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Rural Church’s New AV System Includes HD Vaddio Gear

PLSN Staff • Projection Connection News • February 25, 2011

PAYNESVILLE, MN – Intermedia Systems Group provided a complete AV system for Grace United Methodist Church that included high definition video displays, a Vaddio HD PTZ remotely controlled camera system and a digital audio system to back it all up. The high-tech install might sound surprising given its rural location – the church serves a town with a population of only 2,200. But Doug and Beth Voss, the husband and wife team in charge of the church's AV, were looking for a way to extend the church's reach to the extended Paynesville community.


"Being ahead of the game was our goal," said Doug Voss. "We saw what other churches were doing with broadcasts and we didn't want to do a substandard job. Should we use standard definition cameras because that's what everyone else is using, or should we plan for the future so when everyone else catches up we'll be ready for it?"


Joel Evermann, systems consultant with Intermedia, noted the Voss' goal of providing a high-quality, HD broadcast of weekly church services for the local cable channel. Selling DVDs of weddings, baptisms and special holiday programs would also help subsidize the new AV system, he noted. "Members no longer have to hire a videographer for their wedding – or if they do, they know they have a solid 3-camera shot."


The video system includes three WallVIEW CCU HD-18 PTZ cameras: one located on the face of the balcony – front and center, one mounted back in the sanctuary and the "Bride Cam" located behind the alter for capturing the bride as she walks down the aisle. Controlling the cameras back at the head-end is Vaddio's ProductionVIEW HD camera controller and switcher.


"We needed pan/tilt/zoom robotics that could be operated easily," explained Evermann, "and this is really the core of why we chose Vaddio for Grace United. Bottom line is that everything from the cameras to the controller, capture device and rack that it's all housed in – it's all Vaddio. It's a totally integrated solution."


Currently the Voss's mainly run the two-person operation, with Beth controlling the video and Doug manning the audio system, but they are working on transitioning in some volunteers.


"ProductionVIEW HD was pretty easy to learn, and the kids who have been helping out are even more quick to learn," Doug Voss noted. "We had to learn when to use the auto iris knob and when not to use it – especially when we installed the new theatrical lighting. And the garland on the Christmas tree was also making the cameras out of focus, but we adjusted the manual focus on the switcher and it worked great.


"Everything has been really well received," Voss continued. "Whenever you do something like this in a traditional church, you always wonder if people are going to like it. We've gotten compliments from the local people that the services are easy to watch and they like the transitions. Everything is really smooth, and because we are using the Preview monitor, there isn't any jerkiness or fast zooming in, up or down."


After the Vaddio system was installed and connected to an iMac, the Doug and Beth Voss had all the tools they needed to capture, record and broadcast to the community. For now, however, the technical capabilities of Grace United exceed the technological infrastructure of the community.


"They keep asking us when the Public Access stations are going to go high def," Intermedia Systems Group's Evermann laughed. "And forget just capturing services, weddings and holiday programs for cable access. They wanted to broadcast high definition over the Internet."


The fastest clear wire connection in town doesn't even allow the capability to push content to the web – so for now, its just standard-definition over the local cable channel and DVDs.


"Grace United is more technologically advanced than the town. When the town is finally ready for high definition, Doug and Beth will already be there with archives and archives of video waiting to be shared."


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