Field Testing -- FSR's Magellan MAS-3200 and MAS-4100

What features made this product uniquely suitable for this application?

For smaller systems, the Magellan series provides all the necessities that small to medium churches are looking for in a video presentation system.
The 4100 adds an RGB input over and above the S-video and VGA inputs, which is good if you're using a DVD player. Most DVD players, even on a consumer level, have an RGB output. So rather than using the S-video input for the DVD player, you can leave it open for a prosumer level video camera.

How would you rate the MAS-4100's performance in this installation?

This has worked wonderfully according to Ed Trundle, DUMC's technical director. The MAS-4100 has accomplished the church's original requirements, even after it was thought impossible with the given restrictions. The switching from any of the video sources is so smooth, no one seems to notice that the MAS-4100 is not a seamless switcher. FSR has truly thought about its products and the market's need for quality scaling and switching in a price range anyone can afford.

Furthermore, the MAS-4100 is very simple to use once its set up. Anybody who can push a button can operate the system. For a church that doesn't have a full-time AV team, this is a great unit to use.

Were there any challenges during installation, and was FSR receptive to providing a solution?

The Magellan uses a black transition screen between most inputs, but the VGA input is actually a hard switch. So if you're using a projection screen, you have to make sure your projector is set on black when there is no input. Some projectors do not offer that feature, so if you're designing a system knowing that about the Magellan, that should be one of the requirements for the projector.

We have rarely had the need to call FSR for a service issue. In probably the last two years, I haven't called FSR on a service issue more than two or three times. We're doing around 50 churches per year, 90 percent of which are doing video now, and we use pretty much all of FSR's distribution systems and their switchers. We're literally talking thousands of individual pieces of product from FSR. That's a pretty good track record in our opinion.

For what type of project is the Magellan well suited?

For a small single projection, like a boardroom or a conference room, or a small sanctuary where they only have one projector. As the systems get a little more complicated, with a monitor on stage, a rear choir projection system, or even two projectors for the congregation to see two different images, then you have to have multiple units at that point. That's easily done. FSR makes a variety of distribution amplifiers so you can take DVD, VHS or camera and actively split that signal. Then you plug it into both-if you're using two 4100s or a 4100 and a 3200-and those units go out to the different projectors. That way you can choose any of the units at any time to go to any of the projectors. That's an inexpensive way to do independent image projection systems without going to some of the higher-end switchers that FSR and other brands make with multiple scaling engines and multiple outputs.

Project: Dunwoody United Methodist Church, Dunwoody, GA

Systems Integrator: Neil Philpott, dB Audio and Video, Gainesville, GA

Project Details: Integration of numerous areas of the church's larger rooms was the key with the sanctuary. Although the sanctuary is large, overflow is always a consideration no matter the size. Therefore, allowing all the projection screens within the campus to work independently from each area of ministry while maintaining the ability for all projection systems to show identical images of the sanctuary was the challenge. The original conduit layout had not allowed for this type of integration. However, we knew we could count on FSR to help with this challenge.

The MAS-4100 was the choice for the redesigned system. The choir room along with two other areas of divided multipurpose classrooms was outfitted with FSR's four input video switcher/scaler units so that each room had independent uses of DVD, VCR and computer inputs. With the scaled output of the MAS-4100 only occupying one RGBHV input of the chosen projectors, dB was then permitted to connect the remaining composite input of the projector to the video camera feed switcher coming from the sanctuary.

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