At Cornerstone we have been using the program Easyworship for a couple of years now. We use it to project everything for our services: song lyrics, pictures, powerpoint files, Bible verses, videos, and dvd’s. I highly recommend Easyworship because it is extremely easy to operate. Even if you are not familiar with the program, you can learn how to operate it in minutes. At church, we have a dedicated desktop computer that runs Easyworship, but there have been several times for youth events or special services where we don’t have anybody there to run the system. I’ve had to run back and forth from the stage to the sound booth to get everything working.
I’ve stumbled upon a pretty interesting solution. At my last company, we used a program called RealVNC to troubleshoot computers from a central location. At home, I use it to control my desktop computer from anywhere in the house using my laptop. I even downloaded a VNC viewer for my ipod touch that lets me control my computer and see everything that is on the screen from my ipod. That made me think, could I do the same thing at church?
After a little experimentation, I’ve got it working. Since the church computer runs Windows Vista, I couldn’t get RealVNC to work, so I had to download the free UltraVNC server. After opening some ports on Windows firewall, it works great. From my macbook pro laptop, I can pull up and control the windows computer from anywhere in the building. So I could be on stage loading images or changing powerpoint files before they get put on the screen. For a smaller church or situation where you don’t have a full tech crew, this is a cool solution, and it even works from my ipod touch. I could envision a worship leader controlling the worship lyrics, or the pastor controlling and re-arranging his powerpoint during the message. Not ideal, but incredibly useful when you need it.
VNC is not known as the most secure screen sharing software, but it is on our internal church network and there is nothing confidential on this computer, so I’m not worried about the security. It is password protected to keep someone from taking control of the computer as a prank. Overall, it is pretty slick to see your entire windows desktop being controlled from another computer.