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A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Chief Goes ‘Round The Block With Mankin Media

The Block Control Room

Mankin Media Systems meets upholding AV challenge at Louisville youth center

LOUISVILLE, KY—It may very well be true sometimes that the more things change they stay the same, but don’t count on it at Southeast Christian Church, a house of worship standing here at the gateway to the South that leaves decidedly new footsteps for all others to follow with the opening of its new youth center.

Called The Block, the 75,000 square-foot facility represents a vast departure from neighborhood rec centers and teen hangouts of the past, opting instead to create a positive environment for young people to congregate offering dedicated space for learning, socializing, concerts, gaming, and a lot more. Even outfitted with its own rock wall for climbing, The Block additionally features a box-style, 1,200-seat auditorium suitable—thanks to a raft of sight and sound technologies—for hosting A-list live musical entertainment.

The Block Stage

“The Block is a lot more than a building,? says Stephen Roberts. “It’s a space so intentional in every facet that young people immediately feel they belong here. Thoughtful planning makes this a place that can truly unite the youth community and allow them to forge real relationships.?

As the system designer of Franklin, Tennessee-based Mankin Media Systems, Inc., Roberts helped spearhead the implementation of a wide-ranging systems integration blueprint within The Block that works hand-in-hand with the architecture to meet the building’s design criteria. With video serving as a primary form of communication within today’s youth culture, Mankin Media’s resulting systems plan naturally capitalizes upon the importance of the medium in terms of both form and function.

Serving as the nerve center for video operations house-wide, The Block’s nine-seat control room is the place where live, high-definition production and the management of all video sources takes place. Inside these walls, student volunteers take command from behind a 64×64 HD video router that dynamically distributes video sources. To accommodate the needs of live shows with cameras and secondary graphics, a 16-input 2ME switcher is also at hand. Monitoring events both live and programmed is a task accomplished with the aid of a 58-inch Panasonic plasma screen providing system operators with a multi-view look at program material.

The Block Lobby

Within the AV system itself, a 15’x26’, 16:9 screen can be found mounted at the rear of the main stage. A small army of Panasonic plasma screens ranging in size from 42 to 58 inches provides additional visual reinforcement throughout the structure.

From the outset of the project, the challenges Mankin Media faced were steep. With a clear-cut edict to deliver systems built to broadcast standards in terms of audio, video, and lighting that would serve as a cornerstone to be built upon for at least the next five years, the design/build team found that a budgetary hurdle was one of its primary obstacles. Seeking to save time and labor wherever possible as a result, they relied heavily upon components that offered economy without skimping upon performance. No detail was overlooked in search of value, including specifics such as how the business of mounting all of the plasma screens and some of the projectors required of the job would be managed.

“From a system integrator’s perspective, the mounting of all our screens and components is a process concerning speed, ease-of-use, and reliability,? Roberts explains. “If it takes our team minutes instead of hours to securely install these pieces, it makes the job more profitable for us, and spells big savings for the client too.?

Given the economic realities and demanding structural requirements of the project, both Roberts and chief installer Andy Bosquet concurred that mounting systems from Chief Manufacturing represented the most logical choice for The Block. For the facility’s Panasonic plasma screens, lockable PRO Series tilting wall mounts were used across the board, while an assortment of Chief’s custom RPM Series mounts were chosen to hang projectors culled from an eclectic assortment of Southeast Christian Church’s existing legacy gear.

As Mankin Media’s project man-on-the-ground (and literally in-the-air too, hanging projectors and whatnot), Bosquet is of a mind that Chief mounts must have been invented by installers themselves. “They are just so simple and quick to use,? he says of the PRO Series mounts used to secure the plasmas. “You find the studs in the wall you’re mounting the screen on, drill the holes, and attach the mount. Chief provides a wide assortment of bolt holes, so everything always lines up, even if you have really odd spacing between the studs. I can also order a universal bracket for use with the device, and that takes the guesswork out of any job. Here at The Block, I simply chose Chief’s PRO16 for all my portrait applications with screens under 50 inches, and the mount remained totally out-of-sight, producing a very clean look.?

A total of six legacy projectors made by different manufacturers were utilized on the project in The Block’s teaching suites. “A scenario like this can become rife with confusion and time lost,? Bosquet says, underscoring the likelihood of having to drive around searching for special metric bolts and other weird pieces of missing hardware to facilitate mounting an odd lot of gear like this. “Thankfully in this case I could go to the Chief website, key in the kind of projector I wanted to mount, and instantly get a specific answer on what kind of mount I needed. The RPM Series units we used this time came with everything we needed right down to the tiniest bit of hardware, so again, we got off easy.?

Having opened its doors to local youth in April of 2009, The Block was an immediate hit on the Southeast Christian Church campus. According to church officials, attendance at youth gatherings is up, and one look at the facility instantly shows why.

“The client is pleased with the AV capabilities of the facility, and the increased level of involvement,? Mankin Media’s Stephen Roberts is happy to report. “On that note, I can say we’re equally thrilled. Anecdotally, maybe this is a measure of the building’s success too: It didn’t take long for older, senior staff members who work in other areas of the campus to discover The Block. Now some of them are looking for any good reason to use the facility for their meetings and gatherings as well.?


The Block-Stage Panorama

Mankin Media’s systems blueprint at The Block deftly exploits AV as its main medium of communication. Serving as the backdrop for imagery seen throughout the facility are a number of Panasonic plasma screens as well as a 15’x26’ 16:9 screen suspended above the main stage. Lockable PRO Series tilting wall mounts from Chief Manufacturing were chosen for the plasmas, while Chief’s RPM Series mounts were picked for installing an assortment of projectors needed to complete the project.

The Block-Lobby Panorama

Andy Bosquet of Mankin Media reduced installation times significantly in large areas like The Block’s lobby by using Chief’s PRO Series mounts to secure flat panel displays ranging in size up to 58 inches. “They are just so simple and quick to use,? he says of the PRO Series products specified. “You find the studs in the wall you’re mounting the screen on, drill the holes, and attach the mount. Chief provides a wide assortment of bolt holes, so everything always lines up, even if you have really odd spacing between the studs.?

The Block-Control Room

Monitoring events both live and programmed at The Block is a task accomplished with the aid of a 58-inch Panasonic plasma screen providing system operators with a multi-view look at program material. Securely mounting the sizable screen in the nine-seat control room is a job entrusted to a PRO Series tilting wall mount from Chief.

About Chief
Chief Manufacturing, is a division of Milestone AV Technologies, a Duchossois Group Company, and has more than 30 years of proven product and service excellence. Committed to responding to industry needs in the Pro AV, Residential and Office markets, Chief offers a complete line of mounts, lifts and accessories for flat panel displays and projectors.

Chief continues to design innovative mounting solutions and helpful tools like Chief’s exclusive MountBuilder that complement the technology they support. With multiple product awards and patented designs, Chief provides unique mount features, and is recognized for delivering not only quality products but knowledgeable, helpful customer service. You can also follow @chiefmfg on Twitter or become a fan of Chief on Facebook for the most up-to-date information.

U.S. and Europe sales offices support a global network spanning the Americas, Europe, the Pacific Rim and beyond. Chief distribution centers are located in Minnesota, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands. www.chiefmfg.com

Gregory A. DeTogne
Gregory A. DeTogne Public Relations

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