Church Overhead Methodology

Making a smooth worship experience for congregations is an art unique in its own right. The entertainment industry perfects certain aspects, but in a congregation of worship, entertainment is not the goal at all. In fact, the best worship teams seek to fade entirely from the platform as they lead the  people to enter into the high praises of God themselves.

The primary idea behind worship is that the congregation itself is able to make the words and music that are being sung their own expression of praise. For most congregations, this has led leadership into installing overhead projection and a dedicated computer near the sound booth. Unfortunately these devices do not run themselves, and as with any tool, if not used properly, they may distract from worship more than they aid it. Even if an old-style projector is employed, the methodology for employing words on screen must be carefully learned and coordinated with the lead musicians so as not to detract from worship:

  • Are the words in print in the same order as those being sung?
  • Are the slides for repeated phrases easily accessible so that they may be revisited when the music repeats a chorus?
  • Are the words in a font and color than can be read easily?
  • Are the phrases in the song written in a poetic logical order in the same manner that the song is sung?
  • Are there cues in the printed song that aids the congregation in knowing what phrase will come next, or how to sing a particular phrase?
  • Does the person changing the slides know the song well enough to change the slide in a timely manner, preferably, before the last word on the current slide is sung.

When using a particular software for projection purposes, the projection artist (e.g. lead musician or sound man) must create an organization structure for the library of overheads that will be used in any given worship set. Some congregations prefer to be rigid in their songs sets allowing for pre-ordering of the songs to be sung, but in more contemporary services, songs must be easily searchable so that if an impromptu song is selected, the operator can quickly find it in a few measures of the song and display it for the congregation. Even within a given song, it must be written in a way that allows for verses and chorus to be interchanged and quickly displayed in the same rapidness that a lead musician may opt to repeat a particular portion. All these details take some thought, technical experience, and practice to solidify the art of creating a non-distracting worship environment for people.

B.A. Computer Services is trained in this particular art. (903) 243-9588

Why DVDs Won’t Play

In short, DVD movies are encrypted by the movie-makers such that special software is required to decipher them.  Older copies of Microsoft Windows® were automatically able to decipher the movies because Microsoft automatically included the software with the operating system licenses. Windows® 8, and 10, and current releases of Linux do not natively have the software necessary to decipher the movies.  What is more, there are now laws that forbid programmers from writing software to decipher or crack the cryptography.  Such software does exist, and its use has not yet been challenged in U.S. courts, but nonetheless, is technically illegal. Cracking encryption is now deemed similar to breaking a lock on a car or house. the end-purpose of the laws being to prevent duplication of the DVDs. (One must be aware that purchase of a DVD movie is not purchase of the entire movie itself, but only a limited license to view the movie on that particular DVD.)

Solutions include:

  1. Buy software that specifically licenses the right to decipher the encryption (around $20);
  2. Use an external DVD or DVD/Blu-ray combo player (which again has been specifically licensed by the manufacturer to decipher the encryption);
  3. Downgrade to Windows® 7 or prior versions (works for most older movie releases, but may fail going forward with newer releases);
  4. A few other odd-ball solutions exist that cannot be recommended with integrity by this author, and can be quite technically difficult to accomplish.

Reference these articles: