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Church Broadcast System Upgrade

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Stephen Bolech
Church Broadcast System Upgrade
on Mar 9, 2017 at 3:06:19 pm

Hi, I have recently taken on the task of coming up with a plan to upgrade our church's aging SD video system to a new HD one. Our service is a multicam production that is edited and broadcast on a local TV station the following week. I am an audio person with just enough video knowledge to get into some trouble, so I would greatly appreciate some advice as to whether I'm on the right track.

It's been requested that we go from 3 cameras to 5, and we want to use remote PTZ cameras to cut down on the number of volunteers we need. With that in mind, here is what I've come up with so far. Any glaring omissions or problems?

5 x Sony BRC-X1000 cameras
Vaddio PCC Premier camera controller
Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E switcher and Broadcast Panel
Blackmagic HyperDeck Studio Mini
Some kind of display for multi view output of switcher (recommendations welcome)

Lighting has already been upgraded, and is currently being evaluated by a consultant to make sure it's up to the task. Audio is also in good shape. Thanks in advance for your help!

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Jim Brown
Re: Church Broadcast System Upgrade
on Mar 9, 2017 at 8:48:36 pm

Stephen, congratulations on the approval for your new system.

Just couple of comments and suggestions.

We have done a number of these installations with the Sony Z700 cameras. No experience with the Sony BRC-X1000, but I would ask your vendor for a demo before I bought. Here are the reasons:

1. Low light level performance. The Z700 can struggle with low light and it is a 3 chip camera. You are proposing a single chip with minimum illumination of 1.7lux which is a good spec. Try it in your own venue. Also, it has only a 12x zoom. Is that sufficient to reach your pulpit area from typically the rear of the sanctuary. We typically use a 20x up to a 30x for that shot. Try it in your venue and see if you can get an acceptable head shot.
2. Pan resolution. Some PTZ cameras we have use struggle with a fully zoomed image that you are trying to pan, as in a panned back row of the choir shot or a speaker who is moving back and forth on the stage. The pan is very jerky. Also, does the camera support simultaneous axis movement. Can you pan and tilt at the same time or trace a path. This is very important from one stored preset to another. All of the Sony's we have used only do one axis at a time, but we have not used this latest one. I know Panasonics support this as well as the new JVC.

3. When we have installed more than 2 PTZ cameras we are typically asked back to provide a second controller. This allows the blending of two cameras that are in motion. (i.e. fade from pan shot to push). A question for your vendor (Sony and Vaddio) is, "Can I connect more than one controller at a time?" even if you plan to start with one.

4. With regards to your Black Magic ATEM, I would suggest a control panel with 5 cameras. We do that quite often from the PC or touchscreen, but I strongly prefer a control panel if doing effects and overlays. If current budget does not support then consider it in the future. I think it would be much easier with volunteers. You mentioned your background is with audio. With the new generations of mixers you can control faders on an iPad. While handy, it could be quite limiting to doing an entire program with it.

5. With Power over Ethernet you will need an Ethernet switch with appropriate size Power injector. 5 cameras is a lot of power so I would pay attention to this to make certain it is appropriately sized.

6. Have you thought about graphics in the system? lower thirds, lyrics, scripture. How will you be interfacing to your lyrics system?

7. Recording. An hour long program will consume a 64GB SD card. Will your edit system accommodate such file sizes? The quality is pristine, however these files become huuuuge! Although we are a BMD dealer, sometimes we suggest alternative recorders with with more efficient codecs if the destination is for TV.

All that being said I strongly encourage you to enlist the assistance of a seasoned integrator.

I know that is more than a couple of thoughts.
My $.02 worth

Jim Brown
M&M Productions USA

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Stephen Bolech
Re: Church Broadcast System Upgrade
on Mar 9, 2017 at 9:28:28 pm

Thanks so much for your input, Jim. I actually started looking at different cameras after I posted that, and I'm now leaning toward Panasonic AW-HE130 along with a Panasonic controller (or two...that's a good thought). I think these address the concerns you brought up, and they are a little bit cheaper than the Sony. Do you know if they can accommodate more than one controller? I was looking at the AW-RP120, but if I were to get two, that's a little too pricey I think. The AW-RP50 would probably be more than adequate.

I did also plan on getting the control panel for the ATEM. I think we most likely won't be doing graphics live, we'll be adding those in when we edit. We don't currently project any graphics or lyrics for the service. We're a little old school in that regard...we rock hymnals!

Good tip on the ethernet switch.

Regarding recording, the plan was to record the program using the computer running the switcher (this is possible, right?) in ProRes, and also to the HyperDeck Studio Mini as a backup. I reckon we'll need a 128GB SD card. For the iMac I will be getting a thunderbolt RAID array using RAID 5, probably a 16TB one.

Thanks again for your two cents, it's very helpful!

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Jim Brown
Re: Church Broadcast System Upgrade
on Mar 10, 2017 at 2:11:46 am

Glad to hear you are rethinking the camera choice. I just did not think that zoom would work out You might also look at the new JVC PTZ and controller. We are a JVC Pro dealer and think very highly of them right now, particularly the controller. Let me know if you would like further info. The Panasonic HE130 you are looking at is a solid performer.

Recording at full color depth ProRes generates a massive bit stream and file sizes you may not use or need in your edit process. We use the Panasonic HMR10 deck which records AVCHD format. Gives you over 3 hours on a 32Gb card. Unfortunately, that deck has ben discontinued by Panasonic although you may still be able to purchase them. Looking for a replacement from Panasonic as it was a very popular item. We have provided dozens to churches. The Black Magic recorders produce pristine results, but the file sizes create long copy times and processing time in PremierPro.

You did not mention your timeline, but there should be some exciting announcements at NAB in April. Expect some action with regard to H.265 codecs that will impact storage and broadcast requirements.

Jim Brown
M&M Productions USA

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Jeff Pulera
Re: Church Broadcast System Upgrade
on Mar 13, 2017 at 3:14:06 pm

Check out the PTZ Optics 20x HD-SDI cameras, just $1699.

For camera control, Rocosoft PTZ Joy software is an interesting option, allows for visual touch-screen control of PTZ presets, in addition to traditional joystick manual operation.

You may want to look at a Newtek TriCaster switcher. It is an integrated "all in one" solution with -

  • Switching
  • Titles using built-in graphics players or external graphics
  • Video Playback from hard drive (2 video players)
  • Recording (multi-channel)
  • Keying/Virtual Sets
  • Native PTZ Controls
  • M/Es (for PIP, other custom compositions)
  • Live web streaming
  • Audio mixing/routing
  • Multiple outputs to drive projectors, TVs, each independently configurable as to what is shown
  • Can accept PC/ Mac input via Newtek NDI protocol (over network) and many graphics packages now natively support NDI as well (does not tie up precious SDI inputs).

Much easier to work with a SINGLE interface rather than separate switcher, recorder, titler, graphics systems, etc.

Macros can be used to automate things, great for volunteers. Macros can be mapped to many different MIDI or USB keyboards, or even iPad screen.

I understand that you are looking at the "old" system which is a switcher and camera controller, and thinking to just replace those "components" with new, HD versions of same stuff. But perhaps that paradigm is outdated?? Newer integrated systems with Macro control are where things are going now.


Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers

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