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Tech No Babel, Troubleshooting Techniques: Dealing with Digital

For some things, digital works great. If you’re hooking up a BluRay player to a tv, 3 feet away, HDMI is awesome. For production, it’s less than ideal.

One thing to consider is that HDMI has a maximum range (according to spec) of 10 meters (or about 33 feet). Look in your sanctuary and estimate how long a cable would have to run to get to your projector. Don’t forget that you have to go up the wall, along the ceiling, and then down to the projector. When you add all that up, 33 feet isn’t very long.

So, you can adapt the signal to SDI which will travel farther or use a set of Baluns to send it over cat5, etc. The problem is that each conversion may introduce difficulties.

Now, don’t forget that digital signals don’t show degradation like analog signals. An analog signal will slowly get fuzzier and lose color. A digital one will just disappear. So, it’s possible to have a signal that “just barely works” and it looks perfect and a signal that “just barely doesn’t work” and it shows nothing. The difference between those two looks like a lot, but in practice, it might just be an oxidized connector or a slightly weaker signal. In practice, this means that an install that “worked perfectly for months” could “suddenly quit working” for no apparent reason.


PaulAlanCliffordPaul Alan Clifford works with church staff and volunteers who want to use technology to impact people far from God, by navigating through the maze of possibilities and jargon. He wants your church to get past the hurdles and embrace the tools so that technology is a gift, not a burden. He has been a tech volunteer with Quest Community Church in Lexington, KY since 2000 and is the founder of, llc.

Heliterally wrote the book on podcasting in churches, twitter in churches, & servant-hearted volunteering, as well as writing various articles for publications like “Church Production” and “Technologies for Worship” magazines.

Join him every week MondayFriday for these free, live shows on MondayFriday at 11a edt, 8a pdt, 3p utc:

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