Church Video Ideas:  PC or Mac?

Orginally published on Thursday, September 04, 2008 at 7:30 AM
by Greg Atkinson

Greg Atkinson writes, "Let the wars begin! Just kidding. Actually, I ask the question because I think the answer (for most churches) is BOTH. I just talked with 2 guys that do video at 2 different larger churches and they use both Avid and FinalCut.

In the world of Church IT (which I’m blogging about this week on my blog), there seems to be a either-or mindset and after talking to a few geek friends, plus Tony Steward (who is just too fun to call a geek, but he knows his stuff) - they seem to believe that church networks can have a happy marriage of PCs and Macs.

I wonder: is this your reality? Is your church all PC? all Mac? Are you a hybrid? What’s your situation? My church is predominately PC, but the whole Worship & Arts/production staff is Mac and after talking to several of our pastors, they’d like to be Mac, too. I wonder if you, like me, since we’re at a tipping point...

HERE’S an article that I wrote almost a year ago for Monday Morning Insight. I was shocked at how much attention it got. It was obvious I had hit a nerve/hot button. So, what say you? PC? Mac? Both? Are you near a tipping point? Do you think both can live happily together on a church network? Are Exchange and Entourage incompatible? Are they either-or options or does that even matter? Let me hear ya!

©2008 – Greg Atkinson (GregAtkinson.com)
Used by permission from author. All rights reserved by author.

Greg Atkinson lives in Dallas with his wife and their three small children. Greg served previously as the Director of WorshipHouse Media, after having served as a worship pastor for 11 years. Greg is now the Director of Technical Arts at Bent Tree Church and continues to consult, teach and write about worship, media, leadership and creative communication. You can connect with him through his daily blog at GregAtkinson.com

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  There are 37 Comments:

  • Posted by Peter Hamm

    We have PCs for the staff. my laptop (where I do EVERYTHING) is a 3-year old PowerBook G4, still going strong. (I use Logic Pro for recording music, Adobe stuff for images, etc...)

    We also have ONE old dual-processor G4 Mac, with Final Cut.

    If you gotta do word processing, spreadsheets, boring stuff like that, your PC is fine.


    I will NEVER do music or video on a PC again as long as I live!

  • Posted by Jeff Wilson

    We like you are predominately PC but we have certain niche’s that use Mac’s, Worship & Arts and our Graphics Design Dept.  We are having pastors show interest in going to a Mac with all the hype lately.

    I purchased a Mac about 2 months ago to see how a long time PC user would adapt. I like everything about the Mac except two things: 1) The way it works on our network, very difficult to set up printers, backing up, etc 2) The way it works with our Exchange server. I first tried Entourage but recently installed VMWare and am now running Vista and Outlook for email, calendar, etc.

    If they, Mac, could work out those two items it would make it easier to deploy more to our staff. I’m still not sure if we would though. I believe we will stay with the lines we have right now, if you are not doing design, media, music, then you really don’t NEED a Mac.

  • Posted by Peter Hamm

    Apple has also taken a giant step backward with OS X 10.5. If you look at the first letter in the new MacWorld, it’s a reader agreeing with a previous editorial about how many bugs and problems are in the OS that aren’t getting solved. That reader was me.

    You’re right, Jeff, those things should be EASIER to do on a Mac, not harder.

    It’s still the only way to do video.

  • Posted by Marc Bowyer

    Hybrid...definitely.  I just left my “mega” church job for more friendlier hours, but I have to say using a MacBook Pro with Bootcamp was the way to go.

    Most people haven’t discovered the secret of Sony Vegas.  I’ve been using it since version 1.0 before it had video capability.  It is by far the simpliest NLE to learn and use.  Final Cut Pro had its strong points, but when it comes to AUDIO power and the ability to QUICKLY download videos from sermonspice and sites like it...Vegas is the way to go.

    Now, you can’t beat Motion for COOL effect quickly (or relatively compared to other NLEs).  Vegas has a huge underground user base and lots of free or inexpensive resources and/or plugins.  When you add Excalibur and UltimateS you get an extremely powerful set of tools...and much more affordable than ANY other NLE.  Again, while Sony Vegas is my favorite, it is virtually impossible to survive without any other NLE.  You can’t go wrong with a Mac, Final Cut Pro and Sony Vegas via Bootcamp.

  • Posted by


    I’m surprised in you.  Giving only Mac and PC as choices is so narrow-minded.  You’ve discriminated against other great systems such as Linux.  Are you one of those 2-point OS Calvinists, where it’s either Mac or PC?



  • Posted by Peter Hamm



    I do know that I CHOSE Mac and my PC friends had it chosen for them… I’m just sayin’…

  • Posted by

    We’ve been running heterogeneous networks since 2002 without much difficulty. XP Pro, Tiger and Hardy Heron servers (go Linux!) seem stable and have not required much maintenance - even in a small church environment where most people working on the computers are volunteers.

    I agree that Vegas works pretty well. It’s learning curve is such that while the potential may not be as limitless as other programs, but it is easy to get good results when people have some skills and not a whole lot of time.  If you are a professional - then enjoy tweaking the final result on professional level tools.

  • Posted by bydoktor
  • Posted by Doug Hart

    I have lots of comments on this, so I will just have to restrain myself.  We’re definitely in the “Both” camp.  The problem is getting all of them to play well together.  There are software programs that run better (or are only available) on one platform, so that often is a deciding factor.  We have certain teams (video, graphics, music) that are predominantly Mac.  The rest are PC, and our major infrastructure is also PC.  It’s kind of like the response to the old Lite beer commercial when confronted with “Tastes great” or “Less Filling”.  I feel very strongly both ways…

  • Great interview. Threw insight on a lot of new things.

  • Posted by

    I switched to Mac a few months ago when my PC died.  I am happy with the switch but ALL of my Bible software is currently only available on the PC.  Logos Software is going Mac at the end of the year hopefully, as they are now in Beta. 

    So I have a Mac that uses Bootcamp so I can switch to Windows XP when I need to.  I wish I could go all Mac.  I have been a PC exclusive user since 1990.  From 86-90 I used both.  In college I had to use a Mac in one class (Electronics in Music).

    The Mac works more efficiently but the cost of the PC is so much lower! 

    As for the church.  We use both.  The Youth Minister is currently a PC guy (I will change that HA HA HA...sorry did I say that out loud).  We also use Media Shout which is designed for PC.  To get everyone to cooperate we all use the free and powerful Open Office (http://www.openoffice.org) because we can export to powerpoint for Media Shout or send the documents in any number of formats.  It makes everything easier.

    all about Christ,
    David Buckham

  • Posted by solvency ii

    Great post. Thanks a ton for putting this out.!

  • Posted by Essay

    Great post. I’ ve always been of the opinion that the Mac has stood out amongst even challengers.

  • Posted by Furnace Filters

    Excellent post sir..
    thanks for sharing this info..

  • Posted by Danny

    Since our church opened its doors 2 1/2 years ago we’ve been using mac.  It’s been stable and great to work with.  We love using pro presenter for our media presentations.  Very, very stable and was created solely for the mac. 

    At times we’ve needed to use windows.  we’ve shyed away from using bootcamp because we have to turn the machine off in order for it to work on the windows.

    We use VM Ware fusion which creates a virtual environment and I don’t need to log off my mac.  It works well.

    By the way Entourage does work with the exchange server.  You just need office for mac, (the one that supports exchange server).
    The truth is I believe all born again believers should throw away their pc’s and switch to MAC..

  • Posted by Baby names

    Give me a MAC anyday of the week.

  • Posted by
  • Oh..Mac is leagues ahead of the PC

  • Posted by Blog Ideas

    I think each has it’s place. If you are the average person, a PC is the best. If you are a video editor or graphic designer, it seems Mac is the way to go.

  • Posted by erotik shop

    thenks admen aseks.com

  • I should prefer for Mac.
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  • Mac is a great one no doubt about there.
    Vending Machines Leeds

  • Posted by

    If you’re wanting a computer in any facet of your ministry that you want to last, you should get a PC. The main difference of the two (besides price) across the board is the ability to repair & upgrade. To upgrade a PC, you just get whatever programs or parts you need, and exchange them. To upgrade a Mac, you buy a new Mac. I will always suggest PCs to people going into the ministry, not only because of those 2 reasons, but also the sheer availability of free software, upwards of 80% of which is written for PC alone. Mac’s are very pretty, very well-rounded computers, but they are like a robotic dog in the rain: More expensive with less options, can’t learn new tricks as well as the real thing, and will rust eventually. A PC, although a bit messy at times and need a bit of thought and care, will be just as awesome as the time you put into taking care of ‘em. If you get bitten, a person did something wrong, not the dog.

  • Posted by Bridal Showers

    Mac is the fastest, easiest and cost effective machines you can ever get. They have the coolest looks and the most innovative technology. The best part is you are free of Viruses unlike PC which can get you cheaper options. PC are for those who has more time for fixing computers rather than using and enjoying the features of your personal called computers.

  • Posted by Door Handles

    i really enjoyed reading the post, thanks guys

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