Key Digital’s Hardware and Software Ecosystem Help Modernize Nebraska Church

Benefiting From Effortless Control of Technology at a Reasonable Price-Point

Mount Vernon, New York, Dec. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Set in the midst of western Nebraska in the scenic Lodgepole Valley, the First English Lutheran Church in Kimball has hosted its congregation since 1929. In its longevity the church has undergone many incarnations of buildings, improvements, and additions to bring it to the impressive institution it is today. Most recently, an AV upgrade has the staff and worshipers singing praises for its modernized technology.

Like with many smaller churches, First English Lutheran Church had budget concerns, and after several stalled starts the church brought in the well-established Craig Brauer of Comptec Systems and Design as the integrator. Brauer introduced the church to the award-winning and cost conscientious options available within Key Digital’s hardware and software ecosystem. The church realized that it could, in fact, have the upgrades it desired at a price-point it could manage. Using Key Digital’s robust audio and video products, Brauer and the professionals at Comptec Systems and Design salvaged what existing equipment could be salvaged in the building and integrated new key pieces to bring an improved experience to the church parishioners.

“First English Lutheran Church is an amazing little church, and I want to highlight its size because a lot of people think you have to have a huge church to do a project like this, but that’s not true. They have about 20 to 40 people in the pews, and that’s really not considered a big church. The whole project started out because they were having problems with their sound system and they wanted to upgrade it. The system grew as they wanted to be automated because they print a 12-page bulletin every Sunday and they wanted to go paperless instead,” said Craig Brauer of Comptec Systems and Design.

The parishioners love the extensive display system upgrade in the front of the sanctuary and can easily follow along with the service on the screen regardless of their seated position in the church. The displays also lend themselves to digital signage at its best to showcase various art, worship images, seasonal themes, and information. The overflow area in the back of the sanctuary offers a visual display for those sitting in the rear of the church. As for the service leaders and the pianist, a display mounted in the arch facing the stage enables both the service and the prompts to be monitored in real-time. The basement viewing area is reserved for both overflow viewing and special events.

The church office hosts one display that allows the operator to monitor streaming content and recording viewing, and a second large display with optional quad view format allows the operator to monitor the different displays throughout the church. Whether parishioners are worshiping in person or upholding their devotion from the comfort and safety of their home via streaming services, Comptec Systems and Design incorporated easy and modern streaming options for each church service and special events.

 The project was designed to allow for future expandability and flexible functionality.

“One huge consideration for the First English Lutheran Church was future-proofing. Churches don’t do these projects just every day; they save up for every 10 or 20 years and really want to future-proof to protect their investment. How I ensure future-proofing is by buying the highest level of technology that fits within the budget. That’s why I turned to Key Digital. When I looked around, we wanted 4K, HDMI 2.0, HDR 10, and HDCP 2.2 and we kind of standardized on all of that. Key Digital had it all,” said Brauer.

“We used Key Digital’s KD-X444S extenders and the KD-DA1x4 distribution amplifiers so we could de-embed audio as well and give us some flexibility to future-proof, because we really don’t know where or when we’re going to have to pull that audio off. As far as the switchers go, we went with the KD-MS4x4G and I really like the separation of the audio switching and the video switching because there are times where we are running video and we have a different audio goal and we can do that with that specific switcher. For the quad view on display in the office, we opted for the KD-MLV4x2Pro, and the first quadrant is easy worship to display the slide that we made for my company. The second one is from our PTZ camera. This was all discussed before the Covid pandemic, and with the upgrades they were able to start streaming once we completed the project. They have had really great success, because right off the bat they had 25 people watching their broadcast every day. That’s as many people as were sitting in the pews,” continued Brauer.

"When Craig designed and installed the Key Digital infrastructure, it expanded the scope and functionality of our audio/visual project far beyond our original vision. In conjunction with Compass Control Pro, the operation is intuitive and easy enough for even the most non-technical members to run the service from anywhere in the congregation from an iPad", said Jim Ray of First English Lutheran Church.

To effortlessly control the new technology, Brauer integrated Key Digital’s Compass Control Pro. Compass Control Pro offers complete control and signal management of all the multiple brand subsystems. The control software is managed on a hand-held iPad, with the option to run on any iOS device. The user-friendly interface provides the operator an intuitive and easy way to navigate and control the various inputs and outputs from the audio mixer to the different display options. Gone are the days of standing at the tech closet and physically operating all the individual units of equipment, with Compass Control Pro the management of the AV is portable and easy enough for any volunteer to pick up the iPad and immediately lend a helping hand. Thanks to the highly-customizable design aspect of the Compass Control Pro software, Brauer created a GUI specifically catered to the needs of the church; from macros to power on and off entire rooms and sources, to fool-proof nuanced volume control sliders, to recording and playback features, the programming was perfectly fashioned to provide control options for the members of the church.

“I was really impressed with the Key Digital equipment because we set everything up with extensive installation instructions for the multiple people coming to help. When we started it up for the first time, everything worked! Everything worked, which was just a joy and I did not expect it to be so effortless and easy,” said Brauer.

As the First English Lutheran Church community continues to reap the benefits of the AV upgrades the compliments and testimonials are free-flowing, and the assembly appreciates the enhanced viewing options with the new streaming services.

“As the AV system unfolded and the people got used to the new way of following along visually on displays instead of the printed weekly publications for the worship service, there evolved a growing appreciation and understanding of the value of a new way of presenting a worship service. Already, challenges of not only of inclement weather but also the coronavirus pandemic have led to an appreciation of experiencing the Sunday Service live and recorded through the streaming capabilities of the new system. Overall, the investment to-date has been universally optimistic going forward. As we continue to move forward to implement new processes and learn new creative ways of programming services, we confidently look toward the future in new and exciting ways of celebrating and sharing our worship service,” concluded Brauer.

"I saw our technology project in new light yesterday. Sometimes when you are immersed in something way over your head, it helps to step back and see it from another’s view. We’ve been trying to get more people involved in running the system, they have been hesitant since technology is relatively new to most of our congregation. Jim Ray was explaining how the iPads worked to control the worship service, screens, sound, microphones, and internet feed. The ladies could be heard saying ‘I can’t believe how easy this flows together! This isn’t as hard as I thought it would be.’ Win, win, for our little congregation!  It’s also helped us stay in contact throughout the pandemic; and contact is the key component in maintaining a healthy congregation," - Janet Bashaw of First English Lutheran Church.

About Key Digital®

Led by the “Father of DVD”, Mike Tsinberg, Key Digital® is an InfoComm, CEDIA, CES, and NAHB award winning manufacturer of professional distributed video and control system equipment.   

Since 1999, Key Digital has led the constantly evolving AV industry by designing products that deliver industry leading quality, performance, and reliability to corporate, bar & restaurant, digital signage, education, government, and house of worship applications.  

Key Digital products are designed and engineered in-house in Mount Vernon, NY.  Superior quality, ease-of-installation, and versatility are the result of strenuous research, development, and testing. Expertise and unparalleled knowledge have created a unique hardware-software suite solution ideal for the consultants, designers, and installation firms of the AV industry. Key Digital® is known to deliver best-in-class products based on quality, performance, and reliability. 

For more information, visit our webpage at

About Comptec Systems and Design

Comptec Systems and Design started by helping churches with streaming and enhancing their services using Audio Visual equipment. It has since grown, selling professional Lighting, Sound, Video Production, and AV equipment across any market. From design, engineering integration, project management, and programming, Comptec Systems and Design utilizes manufacturers that provide innovative, reliable, and quality products to bring value to their clients.

For more information, visit their webpage at


Display with Use of the KD-MLV4x2Pro The First English Lutheran Church

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