Reviews: Hardware & Hardware Guides

Fowler Church Multimedia Guide

Fowler produced a multimedia guide called "Multimedia A-V" for churches wanting to use multimedia systems such as electronic projectors. Their guide was one of the best I had seen. It’s hard to find technical information specifically targeted to churches and they have done a good job. This is not to say that the guide covers everything. It is only a 40 page handbook.

An expert installer could easily write a guidebook of 40 pages about cabling alone and this guide covers not only cabling but systems, switches, screens, etc. Certainly, volumes could be written about any of these subjects but if your church is looking for a basic guide then they should consider this material.

Even if you intend to have a company come in and design your whole system, reading this book will help you understand what is going on so that you can communicate effectively with your installer to get the features that you want. The guide has updated technical specs and includes whole new sections about important topics such as cabling.

The guide is written in a lesson type format such that you can walk yourself through a planned learning program. The bottom line is that Fowler’s new Church Multimedia Guide book is great. Any church considering the purchase of multimedia equipment should get this guide. Fowler sells a lot of multimedia equipment to churches.

My impression is that Fowler feels that if you come to them for the guide that it provides them both good leads on possible sales and also hopefully reduces customer dissatisfaction due to poor installation. You don’t have to buy from Fowler to get the guide but you can at least see what they have to offer. Fowler is offering a free guide to all the readers of E-Bible Class Teacher. To get your free guide simply click on the link above to visit their web page and click on the link for receiving their catalog and guide.


photo of snappy, video capture device. (The following review is getting old...there may still be some folks getting some used Snappys so I will leave it up.) I have been using a Snappy since 1995.  Snappy allows you to capture images from VCR's, Camcorders, cable TV and other similar video sources.  It comes with a nice set of editing software.  You can use it to turn your video camera into kind of a digital camera.  The latest version has software that on a very limited basis, allows you to even capture motion video.

I upgraded to the new Snappy and new software. I am not impressed with the motion video capture but the still pictures continue to be great. Back when scanners were very expensive I used to use my Snappy as a kind of scanner by setting a camcorder up on a stand.  The downside of using the Snappy is that it can be hard to find the exact image that you want from motion video.  A typical video has thousands of images to pick from and I find it difficult to get the exact image that I want.  I find digital cameras to be better for going around to take pictures for illustrations of church activities.  Nevertheless, Snappy will do the job but usually takes more effort.

I have really enjoyed using this device. You can also use it to scan in images from TV news, sports, commercials, shows and movies. This can be great for illustrations for classes and sermons.  Be careful not to violate copyrights in doing so.

BOTTOM LINE:  If I had it to over again I would buy it again.

Terry's Rating - 4 OF 5 STARS


tvelite pro pc to tv converter

TVELITE PRO (This review is getting old but I am leaving it up in case someone gets one of these used). I have been using the older version called TV Elite since 1996. Overall, I am very pleased with it. This unit was only capable of 640 by 480 resolution.  When I upgraded my notebook from a 640 by 480 to one that normally operates in 600 by 800 resolution. I discovered that my new notebook would only give dual display at 600 by 800 resolution.  When I set my notebook to 640 by 480 resolution, the converter works but my notebook screen goes blank.

MOUSE:   You can buy this device with or without the remote "mouse".  In general, my expectations of the "mouse" were disappointed.  The mouse doesn't have a roller ball but rather has directional buttons.  It's kindly like using the arrow keys on your keyboard.  The bottom line is that it is difficult to use as a mouse.  Don't plan to do any drawing with it.  What I do enjoy about the remote mouse is simply the ability to remotely move forward and backward through my Powerpoint(r) slide shows.  The remote also comes with some really nice software.  My version had about 65 special effects.  You can set up timers, screen zooms, highlighters and shades.  My favorite feature is the marker that allows you to draw on the screen.

TIP:    I'll share one tip with you that might save you a lot of problems. For months I was plagued with problems with my remote control. It seems like it would fail every week. I finally discovered that my batteries were running down nearly every week. I was carrying my remote control around in my notebook case and I eventually realized that the case was packed tight enough that the buttons on my remote mouse were being pressed whenever I put the mouse in my case. As a result, the mouse was in constant operation and was running down the batteries. Now, I simply take the batteries out before packing the mouse and I haven't had a problem since.

BOTTOM LINE:  If I had it to over again I would buy it again.

Terry's Rating - 4 OF 5 STARS for the SuperScan,  only 1 star for the remote "mouse".  Nevertheless, I would still buy the mouse simply to use to advance slides.


superscan2 pc to tv converterWe have been using the SuperScan2 for the last several years.  Overall, we are pleased with it.

Everything that I said for the TvElite Pro above applies also to the SuperScan2. The exceptions are that the SuperScan also adds several features such as ability to handle higher resolutions and buttons on the unit that allow you to freeze the screen and adjust overscan.

BOTTOM LINE:  I would buy it again!

Terry's Rating - 5 OF 5 STARS for the SuperScan,  only 1 star for the remote "mouse".  Nevertheless, I would still buy the mouse simply to use to advance slides.

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