Gefen helps services to run smoothly at Purewa Cemetery
NEW ZEALAND: Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium has utilised A/V technology during its funeral services for several years by displaying photographic montages via projector, or streaming remembrance videos across its network of televisions. As the funeral director tends to manage the A/V components used during a service, Purewa’s general manager, Clifton Thomson, decided to upgrade the infrastructure to enable seamless remote control of all equipment across the entire facility. He turned to local distributor Amber Technology and systems integrator PowerComs to design the new A/V network, which called for Gefen signal distribution equipment.
‘I knew instantly that utilising HDMI would be crucial for this project and that Gefen offered the most trusted connectivity and signal processing solutions,’ explained Murray Wilkinson from Amber Technology. ‘With multiple screens in various locations on the property, the management and distribution of content is a key consideration. It’s really important that the Purewa Cemetery staff is able to direct a service without the stress and complications of faulty technology.’
The PowerComs team, led by Pete Mason, recommended and installed Gefen’s 4K Ultra HD Extender over One Fiber to provide staff with the ability to remotely control all A/V equipment from a central control room. The extender controls the Amber Technology motorised screens, Optoma projectors and HD cameras, as well as distributing content across the facility’s two chapels. ‘It had become very clear that we needed a modern and remotely managed system,’ said Mr Thomson. ‘With this addition, we are able to control the service with a simple button press. We don’t have to run out in the middle of the service to help manually facilitate a slideshow or montage. All we have to do is get the content beforehand, test it, and press a button on our touchscreen interface.’
To guarantee that audio and video feeds sent to the projectors and displays will be compatible, Gefen EDID detective units were also integrated into the system. Meanwhile, the manufacturer’s Multi Format Processors take care of video scaling and switching. This all facilitates the streaming of HD content around the complex and sends a live feed to the live streaming service, OneRoom’s online content manager. ‘We can now plug and play with virtually no issues. During testing, our celebrants were truly blown away by the quality and clarity of the content. It really does add a personalised element that enhances the experience for everyone involved,’ added Mr Thomson.
The OneRoom service was also catered for during the project, with a pair of EXT-HDPVR video recorders allowing services to be broadcast online in real time for those who are unable to attend in person to be able to see. ‘Before the service, guests can send an e-vite to an unlimited number of people that may want to tune into the OneRoom service,’ Mr Wilkinson elucidates. ‘Or later on, anyone with e-vite access can obtain a download link to the recording that is provided in HD quality.’
Another issue that has at times plagued services at Purewa is when a large number of people attend and not everyone can fit inside the building. As part of the A/V upgrade PowerComs deployed a network of Gefen extenders to stream content to other chapels if needed for overflow. ‘With 10 Gefen EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-TXs and four Gefen EXT-HD2IRS-LAN-RX’s, we were able to create a system that could distribute content with resolutions up to 1080p full HD,’ noted Mr Wilkinson. ‘Now, with this new system, we can broadcast the system live to screens in other chapels so everyone can experience it.’
With the system installed and up and running, the objective of simplifying A/V control for staff at Purewa has reportedly been met. ‘This system is now so efficient that it leaves little room for mistakes,’ concluded Mr Thomson. ‘We can watch what the funeral directors are doing and what the celebrants are doing. That allows us to ensure that every single service runs smoothly. If we can see better, hear better and monitor better, the service will go better.’