ExperienceChurch.tv Delivers Powerful Messages with Broadcast Pix Slate 2100
Nov 1, 2007 8:00 AM
Since the beginning of its ministry more than a decade ago, ExperienceChurch.tv has dedicated itself to making church services exciting and meaningful. In keeping with that goal the church recently installed a Broadcast Pix Slate 2100 switcher as part of a large-scale media facilities upgrade led by Seattle-based systems integration company Advanced Broadcast Solutions.
The Broadcast Pix Slate 2100 system integrates a production switcher, production control panel, Inscriber CG, clip store, and multi-view monitoring, among other functions, in a single workstation-based system. ExperienceChurch.tv uses the Slate 2100 to videotape all of its services and provide image magnification to the large screen in the church’s auditorium. The church then streams the recordings of its services onto the Internet through its website, www.ExperienceChurch.tv.
ExperienceChurch.tv’s pastor, Dennis Cummins, firmly believes the addition of the Slate 2100 enhances church members’ experiences, pointing out that the church displays picture-in-picture images for the praise, worship, and musical portions of the service with separate graphics for the words.
“The nature of religious outreach these days has certainly changed since we first started,” Cummins says. “We strive to send our messages in a way that will inspire our congregation to become engaged and truly experience them. The Slate 2100 switcher lets us create and use intense graphics and 3-D animations easily and incorporate them into our weekend experiences.”
According to Cummins, the Slate 2100 provides a more reliable media platform for the church’s weekly services that also cuts production time and reduces equipment costs. The church previously used a PC-based system that would often crash in the middle of services. He says that the Slate 2100’s redundancy feature was “hugely important” to the church. The Slate 2100 offers a control panel connected to an intelligent breakout box or “iBoB” with both a network cable and a redundant serial cable. The serial control takes over and enables the operator to continue switching cameras on the rare occasion if the computer or network should ever go down.
The Slate 2100 also comes standard with dual redundant power supplies for both the control panel and iBoB that automatically failover, as well as a backup SoftPanel that can take over all panel operations if the physical control panel is taken offline.
ExperienceChurch.tv’s media department regularly produces video vignettes called a “video illustrated point” or VIP.
Previously, up to 12 hours were spent shooting the VIP on location, logging the analog tapes, and editing down the final piece. When the old system would cause the VIP to crash or stutter during live services, the congregation would not get to see the VIP. That meant a large part of communicating that Sunday’s message, in addition to the hours of work, would be lost. “The solid-state environment of the Slate 2100 means presenting the VIPs is now done with great confidence knowing that our work won’t be lost, and the point will be communicated,” Pastor Cummins says.
The process of streaming all of the church’s weekly services and VIPs onto its Website proved cumbersome before installing the Slate 2100. Exporting media content to the Web is now simplified and accelerated since all material remains digital. The video is now directly imported into Final Cut Pro for editing without losing any quality in the conversion process.
The ability to employ multi-view monitoring was another deciding factor in selecting the Slate 2100, vastly reducing equipment costs. A unique, popular feature on all Slate models is integrated monitoring that enables multiple, full-motion video images to be displayed on a single screen. The Slate 2100 includes that technology at no additional cost and provides much better feedback to the switcher operator, including tally, clip time countdown, clip and graphic names and thumbnails, and the contents of every source and keyer. The monitors can be shown on either a touchscreen, widescreen, or very large wall-mounted widescreen.
“Multi-view monitoring on a single LCD screen or plasma was originally going to cost us thousands,” Pastor Cummins says. “With the Slate product, it’s been a dream to be able to use one piece of equipment to fill that need.”
Since the Broadcast Pix Slate 2100 can be operated with a production switcher-style control panel or by using a keyboard and mouse interface, ExperienceChurch.tv opts to have a single operator run the unit during weekly services. For Pastor Cummins, features such as PixButtons that show the exact content on every source and key proved extremely helpful for ExperienceChurch.tv’s productions. The ease of use that the clearly marked labeling offers allowed the technical director to become confident and proficient with the unit fairly quickly. He added that Broadcast Pix training sessions were an enormous help.
For more information, visit www.broadcastpix.com.
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