- Category: More Top Stories
- Published on Wednesday, 10 April 2013 19:16
- Written by Gordon Meyer
It may be surprising to learn that churches and other houses of worship have been incorporating video technologies to enhance their services, with many utilizing elaborate equipment.
Encore Broadcast Solutions in Tampa and Winter Springs, Fla. is a regional systems integrator with extensive experience in this specialized field, providing installations throughout Florida. The company recently installed Z-HD5000 cameras from Hitachi Kokusai Electric America at three churches: First Presbyterian of Orlando, First Presbyterian in Bonita Springs, and Orlando’s Faith Assembly of God. “The Z-HD5000 offers great functionality and is extremely easy to use,” says Jeff Cameron, Encore’s sales engineer. “With a lot of our projects, we’re looking for high-quality cameras with a reasonable price point that operate with fiber cable and can be portable. The Z-HD5000 fits these needs perfectly, which is why I’ve consistently used the camera in recent projects. In fact, overall, I continue to rely on Hitachi cameras and have done so for years.”
First Presbyterian Church of Orlando recently worked with Encore to upgrade its house system to high-definition, streaming live video of services from the main sanctuary to a 300-seat space with a 16-by-9-foot screen and to the Web. While some may use lower-quality equipment for Internet streaming, Encore persuaded First Presbyterian’s leadership to install broadcast-quality equipment instead. “Ultimately, you’re spending a bit more money for much better quality that will be seen on many computers and televisions,” explains Cameron. “To enhance the Web-viewing experience of the church’s followers, we chose high-quality video equipment while keeping a budget in mind. Hitachi’s Z-HD5000 was an ideal pick for the church.” Richard Swinson, the church’s technical arts director, is very pleased with Encore’s recommendations and the Hitachi Z-HD5000. “Our cameras were an important part of our total HD upgrade,” says Swinson. “From HD images on screens in our traditional service, to HD broadcasts of our contemporary service, and live HD streaming to our Website, the high-quality imaging we capture with our Hitachi cameras stood out to our congregation immediately. It really makes a significant, positive difference to our members and viewers.”
Encore also installed Hitachi Z-HD5000 cameras at the First Presbyterian Church in Bonita Springs, upgrading the church’s small consumer cameras. The company also built a new control room in the church’s attic, moving it away from the main sanctuary. This required the use of HD cameras with digital optical-fiber CCU, allowing the use of I-MAG to broadcast sermons throughout the entire building. Encore installed three Z-HD5000 cameras equipped with optical fiber and Fujinon lenses in the church’s main auditorium. The company also created a video and sound system in the church’s overflow room, where services are streamed live to members who prefer to attend services in a more relaxed atmosphere.
For the Faith Assembly of God’s new campus in Orlando, Encore again decided to use Hitachi Z-HD5000 cameras. Three of the HD-broadcast-quality cameras were installed in the main sanctuary’s 2,700-seat auditorium, and two of the cameras were equipped with Thales Angenieux telephoto lenses so they could be placed in a sound booth in the back of the auditorium. The third camera had a Canon wide-angle lens and was put on a jib. Like the other two churches, Faith Assembly of God does live streaming of its services, but they also host concert productions that are seen by audiences on several continents.
It seems that more and more religious institutions are relying on similar video installations as a way of better serving their congregants. It’s a specialized market with specific needs, and a high-quality system can provide reliable service for many years. This is one of the reasons why Cameron so often recommends the Z-HD5000. “As a systems integrator, our goal is to choose high-quality products that give our clients the best bang for their buck,” he says. “With Hitachi’s Z-HD5000 camera, I’m confident we’re doing just that.”