New York City's Calvary Baptist Church went from traditional to hightech with a complete audio/video system designed to bring worship services closer to everyone in the congregation. Thanks to digital cameras and bigscreen displays, as well as a variety of switching equipment, everything from the preacher to the choir can be seen and heard from different angles throughout the church. The building itself can also be used for other events and presentations.
Created by PanAVid, a local audio/video installation professional, the system uses dramatic video walls to surround the congregation on three sides. "The church wanted a cuttingedge system that would add video to an elaborate sound system," said Dennis Mitchell, client relations manager for PanAVid. "We designed something that could add a whole new dimension to their services."
Led by PanAVid's vice president of operations, Rob Loehr, with the help of a team of experts from Kramer Electronics, the system was designed for maximum efficiency and easeofuse. Four 55inch LED monitors in a 2 x 2 pattern form each video wall.
The walls display video from three HD pan, tilt, zoom cameras placed around the church, a remote camera, computerbased graphics from a desk top and laptop, and a DVD player. PanAVid created breakout rooms in the choir loft, a green room, an overflow area and the front lobby that would also show selected content on high resolution monitors. In addition, monitors display content in the nursery, Sunday School and Fellowship offices and at the organists' area.
The system is run by volunteers from the church who quickly caught on to the technology. "The church has never had technology like this before, and Kramer helped us to make it seamless for them," Mitchell said.
The video content is managed by a variety of Kramer Electronics switching and scaling products. "The Kramer switchers do a great job of managing all of the connectivity for this system," Mitchell said.
According to Michael Toombs, executive administrator at the church, "Calvary Baptist Church is delighted with both the equipment and the excellent service received in this renovation. The quality of our worship has been greatly enhanced."
The primary switching unit is the Kramer VP747 ProScale InCTRL dual scaler seamless switcher with the VP747T remote control console. The unit's dual scalers allow video preview prior to sending the signal to the audience displays.
Eight inputs accommodate various resolutions, and the scaler provides true seamless transitions between sources. The system also incorporates eight Kramer VM2Hxl 1:2 HDMI Distribution Amplifiers and a Kramer VS88H matrix switcher, which routes the sources to selected displays or all of the displays simultaneously.
For longdistance signal transmission, four Kramer Electronics VM114H4C combination switcher and distribution amplifiers allow selectable input signals of either HDMI or CAT5 over DGKat twisted pair cabling. Several PT571 and PT572+ DGKat twisted pair transmitters and receivers and a TP50 twisted pair receiver and TP121EDID twisted pair transmitter for computer graphics video signals are used throughout the system.
Two Kramer HDMI ProScale Digital Scalers the VM92 and the VP434 scale the incoming signals to a computer graphics resolution and output an HDMI signal. PanAVid also used Kramer Electronics racks and rack adapters to house the switching and scaling products.