I don't know.
by Mike Sessler, ChurchTechArts.org
I see this all the time. People speaking authoritatively from a position of ignorance. The internet is awesome for this. Just check out any of the online forums or groups. And pick a topic - any topic. I of course see this in church tech groups, but it exists everywhere. I also see it in every day life. I'll hear someone make a fairly definitive statement that obviously comes from a place of no knowledge or background. But boy, are they convinced they're right. My mom used to have a magnet on the fridge that said, "My mind is made up - don't confuse me with the facts."
What does this have to do with being a technical leader in church? Quite a lot, actually. I've removed a large amount of equipment from various churches over the years, and I'm sure it was all installed confidently. That is, whoever installed it was confident in their choice. Even if that choice was not based in any kind of knowledge or experience. Even if it didn't work. At all. That wastes a lot of money and undermines trust in our profession.
Why does this happen? Well, I think there is an unnecessarily engrained concept in most of us that we have to be right all the time. And we have to know everything about our jobs. Now, the truth is, it's impossible to know everything about a subject. And if you ask people that have been doing a particular thing for a long time, they will likely tell you that the longer they do it, the more they realize they don't know.
"Do you mean to tell me that no one makes...?"
It's the company joke that a couple of our clients have very unique feature requests, and that they ask this exact question from time to time. "Do you mean to tell me that no one makes a [fill in the blank]?"
In the discovery phase of video system planning, we ask lots of questions. We find that some churches are concerned more about presentation of computer graphics (still images and motion backgrounds, along with file-based video), and others are focused on having live video as the primary source. Choosing one or the other makes it easier on us, but the more common answer is that our clients want both.
If you're using live video (cameras) for a typical event like a worship service, you have two audiences – the people who attend live, and the people who do not. And if you think about it, the needs of each group are very different. The live audience may not need to see the faces of those leading the event, but the audience watching your video stream or recording certainly does. How will you allow both to only see what they need to see?
Our challenge is finding a way to do both, and doing it well.
Do you really want your historic auditorium or worship space to look like a concert venue?
To us, there's not a lot worse than cluttering up a traditional or historic auditorium with obvious technology, so when Da-Lite introduced its Wireline Advantage last March, we were thrilled. Many large venues feature beautiful architecture that you just don't want to cover up with a screen; but what happens when you want to project content onto large screens to enhance the event experience?
Luckily, with the Wireline Advantage, you don't have to compromise. The innovative design actually enhances the architecture of the room instead of hiding it like other screens.
How exactly does it do that? The Wireline Advantage uses thin steel cables instead of black drop (extra fabric) to lower the screen to the appropriate height. This almost invisibly suspends the viewing area – and only the viewing area – at the correct height for the audience. The screen housing also can be easily recessed above the ceiling.
The result: an installation that leaves the architecture of the room exposed for stunning results. See our previous article with photos here.
This week, Da-Lite announced that the Wireline Advantage was now available in a new 10' size, so we have even more options for designing the perfect space for you. Please let us know if you have questions and/or need more information.
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What others say
Dave...I like your emails...it feels like you are just sitting and chatting with me! Terrific..in this electronically charged age...we still NEED that personal touch!
Kudos to you, Peggy Bartz