Product Reviews

"Do you mean to tell me that no one makes...?"

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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.

stacks image 3045If 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.

Read more: "Do you mean to tell me that no one makes...?"

 

A projection screen to enhance the architecture, not hide It.

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Da-Lite Wireline Advantage Screens

Wireline™ Advantage® Eliminates Black Drop and the Compromise.

IMG 5800When we're asked to install a traditional projection screen in a room with soaring ceilings, elaborate stone work, a cross, and/or other architectural elements, it's often a challenge to place the screen at the appropriate viewing height without covering something up.  The way around getting the projection surface into the right location without having an exposed screen roller (or obscured aesthetic and design elements) requires what's called extra black drop.  Black drop is essentially an extended fabric border (above the projection surface) that can be several feet tall.  That extra fabric allows us to install the screen in such a way that roller itself is not seen, but adding the extra fabric usually requires some sort of visual sacrifice. 

Having screens manufactured with extra black drop is a good solution in many cases, but the new Wireline Advantage from Da-Lite has changed the way we look at new projects.  The Wireline Advantage uses thin steel cables up to 29 feet long, instead of black drop, to lower the screen surface to an appropriate viewing height, while hiding the roller enclosure. The result is a large display that is almost invisibly suspended at the right viewing height, leaving the architecture of the room right where you want it - in plain sight. 

The Wireline Advantage is designed for larger venues, and is a unique solution that will allow you to appreciate both your technology and your architecture. 

Please call us if you have questions about integrating the Wireline Advantage into your next project or upgrade. 

Click the Read More link below in order to view more project photos.

Read more: A projection screen to enhance the architecture, not hide It.

   

How to stop your tech volunteers from quitting!

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Every...single...week! 

The grind of weekly set-up and tear-down will consume your volunteers, unless you give them the tools they need.  It's that simple. 

Virtually all churches we work with, especially those that are mobile, struggle with the same issues.  Whether it's developing skilled sound and video operators before their families "want them back", having the time and resources to develop skilled people at all, or just the drain of getting started at 5:30AM for the 8:00 service and striking it all after lunch, keeping weekend production teams going forward is a tough job. 

Let's make it easier! 

What's the most thankless job on the weekend services production crew?  Cable taper - hands down.  Especially if your church sets up and tears down every week, your crew spends a lot of time on its hands and knees with rolls of gaffer's tape (that's often the wrong width) measuring out a couple arm's lengths and ripping it with their teeth, while trying to keep the lines straight. 

And we ask why our volunteers don't stick around.  

What if we could help you make taping cables the job that people wanted to do? 

Happy tapers stick around to learn other tasks, feel more productive and spend less time crawling around on the floor.  And really, who wants to crawl around on the floor? 

The GaffGun from Gafftech might well be your best-ever investment in volunteer retention and growth.  Imagine 10 minutes of taping being reduced to a minute.  Take a look at the video below. 

Read more: How to stop your tech volunteers from quitting!

   

Sneak Peak - Bose F1 Flexible Array Loudspeaker

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There's been a lot of buzz around portable PA the past few years, thanks mostly to power amplifiers becoming smaller and lighter. The idea behind portable is that you can take it anywhere, the downside of which is that all performance venues are not alike -- so the decision of what to buy has always been a question of what's the best fit for most situations.

The engineers at Bose have come up with a solution to speaker systems easy to understand (and even easier to implement) for small to medium-sized venues. A few months ago, we got to look at, and listen to, the new Bose F1 Flexible Line Array system, and here's what we thought after our initial demo.

Four speakers in one box! With a simple push or pull to the top or bottom of the speaker array, it was easy to reconfigure the elements to cover a wide variety of rooms vertically. Take a look at the images below to see what we mean.

coverage 1  coverage 2 

coverage 3  coverage 4

With the speaker position in J configuration we were immediately able to cover the front rows with the speakers above the listener's heads on a platform or stage. The effect was immediately noticeable as the elements were manipulated. The "C" configuration could cover a small hall or church with a stage and a balcony while the reverse "J" configuration nicely covers a room with no platform and a raked floor or balcony where some of the listeners ears are position higher than the speakers. Straight allows you to keep from bouncing sound off the ceilings when not needed. Pattern control is a beautiful thing.

Read more: Sneak Peak - Bose F1 Flexible Array Loudspeaker

   

Electro-Voice Roadshow 2014 - the place we found a new favorite

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maxresdefaultIf you've followed what we've written for long enough, you've seen us switch gears and to offer new favorites of powered choir microphones, earset microphones, powered speakers, line arrays, video projectors and equipment in general.  And we think that's okay.  If we didn't have new favorites, that would mean that our suppliers were still turning out the same old stuff in new packages, and that's just not the case. 

In September, we were invited by Electro-Voice to come out to one of its roadshows.  Thankfully, it was here in Columbus, so we didn't have to travel very far, and they fed us lunch.  That's always a plus.  

For about two hours, we listened.  We sat outside and got to hear most of the Electro-Voice product line at a full-sized outdoor stage.  The picture above is not the Roadshow, but just a file photo. 

At the Roadshow, we heard larger-format line arrays for festival-type use, line arrays for permanent installation right beside those larger arrays, new powered speakers on stands next to large-format conventional speakers with small format installation speakers close by, and more.  Events like these are really rare, so we always try to get out to hear the lineup, especially when it's in a real-world setting. 

All of it was pretty impressive, but one particular speaker group really stood out - the new ETX powered speaker family.  Shown in the photo above. 

We heard a 2-way 10".  I like small loudspeakers, so I was immediately interested.  One listener interrupted and asked "is the sub on?"  It wasn't (we were all fooled).  Amazing bass response.  Then the demonstrator added the sub, switched it off and them fired up the 12", added the sub to that, fired up the 15", added the sub.  Eventually, he moved to a 15" 3-way with two subs underneath.  We heard $100,000 line arrays, we heard $500 smaller speakers, and people kept asking to listen to the ETX again.  So we listened some more.

Read more: Electro-Voice Roadshow 2014 - the place we found a new favorite

   

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What others say

Thanks for everything Dave.  We installed the projector Saturday and it performed very good, just as I knew it would. We also were able to use the same universal mount as the old Eiki had.  It is much brighter and the remote is much better also.  We are very happy with the projector and you and your company.

Dave Breg
The Way Church
Canon, GA