Northview Church, a multi-site community church serving central Indiana from nine campuses, is delivering engaging visual content for its live worship and online services using the powerful, time-saving features of a Hippotizer™ Boreal Media Server from Green Hippo. Located at the church’s Carmel campus, the Boreal feeds content to the 60ft x 25ft projection screen which forms a striking backdrop to services both live and streamed.
“The Boreal drives all of the video content on the upstage screen, plus any overlays or synchronized video on the house IMAG screens,” says Evan Rodecap, president of Signal Productions. A long-standing full-time engineer for the church, Evan knew Hippotizer from the touring world, and consulted on the specification of the Hippotizer Boreal.
“The Hippotizer had the outputs and resources, within a single frame, needed to drive the projection blend,” says Evan. “Another factor was the low point-to-point latency in using video mix effects, which is critical in relation to low latency IMAG screens. It was the only server demo’ed that could match the low latency needed while processing complex video effects.”
Another major advantage was the Hippotizer’s easy integration with the lighting desk, a grandMA3 full-size, running grandMA2 software. “The installation was completed in a few hours,” says Evan. “The CITP functionality of any server was a must. Out of the box, Hippo connected and indexed seamlessly to the console CITP pool. Mapping DMX parameters was extremely simple. They had previously used other media server brands, both of which required significant programming. Now, programming time has been cut by at least a day.”
The Hippotizer is located within a remote engineering room, alongside Northview’s other video equipment, and fibre-linked to the projectors, while the ZooKeeper remote interface sits on a PC next to the lighting desk at front-of-house. The Hippotizer is controlled via MA-Net from the desk. “Content is loaded onto the ZooKeeper software and the Hippo composites these sources, along with camera feeds, into a single image, which is then blended among six Barco UDX projectors and rear-projected onto the screen,” says Evan.
Lighting designer, programmer and operator Kevin Smith says, “We put together a new service every week, so time is often the limiting factor. The Hippo allows me to quickly and easily modify and layer content to create complete and dynamic looks, without leaving the lighting desk. We heavily use the Hippo’s color shifting, effects, and compositing features, instead of pre-producing rendered content in software like After Effects. This allows me to move quickly and to make changes right up until doors open.”
He adds, “The integration with grandMA has been a huge win for us. With other media servers, I found myself constantly reaching over to make changes. With Hippo, once I’ve loaded the content, I don’t touch it. Before, it felt like we had access to do complex things, but never enough time. The Hippo makes everything fast and easy – it just works.”
Photo: © Northview Church