Captivating the Masses

Captivating the Masses

Palm Valley Church Creates “Wow ” in its Community with AV Media


Mankin Media Systems specified a custom aspect ratio screen from Da-Lite’s Series 300 that spans the stage at an upwards of 50 feet and hovers right above the musicians on stage.

MISSION, TX—Palm Valley Church (PVC), a rapidly growing house of worship located 15 miles from the border of Mexico in Mission, TX, was at a stage of growth within its ministry and needed more space and more “wow” factor. They selected Mankin Media Systems (MMS) to provide the means to engage its diverse audience.

Mitch Idol, service program director of Palm Valley Church, said attendees are now “wide-eyed!”

After significant renovations to its old facility, Palm Valley Church hoped it had done what was needed for accommodating its members; but the recent growth was too much. The 600- seat auditorium—previously thought to be large enough—was bursting at the seams, so a new 2,500-seat auditorium was erected. The size of the building and the eye-opening technology inside creates the “wow” for miles around.

MMS projects director, Stephen Roberts, said, “They were exploding in attendance and were confident in their leap to build a new building to gain more seating capacity. What they described to us though was a mission to not just gain seating capacity but to build a facility designed to engage their audiences for miles around.”

The Palm Valley Church tech team met the MMS staff at an arts conference in 2008 and knew after the brief encounter that the company could be the integrator they needed. “Within weeks of meeting MMS, they came to our facility and started the dream session,” Idol said. “We didn’t have to look anywhere else.”

MMS uses a 3D process, which encompasses dream, design, and deploy phases to insure the dreams and hopes for a new install are delivered on time and on budget. After the dream session, planning began between MMS, PVC, Luna Architects, and PVC’s builders.

“Our design team worked with Luna Architects to custom build the space around the visually immersive feel,” Roberts said. “At MMS we believe in the design process. You can either let the architectural decisions dictate what technology you are allowed to utilize or have the technology and functionality of the room drive the architectural decisions. The former is how most buildings of the past have been designed, which results in several changes in technology to ‘get it right’—the latter is how we design spaces. This ensures each space is perfect from the word ‘go.’”

“Every aspect of the building took media into consideration,” Idol said. “Having the infrastructure in place for day-one needs of the new building was key, as well as options for further upgrades and installs.”

The church wanted to build solid lighting and audio systems that would support what was happening on stage and create a great experience for the guests and church attendees. PVC already had a strong graphics team, so MMS designed a visually stunning custom aspect ratio screen, from Da-Lite’s Series 300, that spans the stage at an upwards of 50 feet and hovers right above the musicians on stage. The screen can receive live video from camera locations and preproduced videos or text in any configuration. “We were able to create a visually immersive space that engages their audience,” Roberts said.

A Vista Spyder screen management system was crucial to the operation of the screen as it allows tremendous operational flexibility and no delay. “The Vista Spyder, it’s amazing,” Idol said. “It allows for so much flexibility. Although I feel like we have barely scratched the surface, it allows for some really great stuff.”

Palm Valley’s dreams became a reality in the two-year timeline and on the fixed budget they set in place at the beginning of the 3D process. Ben Mankin, president of MMS, observed, “We are so pleased that the new building at PVC can not only meet the current technical needs of the church today, but was also structurally designed to help meet the future needs of the church.”

MMS also implemented a Ross Vision Switcher for the camera and graphics switch to the lobby TVs, web stream, and record feed. MMS did demos with speakers and PVC loved the sound of the Nexo S12 line array. Lighting was the backbone of the High End Road Hog, which the client used for a year prior to the new building. The systems matched PVC’s level of expertise and the functionality needed. The “wow” for the lighting comes from the 20 Martin moving head fixtures made up of Mac 575 and TW1s.

More flexibility and savings is brought to life through the Harris multiviewer. The Harris multiviewer allows PVC to view 24 inputs across two screens. In turn, PVC saves money on individual monitoring while at the same time providing room for future upgrades.

The technology and training provided by MMS allows PVC to captivate thousands every week. The building may draw people, but it is the content that keeps the community coming back, building up, and going forth.