What is the new Video Streaming Project in our sanctuary?
I am glad you asked. You have probably heard about the recent fundraising campaign needed to buy and install new video equipment. First off, this will not affect the in-person experience of worship. The current sound system, speakers, screens, microphones and format of Sunday service will remain the same. What we are doing is improving our ability to video record and broadcast our worship so that people who watch from home can have a better, clearer, and more worshipful experience on Sunday morning.
During the pandemic Southminster moved to online worship and we purchased some equipment and put some stuff together but it was never intended to be a professional or long-term solution. Thanks be to God for the generosity of our congregation members and the willingness of our Leadership Team here at church for making this project come together.
Here is what this project entails:
1) We are moving from one camcorder on a tripod, to three fully adjustable wall mounted cameras. These cameras will each be fully adjustable to pan, tilt and zoom to get any angle. Specific shots can even be saved as presets so, just as easily as you eye switches from watching the choir sing, to the liturgist start reading, to the words printed up on the screen, our cameras can smoothly capture the choir, the liturgist and the whole congregation all at once. Once mounted up on the wall, they will hardly be noticeable.
2) We are also upgrading the sound booth equipment we use in the back. Currently we have a desktop computer, a single camcorder on a tripod, and the ability to switch between the video and the slides of the readings. With three new cameras, we will have a workstation that will allow our volunteer to see and switch between the three cameras, choosing the various preset camera angels and zooms so that when you watch our online worship, you will feel as though you are right in the sanctuary too! Once the preset views are programmed during the install, switching between cameras each week is as easy as just pressing a button!
3) We are also upgrading our back-end hardware which is what takes our video feed and puts it out onto the website, Facebook and YouTube. This hardware will make sure the audio and video are strong, synched, and reliable week in and week out. I have heard too many times that the video stopped or the audio dropped out. This hardware, once setup, will require little to no adjustments and will help us maintain a consistently good stream every week.
The Cameras: The Marshall PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) full 360˚ cameras have great clarity and color capture, plus enough optical zoom to get great c
lose ups as needed (without blurring or shaking). Each of the three cameras will be controlled by a single joystick and have several preset views so that volunteer operators can quickly and easily switch between views and cameras throughout the service.
The Workstation: Two new computer monitors will be installed so that the Video station person can easily see what each camera is looking at, and be able to quickly and smoothly switch between views with the video switcher. The Roland switcher is a powerful tool that manages the video feeds from the cameras and allows picture in picture, fades, split screen and more.
The cost for this video project is $20,000 and I am happy to say that we have reached our goal! There was one church member who was so inspired by this project that they offered to match every donation the church received so that we could reach our goal. I am so thankful for the generosity of so many people to make this project happen!
The Video Project Team that has been working on this for the last several months are members from P&F, Worship and the Technology Team of church. Dallas Blome, Mike Pogue, Carolynn Boehmer, Lucia Oswald, Jacob Simpson, Sandy Frederich, Taylor Blome and myself. We have also been working with the Congregational Stewardship Commission Nancy Chambers and Russell Toler on tracking the donations, our Church Treasurers Dona Young and Gene Haberstock have faithfully received the donations each week, and our church staff Sarah Denu and Cheryl Zeller have been behind the scenes helping to facilitate this project from start to finish. Without the work of so many people, this wouldn’t have been possible.
The biggest “Thanks” goes to You, the members of Southminster. You are the ones who call out the best in us. You have spoken that this upgrade is necessary and you have given generously so that the ministry of Jesus Christ here in Crestwood stays faithful and vital in this way for years to come.
I am looking forward to having the equipment installed in the coming months. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me or anyone involved in the Video Project Team.