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TFWM - An Interview with Cindy Zuelsdorf

From Technologies for Worship Magazine
March 2010, pg 12
An Interview with Cindy Zuelsdorf, Marketing Czar, Ensemble Designs

Link to TFWM article

TFWM: What is the philosophy behind Ensemble Designs as a company and the products you manufacture?
CZ: Our customers are our focus. Everyone here at Ensemble is focused on providing what folks need in order to be successful in their video facilities. The company culture here is all about listening, being responsive, and integrity. WE get to work with people all over the world; we are honored to work with folks at places like Living Water Fellowship and Vaughn Forest Baptist Church. And we love answering the phone in person when people call, no automated phone system here!

In 1989, a former television station engineer who loved designing and building video equipment, decided to start Ensemble Designs and we’ve been going ever since. And its great being privately held because we don’t have to worry about a big board of directors or anything else that might take attention away from being customer focused. We really love this business.

We strive to offer those special pieces that tie everything together so that when combined, the whole ensemble is exactly what is needed.

TFWM: What are some of the innovative ways in which houses of worship are using your video products? CZ: Many house of worship customers often need to tie analog and digital video and audio equipment together. One example that comes to mind is Kenneth Copeland Ministries. They have a couple dozen BrightEye 25 analog to digital video converters for brining consumer gear into the digital path. They are able to feed analog composite video and analog audio into the BrightEye 25 and output SDI video into their router for distribution to anywhere in the facility. That A to D converter has a time base corrector in it which let’s KCM use off-the-shelf consumer gear that needs to be time base corrected and synced to house. All of the Ensemble Designs gear they use them produce their KCM’s Believer’s Voice of Victory television broadcast, podcasts and webcasts.

TFWM: Are you also offering audio solutions that are useful houses of worship facilities?
CZ: Dealing with audio embedding and disembedding is a topic that comes up repeatedly for house of worship. For plants that are primarily using an SDI path with embedded audio, demuxing the signal for audio sweetening can be handled with a BrightEye 70. HD or SD SDI from a camera or broadcast source can be fed to the BrightEye, disembedded and the AES can be fed to a suite for level adjustments or secondary audio processing for other languages. Churches working with multiple audio channels may, for example, find Spanish on channels 3/4 and Ukrainian on 7/8 and need to adjust channels. Ensemble’s BrightEye audio disembedders provide adjustments to move those audio channels around and adjust levels as needed.

TFWM: What are some of the issues the come up for house of worship facilities that have multiple venues and do you have any solutions to assist? CZ: When you say multiple venues, I think of churches that are running video between several buildings or even those that do work off-site, out in the field. One example is the reference generation and distribution system at McGregor Baptist Church. They use our BrightEye 56 reference generator to make bars and black and distribute those signals with BrightEye DAs to the cameras and other production equipment in their 3000 seat sanctuary, fellowship hall, and the youth facility. House black, digital audio reference and HD tri-level sync signals all need to be clock-locked in order for all the cameras, switchers and other gear to be timed properly, ensuring all equipment works together correctly.

For remote situations, flight packs are used by house of worship organizations like Joyce Meyer to capture video out in the field. Ensemble’s reclocking distribution amplifiers, sync pulse generators and video to fiber converters are used in these flight packs to make field work possible.

TFWM: Do you provide access to online tutorials and educational diagrams to explain your products to end users?
CZ: Some customers asked for more detail on how to setup a sync reference generation system and we now offer a 16 page document with details on generating and distribution signals like HD tri-level sync, black burst and audio reference. All of our video and audio product data sheets have a block diagrams and talk about applications, from audio embedders to scan converters. We are doing more application videos too.
I’d like to do some video tutorials if people are interested. What topics do your readers want to know more about?

TFWM: Which products of your are the most popular right now and why do you feel that is the case?
CZ: The new BrightEye Mitto Scan Converter is getting a lot of attention right now. The phone is ringing off the hook. It seems that getting computer-based material from a church website or YouTube into a video production is more critical now then ever before. Folks need a really high-quality, easy way to get that footage into HD or SD SDI. We’re really having fun with this product. People are loving it. I think because it’s really easy to use and understand that the response has been so incredible. You just use a mouse to select which part of the computer video you want to output. There’s no flicker or any other artifacts on the output which makes it great for a product or for IMAG use.

Scan converters aren’t new but the technology we get to use in conjunction with our BrightEye Mitto is new. DVI and HDMI connections make scan conversion much more appealing and easy to integrate. All the digital filtering and proprietary algorithms that we developed for our HD up and down converters port really well into our scan converter for use there. Plus there’s such a huge amount of material on the web that people want to integrate into productions these days.

The other product that is getting lots of attention is our BrightEye 72 SDI/HDMI converter. Here’s a way to use an inexpensive consumer monitor for a high-end application; pairing the BrightEye 72 with a consumer monitor is as good as using a high-end broadcast monitor. BrightEye 72 can take and HD or SD SDI signal from a master control or router and convert it to HDMI for monitoring. In addition to the video on the display, you can also see captions, a graph of the audio and time code displayed. For facilities dealing with closed captions and audio presence monitoring, this converter is really useful.

Bio: Cindy Zuelsdorf is responsible for marketing at Ensemble Designs which means she gets to talk with customers, work on new products, and evangelize the world about how Ensemble Designs can benefit them. Outside of work she enjoys volunteering at daughter’s school and going to the river.