Dataton WATCHOUT

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WATCHOUT™ for Gold Creek Community Church

By Joel Peterson

Our Goals at Gold Creek

One of our main goals at Gold Creek Community Church is to make people coming through our doors feel like they’re part of the community, so they feel at home, like they are connected with somebody.  And we don’t want our technology–the big screens, the cameras, the lighting effects—to be a distraction.  We want them to come in and spend an hour forgetting about the outside world, forgetting about TV shows, forgetting about the troubles that they just went through driving to church.  We want them to come in our doors and experience worship.  We want them to experience the powerful message of Jesus’ love.  We want them to experience worship in music.  And we want to engage all of their senses.  With Dataton WATCHOUT we can do just that.jpeg

The Set Up

At Gold Creek, we have a four projector double stacked system shooting onto a single screen.  The screen is 16 x 48 feet.  We use our WATCHOUT computer to bring in our live multi-camera video feed as well as using a secondary computer that puts our lyrics onto the background so our congregation can sing along with our musicians.  We’re also able to put our pastor’s sermon excerpts or notes onto the screen at the same time as the live video.

WATCHOUT allows us to edge blend this massive screen, then manipulate where our live feed sits on the screen relative to where our PowerPoint slides and other elements are placed, which is really effective.  The great thing with this setup is the latency pieces are very minimal, so we’re able to stay active with our audience.  If our pastor moves on stage, he’s moving at the exact same time up on screen.

Volunteers run WATCHOUT and our other computer systems, and with minimal training are able to be up, running and ready to go within a couple minutes, in terms of doing an entire service – it’s a very user-friendly, volunteer-friendly system.

Online Presence

At Gold Creek, we also have an online video presence.  We do a multi-cam feed to another computer which streams to a live online audience. One of the considerations we had as we figured out how to present the worship message for our online audience is how can we get them to feel like they’re part of the audience that is in house.

What’s really great about our system and our staging is we have this huge screen that utilizes WATCHOUT which helps us create environmental projection where instead of props on stage, we’re able to utilize moving backgrounds and really use our camera angles to help emphasize what’s going on to make our online audience feel like they’re part of our in-house audience.  With WATCHOUT, we’ve been able to accomplish this.

Upgrading to WATCHOUT 5

With the help of Show Sage, Dataton’s North American Premium Partner, we had had the opportunity to upgrade our system to WATCHOUT 5.  At first, it seemed pretty daunting since we have four WATCHOUT computers and a production computer with WATCHOUT on it.  Plus, we have all these projectors we use in our multi-screen, multi-projector, system.

With Show Sage’s help, we were able to integrate all of our projectors into a single computer box and a production computer running WATCHOUT 5. This meant we only needed two licenses to completely do everything we did currently – plus much more.

The upgrade process was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done.  We were just able to plug in our inputs and the production computer into the system and it just worked.  The WATCHOUT 5 system was able to find our projectors quickly and easily, and the edge blends and myriad of tools available were great to finalize the end product.

Show Sage provided great technical support and answered all our questions.  WATCHOUT has done a phenomenal job of integrating all of their solutions in an easily upgradable package.

Use in Other Venues

Gold Creek has a children’s 1st through 4th grade area, along with a 5th and 6th grade building and junior high and high school areas as well, and .  As you can appreciate, visual impact for youth is huge, and WATCHOUT 5 can help make that impact in new areas while it utilizes our current infrastructure.

WATCHOUT 5 allows us to go multi-screen in these areas when we are ready, and will sync up to every single screen in a very cost-effective way.January 2015- watchout

We’re also adding additional campuses outside of Mill Creek, and can use WATCHOUT to keep our costs down and still do a major multi-screen presentation with everything synched together.

It’s been a great opportunity to use WATCHOUT and with our current infrastructure, we can constantly create a brand new experience—an experience that is dynamic, and one which is cost-effective for us.

Joel Peterson is the Director of Media at Gold Creek Community Church, Mill Creek, WA and holds a BA in Broadcast Production from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University.