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Phoenix Church Relies on Echolab Overture

Calvary Community Church in Phoenix has deployed an Echolab Overture2 production system to support live, interactive worship services between two facilities eight miles apart, reaching out to more than 12,000 members. The Overture switcher has been installed in the production control room of the recently completed Northwest Campus located in a renovated movie theatre in Glendale, Ariz. The 25-year-old church’s main facility is located in north Phoenix.

“Echolab is doing an outstanding job of meeting the needs of churches and other houses of worship that rely on sophisticated broadcast and audiovisual technology to spread their message,” said Bob Ginger of Intent Digital, who served as technology architect for the Calvary Community project. “The Overture production system is easy to operate and elegant to look at. Its control panel layout is clean, organized, and easy to understand, besides being compact enough to fit into console desktops. Finally, in its standard configuration, the Overture is loaded with an incredible number of useful features that make it a very cost-effective option.”

Along with Intent Digital, Calvary Community Church’s team designed a technology infrastructure by which the church’s pastors can preach from either or both buildings, enabling participants to join fully in the worship experience, regardless of where they happen to be sitting.

The system relies on four 270 Mega-bit HDTV fiber circuits to create full-bandwidth, zero-latency, two-way connectivity between the two facilities, with full broadcast control rooms located at each. Three large projection screens are used in the sanctuaries at the Phoenix and Northwest campuses to display video images from the other worship site.

Installed at the Northwest Campus, the Echolab Overture2 includes two M/E banks and 28 inputs to handle multiple switched video feeds for video projectors, broadcast to the main campus, Internet, and other venues throughout the building. A 64×64 SDI and 16×16 NTSC video router supports video distribution and drives an Avitech 32-channel multiviewer used for control-room monitoring. Multiple video sources including Hitachi Z4000W and HV-D5W cameras, a Harris TitleOne character generator, Fast Forward Video and 360 Systems DDRs, multiple computers, DVD players, and iPods, as well as two feeds from the main campus, also appear on the switchers.

“With ease of use in mind, we designed Overture to be intuitive and flexible,” said Chris McLendon, senior application engineer for Echolab. “Through user-definable keys, user-selectable displays, and the ability to trigger complex effects with the push of a button, houses of worship can simplify their operations, train staff quickly and efficiently and drastically reduce downtime.”

Supported by Intent Digital, Calvary Community Church is currently working on a design plan that includes a second Overture switcher to be located at the church’s Phoenix campus.