The First Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge, Lousiana, has a storied history that dates back to 1827. As the church has grown, so too has its desire to remain cutting edge and relevant to its congregation. In keeping with this tradition, the church recently deployed both an impressive AV setup and a remote door locking control system.
In each case, the underlying technology behind the design and operation of both systems is dependent upon state-of-the-art equipment from Altinex.
IT Consultant Dean Cooper, also from Baton Rouge, served as both the system designer and integrator for the two projects. Cooper discussed the challenges the church faced that led to the use of the Altinex equipment.
“Previously, each door of the church had an override button to lock and unlock it,” explained Cooper. “With 9 access points, it was very difficult to secure the building and equally time consuming to open it up.
“Church management wanted a solution that provided centralized control of this process as well as the ability to manage individual entrances.
“The church also wanted a series of video displays—both in the sanctuary and at additional locations throughout the church—to help create a more engaging worship experience and that would provide the ability to monitor services from positions outside the sanctuary.
“In both cases, Altinex Neutron series controllers and AVSnap software provide the infrastructure that governs each system.”
Cooper reports there are five projection screens in the sanctuary: two stationary screens along the back wall provide lyrics and related content for the choir and musicians while three screens reside up front.
There is a central drop down screen above the stage / altar area and one screen each on the left and right sides that swing out from the side walls. Additionally, there are four remote simulcast video display points situated throughout the church to facilitate viewing of activities in the main sanctuary.
“The entire AV system was designed using AVSnap,” Cooper explained. “AVSnap is a terrific program that not only makes system design intuitive; it also serves as the engine that enables the system to operate. Further, this software made it easy to create the interface for the CP450-008 touchscreen controller that enables one to manage the system.”
“The AV system uses an Altinex CP500-100 Neutron Controller,” Cooper continued. “With the ability to control bi-directional devices via RS-232 in addition to its support for IR (infrared), relay-based, and sensor devices, we were able to create a system that enables video signals to be distributed individually to each screen in the sanctuary as well as being able to place the same video signal on all screens.
“The Neutron controller is also the device that transmits commands for the various motorized functions of the screens.”
While the Altinex CP500-100 Neutron Controller, CP450-008 touchscreen controller, and AVSnap are the most notable components in the AV system, Cooper also acknowledged a wealth of additional Altinex signal management solutions that helped make the entire system possible.
“We used a lot of Altinex gear,” he added. “We used TP115-110 and TP115-111 Video + Audio UTP transmitters and receivers, an MT110-102 audio matrix switcher, two MT106-103 video scalers and a lot more. Every aspect of the system’s control and distribution was handled by Altinex equipment.”
For the centralized door locking and unlocking system, Cooper used AVSnap to design and run the system. This time, he used the Altinex CP500-110 Neutron controller (the smaller version of the CP500-100) and an Apple iPad for the touchscreen controller.
“For this project, the ability to arm and disarm doors while walking the complex was essential,” Cooper points out. “Again, AVSnap made the design process easy and the Neutron controller handles the transmission of open and close (on/off) relay signals that communicates with the locking system. Finally, the church has a means of securing the entire building quickly and easily.”
Before turning his attention to the business of the day, Cooper summarized his Altinex experience.
“The AV and door locking control systems that we assembled have made a really positive impact here at the church,” says Cooper. “AVSnap made the creation of the end user interface fast and painless and it also provides the infrastructure that enables all this equipment to work together.
“Everyone is ecstatic with the results of both systems. I’d also like to point out that Altinex customer support services are first-rate. When I had questions, everyone was very helpful and responsive. Working with Altinex was a pleasure.”