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Camera Setup Question

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Evan Lindman
Camera Setup Question
on Dec 28, 2015 at 10:07:48 pm

Hey, all!

I am looking for a camera setup for my church. What we want to do is have a camera sit up in our balcony that will run when the service starts. It would be nice if we could find something that is remote control, so we could pan/tilt/zoom from some sort of remote or application. In addition, we'd like to find one where we can send the video feed of the service to different rooms in our building.

Any help on this would be great! A setup along these lines would be nice. Would love everybody's suggestions!

PS: I hope this is the right forum to post this in, I looked through and couldn't really find anything more relevant to my inquiry.

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Aaron Star
Re: Camera Setup Question
on Dec 29, 2015 at 4:04:07 am
Last Edited By Aaron Star on Dec 29, 2015 at 8:59:14 pm

Not really a cinematography question but here are some thoughts.

I would setup a gigabit network in the church with a network drop to each room and camera location you want to feed.

Look into Axis Communications network PTZ cameras and control interfacing. The control surface equipment will handle multiple cameras and allow to switching in a rudimentary way.

Then put a smartTV in each display location that will show the camera network camera feed or switching console feed via h.264 or MJPEG.

Sony also has network PTZ cameras and controls.

Blackmagic designs may also have a solution if you want to setup more of a TV style switching system. But basically network streaming out to the display panels or projection.

As Mark suggests below, you could easily add an encoder out to a streaming service for those that can not make it into the service. You may want to setup a service fee for this, as less people in attendance means the plate is not as full, and now the church has additional overhead.

I do not recommend streaming internally as the 10 sec delay would be annoying if the main room can be heard from the satellite room. Even a 1/2 sec delay will drive most to not accept the system due to the perceived echo. Clearly the HDMI signal over a straight cable to the display will give you the lowest latency. That is why I recommended the Blackmagic ATEM setup, as it provides low latency feeds internally, as well as a streaming feed out to the world. Feeds over MJPEG sound old school, but there is inherent delay in compressing to h.264 and then sending that out over the network.

The Axis cameras are pretty much the same that Mark recommends, but they have cameras that range up to 4K, and are network interfaced with video signals out.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Camera Setup Question
on Dec 29, 2015 at 3:29:50 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Dec 29, 2015 at 3:32:43 pm

We'd need to know how far apart and how many rooms we're talking about.

I would suggest something like this:

There are cheaper solutions, but this one is controllable remotely from a web browser. Then you use the free version of Livestream or youtube streaming as the method to send the picture and sound to your various rooms via internet streaming. To do that, the camera feeds an HDMI or SDI signal into a streaming encoder box, maybe like this one:

(pronounced: "Hop-Hog")

There will be a few seconds of time delay in the live stream, which shouldn't make any big difference unless you can hear the actual service in these other rooms by ear as well.

The live streaming will work anywhere your facility already has an internet connection. Put a BluRay player and TV in each room you need to feed, connect the BluRay to your internet, and the Blu Ray's streaming video ability will feed to the TV automatically, once you set up some preferences.

Shut-ins at home can watch the service live via the stream as well. There is one hitch most churches don't consider about live streaming though: a great deal of worship music is copyrighted, and some churches have found that Youtube or Livestream will cut off the program if they detect uncleared music in the program. This may not be a problem if you keep the stream to just the handful of receivers in the building, but if the stream is made public, you might be interrupted.

A way around that would be to skip internet as the distribution system, and use point-to-point short-range wireless or wired video. A cheap method is to use regular ethernet cables with a pair of devices called "baluns" on either end, to run the signals from the camera to each room you need fed. Getting cat-5 cable from a source like monoprice, and adding baluns, may be cheaper than running actual SDI or HDMI cable over long distances.

Signal path is: camera feeds a distribution amplifier with x number of outputs: each output connects to cat 5 cable with baluns, balun at the far end connects to standard TV.

Or, you could try wireless video systems like this:

or this:

Adding additional receivers to each room. Range is short and interference from building structure could be an issue. But it wouldn't have as big a delay issue as internet streaming. And "the man" can't shut you down for copyright violations over your in-house network

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