PASTOR-FRIENDLY VIDEO — Case study: Saddleback Church

By Marty Gregor

PFV ICON-2Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA, hosts more than 20,000 people in weekly attendance. Throughout the week, this globally recognized church offers five services and a number of different events, including concerts, workshops and other studies and seminars.

The church was looking to upgrade its facility as part of its “Decade of Destiny” campaign — a 10-year vision to help members in the areas of physical, financial, relational, emotional, mental, vocational and spiritual health.

BEFORE: Saddleback’s main auditorium is large, open and bright, which washed out the images on the rear-projection screens it used for projecting song lyrics and videos.
BEFORE: Saddleback’s main auditorium is large, open and bright, which washed out the images on the rear-projection screens it used for projecting song lyrics and videos.

The challenge
The main auditorium at Saddleback is very large, very open and very bright. Previously, the church used rear-projection screens to help share the visual elements of its services, including song lyrics, recorded and live video. Unfortunately, the image and video quality was washed out and hard to see within the large, brightly lit auditorium.
Church leaders looked at different types of technology to help better showcase its services by not having the content appear “washed out” on the displays. LED video was on church leaders’ radar, given their brightness they compared to projector technology. In the end, Daktronics was awarded to provide a solution.

The solution
Our solutions included two LED video displays featuring 4-millimeter-pixel layouts — one of the tightest resolution displays in the industry. The pair of displays measures 14 feet high by 24 feet wide to provide all worshipers with a clear view of the message, regardless of the lighting conditions.
LED displays have a much higher brightness level than the projectors the church previously used. As such, image quality stays sharp and stands out, even in the church’s heavily lit auditorium and with brightness shining directly on the display face.
These displays combine advanced contrast levels with 3-in-1 LED pixels for a premium display solution. This is ideal for the viewing distances that exist inside Saddleback’s auditorium.

AFTER: With a much higher brightness level, LED displays ensure images are sharp and stand out — even in the brightly lit auditorium.
AFTER: With a much higher brightness level, LED displays ensure images are sharp and stand out — even in the brightly lit auditorium.

Pastor Dave Arnold, director of strategic initiatives at the church, says he and his team thoroughly evaluated the technologies and displays available to them. “Ultimately, we determined Daktronics could provide us with the best LED solution for our needs,” he explains.

The results
Today, the LED displays have been installed, and Saddleback uses them in numerous ways.
• At the beginning of services, video content plays as the congregation walks to their seats.
• Song lyrics are displayed, along with live video of the band or a music video.
• Specific promotional and highlight videos are created to emphasize the current message.
• The church video crew uses multiple cameras in each service to ensure a full broadcast feel.

Carefully selected for this challenging space, the LED displays ensure great image clarity in every situation in which they’re used.


Marty Gregor is a video products sales expert for Brookings, SD-based Daktronics  www.daktronics.com/worship, a leading digital display manufacturer established in 1968.

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