Located in Pretoria, South Africa, CHOOSE LIFE Church was founded in 2005 by Pastor John and Mandri Roebert. Adhering to their motto, ‘Helping people know Jesus’, the church’s leadership team have an expansive vision, utilising technology to enhance their live events, as well as effectively spreading the word with live streams and broadcasts that reach a large online audience. This embracing of technology has been a part of CHOOSE LIFE’s ethos throughout their journey, consistently ensuring that high-quality systems are installed on their premises.
In fact, after purchasing the building in 2010, the first thing they did was renovate and improve upon the existing system. The first major project in 2011 was centred around the installation of a state-of-the-art d&b T-Series audio system in their main auditorium, which was supplied and integrated by Stage Audio Works (SAW). Recently, CHOOSE LIFE Church called upon SAW once again, this time to implement a large Pixel Plus LED wall to act as the backdrop for their stage. A secondary requirement of this project was to upgrade their hardware and streaming infrastructure, to allow them more flexibility moving forwards.
First and foremost, a light should be shone on the audio system that has served CHOOSE LIFE Church so well, for so long. The solution that SAW installed in 2011 relies predominately on d&b equipment. It is constructed around three core line arrays, each consisting of a seven stack of d&b Ti10L loudspeakers. These are supported by four Qi Subwoofers, recessed into the front of the stage.
Grant Boswell, Technical Support Officer at CHOOSE LIFE Church explains how the system has stood the test of time: “Recently we had Nathan from SAW actually visit and listen to the system. He said that it still sounds as good as it did when it was originally installed twelve years ago, if not better thanks to acoustic treatment that has been carried out since. He also said that they wouldn’t easily be able to replace it with a comparable system today that would make a noticeable difference without spending a lot more money – a true sign of quality engineering.”
Having previously delivered such a durable system, it’s unsurprising that CHOOSE LIFE Church returned to SAW when they were next in need. Due to their significant focus on live streaming, the church had an interest in improving the visual experience: “Our old stage backdrop was rather boring and dark, so we wanted to brighten and liven it up to make our auditorium look more contemporary and create an exciting stage feature. A couple of years ago we hired in a screen and fell in love with it, so decided it was time for a permanent upgrade,” declares Boswell. “We did some research and received several quotes, but ultimately decided to go with SAW’s Pixel Plus solution. They were always the favourite, as we have an excellent relationship with them and felt assured that they would deliver a premium quality product.”
For the primary solution, Stage Audio Works implemented a 108-panel Xcell-i LED wall from their Pixel Plus range. The technology offers high contrast and refresh rates, unparalleled brightness, and the ability to vary the pixel pitch to fit any application – indoors or otherwise. Significantly, all of this comes at an extremely cost-effective price point.
Boswell continues, highlighting the other work that the integration covered: “This visual element will greatly improve the quality of our live streams, especially with the additional upgrade to our video framework throughout our facilities.” SAW significantly improved the church’s live streaming capabilities by upgrading to HD-SDI cabling for all projectors and equipment in the auditorium, additional rooms, and foyer. Likewise, the team upgraded their original streaming PCs to a more sophisticated network of custom-built Dream Machine Light PCs. On a software level, SAW galvanised the adoption of ProPresenter 7 and supported the transition towards the Resi streaming platform, affording the church increased flexibility and scalability, with the guarantee of seamless streaming, even though temporary total internet connection loss – in Boswell’s own words, “opening up many more options and opportunities for us in the future.”
“We are loving the new look,” affirms Boswell. “The colour and movement in the background make our stage look even bigger and more impressive and eliminates the dark spots we previously noticed in our playbacks.
“The experience has only served to strengthen what was already a strong relationship with SAW, that predates even the ten years that I’ve been working at CHOOSE LIFE Church,” he continues. “They have proved time and again their ability to provide industry-leading solutions. This, combined with their willingness to help, provides exceptional peace of mind. We are extremely comfortable with SAW and appreciative of their support, their professionalism and expert advice.”