The Buzz: Install of the Month:
Cross Pointe Church
Jan 1, 2006 12:00 PM, By Trevor Boyer
Cross Pointe, the Church at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., traces its physical origins to a high-school gym. That was about two and a half years ago. Now that the church is situated on a campus that was donated to the church, space — some 365,000 square feet of it across several buildings — is not quite the issue it was. In its new home, the church produces its Sunday worship service as a weekly program for Trinity Broadcast Network, and live video within the worship center is an integral part of weekly services.
The worship center features three 6500-lumen Christie projectors that beam images related to the service onto 14ft. screens. To support the worship services, the volunteers and employees of the communications department at Cross Pointe employ IMAG of the band and the pastor, Dr. James Merritt, and display lyrics to songs and other pre-produced video content. In order to schedule this content and embellish it with lower-thirds and other graphics, the team at Cross Pointe uses Inscriber's Inca Studio character generator and graphics system.
“We may create lower-thirds with motion behind it to still show the band and everything,” says Tim Chapman, minister of communications at Cross Pointe. “We've got thousands of Jump Backs [royalty-free graphics] from Digital Juice that we'll use and do full-motion backgrounds — and throw the lyrics on top of it.”
Video plays a major role not only in the main worship center, but also outside it — in the form of digital signage. In the “info corner” of the lobby, near a kiosk of computers intended for web surfing, is yet another 14ft. screen fed by a fourth Christie projector. Informing attendees about meetings and other Cross Pointe activities, this screen also is driven by Inscriber software — in this case it's InfoCaster digital signage management software.
“We can build a video montage in minutes, combining video clips, stills, and titles,” says Chapman. “Then we can schedule playback at any time. Since we don't always have to use our video editing software to put everything together, we save a significant amount of time.” Chapman says the signage also displays promotional videos and campus maps. The church plans to expand its use of digital signage across the campus.
Before the church was equipped to display full-motion video during services, the communications department at Cross Pointe strictly used Microsoft PowerPoint to convey visual messages. Although this was an advance over the previous practice of hanging large printed posters, there were obvious limitations to the PowerPoint approach.
Now Cross Pointe is able to show videos like a recent one that features personal testimonies of Cross Pointe members. Another advantage is that the communications team can display text-based messages over live IMAG — an important capability in a flat room that seats up to 1,500 people. “In that room, it's really important that we keep the pastor's face on the screen as much as we can,” says Chapman.
During live services, the communications department employs four Ikegami videocameras — two mobile for covering the band and the crowd, and two stationary cameras on tripods. Volunteers use a Ross video switcher to feed the three projectors. Systems integration for the video equipment was handled by the church's own Communications Department staff.
The sanctuary features Meyer Sound loudspeakers. For live audio mixing, the communications team uses a Yamaha PM5D digital mixer.
A church volunteer discovered Inscriber Inca Studio and InfoCaster at a trade show, and a demo at Cross Pointe followed. With a largely volunteer team, it was crucial for Cross Pointe that the successor to PowerPoint be easy to learn. Still, Chapman says, Inca Studio is powerful enough to let the team create anything they can imagine. “Inca Studio is broadcast-quality graphics just like you'd see on Fox and CNN with multiple layers, tickers you can run across the bottom, lower-thirds, and all the transparencies,” he says.
Before each Sunday service, Chapman's team gets a rundown of what's scheduled to happen, and there's a rehearsal before the service. However, Chapman says, if there's a change on the fly, his team can respond within a matter of seconds. “The Inscriber user interface is very easy to use and extremely powerful.”
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