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Broadcasting with an Affordable, Modern Solution

St John's Lutheran Church (SJLC) in Statesville, North Carolina, has been broadcasting their services to about 40,000 homes each week for the past 20 years. Prior to purchasing the UltraNEXUS from LEIGHTRONIX, SJLC's workflow was admittedly "archaic," but a change in the time of their church service created a scheduling conflict and forced SJLC to look for an affordable, modern solution with advanced scheduling capabilities.

St. John's Lutheran Church is one of three churches that have a slot on the city of Statesville's channel, but SJLC does the scheduling for all three of them. Each Sunday, First Baptist's service is run at 9 a.m., followed by First Associate Reform Presbyterian (ARP) at 10 a.m., and SJLC at 11 a.m.


Initially, this setup worked fine, but when the SJLC service was moved to 10:30 a.m. in February 2012, SJLC needed a way to broadcast at 11 a.m. while still recording the entirety of the 10:30 a.m. service. Their solution was the UltraNEXUS, a powerful video server featuring dual digital encoders. With the UltraNEXUS, SJLC can start their recording at 10:30 a.m., and start the broadcast feed at 11 a.m. without interrupting the ongoing recording.

"We changed our service from 11 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and we already had the 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. slot filled (with First ARP's service), so we would have had to go on a week delay to show our service," Producer Phil Mills said. "We had a lot of people who wanted us to go back to a live service on Sunday, so this enabled us to start our recording at 10:30 a.m. and begin our playback at 11 a.m."

St. John's Lutheran church uses three producers, Mills, Roger Bejcek, and Dennis Wilson, and all have noticed that not only does the UltraNEXUS provide greater capabilities for SJLC that they did not have prior to implementing the system, but it has also proved to be reliable for the group.


"Prior to the UltraNEXUS we were having some reliability problems and it wouldn't always broadcast," Wilson said. "Since going to the UltraNEXUS, we haven't missed a broadcast and everything has gone out as it should. If I come in on Saturday and set everything up, I can trust that it's going to run on Sunday morning. That's a fact."

The UltraNEXUS has also improved the producers' workflow and eliminated the hassle of transferring VHS tapes by physically driving them to where they need to go. St. John's Lutheran Church used to record a service on VHS, drive it to a transmission point in town, and it would be queued to air on the following Sunday. The result was a hassle for the producers and the broadcast of a week-old service every Sunday.

"When we first started, we would take VHS tapes down to a transmission point at the fire department, pop it in, and wait on it," Bejcek said. "Now it's significantly better with the UltraNEXUS. Night and day."

The producers of SJLC are impressed with the convenience, ease of use, and reliability of the UltraNEXUS despite using it for just three hours a week. The group says it's clear they aren't utilizing the system to its full potential and could see it being a major benefit to users who use it more extensively.

"The UltraNEXUS can do a lot more than we're doing with it. I think we're tapping into maybe 10 percent of what it can do and we can expand this and use it more," Wilson said. "I'm sure if somebody bought this, they could use it every day and get a lot more use out of it."



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