I Survived Christmas Services

If you work in the AV ministry of a church you know the Christmas season can be tough. I felt like this year was one of my toughest season’s yet. Even though this was the first Christmas season I didn’t have an instal going on.

Last year we were opening our new youth building and remodeling the old youth room to be a children’s church room. Two years ago we were remodeling the old children’s church room and installing new projectors in the sanctuary. Three years ago we installed a digital signage server and video projector that project onto a Reversa screen in our foyer window. That one would have been much easier but the sony player we have is very fickle about the type of MPEG2 video it takes. I spent 6 hours on the phone with tech support trying to get the right file out of Apple’s Compressor only to find out a $50 version of Canopus ProCoder Express works great!!! Why they didn’t tell me that earlier I don’t know!!!!

So this was my fist year as Tech Director that I didn’t have an install going on during this season.

Yet it really beat me down. I don’t know if it was how Christmas fell so we had regular weekend services (1 on Sat, 2 on Sun) 2 Christmas Eve and 1 Christmas Day. That’s 6 services in 4 days.

My biggest problem I had was getting our overflow video feed setup. We use boxes from Magenta Research to send any video feed and audio around our campus on Cat5. These boxes have great quality and are easy to use. Yet it took me about 6 to 8 hours over 3 days to get the video feed working. Why so long? It took me that long to track my problem down to a Cat5 cable running from a network room to the overflow room that was wired as a crossover cable. Urgggh!!!!

This might not have been frustrating except that I’m the guy who oversees everything creative tech. So I had videos and graphics and web stuff to take care of as well as track down this network problem. And I’m only 1 guy.

But our services went well. Despite the fact that yet again we didn’t get a sequential run through of our Christmas Eve services. We get various practices over a few days. Save those scenes and hope for the best. Probably one of our most complicated services of the year. My team was able to pull everything and I’m very grateful to them. But yet again my biggest feedback from this year is I NEED A RUN THROUGH!!!!

But now I have some time off with the family. After service Christmas Day I don’t have to be back in the office until Jan 3. I’ll have to work on a few things for the weekend from home but it’s better than being in the office.

Some of this may sound like a rant but I’m really OK. It’s amazing what a couple of days off will do to your perspective. I’m going to be taking it easy over the next few days but I’ll probably post some more thoughts from the last few weeks.

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December 27, 2007. Tech Stuff.

One Comment

  1. Chris replied:

    Thanks for the post. I think a lot of tech guys can relate. Although we didn’t have as many services on our main campus, we had various special events and services on different campuses and an install at one of them all happening in the space of a month. I’m decompressing and trying to clean up the bomb site that is my office right now. 🙂 A few days off with the family certainly helps!

    Thanks for the blog – it’s always nice to know there are others of “us” out there. I appreciate that you take the time to do it. Happy 2008!

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