About The St. Teresa of Ávila Catholic Church AV Project
St Teresa of Ávila Parish’s 125th Anniversary recently took place. They are one of the older churches on Chicago’s north side. They are located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. They decided as part of their anniversary to give their church AV an upgrade along with church video camera systems. This was a bold move in the church AV installation market as Catholic churches utilize multimedia formats less often. We were very excited to help this Chicago institution install a new church av system.
For this campus-wide church AV installation project, SPL was brought on to consult on space utilization, create an intelligent and aesthetically pleasing AV design, and to install the system itself.
The church wanted the ability to stream their mass and to have viewing areas spread out through the church campus as well. Given the era we are in, this was an excellent move for the church and a solution we are very capable of providing.
That said, retrofitting any space, especially one that is 125 years old, can be very challenging. The added challenge with a Catholic church is that they were not designed with an AV footprint in mind. They do not typically have hang points on the ceiling for things like projectors, folding screens, cameras, heavy speakers, or lighting.
As with any installation, is safety. In old buildings you can be working with electrical or signal cabling that is deteriorated or was installed prior to standard building codes. We pride ourselves on making robust and absolutely secure installations. Safety at SPL is paramount and this is why our clients trust us to retrofit their old and delicate buildings. We understand the sanctity of your space and treat it as you, the owner, would.
Another hurdle is making a system that is both functional, and in line with how the church should look and feel. Churchgoers are not accustomed to huge speaker columns or line arrays hanging from the ceiling. Beyond the visual issues, you have the sound within a church. These spaces were designed for little to no amplification of the orator. They are built to instill a sense of awe and wonder which usually means high ceilings and echo-chamber audio quality.
The final issue we had to tackle with this church AV project was creating a system that was easy to use for the church staff. Many times, something that should be simple, like powering on an AV system, can be too cumbersome for untrained staff if it is not thoughtfully designed. Luckily, we specialize in creating user friendly interfaces for users of all experience levels.
We decided to utilize the QSC CORE 110f as our main solution for this new system. It functions as the main processing unit for video and audio running to the stream and other viewing areas. We adapted the software and hardware and created a custom simplified UI for the church to use. This means powering on/off, changing volumes, adding or removing channels, and streaming were now completely turn-key. With our wall-mounted touchscreen control panel, it makes all of this as easy as using your smartphone.
After an exhaustive study and multiple drawings of the space, we were able to begin selecting speakers, cameras, and all of the other pieces of equipment. We worked closely with the church to make sure that every speaker placement and camera matched their vision. Simultaneously we were able to eliminate audio dead zones and maximize coverage throughout the spaces.
Church video camera systems can be tricky and expensive but as a dealer we provide the best pricing and options for our clients. The cameras we selected for the live streamed masses are the QSC PTZ-20×60. These are highly versatile incredible HD cameras that have extra smooth motors in them to control pan and tilt. This allows the church to either focus on just the presenter or zoom out to capture a choir at Christmas Mass.
Our technicians worked tirelessly to make sure that every fixture was securely fastened and nut screwed down tight. We managed to install the entire system without having to heavily alter the existing infrastructure of the church. The client was pleased that essentially the entirety of the space was untouched aesthetically by our design and installation.
The church staff was overjoyed with the results of this church AV installation. It is a perfect fusion of upgraded technology while simultaneously respecting the history of the space.
They are now able to have a dual-camera live stream of their mass with professional grade audio and the church video camera systems. On top of these they can seamlessly cast to two other spaces within the campus to allow people to spread out more for health concerns. It also allows them to stream to the internet with ease to allow those who are unable to attend in person to take part in mass. It also also allows them to broaden their reach and spread their message further than ever before.
We are very proud of the final results of this installation and are honored to have taken part in it. We’d like to extend a big thanks to all of our partners and to the church staff for being so wonderful to work with on this beautiful project.
We’re in good company
Protecting The Old While Innovating
This project, like any house of worship AV project where we retrofit an old space, took great care and infrastructural understanding. We were tasked with taking a 125yr old space and giving it a 21st century update. Using our mass of experience, we have developed unique methods for preserving an old space while still providing all of the modern updates our clients require. When every fixture is a piece of art and every screw hole is damaging a piece of history, you can trust us to make sure the sanctity of your space is respected.
Through all of this careful attention, we gave this once entirely acoustic room the ability to stream services and host full blown productions. It is a beautiful fusion of history and modern technology. With touch screen controls, state of the art media servers and church video camera systems, this was a huge step forward for this historic house of worship.
House Of Worship AV – On Budget & On Time
We pride ourselves on having transparent billing and closely working with our clients to make sure their budget is maximized. We pour over equipment and vendor lists to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.