If you have ever watched a broadcast of a church service, you may have noticed something rather entertaining.
Take a close look at choir member’s mouths when singing. There is invariably someone in the choir who does not know the words to the song. Notice that their jaw kind of moves up and down with the music. While this is certainly fun to watch, that person needs more practice or could use some type of visual aid to help keep them on track.
Many of our readers have incorporated video projectors into their services. Song lyrics are generated by worship software or PowerPoint and displayed on a large screen through the projector. These screens are always out of view to those on the stage, leaving them oblivious to what the congregation is seeing. Just as audio stage monitors have become a vital part of a sound system, video monitors play an important role in a video system.
Building a video monitoring system is fairly inexpensive and easy to put together. The components needed should be available locally. Select one or more televisions that have at least a 25″ screen. The RF modulator, RF amplifier/splitter, and coaxial cable should be available at a local Radio Shack. The scan converter can be found at most computer stores or ordered online.
HOW IT WORKS
Duplicating the image seen on the big screen to the video monitor involves a couple of signal conversions. The scan converter transforms the computer signal into an image that a TV can display. The RF modulator converts the output of the scan converter into a signal that can run through a long cable, and be split into several signals that can be displayed through the standard coaxial inputs of a TV.
The graphics output on your computer is usually connected to your projector through a long cable. Take that cable and connect it to the “monitor out” on the scan converter. It may also be labeled “thru” or “loop”. Using the short VGA cable supplied with the scan converter, connect the monitor output of your computer to the input of the scan converter. Using a composite video cable, connect the video output from the scan converter to the input of the RF modulator. Connect the long coaxial cable to the output of the RF modulator and run it to the input of the RF amplifier/splitter. Finally, connect the outputs of the splitter to the coaxial inputs of the televisions, using the shorter coaxial cables.
Build cabinets for the televisions for a finished look. You might want to use the same type of carpet or finish as your audio monitors.
Another solution is to place a large mirror in front of the stage and teach your worship team to read backwards. However, I would suggest building this video monitor system to keep your choir on cue.
Stay tuned for the next issue’s how-to column: “Dual monitors in PowerPoint 2000.”