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PODCAST 222-2: TSH Audio & Visual Upgrades Sound & Video for First Presbyterian Church in Pittsford, NY

On this edition of the SVC Podcast, Timothy Harris of TSH Audio & Visual returns to finish his talk with Contributing Editor Bennett Liles about the sound system renovation for the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford, New York. In Part 2 Timothy describes the church projection system which features two Sony VPL-FHZ66 laser light source projectors. He also provides details on the Atlona SW-500ED video switcher installed on the project along with the Sony SRG360SHE camera and the Matrox Monarch HDX dual channel video encoder.



A rectangular box with hard walls and no acoustical treatment put a challenge in front of TSH Audio and Visual of Syracuse. They made it work for the First Presbyterian Church in Pittsford, New York with a Martin Audio O-Line micro line array system. Now they’ve got video streaming as well. Timothy Harris is back to finish his story on it right now on the SVC Podcast.

Timothy, good to have you back with us for Part 2 on the SVC Podcast from TSH Audio and Visual in Syracuse.

Yeah, thank you. It’s great to be back with you.

We were talking about the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford, New York and you did a substantial audio and video upgrade. We got to the Martin Audio speaker system before and it’s a very traditional congregation. Suppose however that sometime down the line they decide to add some live music or start a separate Sunday service for younger members. Could you adapt this system for that?

Right now we do have a port for a powered subwoofer if they ever wanted to go for maybe a little more modern worship, but with the history of the church and the members and everything, I really don’t see them going with a praise band-type worship style anytime in the near future. But if it comes to that, the O-Line, it’s not a full-on line array-sounding PA, but it would do a decent enough job for an acoustic guitar or a vocalist and maybe a drummer with one of those little boxes they hit. But I would not say it would be for a full band going through it. [Timestamp: 1:42]

Yeah, I wouldn’t expect them to do something drastic all of a sudden and even if they go that way I would think it would be something they would phase toward gradually.

Yeah. For something like that we’d probably want to add some more boxes to the O-Line and all that just to give them more; a little reinforcement. Plus, as I said, add a powered sub in there with a control for it and everything. But as I said, that would be probably if they ever would ever go down that line. [Timestamp: 2:05]

I think you mentioned streaming. Does the church record video and do live streaming?

Yes. The church does do recording and live streaming now. So with the original system they just kind of recorded to a – well, it used to be a DVD burner and then to just a flash drive or something like that. So now we’ve upgraded them to a Matrox streamer which they stream to Facebook. But they also have the capability to also record to a thumb drive or a card which sits in there; they can take out and edit it if they want to. Basically the camera sits. They have very simple shots. There’s two podiums in there. One is called a podium and one is the lectern. So one pastor usually goes over to the podium and the lectern is for other speakers, so they’ll have a shot between the podium and the lectern and then a shot that goes out wide. Sometimes they have children’s bells set up in there or they might pan around and show the organist playing the organ. [Timestamp: 3:07]

OK and what camera did you install for the live streaming?

We put in a Sony SRG360. It’s a very nice camera, 4X lens in it, and it picks up everything beautifully in there. [Timestamp: 3:20]

I think projection was also part of this. How do they use that? For hymn lyrics?

We put two Sony 6,200 lumen laser projectors in there. We have two inputs. We have one under the podium, which is an ACM input, which is a net-loaded input. We have another one that is upstairs in the choir loft in front of the organ that if they ever do special events and they want to show pictures from mission trips or anything like that, they can do that. So the projection really isn’t like a full-time system they’re going to be using just yet. Hymnals, they still use just standard books for hymnals. So they might phase that in to put the lyrics up on the walls, but at this point they’re not going to be doing that. They’re only going to use them for special occasions, stuff like that. [Timestamp: 4:05]

And you put the Atlona SW-500ED video switcher into the system so does it currently have just those two inputs?

Yes. It has those two inputs but it also has a video input from the camera so they can show the camera angle up on the screen. Being where it is in Rochester they have some pretty prestigious music schools out there, like Eastman is a very prestigious school out there. So Eastman would have organ recitals so what they would do is they could stream the organ recitals or they could also show the organist upon the screens. There’s a couple of other colleges out there that would also be able to use it for recitals in the area. [Timestamp: 4:44]

We talked about the sound system emphasizing speech clarity from the pastor.


That all starts with the mics so how do you mic the pastors when they’re at the podium?

It’s kind of two-fold. Each podium has its own podium mic and then the pastor also has a lapel mic. So sometimes the pastor does go up to the podium and we kind of had to find a balance between his lapel mic and the podium mic when he goes up there so A) we wouldn’t get phasing issues and we wouldn’t get feedback. [Timestamp: 5:16]

Yeah, that could be a little tricky.

Yeah, it was. But with some processing we were able to get it to work where we wouldn’t have any of those issues. [Timestamp: 5:24]

So they don’t have a mixer per se so I guess they maybe have one person who knows something about operating the system and they don’t really need a tech crew?

No, there’s no tech crew. They have two or three people that have pretty good knowledge of the system. They do have one gentleman that kind of runs the system when they need it. When they need it a little more in-depth, if they need to turn a mic up or anything like that, he’d be more the person to go to. [Timestamp: 5:47]

And the Matrox Monarch HDX dual channel video encoder, that’s probably about the easiest thing there is. You just push it on or off.

That really was the easiest thing I could give them is, “Here it is for streaming, here it is for recording. Pick which way you want.” Truthfully it took longer for Facebook streaming to set up the Monarch. [Timestamp: 6:06]

You said before that they have some other events in there and those mainly involve the organ?

They do some special recitals for wind instruments. They’ll have colleges – Nazareth is a college around there, St. John Fisher, or even Eastman School of Music will come in there and use their organ or they’ll do recitals in there because they just like the look of the building and the more openness of the room. The room is more lively with the acoustic instruments. [Timestamp: 6:36]

Yeah and it’s probably a lot different in some ways dealing with a larger church than a very small one. You can have a whole bunch of people you have to get permissions from and then train tech people. So what do you think the most important thing is in working with a church of any size?

Working with any kind of church – I mean, know church culture. So many times I see people are just trying to sell whatever to a church. We like to go in and get to know the church. We want to know what is the DNA of the church? What’s your vision for where you want to go? We’re just not out there to make a sale. We’re trying to spread the word of God and make it more accessible to everybody with either the video streaming or video recording or audio or lighting. We’re just trying to give them that experience. And we know every church is different. Not all churches want the big audio systems and moving lights and all that. With a lot of traditional churches they just want a good sound system and we try to give them a package that will fit into their budget and we feel will help with them and they can grow with this for many years to come. [Timestamp: 7:39]

Well, there’s nothing like doing a good job for them to get you back if they do decide to change things up.

 Oh, yeah. I mean, I know with First Presbyterian we’re looking at adding another camera in the near future for a shot right at the hands and feet of the organist for when they do organ recitals. There’s another chapel on the other side that they’re looking to – it’s a small chapel – upgrade the system because the older Crestron system was kind of part of that whole system we took out. So we’re going to do some updating there too. [Timestamp: 8:12]

And in addition to that, what other projects have you got in the works for TSH Audio and Visual?

Well, next month we have a couple of basic audio installs. This coming fall we have two or three new builds going on. So we’ve been blessed this year and we have a lot of work coming in. [Timestamp: 8:29]

It’s good to stay busy and I’m glad to hear that all this worked out. Even though people may think it’s a simple system, it has to be just right for the church you’re putting it into.

Oh, yeah.

Especially appropriate for them.

Yeah. Most definitely.

We’ve been talking with Timothy Harris of TSH Audio and Visual in Syracuse. A top-rate job for The First Presbyterian Church in Pittsford, New York, near Rochester. It’s always good to hear about one that turns out like this.

Yeah. I was glad that I was able to talk to you about the project and hopefully soon we’ll have a couple more projects we can talk to you about. [Timestamp: 9:03]

 Sounds good. See you then.


Just the right system for just the right church and TSH Audio and Visual made it easy to operate for clean sound and video streaming. Get back with us next week for a dive into the details of another sound and video system installation on the next SVC Podcast.

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