Saddleback Church Makes Quick Shift to HD With TV Magic

SAN DIEGO — Jan. 29, 2009 — Broadcast systems integrator TV Magic has engineered and installed an HD video control room and production system at Saddleback Church, which serves Southern Calif. through 200 ministries and worship at eight venues. Led by Pastor Rick Warren, Saddleback offers members services in a variety of worship and musical styles. By modernizing the church's control room technology, the installation improves production quality for video delivered both internally and to regional venues, and also supports the future rollout of additional worship sites.

TV Magic managed the installation and provided training within a tight timeframe, allowing Saddleback to spend just three weeks working from a temporary control room before shifting over to new HD cameras and graphics systems. To capture and record video on Sony's XDCAM® HD format, the largely volunteer staff at Saddleback uses six Sony HDC-1400 HD portable studio cameras and a PDW-700 XDCAM HD camcorder, all integrated by TV Magic. Video is displayed on an Evertz® multiviewer connected to a Thomson Grass Valley™ Kayak™ switcher. The HD feeds are switched for image magnification in the main worship area and also used to create a program feed for Saddleback's onsite worship rooms and at its regional venues.

"We chose to work with TV Magic for a number of reasons, but most impressive has been the company's attention to detail," said Greg Baker, tech arts director at Saddleback Church. "An installation is only as strong as its design, and the team at TV Magic was very methodical and particular in helping us engineer and build out our HD control room. The company understood our needs and excelled in suggesting directions that would work for us. In addition to being very competitive cost-wise, TV Magic also had the capacity to meet the project's short deadline."

The Saddleback worship center offers six services every weekend. Teachings are delivered live or edited on Final Cut Pro® systems and then delivered to different campus worship areas via fiber. Teachings from the main campus also are delivered on a hard drive to the church's three off-site locations, each of which has a unique style and environment. In replacing 15-year-old analog equipment with a digital infrastructure and HD-capable production systems, Saddleback gains much greater reliability and the flexibility to do more with the worship services held at all sites. The church's tapeless workflow relies on disk- and drive-based storage, which significantly reduces the time required for file transfers and simplifies editing of the main program feed for off-site services.

"Rather than build a larger church, Reverend Warren seeks to grow Saddleback through additional campuses that give people a choice about where to gather and what style of worship they prefer," added Baker. "For members attending offsite services, the quality of video needs to be as compelling as what they would see in their homes. We didn't want our technology to detract from the message, and this HD upgrade allows us to deliver off-site teachings with the high image quality and production value that our members expect."

At the 2009 National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, Tenn., Baker will speak more about the HD upgrade at Saddleback Church in a 45-minute presentation with Pat Thompson, general manager of TV Magic's San Diego office. The presentation, scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Tech Lab on Sunday, Feb. 8, will be an educational discussion explaining some of the reasons for shifting to HD. Baker also will address potential pitfalls, with respect to technical issues and to common church issues, such as adaptation of facilities and selling the idea internally. For other churches that are deliberating an HD upgrade, this presentation offers a real-world case study for consideration.

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About TV Magic

TV Magic is a broadcast and A/V systems integrator and engineering company committed to providing its customers with the highest-quality service in the industry. Regardless of the size, scope, or sophistication of the project, TV Magic has the experience, the knowledge, and the talent to define and meet its technical requirements. The company leverages today's technology to deliver end-to-end solutions for a variety of applications from broadcast facilities to HD production, to installed A/V solutions, and many more. TV Magic prides itself in developing partnerships with customers and vendors that lead to successful long-term relationships. The company has offices in San Diego and Los Angeles. Additional information is available at

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