McComiskey’s McCorner: What’s in the Box?

How’s it going?  In honor of the recent election, I give you the inaugural edition of McComiskey’s McCorner.  (Not really, but I do enjoy a good pun, so…)  Anyway, this is the column where I will give you my perspective on… something.  I don’t know.  We’ll see where it goes.  (Though I’m open to requests.)

As you’ve probably read, we just concluded our annual raffle.  Those tickets aren’t cheap and I thought that you might like to know where some of that money goes.  (Aside from the winners, obviously.)  Look, I get that this sounds a little dry, but please bear with me. I promise there are pictures just a little ways down.  😉

When the Program started in 1973, there weren’t many options in the way of multimedia presentation.  Mainly posters and transparencies.  People would sing, occasionally.  The landscape has changed a bit since then.  Technology is omnipresent.  Everybody is plugged in 24/7.  And just try to find an overhead projector.  The Module had to evolve the way we present things, as well.  Please allow me, then, to take you on a guided tour of our latest investment.

The Program has a rich history of hauling around containers.  The Supply Box.  The Mass Kit.  Breakfast Supplies.  Bins full of stuff are woven into the fabric of our group.  As the MYP’s resident A/V Coordinator (Manager?  Specialist?  Guru?  What’s my title, again?), I felt left out.  (A feeling which my wife wishes I had embraced.)  I had to ask myself “how likely is it that I can fit a theater into a portable locker?”  Let’s find out.  (By the way, I looked it up.  I’m just “Audio/Visual”.  Well isn’t that boring?  Also, full disclosure, this is the second version of this box, but let’s not get bogged down with details.)

Okay, so the Module is basically a touring company.  We are in a different parish every month.  As such, we need something functional, but also portable and fairly robust.  (And, perhaps most importantly, it must fit in my closet.)  BAM!  Behold the Box.

Ain’t she a beaut?  It rolls, it stands, it has an attached, folding shelf.  It has a live-in extension cord.  It can be carried by one person (usually the person writing this article) and has the room to hold everything we need to show a movie, run a computer presentation, facilitate a meditation, and more. And, crucially, it fits in my aforementioned closet.

“That’s all well and good,” you say, “but talk is cheap.  Show me the goods.”  That is a perfectly valid request.  You are tough but fair.

How about a laptop with disc drive and HDMI port for full HD video and sound for days.  But how ever shall I hear it?     Can I interest you in a mixing board with powered speakers, equalization, microphone and full effects suite?  Just in case we’re feeling a little silly?

Wait.  What does that tape say?  Does that say switch?  What switch?  What are we switching?  Maybe a pro-grade HDMI switch that decides whether we want to see that pretty, pretty laptop, a Blu-ray Disc from our compact little Blu-ray player (which can double as a CD player, if you’re into that sort of thing), or even the live stream of an iPad or iPhone carried by that tiny Apple TV over the wi-fi network generated by our very own router.  (That was a dangerously long sentence.  Please don’t try this at home.)  You may also have noticed the dock powering the Module’s iPad.  It can be removed and used as a standalone for situations when this big, beefy box isn’t needed.  That’s a free little tidbit of info from me to you, because I like you.  Don’t say I never gave you anything.

Ah, but I’m forgetting something, aren’t I?  Something big and bright and sexy.  The literal focus of this whole endeavor.  Come to papa.

Full 1080p HD picture.  Nice big lens creating a large 16:9 image over a comparatively short throw distance.  And more lumens than you can shake a stick at.  (Of course, given that a lumen is just a measure of light, I don’t know why you’d want to shake a stick at it.  You may be able to catch some of the image on the stick temporarily, but that still makes a big ugly shadow on your picture.  I don’t know.  Seems counter-productive to me.  It’s pretty bright, is my point.)

All that in one easily-transportable box.  But please let me know if you find that overhead projector.  I’m always open to improvements.  😉

Thanks for reading.  Check back for the next edition of McComiskey’s McCorner, where I discuss…  something.  Presumably.  Assuming they don’t read this one and shut me down immediately.  Take care.

–Gary McComiskey, Supreme Commander of Audio/Visual Resources, MYP