Riedel MediorNet real-time signal transport, processing, and routing technology is the backbone of a unique drive-up ministry for Cherry Hills Community Church, a large house of worship based in suburban Denver. In response to social distancing measures, the church presents its Sunday services to worshippers gathered in the parking lot in their cars — with MediorNet providing expandable transport of all video, audio, and intercom signals between the control room and the outdoor stage. The gatherings are also streamed to various social networks and OTT channels.
“We had used MediorNet previously to handle camera feeds and intercom for an event taking place on the other side of our campus. Therefore, MediorNet was the first thing that came to mind when I was thinking about how to get interconnectivity between the building and a trailer set up in the parking lot that served as the front of house mix position for our drive-up services,” says Chris Thomas, technical arts director, Cherry Hills Community Church. “Also, we had only three days’ notice to get the drive-up ministry up and running in time for weekend services. The Riedel support team was incredibly helpful, and they were able to show us via remote conferencing just how fast and easy it is to set up MediorNet with its simple drag-and-drop configuration.”
Given the short notice, Cherry Hills Community Church reached out to Riedel partner Touring Video, based in Burbank, California, which deployed the technology required for the project. Touring Video provides remote entertainment television trucks that include Riedel MediorNet decentralized routing products within a mesh network and was eager to help fulfill the hardware requirements.
The modular Riedel network at Cherry Hills Community Church consists of two MediorNet MicroN high-density media distribution network devices. Acting as an extension of the church’s permanent IT network, the MicroNs also provide an Ethernet tunnel between the control room in the building’s main auditorium and the outdoor stage. The MicroN unit in the control room is patched directly into the church’s video router and interfaced with an existing network switch and a Riedel Artist-128 intercom mainframe.
The MediorNet network carries the video program feed from the control room to LED screens in the parking lot and carries three camera feeds from the outside back into the building. In addition, the MicroNs supply a confidence monitor feed to display lyrics for church vocalists on stage. For audio, the MicroNs extend the Dante VLAN feed out to the parking lot and then bring the audio feed back into the auditorium, where church technicians use their existing front of house console to mix the broadcast audio feed. The connection with the Artist mainframe also facilitated delivery of intercom feeds from Riedel’s Bolero wireless intercom.
Thomas notes, “As longtime Artist users for our intercoms, we’re well familiar with the flexibility and reliability of Riedel systems. That flexibility carries over to the MicroNs, which allow us to add signal paths at the last minute as needed. And we’ve been completely amazed with MediorNet fiber multiplexing capabilities, which have allowed us to transport all of our signals over a single fiber. Best of all, our congregation loved being able to gather for worship, albeit in their cars — they were still able to have connection, which is especially important these days.”
Rick Seegull, manager system consulting for Ridel, concludes, “A parking lot ministry presents technical challenges that most houses of worship aren’t equipped to tackle, but Cherry Hills Church has really risen to the occasion. We’re very pleased we were able to help Chris and his team pull this off using MediorNet — it’s a reminder of how our unique products and technologies can help any organization face a challenging situation. The Cherry Hills drive-up services have been so successful that other churches are taking notice. In fact, we can see how a drive-up church might become a permanent approach for something like an Easter sunrise service or even a service under the stars in warmer weather.”