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Church needs presentation switcher?

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Kyle Tyler
Church needs presentation switcher?
on Jan 26, 2018 at 6:40:21 pm

Happy New Year all! Noob here. I know churches don't have too fancy theatrics, but I'm just trying to help at the one I go to. They want the ability to show multiple content on a projection screen at the same time. Stuff like song lyrics, images, and video. People have suggested getting a presentation switcher https://bzbexpress.com/switchers/presentation-switcher/ . I have seen a bunch on Amazon/ebay for a lot cheaper too. Some as low as $30! Are the cheapy ones sufficient enough? But if a presentation switcher is not the answer, please let me know what would work better. Thanks!


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Jim Brown
Re: Church needs presentation switcher?
on Jan 27, 2018 at 4:20:00 pm

Today's technology makes it possible for today's churches to have very sophisticated presentation of media and do it on a tight budget.

Some recommendations:
1. Do a detailed analysis of what you have and exactly what you want to do. for example, do you have projectors? Model Nrs, input types supported.? Screens aspect ratio? Audio board, available send channels? Cabling accessibility and type?
2. Video sources and types. Cameras? If so, models and interfaces supported? Graphics (PPT, Easy Worship or renewed vision? Video projectors? If they have some age they are probably analog VGA or even composite inputs which will require adapters and cabling or even better replacement.
3. What format and resolution of video will be common to all components. This is essential to understand as it will impact the level of quality expectations. Remember that most of your church attendees watch tv of an HD flat panel set with very good quality. A lot of people cannot judge video quality, but everyone can judge the difference in an HD and an SD program.

You can build very sophisticated graphics with lyrics, backgrounds and video file support with a computer and software from Renewed Vision (https://renewedvision.com/propresenter/). No switcher needed. If you want to add cameras, you need to explore switcher options.

You can see there are many questions which need to be answered before you purchase the first piece of equipment. I would recommend you find someone very knowledgeable and enlist their assistance. It will be money well spent.

Jim Brown
M&M Productions USA


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Mark Suszko
Re: Church needs presentation switcher?
on Jan 29, 2018 at 5:53:13 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Jan 29, 2018 at 5:59:29 pm

Kyle, I think what you linked to is more like a routing switcher, a sort of valve that can let any one thing at a time go thru and throw it to a projector or video wall. You're asking about putting up multiple things simultaneously. For that, you could use an actual video effects switcher, you know, with rows of buttons marked for camera 1,2,3, etc. and inputs for graphics sources and video playbacks, and controls for cropping, scaling, and moving the images around within the video space.

There are also boxes called screen splitters or multiviewers, that will allow you to put multiple inputs onto one screen, and if your needs are truly modest and never-changing, maybe that's enough to crop and scale one camera and a powerpoint screen into your monitor or projector. You can think of these as the devices used in security systems to show multiple security camera feeds on one monitor. Here's just one option. https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/multiview

There are also sophisticated multimedia presentation apps like Wings and Stumpfl, which I'm not really qualified to talk about. Others in this forum live and breathe that stuff and could better advise you on the utility of them.

But for worship applications, many churches are happy using a Newtek Tricaster, which is a sort of all-in-one "tv studio in a box", that gives you the video camera switching, character generators for text and titles and even scrolling song lyrics, special effects, and digital motion video playbacks, all neatly integrated. It also records the show to internal memory and can stream it live too. They are a kind of "Swiss Army Knife", and come in various levels of cost and ability. There are other ways to do the same thing - another popular option these days is based around the Black Magic Atem virtual switcher, which runs off a PC platform.

The flexibility of a video production switcher lets you handle a lot more things on the fly IMO than a simple scaler or multi-view splitter.

If you check out the blackmagicdesign and newtek web sites you might see something that works for you there. You can also shop B&H Photo-video's web site with a search for Video Production Switchers and set it to list by price to see what level of capability is generally available for the budget you have in mind.


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