New camera for online streaming

The pandemic has certainly changed the way we are worshiping.  For several weeks, we were only doing online worship with Zoom.  Towards the end of June, we began a limited amount of in-house services, but with continued presence via Zoom.  Like it or not, online worship availability is here to stay.

Many of us have looked for a way to provide this experience for at least the last several years.  There were always barriers - infrastructure, our network availability within the building, what platform to use, cost, and whether people would even bother using it.

The last factor went away quickly when, suddenly, we as a faith community were forced online.  Many people had their eyes opened up to this new way of reaching out.  For the first time, in a LONG time, many of our parish members who for whatever reason could not step foot in the building could suddenly participate again.  The dam burst open and we, as the Vestry, began to figure out how we could better facilitate the online experience.

My thanks to Jim Edwards, who partnered with me in working this process through.  We knew the obstacles and endeavored to eliminate them.

  1. Infrastructure.  We have recorded services for many years with our current cameras and sound system.  However, what may have been great quality 10 years ago is certainly not today.  Plus, we just could not find a viable, affordable way of getting that audiovisual (AV) feed into the existing computer.  We decided to shop around for a better quality camera, and find a way to use our existing audio system to work with it.  More on the camera in a bit.  Jim got the laptop we now use, and we figured a way to get the signal to it.  Things were looking up.
  2. Our current network configuration allowed a robust connection to allow the AV feed to go out.  That turned out to be a non-problem.
  3. We decided to continue to use Zoom as our broadcast platform.  The parish is familiar with it, and it allows a larger number of users to login and view the services, as well as chat before and after.
  4. Polls of the parish showed us that members of our parish wanted to continue having online viewing as an option.
  5. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place once we figured out how to pipe the in-house audio feed into the Zoom platform.  

The new camera was put in place on August 1st.  After some discussion it was then moved a few feet to the west.  We started running Zoom tests using that camera about two weeks later.

 

Once we were happy with placement, all the cords were routed into a cable raceway and everything closed up to make the entire thing look neater.  

 

 

We have been using this new arrangement for the last six weeks and it works quite well.  Last month we switched Zoom to allow this new camera to broadcast at its full High Definition capability.  It's pretty easy to see from below when that change was made from standard to high definition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope everybody is continuing to enjoy their online experience.

--Bryan Irvine, Junior Warden

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