Diocesan TV Mass gets HD-technology overhaul

Categories: Around the Diocese

By Dianne Towalski
The Visitor

Viewers will soon notice some big changes in the diocesan TV Mass.

Thanks to an anonymous bequest designated for TV Mass equipment, the diocesan Office of Worship has, over the past few months, purchased and installed new broadcast equipment.

“We were able to get all new recording equipment — from cameras to cables to microphones — and then all of the equipment back in the booth to be able to produce the product that we need — the Mass in a digital form,” said Anita Fischer, director of the Office of Worship and producer of the TV Mass.

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George Sirbasku and Shawn Lewis work on production of the diocesan TV Mass at the Pastoral Center in St. Cloud Feb. 24. Photo by Dianne Towalski

The Mass started as a ministry of the diocesan Communications Office in 1959 and was broadcast by KCMT-TV in Alexandria until 2004. The diocese was then able to purchase the used production equipment, cameras and lights from the station.

“The equipment was at least 25 to 30 years old,” Fischer said. “With the changes in the way television is broadcast now in HD and the fact that technology is only going to keep evolving, we needed to look at some options to be able to continue the TV Mass ministry.”

While new equipment was needed, finding the funding was going to be a challenge.

“Prayers answered,” she said.

“The people at home will definitely see a difference,” said George Sirbasku, who works on production of the Mass and helped decide what equipment was needed. “What we were doing was the old standard, which is commonly referred to as standard definition. We’re going to be moving to an HD signal now and providing that to all of our viewers.”

The resolution, color and audio will all be improved, he said.

It was also important that the equipment be adaptable to future technology.

“You can keep adding to it and there’s enough flexibility, open space to compensate for that,” said Alex Dorosz, broadcast specialist for Alpha Video, the company that furnished the new equipment. “When the new technology comes out, you can put it in and it’ll be ready,” he said.

The equipment was used for the first time to record Mass for the fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent. It will air on KSTC-45, the Twin Cities area network station that carries the Mass, as well as many local cable stations. The Mass also can be viewed on the diocese’s website at worship.stcdio.org/tv-mass/.