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Total Immersion Worship


For many Christians, total immersion baptism is a part of their religious belief system; an intensely personal yet very public event thatís an article of faith. But thereís another total immersion experience that crosses all boundaries of theological dogma, one thatís embraced by churches of every stripe and sect. Itís a relatively new multimedia phenomenon called the Total Immersion Worship Experience.

Harnessing the power of disparate video sources, mixed and augmented audio, theatrical lighting and multiple plasma or projection displays, churches can now provide a worship service far beyond anything available in the past. The member or visitor becomes a part of the experience, not just a detached listener to a sermon. Many churches are taking advantage of this new trend, following the lead of a church located at the front range of the Rocky Mountains..

In the south Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch, Cherry Hills Community Church is at the forefront of a new approach to fellowship, offering its members and visitors a wonderful presentation of word and song enhanced by the latest technology. Combining multimedia technologies with inspired messages, church membership is growing at a rapid rate. But it didn’t “just happen.”

Sound Investment Enterprises, Inc., a Thousand Oaks, California System Integrator founded in 1971, began working with the leadership of Cherry Hills in the early 90s to provide acoustic and sound reinforcement technology plus simple television systems. Little did John McCandliss, the company’s President and CEO realize how much the relationships formed in those early years would grow, resulting in the church’s continual reliance on Sound Investment Enterprises expertise even after the company relocated to Kihie, HI.

Established in the 1982, Cherry Hills Community Church outgrew its early buildings and relocated to the present facility in 1995. Sound Investment Enterprises has been a part of every sound and multimedia project undertaken by the church before and after the move and although friendship is part of the equation, the church leadership realized early on that the expertise provided by McCandliss and his company was a priceless commodity necessary to bring their long range plans to fruition.

As the church grew, a forward thinking pastor and supportive leadership saw the advantages of incorporating multimedia support into their services. At the vanguard of the multimedia wave currently sweeping the worship environment, Cherry Hill Community Church was soon dreaming of new ways to provide a more meaningful experience. McCandliss was ready to help make their dreams a reality. The task was difficult but the results are amazing.

In the main auditorium, projectors provide imagery and the displays are routinely tasked to handle text, graphics, video, internet and satellite feeds. To further complicate the task for McCandliss, the auditorium in the church seats 3,500 people but an average Sunday service often draws many more people than the church can handle in the main center so an atrium was built to serve the overflow. The atrium also needed full multimedia capabilities so that the faithful in the overflow area could experience the same service as those in the main auditorium – another challenge.

Finally, the atrium had to be configurable as a teaching venue. A teaching venue was part of the mix since the church also supports a 1,100 student school that features TV monitors in all the classrooms. These monitors had to be able to view presentations from either the main auditorium or the atrium and also display feeds from off-site content providers, computers, DVDs or video tape.

Because the video feeds can come from many different sources – each of which often has a unique video format or standard – McCandliss realized he needed Universal Video Scaler/Format Converter/Frame Sync devices to make certain that the switching to the projectors and monitors occurred in a seamless manner without breakup or dips to black. Also, the scaling engine couldn’t add undesirable noise to the sampled picture and had to automatically determine the frequency and resolution of the various inputs.

He researched the marketplace and quickly came to the conclusion that the most powerful technology was employed by TV One in their CORIO 2 product line. The fact that the pricing was below the competition was icing on the cake. To buy something that’s better and less expensive is not an option most of the time so McCandliss didn’t hesitate to recommend the products to his customer.

In the Sound Investment Enterprises system design, three TV One C2-7100 Dual Channel Video Processors plus one C2-5100 Single Channel Video Processor control the images presented on the various display devices. Besides the TV One C2 series products, McCandliss uses an LM-1042 dual 10.4” color LCD monitor package plus three LM-563R triple, 5.6” LCD monitor products (both products are also manufactured by TV One) to monitor the video and provide preview/program functionality.

In addition to seamless switching, the clean keying and picture-in-picture capabilities of the C2 series products provide all the special effects needed by the church, allowing as simple or complex a multimedia experience as required by the service or event.

According to McCandliss, “The flexibility and feature set of the C2-7100 product is an exceptional value that can be used in any projection application.”

When the members and visitors of Cherry Hill Community Church see the array of imagery greeting them on a Sunday morning, they most likely agree. And the multimedia enhanced learning environment is appreciated by students and teachers alike.

Sound Investment Enterprises has delivered on the promises it made to Cherry Hill Community Church and TV One has delivered the superior performance that system integrators have come to expect at a price that is very attractive. A win-win situation for everyone.



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