Tuesday, February 26, 2008

best picture ever....

I have really been thinking about what how this blog could be used for good. To share technology, leadership and ministry insights. But today, is not the day. Enjoy......

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

HD video upgrade....

This post has been promised for a while. We almost have the HD upgrade complete. The system is operational and we have been running since Dec 1 but we have a few more things to do in Video Control Room and select our HD recording gear (which is a bit easier now that Toshiba pulled the HD DVD format off the market)

We upgraded our video system for the primary reason of our onsite and multisite initiatives that will help in reaching more people for Christ. Future plans will be for satellite campuses across the Metro area that will broadcast the teaching portion up to the entire service via video. Currently, we are doing some experimenting while accommodating growth on campus by broadcasting video to The Loft. You will learn more about the Loft tech side of things in an upcoming post.

I designed the system and we brought in Roscor Corporation from Chicago to do the engineering, tweaking and install. I had some brief rental experience with them in the past and we brought them to the table to bid on new build project I was involved in back at Wheaton Bible Church. Roscor didn’t get that job but the rep and I stayed in touch and I have been impressed with my dealings with them so invited them to quote this system upgrade. We put them under an almost impossible time deadline but Roscor’s sales, project management, engineering and install crew hit the ball out of the ball park for us.

I inherited a video control room that was a mess. A miss mash of prosumer equipment all nnected by a rat’s nest of cabling. We got in and striped the entire room. It turned out to be a pretty amazing transformation. Some paint, a little reorganization, a tall equipment rack and a custom production desk the control room is a totally different environment. We need to mount the audio monitors and are waiting on dimmable lighting and new chairs and the room is pretty much down.

I chose the GY-HD250U with for the four camera locations within the room. Two locations are equipped with the Vinten Vision 100 tripod with dual sticks, remote hand focus and zoom control for the TH17X5BRM lens and a JVC 7” color monitor. The other two locations are wall mounted with ESI’s DPT 115 remote pan/tilt head and we have the Fujinon TH17X5BMD lens that is remote controlled. We striped the cameras that are mounted down as much as we could for weight and aesthetic purposes. We control the two remote cameras on the pan/tilt with ESI’s System 180.

I am very happy with the images the JVC 250 is giving us. Crisp full resolution high definition with vivid colors that fit within a reasonable price range. We are running 1080i. Our volunteer camera operators are very pleased with the camera as well. They are finding it very easy to operate. Operation is very intuitive and with iris adjustments done from the video control room, our camera operators can concentrate on composing great shots and not the shading issues as they had before.

The Panasonic AVHS300 is our switcher and we are using JVC RM LP 25 as a local remote for controlling the JVC 250’s iris, aperture and color settings. The 50” LG plasma is feed by the Evertz 7767VIP8-HSN multi viewer display. We have up convertors so we can use SD signals in the mix and down convertors so we can feed non-HD environments around campus and record to standard DVD. We have also equipped a Mac G5 to record HD for our Podcast and will be using Blu-Ray DVD recorders to capture the full service to DVD.

As I said before, we are still tweaking and adjusting to the system upgrade. But we are happy with the overall performance of the equipment.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

no more Josiah?

Yea, I’m sulking. After his stunt with dismissing the band the night before the judges, who seem somewhat more sensitive this year, didn’t let the tears sway them to let Josiah Leming be one of the 24 finalists on American Idol last night. I am really disappointed. I think Josiah had something. I’m sure we will be seeing more of him in the future.

Sooooo, now I have to find a new pick for American Idol. Do you have a favorite?


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Joshia Leming...

Well…I am sort of an American Idol fan. Go ahead, I will wait till you’re done laughing…….. OK, I have called a few of the winners early in the show over the past six seasons. Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are two of my fav’s even to this day. I have been terribly disappointed with the likes of Ruben and that one of other girl (I can’t remember her name –can you? didn’t think so) won. Last year…just wasn’t much there, but at least Jordin Sparks took it home.

Since American Idol has been on I have had my favorites –but they were usually female. Tonight, that changed. Behind his keyboard, Josiah Leming declared he is the next American Idol with his fresh vocals and passionate performance. There is a bit of his British accent that only comes through of this Tennessee born kid that is intriguing and maybe even bothersome, but he drew me in…and I’m voting for Josiah Leming!

So, will Josiah, with his own –ah, mistake of a version of Stand By Me to be one of the Top 24? Check out his myspace and his vids on youtube. We will see tomorrow if I am one step closer to 'pickin 'em right' this year.


so close yet so far away...

I’m hitting a blogging funk. I have nothing to post. I am, though, moved by what I am reading from fellow bloggers who are in Uganda this week. Are you following them too? Click over there on the right side of this page to catch up with Carlos and the gang in Uganda.

Speaking of Carlos, I was kinda resolved to the fact that he had bigger things going on than visiting my blog but I did notice that he is now following my Twitter feed.
Hi Mr. Whittaker. I think we are getting closer to achieving the Goal:! I guess I need to get back on Twitter and try to lure Carlos over to the blog.


Friday, February 8, 2008

the speed of....

Ok… I get, and actually appreciate, this ‘fast’ world we live in. The microwave oven, the express lane and now the self checkout lane, fast food and the drive thru, news at the click of a remote of computer button and even Tivo allowing us to skip the commercials within our favorite TV show….it’s all good in my book.

But there are certain things in life you have to take time and enjoy. My kids, spending that ‘away time’ with my wife that comes only far and few times a year, a 16oz prime rib with au jus and french fries with a glass of ice tea and a good game of Monopoly. Unfortunately, even this fast paced world has a grip on this classic board game.

Walking through Walmart tonight I came upon an isle end cap with this version of Monopoly proudly displayed. Monopoly Speed Die edition. Come on folks. We can’t sit down anymore to even play a game of Monopoly? We need the Speed Die edition so we can ‘play faster’?
Is this the new way to get-rich-quick?


Thursday, February 7, 2008

the good ole days..........

Remember the good ole days? The good ole days of computer games, that is. The golden age of innovative arcade games like Pacman, Astroids and Donkey Kong. I do. All those memories came rushing back to mind with I found this. I still miss those cartridges and joysticks though.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

NOT is behind the light bulb....


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

something good...

Ok, so I have this blog and I post stuff and you come and read it. Isn't it a pretty cool time to be alive? I had almost 500 visits from all over the world last month and all I do is post stuff that is in my head or stuff I do or read. Big deal, huh?

My Goal:, Carlos, and a bunch of his buddies (nope, he didnt invite me this time) are headed over to Africa in a few days. They all will be blogging about thier trip and experiences with children of Uganda and Compassion International. The purpose of the trip is to get kids sponsored.

I know, you are thinking I am doing all of this just to get Carlos to visit the blog, well, not really.

Ragamuffin Soul in Uganda

I want to be a part of change. I think as humans, most all of us do. This is so simple. This is to simple. Wanna change the world with me? Let's do something good....


help wanted!

I posted a few days ago that we are now looking for an Associate Technical Director. I just wanted to remind you again. If you know someone that would be a good fit for us please pass along the info.

Job Description
Contact hr@wcrossing.org for more info or to send your resume.

We are also accepting applications for summer and year long internships. Email the address above for an application.

Monday, February 4, 2008

I Can't Do This

Sometimes you just have to be there to experience it but luckily we had a little handycam to capture it for you. This past weekend we did Plumb’s I Cant Do This to set up the message. Greg was teaching on the Ten Commandments…download the podcast. But since we don’t have music on the podcast I thought I might let you in on a bootlegged copy of this song. This is captured from a little handycam, not our system cameras.

This pretty much beats Carlos Whittaker’s (has anyone seen Carlos around here yet?) Ladies and Gentleman. Let me know what you think.

Here is the full static cam - song starts at 00:33

Here are the close ups


Friday, February 1, 2008

warming up...

...back inside from a morning of playing in the snow. Our offical scientific measurment from the yard says we had about 7 inches of snow. Many snow angels, lots of snow balls and snow fort were the highlights. I do believe though, that our drive way is about five times as big as what we had in Wheaton.

Off to church after eating lunch to get back in the swing of things and prepare for the weekend services. We have amazing volunteers that adjust their personal and work schedules today and tomorrow to get caught up from what we missed over the last day.