Analog Way Ascender 16 proves easy, effective solution for new LED wall at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids
When Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan remodeled its sanctuary and updated its technical systems, it selected an Analog Way Ascender 16 multi-screen seamless switcher to drive a Vanguard P4 Rhodium LED wall with 4mm pitch.
The new 28x25-foot LED wall replaced a video projection system the church had previously used. The remodel enabled integrators CSD, headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to simplify the AV infrastructure and standardize HD-SDI and HDMI signal paths. The single, large LED wall displays a range of content for church services: IMAG, graphics, pre-produced backgrounds, text and lyrics.
A highly popular, high-end video processor from a reputable manufacturer had initially been installed to drive the wall, but the system had “noticeable performance issues,” according to Glenn Peacock, Executive Director of CSD, who served as the design lead on the project. The video processor introduced glitching, jumping and ghosting effects to the images on the wall; the manufacturer’s customer and tech support were also less than satisfactory.
So Ted Watson, Sales Manager at Nashville-based Holloway Sales, which reps Analog Way products, arranged an on-site demo of the Ascender 16 with Analog Way’s Midwest Regional Sales Manager Sean O’Reilly. They configured the system and had it up and running in the sanctuary in a few hours.
“The Ascender addressed all the problems CSD had been having with the other equipment,” says Watson.
“I sat down with the church’s tech team for a basic tutorial, and they were working on their own soon after. They quickly were confident they could run a service from scratch with the Ascender.”
“Once Ted set up the templates and showed us where the macros were the system was quite easy to work with,” says Mark Kotlarczyk, Director of Technical Services at Calvary Church. “There are just four buttons we regularly use; the Ascender is a set-it-and-forget-it product that performs consistently. We’re very happy with it.”
“The Ascender immediately proved itself,” reports Peacock.
“It not only delivered the channels and performance we needed but was also simple to operate and had an appealing price tag. We were able to show the church a credit by going with the Ascender.”
The Ascender 16 went live in time for the Christmas season at Calvary Church. It regularly drives the Vanguard LED wall to support sermon content, display worship lyrics and showcase imagery illustrating an educational series on books of the Bible. “The LED wall vividly and dramatically impacts the congregation even those who are 125 feet away,” says Kotlarczyk.
The system most recently supported the choir and orchestra for the Palm Sunday musical, which was attended by some 1,200 people. “We had 12 to 14 graphics, some moving, some static blended with lighting effects for the production,” Kotlarczyk explains.
Calvary Church is also used by the community, and the new LED wall and Ascender are expected to be deployed for an upcoming public high school graduation and other events.
Kotlarczyk and Assistant Director of Technical Services Joey Symonds will complete Analog Way’s LiveCore Certification Master Class to gain a deeper understanding of the Ascender’s capabilities and how to implement them. “It will be great to see what designers and creatives are doing with the system and to envision things beyond our current horizon,” Kotlarczyk says. “We’re also ready to put the Ascender into the hands of some of our volunteers now.”
“We’re very pleased with the exceptional support we’ve received from Ted and Analog Way,” says Peacock. “Ted said he had a solution for us, and he proved it.”
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