Located in the north western suburbs of Sydney, the Kellyville Anglican Church is a focal point for many people in the Kellyville and surrounding areas. In fact, since 1890 when a local Church of England School was used as a church, Anglicans have been meeting to worship and socialise. In more recent times, though, a new complex incorporating a 300-seat auditorium, modern kitchen and even a children's play room has been Kellyville's Anglican home.
• Display projected images in high ambient lighting environment
• Reduce dependence on printed hymn books and prayer sheets
• Provide the big screen experience for social events
• Remove the requirement for constant projector maintenance
• Epson EMP-6100 ceiling-mounted multimedia projector
• Ability to run presentations without dimming lights or blocking external light
• Easy use of in-built modes to adjust colour and brightness for different lighting conditions
• Virtually nil maintenance requirements
Cutting through the light
For several years, the Kellyville Anglican Church congregation has become well accustomed to the use of ceiling mounted projectors in services and social gatherings. But with the recently built complex designed to let in high levels of natural light, a powerful projector that could quite literally cut through bright light conditions was called for.
Finding that projector was left up to congregation member Bret Cavanagh, the church's de facto 'techie'. According to Cavanagh, the real challenge was to find a projector that had the versatility that would allow it be used for a wide range of events and an equally - if not more so - wide range of lighting conditions. "Ultimately," he says, "it came down to a one horse race - the Epson EMP-6100."
Following installation of the EMP-6100, the projector's ability to operate in high ambient light conditions became quickly apparent. Cavanagh explains: "At the end of the church we have a wall we use for a projection screen; and it's a wall that has floor to ceiling windows on each side.
"Even on bright days, though, regardless of the amount of light that comes streaming in through those windows, the projector delivers an image that can be seen from anywhere in the hall. For the services, this means there's absolutely no need to fiddle around with light levels or have curtains installed," Cavanagh continues. "We can just use the projector as and when we want - which is precisely what you expect with modern technology."
An interesting use of the EMP-6100 in the church is its replacement of hard copy books and sheets for hymns and prayers. "We've found it much more appealing for the congregation to have the words for the prayers and hymns projected on to the wall behind the minister," Cavanagh explains.
"Even for some of the congregation members who might have sight difficulties, there's absolutely no problem at all in reading the projected words. In fact, some of them actually find it easier to read from the projection than from hard copy."
Keeping it safe
During constuction of the new complex, the church naturally placed an emphasis on security - an emphasis that carried through in the selection of the EMP-6100. Along with a set of security programs embedded in the projector's firmware, a built-in security bar ensures the unit can be padlocked to the ceiling mount.
"A projector is an attractive piece of equipment for a would-be thief. With the security bar and padlock, it's a fairly sure thing that they'd probably need to take a good piece of ceiling with them if they wanted the projector that badly - even if they could reach it," Cavanagh quips.
In his role of de facto IT support manager, Cavanagh finds himself called on for all manner of technical support tasks, one of which is projector maintenance. With the introduction of the EMP-6100, though, it's one of the less frequent tasks required of him. "I've found that the projector is incredibly reliable," he says. "And given that in cases of projector maintenance I have to perch on top of a seven-metre ladder, I'm pretty pleased about that."
Making it all the easier for Cavanagh to deal with projector maintenance while perched atop a six-metre ladder is the EMP-6100's simple access to filters. Rather than having to use both hands to struggle with a difficult to access filter, Cavanagh just opens the filter drawer located on the projector's facing, pulls out the filter and passes it down to a colleague to clean.
"To be frank," Cavanagh says, "even though I've been through a dry run of removing and cleaning the filter, I haven't had any real need to do so. It just keeps on going with virtually no attention required."
Adding further to the EMP-6100's ease of maintenance is a range of advanced features that includes a large-surfaced electro static filter and even a wind velocity sensor that automatically detects and warns in advance of dust buildup in the filter. Even higher on Cavanagh's EMP-6100 favourite features list is the projector's sealed mechanism, which totally eliminates any chance of dust finding its way into the lens or LCD panels.
Temperature also plays a part in the maintenance requirements of projectors; and one of the challenges faced by Cavanagh was ensuring the new projector could cope with fairly extreme temperature ranges. He explains: "During winter in particular, the air conditioner can have the temperature near the projector well into the 40s; and most projectors on the market simply aren't rated for that. This was actually one of the problems with our previous projector - it just couldn't deal with such high temperatures."
Rated to perform at temperatures up to 40 degrees, the EMP-6100 has meant the number of times Cavanagh has had to climb his ladder to perform maintenance has dropped to almost nil. "It's a projector," he says, "that just keeps on performing - it's as straightforward as that," he states.
The flexible projector
As is the case with a large number of churches, Kellyville Anglican Church represents much more than a place of weekly worship. It is a focal point for a wide range of outreach and social activities, ranging from pie and football nights through to movie nights for the young - and young-at-heart - members of the church's community; and in most cases, it's the EMP-6100 that plays a key role in the entertainment.
"Everyone loves the big screen experience," Cavanagh says. "And for those occasions when we show movies or the football, everyone gets a real kick out of what we're able to present using the projector. On the movie nights, it's like being in a cinema - but without having to clean up the popcorn ."
A distinct advantage of the EMP-6100 for the church is its 1.6x zoom lens, which is a key feature in its ability to deliver the big screen experience. Capable of delivering a projected image of two metres across from a distance of only two metres away, the projector lends definite atmosphere to almost any event.
"On the pie and footie nights, well, it's a great and fun experience for everyone," Cavanagh continues. "Instead of being huddled around a television set squinting to catch all the detail of the game, it's a case of people having a great social evening and having the game displayed in larger than life detail!
"In a number of situations, we can have up to 350 people in the church; and having the large screen means that regardless of where anyone is seated, they all have a near perfect view of the projection."
A feature of the projector that has added significantly to its all-purpose use within the church is its ability to be easily and quickly configured for brightness and contrast in a range of environments. This ability, which is the result of six separate in-built colour modes, allows the projector's operator to switch modes ranging from Dynamic Colour Mode for times when it's used in bright lighting conditions, down to the 350 lumens Theatre Mode, which delivers optimum colour spectrum - a major advantage for the movie nights and, of course, the pie and footie nights.