ChurchTechCast Q & A for April 24, 2014: Web hosting, service orders, and the new Mac Pros On today’s Q & A, questions on: Web hosting, service orders, and the new Mac Pro.

Here are the latest questions:

JC on Church tech on g+
I know there has been a lot of discussion on here about websites and hosting and such. I have recently moved to another church and I would really like to completely revamp our website. Currently it is powered by E-Zekiel, and I don’t like this avenue at all.

At my previous church, we had a registered domain name with GoDaddy (which I wasn’t fond of), used a local for hosting, and built the site with WordPress. I would like to go with WordPress at my new church, but I don’t really have any ideas for domains or hosting. Does anyone have recommendations? I’ve looked at Bluehost, but I wondered if there were others.

The majority of storage we would require would be pictures from posts. Any videos would be uploaded to Youtube and linked. If we go with sermon audio in the future, I’m thinking we would link to a streaming service like Soundcloud.

Thanks for any help!

JS on Church tech on g+
How important is the order of the service? I’ve been testing new presentation software and its given me some ideas for using countdown clocks, mini-movies and the like. My objective is to enhance worship with these types of presentations. How do you do it? Can you give me some ideas for your order of the service?

I’m due for a new computer at my church. Is it worth it to make the jump to a Mac Pro? Currently I have a 2010 Macbook Pro and I run it into a 27″ Cinema display. Obviously the macbook pro is terribly slow at this point. So here’s my question: Is the Mac Pro worth it over, say, a 27″ iMac? I should mention I DO NOT want a laptop… my current “work” laptop never leaves my desk at church.

Each week I edit/encode services, do minor audio editing, sometimes After Effects work, photo editing, and alot of other stuff that you could do on just about any other computer (ie web browsing, documents, you know, typical office stuff). Alot of my day-to-day Audio/Video editing work really taxes my current Macbook, obviously because it’s 4 years old.

Is the new Mac Pro, at $2699 (I can get 10% off through a business deal we have with apple) worth the $1K more than the 27″ iMac? Anyone out there using the new Mac Pro and loving it? I have a pretty good sized computer upgrade budget, but I still want to be a good steward and not buy something that has more power than I need.

Any thoughts muchly appreciated! Thanks you all…

I need a rear projection screen for VBS this year that is about 16’ wide. This will only be a one-time need so I’d prefer not to drop $2,000 – $3,000 for it.

Any recommendations on a fairly inexpensive way to go about building my own screen? Material? Do you think a seam is going to be that noticeable?

Thanks for any advice, ladies & gents!

We’ve got a problem that’s driving us nuts!

Our Sanctuary IMAG system is composed of NewTek TriCaster 450 that outputs over broadcast-quality 3G coax (Belden 1694 I think) to two BlackMagic Design HD-Link Pro DVI convertor boxes (one for each projector).

Then, The DVI output of that BMD box goes into the DVI input of the Panny PT-DW6300U projector. The Pannys do not have SDI inputs of any kind so we have to use the DVI.

When they work well, the images are stunningly good on our large screens. So good, in fact, that we have no compelling reason to consider 1080! But all is not well…

Here’s the problem: Seemingly random appearance of horizontal color lines that shimmer in the upper-right part of the screen when we have really dark scenes (via camera) or certain slides from our PowerPoint pre-service announcement slide rotation. Lines can be either blue, or red, or green – but only one of the three. The individual lines constantly vary in their length from that right border of the screen (kind of looks like an audio RTA’s bar meters turned sideways). Very weird. There is one sure-fire way to eliminate the lines – turn up the brightness setting on the TC450’s input control pannel for that specific input.

I am not aware of a setting on the TC450’s output side that is adjustable as to signal output strength (did I miss something???).

Another symptom we’re having is that sometimes on PP slides with lots of white, the image sometimes “fizzes” and has this shimmery quality to it. This fuzzes up the image a bit and is noticeable.

It’s kind of random. We’ve gone for two years since installation and we’ve had occasional random occurrences where we’d get a little of this.. for instance, on the camera input channels, when we set the cams up on the tripods early Sunday mornings before services, and don’t have the stage lighting turned on yet, so the scene is fairly dark. But when we turned on the stage lights to normal, things are fine. Beautiful images on our 720p system.

So the problem seems to relate to a video signal strength issue of some sort in the digital domain (not my area of expertise). But then, why do the white PPoint slides shimmer?

I spent hours setting levels when we installed these BMD boxes (one on each of two projectors) to get the thresholds set right. (What a pain.)

Does this make sense to anyone???

I’m tempted to rip out the BMD convertors and do as I was tempted to do in the first place: Get the AJA equivalents. But I can’t say with 100% certainty that those BMD boxes are the problem (though I do suspect them).

Anyone have any idea what I’m talking about???


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