Memorial Presbyterian Church in Appleton, WI has reopened its doors to the public. New to the sanctuary is a vibrant video system for presentations and a discrete live streaming system for connecting with members at home. Arrow AV Group worked with Pastor Mike and the church to take the new video systems from idea to reality.
With content to be shared ranging from worship lyrics to illustrative videos, it was essential for the display to look great and be viewable from every seat in the sanctuary. Traditionally, a projector would have been used to achieve an image everyone could see. However, high ceilings and a rear wall covered in glass added mounting difficulties. Without removing or changing lighting in the space, the ambient light would have washed out the image.
Previously cost prohibitive for many churches, advances in manufacturing have lead to reduced costs for direct view LED. By opting for a direct view LED wall, mounting can be simplified while providing an image virtually unaffected by ambient light.
Notice the shadow beneath the DVLED screen? The overhead lights were not moved and the image still looks full and vibrant. These lights would have had to be turned off or moved for a projection screen but a costly lift rental was avoided by going with DVLED.
With scaling capabilities baked in at the headend unit, the church is able to connect to the DVLED display and operate using a standard desktop computer.
To stay engaged with the attendees and not constantly be looking down at his notes, Pastor Mike requested a confidence monitor to be able to show the presenter view of a slide deck.
With a glass rear wall, a 65″ confidence monitor was installed on an articulating mount near the rear corner. To get a separate signal to the display, the church provided a desktop computer with a graphics card capable of extending up to four monitors.
With this approach, the system operates in a way that users are already familiar with. By dragging and dropping various windows across the displays, there can be different content on the congregation view (the DVLED) and the presenter view (65″ display).
Churches everywhere were forced into live streaming for the first time in their history during the pandemic. Many discovered a successful outreach program using just a smart phone. They also discovered how dumb a smart phone can be.
It is challenging to properly hear the speaker without being able to integrate the existing sound system. The wireless internet connection also proved to be less than reliable with regular signal drop outs over WiFi. With members attending in person again, the phone tripod took up space in the middle of the walkway.
The new integrated live streaming system brought several improvement to MPC’s online service experience:
Three full HD cameras were mounted on the sanctuary walls to add a variety of camera angles. This helps retain peoples attention online. About the size of an ostrich egg, the cameras are discrete and don’t take up any floor space. With full rotation and zoom, the cameras allow coverage of the entire sanctuary from the pulpit to the pews.
Fully remote controlled, a single volunteer can operate all three cameras from a centralized operating desk with an all-in-one production briefcase. The briefcase has a built-in joystick controller, camera position preset buttons, preview/live mixing, a flip up multi view monitor, and single button streaming and recording. This intuitive and simple workflow was essential with volunteer operators switching out week to week.
By programming an audio mix in the existing sound system specifically for the live stream, every word and musical note can clearly be heard and understood. Two additional ambient microphones were mounted on the wall to capture congregational singing to help at home attendees feel closer to their fellow members.
Overall, the staff and members of Memorial Presbyterian Church are very satisfied with how the system turned out. “Congregation members have been impressed at aesthetics of the system and it’s capabilities,” says Pastor Mike. “The team from Arrow were thorough and responsive. They went the extra mile to deliver our project on budget and ahead of schedule.”
With how easy it is to learn, new volunteers can easily be added to the team with a rotating serving schedule. “The system is easy to learn and I am pleased that we have a team of volunteers who are able to use it each week,” continues Pastor Mike.
For service times and other information regarding Memorial Presbyterian Church, visit their website.
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