Foothills Church of Christ is now at the tail-end of a project to upgrade the projector and provide a whole new infrastructure for all its audiovisual needs. If you’re interested in video setups for churches you may find this of interest – particularly if you currently use or are considering EasyWorship as your presentation software.
This post will comprise an overview of the features, some design notes and a final point-to-point diagram of the video setup. In my next post I describe the important components in more detail, including some issues and how we’ve mitigated them.
Adrian Ward created this design in 2010 according to the requirements specified by Jeffrey Kemp, Joshua Pitman and Neil Ward.
- Ceiling-mounted widescreen projector with remote control
- Ceiling-mounted motorised retractable screen
- Vocal monitors (to show song words to backing singers)
- Free-standing pulpit with builtin monitor (for worship leader)
- Video send from PC on sound desk (“sound desk PC”)
- Video send from visiting speaker’s laptop, hidden in pulpit
During a typical worship service, all kinds of media are projected on the screen, under the control of the sound desk PC, including:
- song lyrics
- scripture portions
- welcome and announcement slides
- video files
- other media
EasyWorship 2009 is used to provide a library of song lyrics, plan and schedule all items for the service, and present all the above media types. This software provides a second “vocal foldback” view which adds a clock, a “next slide” indicator, and a video “time remaining” counter, which in this setup is sent to one or more vocal monitors as well as the pulpit monitor.
The sound desk PC has a single 22” LCD monitor, with a VGA 4-way switch which allows the operator to easily switch between the PC primary display, and the two secondary outgoing video feeds. The EasyWorship software does have preview modes for the secondary feeds, but this does not show videos being played, so the switch makes it possible to see exactly what is being sent out to FOH. The sound desk PC only has two VGA outputs, but the second output is a double-wide widescreen display which is split into two feeds by a Matrox DualHead2Go.
The pulpit has a builtin 16” WS LCD monitor, and a VGA 4-way switch which allows the leader to switch between the projector feed, the vocal monitor feed, and a local feed (e.g. from a visiting speaker’s laptop). The visitor’s laptop is hidden inside the pulpit (pictured here is a small Eee PC), and in addition to a powerboard for power, has the following connectors available for it:
- VGA out (gets sent to the pulpit monitor input #3 as well as the projector’s input #2)
- USB cable to the USB DI box (for audio, gets sent to the sound desk)
- USB dongles for a wireless keyboard and trackpad (not pictured)
This setup means that the leader can see the song lyrics that are being projected behind him, and switch to see what his laptop is sending. He can see what his laptop is sending, even if it is not actually being displayed on the screen behind him. The sound desk PC operator can access the projector’s web control interface to switch the input between EasyWorship and the pulpit.
The complete point-to-point installation is illustrated here. This does not include the audio connections. Some components are not installed (potential for future expansion) – shown in grey.
So far the setup has worked really well, and the feedback has been very positive. We’ve had a few minor glitches, but it’s looking like a keeper.
In my next post I describe the important components (including the projector, screen, PC and VGA extenders) in more detail, including some issues and how we’ve mitigated them.