Hanging TVs

Travis Carpenter from Northview Church in Carmel, IN brings us this great use of TVs and trussing.

The stage design consisted of 6 pieces of truss hanging from their batten system at varying heights and depths over the stage. Each truss had a 51″ plasma mounted to the front, as well as a Chauvet Slimpar 64 as a truss warmer, and a VariLite 2500 spot mounted to the side of the truss. Each TV was powered by a Mac Mini that was mounted to the back and powered by ProPresenter 5.

Each Mac Mini was connected to a network switch which was then connected to an additional Mac Mini at front of house running ProPresenter 5 with the Master Control Module installed.

The TVs on the front of the drum riser were all run by one Mac Mini with a Matrox Triple Head 2 Go unit connected to span the image across all three TVs.

They used uni strut to fabricate custom mounts for the TVs, as well as mounts to hang the truss in a vertical fashion.

Despite the entire system being hard wired together, they still had network dropout issues. So they had to develop some practices for making sure the machines stayed connected throughout each service.

– 8x 10ft truss pieces
– 11x 51″ Samsung Plasma displays
– 9x Apple Mac Mini’s
– 8x Chauvet SlimPar 64 (truss warmers)
– 1x Matrox Triple Head 2 Go
– 2x network switches
– 1x ProPresenter Master Control Module

16 responses to Hanging TVs

  1. What was the total cost?

    • Travis Carpenter April 30, 2012 at 8:43 am

      The total cost we are a little unsure of.. The big ticket items (TVs and Mac Mini’s) total up to around $12,000. Once we got all of the networking gear, various cabling and such I imagine it around $13,000.

      The great thing about this project was our timing. As our church is growing, our lobby and atrium areas are being updated with digital signage. We were able to get in at the beginning of those upgrades and make use of the TVs and Mac Mini’s that were going to that install. This way, we were able to pull off a killer stage look that our department by itself would have never been able to afford normally.

  2. Hey Travis,

    Looks awesome, I lie the look. What are you using for control for lighting? I’m kind of taking an informal poll to see where churches are going. I personally love the grandMA series because that’s what I use at work, however I know churches can’t really afford to spend $78,500 on a full size grandMA2.

  3. Hi Jason.
    At our church we purchased a MA 2 light and its more than enough than a full size. Granted we also purchased a fader wing for more control surface.

  4. Hi Travis,

    I really like the design! How are you making the projection happen behind the band? Is that triplewide on fabric?

    • Travis Carpenter April 30, 2012 at 4:34 pm



      The projection behind the band is actually on a 80′ wide by 30′ tall Stewart projection screen. Behind the screen there are 4 16k Christie projectors. We typically only run the screen with two projectors, using the other two as a backup. We originally thought we would need 4 projectors to achieve an acceptable brightness level, but luckily we were wrong. So the projectors are set up in a 2×2 fashion, with a blend down the middle.

      The content is play from a Coolux media server located in our video racks in the basement. All of the edge blending and warping of the image happens in the Coolux software. We control playback of the media server from our Jands Vista T2 lighting console. As you can imagine, with a screen that big it plays a big part in the environment being created in our auditorium. To give our lighting volunteers the most control over the “feel” of the whole room, we give them the control of the rear screen at the lighting desk. Doing so also frees up a volunteer that would otherwise be needed to run the rear screen content.

  5. Travis,

    This is amazing work. I love the looks. The lighting looks great.


    • Travis Carpenter April 30, 2012 at 7:22 pm


      Thanks! I try to keep up with what you guys are up to down at Northland. Some of your designs have inspired ours!

      Keep up the good work!

  6. “Despite the entire system being hard wired together, they still had network dropout issues. So they had to develop some practices for making sure the machines stayed connected throughout each service.”

    How did you solve the dropout problem? We’re using three mac minis with Matrox triple heads with ProPresenter 5 and are experiencing the same issues you were.

    • Travis Carpenter May 9, 2012 at 9:46 am

      We found that creating their own isolated network solved alot of issues. We also made sure that the wifi on the mac minis was turned off.

  7. Neil Tankersley October 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    GOOD JOB TRAVIS!!! Really cool to see you on here, I would love to say that I was the one to teach you all of this, but we both know that’s not true!

    • Hey Neil!

      Good to hear from you! The only reason I am doing what I am today is because of my years spent working with Bigstuf. So in a roundabout way you could consider yourself part of it!

  8. It looks great! One question though: why was it necessary to buy multiple Mac Minis rather than connecting all TVs to one?

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML.

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 


Solve : *
27 − 17 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.