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Historic Irish church places faith in Kramer AVoIP technology

Installation of Kramer systems transforms Cregagh Presbyterian Church in East Belfast, Northern Ireland into a "beacon of modernity"

Cregagh Presbyterian Church in East Belfast, Northern Ireland, has chosen Kramer AVoIP technology to transform the complex into a more technologically advanced space, using its enhanced AVoIP and Kramer Control technology, for live congregations and people watching at home.

Located on Cregagh Road, midway between a busy shopping area and a residential neighbourhood, the historic Christian Church has been at the heart of the community for over 110 years. Its large open spaces provide a place for a range of daily worship, weekly and other special activities and events throughout the year.

Saved from the wrecking ball in 2013 following a ‘Save Cregagh Church’ campaign – with approximately 90% of the bricks replaced at a cost of close to £1 million – the Church continues to thrive, with audio-visual technology playing an increasingly important role for its congregants. However, as a multi-building, multi-story complex, with six different rooms for different functions, the church’s existing AV system had become outdated for its evolving needs, with flexibility, interactivity, and remote attendee access, all key to its ambitions.

Cregagh Presbyterian Church turned to Rea Sound AV – a specialist in delivering professional audio, lighting and visual equipment to houses of worship – to transform it into a “beacon of modernity” in the most cost-effective manner.

Rea Sound AV used a customised Kramer SL-240C room controller – with PoE – to provide a scalable and flexible central control unit. It runs on Kramer Control – a cloud-based, end-to-end enterprise AV control system which provides control of all devices in all rooms, including scalers, video displays, audio amplifiers, Blu−ray players, sensors, screens, shades, door locks, and lights.

With simplicity of use key to the Cregagh Presbyterian Church’s ambitions, Kramer Control requires no technical background and can be controlled using an Apple iPad, allowing the church committee to easily share inputs throughout the building, including the church hall, creche, and other rooms. This allows the congregation to participate in services from anywhere using existing televisions and projectors, with the audio and picture perfectly in sync. Additionally, it enables engaging AV experiences for other communal events the church hosts.

To complete the set-up, Rea Sound AV selected multiple Kramer KDS-EN7 AVoIP encoders and Kramer KDS-DEC7 decoders. Kramer advanced transmitters and receivers for seamless streaming of 4K video signals via Ethernet over copper cable were selected to handle input sources. AV signals are transmitted over IP, using NETGEAR AV Line Managed Switches.

Roger McMullan, director, Rea Sound AV, said: “We’ve partnered with several churches similar to Cregagh Presbyterian and worked with Kramer for a long time on many projects, so we know the quality of its products and the ease of control and flexibility it gives to ensure projects like this were successful.”   

He added: “Kramer Control met the requirements of the client, with ease of use and reliability from day one. But most importantly, it provides confidence every Sunday or mid-week service, knowing everything will just work. The audio-visual environment was further enhanced by installing a cutting-edge projector, carefully selecting displays to match the church’s aesthetics, reconfiguring client displays, and upgrading streaming services.”

He concluded: “We’ve received very positive feedback from Cregagh Presbyterian Church. They love the system. They even have visits from other churches interested in seeing what they succeeded in doing. Today, the church is a beacon of modernity and technological advancement, offering an enriched worship experience to its congregation.”