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Audio/Visual (AV) Systems for Your Worship Space

Updated: Feb 1, 2022


Building AV systems for your worship space requires considerations for:

  • Audio Pickup and Playback

  • Video Inputs and Outputs

  • System Control and Monitoring

  • Building System Integrations (Lighting, etc.)

  • Livestreaming

Planning appropriately early in the AV upgrade process will mitigate issues later on, and ensure that the upgraded system meets all of your congregational needs.


Audio Pickup and Playback

What type of worship service does your congregation have? Do you have a live band? What about delivery of messages? Do you want to have different sources to provide audio playback, such as a PC or tablet? These are all considerations as you plan your audio infrastructure. In taking stock of your planned audio upgrade, here are key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Count the number of microphone and instrument inputs

  • Count the number of auxiliary audio sources, such as PCs

  • Determine the different audio zones for audio output (Sanctuary, Lobby, Nursery, Fellowship Hall, Classrooms, etc.)

  • Size the amplification equipment to be appropriate for the audio output zones

  • Size the audio mixer to accommodate the number of audio inputs and outputs, plus 25% for future growth

  • Ensure any auxiliary inputs are accounted for, such as a USB audio interface for livestreaming

Video Inputs and Outputs

There are so many different types of video and associated transmission. 4K60, HDBase-T, Active Optical, and lumens are just a handful of terms that you'll see tossed around when dealing with video input, output, and transmission. When planning your congregation's video input and output infrastructure, here are key considerations to keep in mind:

  • What are your video sources going to be? Potential sources include PCs, wireless presentation systems, cameras, and auxiliary HDMI inputs.

  • What are your video output sources going to be? Potential output sources include projection screens, fixed displays, video capture devices, and video recording devices.

  • How are you going to route and transmit/receive video? Modern systems are transitioning to a video-over-IP infrastructure. However, true HDMI or SDI transmission is still quite popular, with all major video equipment manufacturers supporting one or both types of signaling.

  • What are your primary video outputs going to be for your congregation? Do you have a high-ambient-light worship space? If so, fixed LCD displays are likely a better bet for your space due to the higher contrast ratio. Do you have multiple congregational spaces for remote viewing? If so, you'll want to consider your video distribution, and how you'll transmit video to the remote locations.

System Control and Monitoring

What ways do you want to be able to control and monitor your upgraded AV system? Control and monitoring typically go hand-in-hand, with a primary underlying infrastructure providing both functions. Key control and monitoring considerations include:

  • Where will your primary point of control be? Will you have an AV control booth that provides all AV control and monitoring functions?

  • What will your primary control interface be? Different options include dedicated AV touchpanels, control via web interfaces, and control via mobile applications on iPad or Android tablets.

  • What typical scenes and presets do you want to have enabled? Do you want to press a single button, and have a preset for worship, a preset for a sermon, a preset for announcements, etc.?

  • What monitoring points do you want to have enabled? If you have projection screens, a common monitoring point is lamp life of the projectors themselves. Other common monitoring points include system usage time, battery life of wireless microphone packs, etc.

Building System Integrations

Beyond just controlling audio and video, modern AV systems typically incorporate various building systems, including lighting and HVAC. Having a single system manage these systems and interfaces provides users with common control dashboards, and the ability to have multiple systems interact with each other. Common building integration functions include:

  • Controlling light fixtures to dim and brighten based on the preset selected

  • Controlling HVAC based on congregation occupancy and status

  • Controlling security systems based on the various events occurring at the congregation, such as disarming alarms based on time of day

Livestreaming

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, congregations around the world quickly turned to livestreaming to reach folks still wanting to tune in and virtually participate. Livestreaming takes many forms and utilizes various platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, and embedded videos within congregational websites. Considerations for livestreaming include:

  • How will audio and video capture be done to ensure a complete congregational experience virtually?

  • What software platforms will be utilized to synthesize the livestream production prior to pushing to the internet?

  • Will the livestream be recorded locally at the congregation? If so, how will that be done?

  • Where will livestream processing occur? Will the production be done at the same location the AV system is being controlled and routed?

Contact the Experts

In covering the above items, we've barely scratched the surface in congregational AV planning and design. The folks at LVSI are experts in AV design, engineering, installation, and maintenance. Contact us today at Info@LVSI-Corp.com or by phone at (571) 206-4919 to speak to one of our AV experts about your congregation's AV needs.

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