Church Upgrades Worship Center With FOR-A Switcher, Router
Dunwoody Baptist Church in Atlanta anchored its recent AV overhaul with an HVS-490 video switcher and an MFR-3000 routing switcher from FOR-A Corp. of America. The upgrade was part of a multi-million-dollar campus improvement effort, which included a complete renovation of the 1,000-seat worship center.
Work on the AV overhaul began in early February. It was designed and installed by Atlanta-based systems integrator STRATA, which recommended the FOR-A switcher.
“The functionality of the switcher is incredible, especially when you consider the cost,” said Jeremy Noa, video production director for Dunwoody Baptist. “It was really a good call on STRATA’s part to nudge us in that direction. It’s a thrill to work with it.”
Dunwoody Baptist has two main services on Sunday morning. Both services share the same message, but the 8:30 a.m. is a traditional service in the chapel, while the 11 a.m. service is more modern and is held in the worship center. The church held its first service in the upgraded worship center on March 21.
The new FOR-A switcher replaced an older 1 M/E switcher, which was repurposed for the chapel. “I love the FOR-A so far, having that sense of walking into a room and know you’ve got equipment that’s reliable,” Noa said. “It’s amazing to work with a switcher that’s so capable and has so much functionality.”
A new control room was built behind the stage of the worship center, so the director relies on the HVS-490’s integrated multi-viewer to monitor all sources. The renovation also added a central equipment room, separate audio room for the broadcast mix, and new speaker system and front of house (FOH) audio console for the worship center.
Separate from the AV upgrade, Dunwoody Baptist installed a 32-foot LED wall in the worship center that acts as a backdrop for the stage. The church also kept its current crop of Canon and JVC cameras, which help create a more cinematic “look” for the video production.
Six cameras are used during the modern service, plus there are dedicated inputs for ProPresenter lyrics and graphic overlays. The HVS-490 includes 16 inputs, and can support 40 inputs/18 outputs, 36 inputs/20 outputs, or 32 inputs/22 outputs with optional I/O expansion cards. “We use almost all the inputs,” Noa noted, “but we can expand it as our needs grow.”
The switcher’s main output is dedicated to on-prem recording and a live stream, which is pushed to Facebook, YouTube, and the church’s website. Another output feeds content to the LED wall. Dunwoody Baptist does not use I-MAG (image magnification) in the worship center, because the position of the LED wall behind the stage would be problematic (and the size of the room does not create a strong need for it). However, one output provides service coverage to the worship center lobby and corridors around campus. Three additional outputs are dedicated to providing the multi-viewer to the control room and FOH.
Dunwoody Baptist did not have a router previously, and Noa said the new MFR-3000 has helped his workflow. “I love that I can send the same video signal to different places without running wires,” he explained. “I can very rapidly switch to another feed, so it minimizes downtime. Just having that flexibility to send signals anywhere I need to send them without patching a cable is a pretty big deal.”
Designed to support 4K/8K signals in mission-critical facilities, the MFR-3000 offers redundancy and easy maintenance in a compact enclosure. It supports mixed signal formats with up to 64×64 I/O, and offers a variety of crosspoint control.
With its integrated frame synchronizers and multi-viewers, the HVS-490 reduces the amount of equipment required for live production. Event memory and macro functions make it easy to setup the switcher quickly for live performances, while support for multiple control panels enables several operators to work on separate tasks. MELite technology eliminates the need for multiple switchers in a multi-monitor staging scenario, and extends the switcher’s 2 M/Es to 6 M/E performance. Plus, FOR-A’s FLEXaKEY allows a traditional AUX bus to transform into a functional mix effects with cuts, mix, wipes, keys, and DVE including full preview.