Technology Will Revolutionize Coverage of Adventist Church's World Session

State-of-the-art satellite, Internet and broadcast technology will make the upcoming Seventh-day Adventist World Session a truly interactive event State-of-the-art satellite, Internet and broadcast technology will make the upcoming Seventh-day Adventist W

Silver Spring, MD, USA | Bettina Krause / ANN

State-of-the-art satellite, Internet and broadcast technology will make the upcoming Seventh-day Adventist World Session a truly interactive event for hundreds of thousands of people from every continent of the world, say the Session’s technical planners. The Session, which is expected to draw more than 60,000 Adventists to Toronto for the June 29-July 8 meetings, will produce a number of technological “firsts” for the Adventist Church. It will be the first Session to be broadcast to a global audience, in more than 40 languages, on a daily basis; and it will be the first to use the Internet to make Session news, pictures and video available on the Church’s Website. 

“The creative use of the Internet is one of the most exciting technological aspects of this Session,” says Webmaster John Beckett, who will be heading up the Session Website team. “From Peru to Australia to Zimbabwe, people will be able to access the site for a ‘virtual’ Session.  They will have access to the very latest information and photos, read constantly updated feature stories and interviews, and see and hear Session highlights through our use of video streaming technology.”

Ray Tetz, co-director of the Session’s audio-video productions, says that a full-scale television production center will be constructed in the exhibition hall of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, adjacent to the SkyDome. “We will have more than 100 people participating in the production of our daily satellite programming, as well as things like image magnification in the SkyDome,” says Tetz.

The audio-video team will produce 90 minutes of programming of Session highlights and news each day, and will broadcast an additional 90 minutes of live programming each evening. A full seven hours of live coverage will also be broadcast each Saturday.

“Three satellite feeds each day will cover the Americas, the Pacific Rim, Europe and Africa,” says Tetz.  “We have something like 10-15,000 downlink sites around the world.”

Brad Thorp, director of Adventist Global Communication Network-one of the satellite networks that will be carrying the signal-says that the Session will be “the most widely viewed satellite event in Adventist history.  It is the first time we know of where any denomination has shared daily, globally broadcast reports from a world convention.”

A new concept in Session coverage will be the production of eight daily one-hour programs called “A Window on the Adventist Church.”  Intended to make the Adventist World Session understandable and interesting to a primarily non-Adventist audience, the programs will be carried by the United States cable networks Safe TV and Loma Linda TV.  They will also be available to other interested broadcasters around the world, says Tetz.

Adventist World Radio (AWR) will broadcast Session news and programming directly from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, says AWR spokesperson Andrea Steele. “The AWR exhibit will house a full production center,” explains Steele, “where programs will be created in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Kiswahili, Mandarin Chinese, Romanian, Russian and other languages.”

“Visitors to the exhibit will be able to watch program production through plexiglass windows surrounding the production area,” says Steele.  “Programs in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese will be broadcast directly from the exhibit hall by satellite and on the Internet-so this is worldwide coverage. Programs produced in the other languages will be incorporated in future programs in those languages, either broadcast locally or on AWR’s shortwave stations.”

The General Conference Session Website address is www.adventist.org. This site will also include satellite downlink schedules and information. AWR programming information for the Session is available at www.awr.org.

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