen cassette into position, and then deploys the screen material separately (see video).  This was a complex installation over 4 days working around a fixed altar, with 6m working height on two scaffold towers.

A 7000Lumen WXGA projector with long lens was installed to the rear wall of the chapel.

New audio system, CAT6 HD signal distribution and AMX control panel were installed to a compact wall cabinet at the rear.
Instituto Espanol, Portobello Road, London
The centrally positioned electric projector screen was concealed behind the organist’s curtain, to be invisible when not in use, and similarly, the projector is concealed in a secure, matt black cabinet on the rear balcony. The aim being to minimise visible impact of the new technology.

Front and rear connections were provided for laptops and audio, with all cables concealed under the balcony floors – modern cable techniques using CAT6 cables meant minimal amounts of cables, and very clear image quality.

Existing mixing desk, amplifier and loop system was tested and then integrated with the new kit.  A simple 6 button control panel was integrated into the system to allow older, non-technical users to switch the system on and off, and to choose between front and rear laptop inputs.

Initial handover familiarisation training was provided to key users, and a secondary follow-on visit after 6 weeks was included to ensure full system understanding.
Church Projector
To preserve the aesthetic of the church generally, the AV equipment was installed to be invisible when not in use. The 3m rear-projection screen was custom made with a long “header” to allow the viewing area to drop into an exact position above the rood screen and below the arch, whilst keeping the screen cassette hidden to the rear of the arch.

The projector was concealed behind the screen high-up above the choir amongst the roof trusses and housed in a matt black box and virtually invisible. Black coloured cabling was minimal and concealed within existing timber channels and out of sight.

The main challenge for this work was the initial survey and design to find the correct screen and projector, plus the installation at 12m working height.
St. Mary The Virgin, Lydney, Gloucestershire
Audio system replacement.  The church had an ancient radio microphone and hearing loop system perched on a shelf in the vestry, with old power and CD player cabling very much in need of replacement.

Budget and building restrictions meant a light touch. The original loop cable was tested and left in place to avoid major disturbance, similarly, the original speaker wires were repaired and extended. The new speakers were chosen to be a similar size/colour to the purlin/corbel woodwork and fixed so as to be almost unnoticeable – just visible on the photo at the bottom of the forwardmost purlins.

A new floor standing AV cabinet was hidden on the rear balcony to hold the amplifier, mixer and radio receivers, and old cables simply extended to reach. New radio microphones with both handheld and cheek-mic capability were supplied to replace the old crackly lapel mic’s. The old shelf system was decommissioned and walls/cables tidied and made good.
St. Nicholas Church, Biddestone, Wiltshire
The installation featured twin projectors and projection screens - fitted to project diagonally across the church using long throw lenses. The install also included remote TV screens in the crèche, youth hall and reception area. Multiple input feeds from control desk PC, pulpit laptop and two video camera stations can be switched independently to each screen or room - allowing each room to pick up the service, but also enabling the crèche to run an independent program if needed.

Custom mounting brackets were installed to hold the screens onto a narrow balcony ledge.  Audio and video signals were routed via thin CAT5 network cable to reduce the visual impact of the cabling. The work was completed alongside other renovation works to minimise disruption, and required about 4 days on-site to complete.
Widcombe Baptist Church, Bath
A relatively simple installation with the screen concealed behind a cross timber joist so as to be out of sight when not in use. The use of a good screen, and sufficiently bright projector to give a strong image, even in bright light is illustrated in the picture.
Holy Trinity Church, Lydney, Gloucestershire
Practical Audio Visual were engaged to install a top-end projection and audio system for the refurbishment of the Fratry building at Carlisle Cathedral.

In order to make sure it was discreet we opted for a 'Smart Move' double drop screen which hangs in the rafters until required. We had a black 10,000 Lumen Barco Projector also mounted up high as discreetly as possible.

For events the team requested a substantial audio system with wireless microphones. All this can be controlled with a simple 8 button control panel mounted at the front of the building. An easy to use plug and play system.
Practical Audio Visual installed a 3.2m x 1.8 piece of switchable ‘Smart Glass’ for St Thomas' Church, Stockton Heath. A 6500-lumen high-definition projector was then fitted behind the glass creating a discreet rear projection solution.

For the isle a 60” commercial LED screen on a articulated arm was installed to ensure the whole congregation had a line of sight to the displayed content.

We also installed a online streaming solution which included a pan, tilt and zoom HD camera and a ‘streaming capture box’. The capture box combines the video and audio for streaming to YouTube or similar over an RTMP feed.
You can see some examples of St Thomas' Church using the system on their YouTube channel.
Call us now on 01283 520107 to discuss your project, email, or request a call back.

We offer a complete range of projectors, projector screens and interactive whiteboards, and supply all leading brands of flat panel displays. We also design and install audio systems from basic classroom speakers to large venue PA. and the integration of audio and camera solutions for Skype.
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