System Integration Tips: Houses of Worship

Last month, we talked about seamless virtual meetings. This month, we’re going to look at houses of worship. More and more congregations use--or would like to use--technology to enhance their services. So what do you need to know when overhauling the sound and video system in your own house of worship? Follow these five tips.

1. Identify an A/V Committee. Remember, the people who oversee the house of worship may not necessarily be the people to head up the A/V Committee. Find people with a passion for electronics systems: IT people, musicians, singers, etc. It’s important to have some people with an understanding of technology and a love for the equipment.

2. Make a wish list. Forget money, just dream. Think of all the things you’d like to see in the building. Make sure you consider all spaces--basements, attached buildings, and satellite sites.

3. Edit the wish list. Consider each item on the wish list--what’s necessary, what isn’t, what’s something you really would like to have but are willing to go without, at least for now.

4. Establish a budget. Once you know the must-have items, you can get a sense of a budget and whether that budget works. If it doesn’t, revisit the list.

5. Do your research on an electronics systems integrator. Contact people at other houses of worship to see whom they’ve used--finding a contractor who specializes in these types of buildings is a plus. See if the company is a member of the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA)) and/or InfoComm International.

What’s one “must have” item that you should include on your list? Video projection--especially for religious education. Conveying information via video helps memory retention, and it helps people pay attention! Two brands we recommend are Sanyo and Mitsubishi.