Church technology is behind the times

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Church technology is behind the times

Postby lephi.peneha » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:11 am


My Name is Lephi. I have been inactive for 10 years, came back 6 months ago. I have a degree in Audio Production. However there are a few things I disagree about the church setup.

1) When there is an event (such as a stake conference or a multi-stake fireside) that requires the use of the Hall. Yes they place flat screen TV's. However I don't understand why the TV's were not in HD and it turns out that it is running off a camcorder via composite video that the lead is convert to coaxial cable.

2) When running a satellite link, there is a lot of noise and no noise-gate present

3) Watching general conference at the chapel is Bad because it is blurry and pixellated

4) Sound Quality: There is a high frequency tail that leaves when people speak into the pulpit (around 0.8KHz-4KHz)

5) I seem to know way lot more of how sound works, compared to the priesthood leader who is assigned to "take care" of it and produces a lot of errors.

6) The microphone stands needs the extra pole for flexibility when the choirs sing and they should have an industry microphone (such as SM58), than a cheap one

The only upside is I can plug in audio via RCA connection in the hall, that NOBODY has ever figured out and they been at the chapel a lot longer than me

The church earns trillions of dollars from tithe payers, I'm sure the church can afford a better A/V system.

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Re: Church technology is behind the times

Postby gregwanderson » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:19 am

Welcome to the forum. There are several things to consider. First, you might have fun reviewing a lot of discussions about local A/V technology in this part of the forum. People have been raising many of the same concerns you have. And it's obvious that where local members have the knowledge and skills to improve A/V presentations many of them have volunteered to do so. But, since we're dealing with people around the world who don't have particular skills with A/V technology, the church needs to keep things as simple as possible and, yes, sometimes that means the guy running the camcorder on a cheap tripod couldn't do a smooth pan-and-tilt to save his life!

As far as the church having "trillions" of dollars, well… I doubt that. Church leaders have told us for a long time to consider that the vast majority of the church's financial activities are consuming money rather than earning it. So it's difficult to analyze the church's finances as you would a regular business. A member of my Stake Presidency recently pointed out that, while new buildings are needed in our area, none are planned right now as we're shifting resources to support the "surge" of new, younger missionaries. So, that's just one example of how the church doesn't have a bottomless bank account.

When it comes to local A/V equipment, the Facilities Management (FM) people are reluctant to replace things that still work. So a new, flat-screen TV to replace a working, glass TV is not a high priority for them (especially when their budget has been diverted to missionary concerns). It's unfortunate, because the 2013 curriculum for the youth emphasizes the use of downloaded videos from and I'm not sure how many meetinghouse libraries have the equipment to play those right now (so, in many places, we rely on people bringing their own laptops and tablets to church in order to show the videos… or they don't show them at all… which is sad because those videos are really well done).

Bottom line: you might want to talk to your Bishop and let him know you're willing to lend your time, talents and skills to help improve the A/V situation on your ward and stake. Or find out who the Stake Technology Specialist is and contact him directly. Personally, I struggle to avoid sticking my nose into their business here. On the one hand, I want to help (because I can do a smooth, subtle and broadcast-quality pan-and-tilt with my tripods and video cameras) but, on the other hand, I'm shy about being a "busybody" and offending them by telling them that their camera guy doesn't measure up.

We're always asking non-professionals in the church to step up, magnify their callings and do things which are beyond their personal skill levels. From Bishops who give counsel and guidance (but don't have professional training) to the amateur camera operator, we do the best we can and pray for help in getting it right (...which makes me wonder how many of us with technology callings actually remember to pray about using technology. I know it's not usually the first thing I think about). Some of the people you'll meet in this forum have had great successes in "lifting where they stand" to improve technology concerns where they serve.

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Re: Church technology is behind the times

Postby rolandc » Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:27 pm

Sounds like the building has issues that need to be fixed by FM, not local tinkering.

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