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MediaShout Version 4

Many churches today are creating exciting worship programs by utilizing technology as part of their ministry efforts. Video monitors and projection screens are being used to get the congregation more involved in the service, displaying everything from weekly bulletin notes before the service, to Bible verses and song lyrics during the service so everyone can follow along and participate.

One piece of software for the PC that can really help to create dynamic worship services is MediaShout version 4. I was recently able to try out this latest version of the popular media ministry presentation software, and it’s better than ever!

Installation from disc took just a few minutes, including the automated online registration. During the install, an easy utility helped me set up my multiple-monitor preferences, saving me the trouble of trying to do this later through the display card utility in my PC. It even covered options like screen savers and power management, which computer novices might otherwise have a hard time finding and configuring. You wouldn’t want the screen saver to replace the message mid-sermon!

MediaShout v.4 might be compared to PowerPoint in functionality, and in fact it can play back PP files, but MS v.4 is much better suited to media ministry applications because song lyrics and Bible verses are built right into the program!

It’s very easy to add passages from any of dozens of included versions of the Bible, in multiple languages. Songs and verses are keyword-searchable, and song lists can be saved in custom groups for easy organization and recall.

Presentations are set up easily with the nicely configured user interface. The included video tutorials will appeal to new users, allowing them to get going right away. The drag-and-drop interface makes it simple to put together exciting presentations that include song lyrics, Bible verses, graphics, custom text, video clips, DVD video, and even live website screens.

Segments can be programmed to “fire” manually or on a timed basis, with many custom transitions available. A neat feature is the ability to overlay text into the presentation “live”, on the fly, without interrupting the flow of the presentation… “Blue sedan, License # 123-XYZ, your lights are on.” can be instantly added to the screen.

MediaShout v. 4 is typically used in a dual-display setup, with Display 1 showing the user interface for the operator, and Display 2 being the full-screen output for the viewers. Optionally, a third display can be used, and this is called the “Stage Display”. It would face the minister or musicians, and shows white text over a black background for clarity, without any distracting background graphics.

A second video display card could be used in a desktop PC to drive the Stage Display, but for laptops, MediaShout offers an optional external USB display adapter called ViBook. This device connects via USB and provides the third DVI monitor output necessary to drive the Stage Display. Windows Vista is the preferred OS when using ViBook, as Vista makes it much easier to configure the third video display device compared to Windows XP.

I found MediaShout v.4 to have a very intuitive, clean interface, with many new and streamlined features that make it easy for volunteers to master, yet it has the tools that experienced users will appreciate when creating complex, dynamic presentations.

MediaComplete offers a free, 45-day trial version of MediaShout v. 4, making it a no-brainer to try this out for your church today. You’ll be creating exciting, dynamic material right away that’s certain to liven up your services and engage the congregation.

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MediaShout Version 4