The sunny Christ Fellowship Churches in South Florida are enjoying new visions during services at five locations this year, following a major investment in Hippotizer Media Servers to playback pre-made content and drive LED pixel strips with swathes of colour.
Three of Christ Fellowship’s largest locations, in Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie are now enjoying the user-friendly, visual impact of Hippotizer Taiga, Karst and Boreal Media Servers respectively. They were specified by the Church’s Technical Director, Neil Zimmerman.
“We were previously using a tired, software-based visuals solution but found that the graphics cards within our computers had major limitations and required constant updates,” says Neil. “I was aware of the power and intuitive interface that Hippotizer offers, and as the Church grew, I knew this was the best option. Other churches in the US are using them, and I’ve experienced Hippotizer firsthand.”
Neil approached Tim Corder at Hippotizer dealer, Diversified, who suggested media server solutions from a number of brands. “Tim was phenomenally helpful, and we knew Hippotizer was the best fit for us,” Neil continued. “Knowing that the dedicated Hippotizer hardware is designed to support our needs was a big plus. We’re working with some fairly large pixel spaces, so we needed hardware that could do the heavy lifting, and we also needed a solution that scaled across multiple locations and sizes. We love that we can leverage clean sustainable workflows for Sunday services, but when we need to leverage big and heavy, Hippotizer provides that for us too.”
Neil has a team of lighting operators that fire content using both GrandMA and Hog consoles, depending on the location. The team preps the Hippotizer during the week, along with the lighting programming for each week’s services and then a volunteer plays back content and lighting cue stacks each weekend.
Most of the visual content is pre-made, and is what Neil describes as “environmental type support or true promo type video playback”.
“We’re also using Hippotizer’s PixelMapper engine to drive a couple hundred pixels worth of Chauvet ÉPIX Strip Tours at each location,” he says. “We’ve been super pleased with the reliability of each of our Hippo severs. Even with long pieces of content and large files, we can rest easy knowing that the Hippos are going to play it back without any hiccups. We know that what we have works and we don’t have to worry about supporting the technical side of media playback. Our teams have the space to be creative because the technical details are being handled by a product that’s reliable and easy to use.”
Following the installation of Hippotizers at the three largest churches, all of which seat more than 2,000, Neil and his team have invested in two Hippotizer Karst Media Servers for two of its medium-sized churches in Florida, and a further Karst is on order for its forthcoming Westlake Church campus – which is scheduled to open in 2023.