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Adding the V to AV for Worship, Part 1

Jul 1, 2010 10:06 AM, By Bennett Liles

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Editor’s note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

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Adding the V to AV for Worship, Part 2
With an existing audio system, the Calvary Lutheran Church decided to expand the video coverage of its services with a PTZ camera, DVD recording, rear-screen projection, and flatscreen monitors. ...

The Calvary Lutheran Church in Wilmar, Minn., decided to make the move from an all-audio system to include video displays, cameras, and DVD recording and playback, and they called Graybow Communications. John Gracyalny and Michael Benedetti from Graybow are here to tell us how it all went.

Jon and Michael, thanks for being here for the SVC podcast with Graybow communications. Now, exactly where is Graybow Communications and what does that company do? I know you’ve been on the podcast once before, but in case somebody missed that one.
Gracyalny: Yeah, thanks for having us Bennett. Graybow Communications group is located in Minneapolis, Minn., and we’ve been around since 1996. And we’re really just a small group of seasoned, committed professionals that act like AV contractors. In our team we have everything from front-ending account managers, front-facing account managers, to people that help coordinate things, and we’ve got a system designer that you’ll hear from here—Michael Benedetti—and project managers. And our job really is to just help customers, provide products and services that help them communicate their messages more affectively. And we do that through out the commercial space. We do it on many different verticals. We’ve been very focused on corporate and enterprise, but as we’ll be talking about today, we’ve done tremendous installations in the church and houses of worship market place as well. [Timestamp: 2:02]

Right, you do a lot of churches, which is great. It’s a very strong part of the AV business. You had one in the Calvary Lutheran Church. Now where is that church located?
Gracyalny: Yeah, Calvary Lutheran Church is located in Wilmar, Minn., and Wilmar, Minn., is about a couple of hours away from Minneapolis. But we had a tremendous opportunity here, and they were looking for some key things that we’ve been able to offer churches such as image magnification and better acoustics and things like that, but I’ll let Michael Benedetti, our project manager and designer on the job, tell you a little bit more about some of those specifics. [Timestamp: 2:41]

OK, Michael, when we’re talking about Calvary Lutheran, what style of worship do they have there? What kind of things do they have going on?
Benedetti: Well, the Lutheran church, they’re fairly traditional. They have a band, which most houses of worship have these days. It’s an attraction more for the younger set than the older congregation, but they have a band and they focus on a variety of different ministries there, catering to everything from music, adult, elementary, education and their services are more or less traditional Lutheran. [Timestamp: 3:18]

Obviously, they had something in mind here they wanted to change. What was the AV situation that they had there to start with and what kind of changes did they want you to come in and make?
Benedetti: For the most part, they did not have the “V” part of “A” going on in their church whatsoever. They had an audio system, which suited their needs and we really didn’t do too much to the audio system rather than integrate what we needed to into it. They had no video. They weren’t using any video support or IMAG or anything of that sort. They didn’t even have portable projection that they brought in. And it was a direction that they wanted to go, and they saw this going on in neighboring houses of worship and basically didn’t have any success with it. It keeps it interesting in being able to offer the congregation a little bit more than what’s happening live and to support the message that they’re trying to get out there through video presentation as well. So not having any of the facility or equipment to do that that was their main area focus and the main reason why we got involved in this project was to give them the ability to do that. [Timestamp: 4:36]

Ok, so you guys were going to supply the “V” part, the pictures.
Benedetti: Yes.
And this involved installing several different displays around the church. What kind of displays did you put in and where were they located? What were they going to be used for?
Well, obviously they wanted to go with a wide-screen format, so we basically chose at the front of the sanctuary—to the left and right of the chancel area—we hung two screens in there with rear projection and we focused 5000 ANSI lumens onto those—rear projecting onto them—and those served as the main focal point, the main screens for the sanctuary. In addition to that, there was an area underneath the balcony, which is where the choir and the organ loft is and such, that was far away from the screens, and it had a low ceiling and they referred to it, more or less, as their over-flow area, and so when they did get a large crowd in there and then people had to sit that far back, they wanted them to be involved in what was going on particularly since the new video stuff that they were adding. So we suggested that they add a couple of additional screens under the balcony area there. So what we installed there were two 42in. screens, which pretty much mirror what’s going on on the left and right of the main screens. If you think of moving all the way back and taking that whole concept to a much smaller scale under the balcony, you have the two 42in. screens under there, which allows those people under the balcony to really see what’s going on with their video presentation stuff without having to look way far ahead to the main screens, and so it’s more of an intimate thing there. [Timestamp: 6:40]

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