Kramer’s range of solutions played a leading role in a major AV upgrade programme to create “a beacon of modernity” inside the historic Cregagh Presbyterian Church, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Located on Cregagh Road, midway between a busy shopping area and a residential neighbourhood, the Christian Church has been at the heart of the community for over 110 years. A warm and welcoming environment for people of all ages, 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 in the experience 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multi-story complex, with six different rooms for different functions, the church’s existing AV system had become outdated and restrictive to its evolving needs for today and in the future, with flexibility, interactivity, and remote attendee access, all key to its ambitions.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 – tasked with transforming the Cregagh Presbyterian Church into a seamlessly integrated and technologically advanced space, in the most cost-effective manner. 

To bring the Church’s visions to life, Kramer was the stand-out manufacturer of choice for Rea Sound AV.

Roger McMullan, Director of Rea Sound AV, comments: “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.” 

Working in partnership throughout, and after gaining a deep understanding of the church’s needs for today and for tomorrow, a range of Kramer’s solutions were implemented to create an intuitive control system to enhance the church’s audio-visual capabilities while integrating smoothly with its existing infrastructure.

To achieve this, a customised Kramer SL-240C room controller – with PoE – was selected to provide a scalable and flexible central control unit.

Running on Kramer Control – Kramer’s user-friendly and highly agile, cloud-based, end-to-end enterprise AV control system – providing full visibility and full control of all devices in all rooms, be it 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 provides an intuitive interface for church committee members to operate the system effortlessly, with no need for a technical background. 

Adding further familiarity, all this is now 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. 

Completing the set-up, multiple Kramer KDS-EN7 AVoIP encoders and Kramer KDS-DEC7 decoders – Kramer’s transmitters and receivers for 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. 

Since installing a comprehensive Kramer Control solution, Cregagh Presbyterian Church has been enjoying a smooth and reliable user experience. The sophisticated control layout Rea Sound designed and deployed ensures the system can manage multiple audio and video inputs, with fast and smooth switching. 

With its technologically advanced AV capabilities, the Church provides an immersive and captivating experience for both in-person and remote attendees, enriching the worship experience and helping extend the church’s reach to more congregants.

Roger adds: “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 continues.

“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.”

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