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Author Topic: Video Project  (Read 6597 times)

George Ahlenius

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Video Project
« on: December 25, 2009, 08:15:54 pm »

Our church is considering adding video/audio distribution (one camera - whole service) to monitors in other areas of the church. Along with this we would like to be able to record the sermon and upload to a web site (probably iTunes or YouTube).

I would like to hear any suggestions as to cameras, software, distribution hardware, and recording/editing software (Mac only).

George Ahlenius
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Greg Hertfelder

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Re: Video Project
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2010, 10:41:28 am »

I recommend that you divide your project into the following capabilities: Acquisition, Editing, Publishing, Local Live Distribution,  Long-Term Storage, and Ergonomics. Think about the workflow required for online or physical media publication and make purchase decisions based on a fit for your staffing situation.

Acquisition: An important aspect of video recording is intelligible and clean audio. For practical purpose, ignore any on-camera microphones and connect a sound system output directly to the recording device for the most intelligible audio. This connection may require an attenuation pad that converts line-level to mic level, and sometimes a 1:1 isolation transformer. The audio should be monitored at the recording device with quality headphones or powered speaker if the recorder is in an isolated control room.

You could acquire a seperate camera and VCR if the camera needs to be mounted or for convenience, but for the sake of conversation and economy I recommend a camcorder with an XLR mic/line input jack. In a perfect world, you would purchase a camcorder that can record directly to an uncompressed digital computer file, often called Direct-to-edit (DTE). But on a church budget, the Sony HVR-A1U has XLR audio inputs, decent video specs and records to DV videotape. This camcorder will be sufficient for basic institutional recording.

Ergonomics: Minimally, purchase a tripod capable of elevating the camcorder above obstructions. The least expensive tall tripod I am aware of is the Sunpak PlatinumPlus 72".. But, if an operator will be frequently moving the camera, consider two-handled tripods made by Manfrotto/Bogen, Libec and other manufacturers. If so, you will also want to purchase a remote Zoom/Focus control like a Libec ZC-9PRO to be mounted on one of the handles.

Also, PLEASE consider the comfort of the (volunteer) camera operator, and provide a platform, comfortable hi-rise chair with arm rests, etc.. The operator should never need to look "up" to see the camera viewfinder. I have seen several short-sighted churches employ operators standing on folding chairs or pews and looking up into small viewfinders - for a while - until the church sees turnover and can't recruit volunteers for the task.

Editing: Since you want to work on a Mac, you may edit the file on  Final Cut Pro, and then render on a format friendly to your publishing destination, such as MP4, and upload.

Long-Term Storage: If you are recording to videotape, that will suffice as long-term storage. If you purchase a camcorder capable of recording to uncompressed video file, you may want to purchase large hard drive storage. Standard resolution DV video requires about 13 gigabyte per recorded hour.

Local Distribution: Here are two common distribution methods:
- Radio Frequency ("RF") Cable is the most common distribution method which enables you to tap the audio and video directly off the camcorder, modulate to an RF TV frequency, and distribute the RF using off-the-shelf coaxial cabling and amplification.
- Digital Streaming may be accomplished by encoding with hardware from Vbrick or Viewcast, and then distribute using a computer network.

Publishing: If you want to publish your video to a video propagation service like YouTube, you will need to provide a compressed video file, such as Windows Media (.WMV) or .MP4 .
- If the video will be edited, you may convert the video file using the appropriate software.
- If you elect to purchase stream encoding hardware from Vbrick or Viewcast, you may encode directly to a compressed file format, for speedy uploading and publication. You can still edit the video if you choose, or circumvent the editing phase altogether.

Lighting designed by architects is not always complementary to video recording purposes. Bad lighting produces dark eye sockets and makes the presenter look "creepy" or "shady". Ensure that lighting the main presenter's area is approximately 30-45 degrees in relation to the floor, as opposed to directly above (90 degrees).

There are number of variations, such as remotely-controllable cameras, large viewfinders, quality control monitoring, etc., but I hope that these points will get you started in formulating a strategy appropriate for your church's budget and vision.


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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Video Project
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2010, 11:06:43 am »

George Ahlenius wrote on Sat, 26 December 2009 01:15

Our church is considering adding video/audio distribution (one camera - whole service) to monitors in other areas of the church. Along with this we would like to be able to record the sermon and upload to a web site (probably iTunes or YouTube).

I would like to hear any suggestions as to cameras, software, distribution hardware, and recording/editing software (Mac only).



We took a simple, relatively inexpensive route. Our camera is a Canon HV-20, whose video output we record with a consumer-grade Philips DVD recorder. We throw away the audio from the mic in the camera, and simply route an audio output from the main console to the DVD recorder.

I think that the HV20 is pretty much out of production now.  Canon and or their competitors have probably come out with sequel cameras with equal or better quality. This is a HD camera and we are no doubt throwing away a lot of its potential when we mix it and record it with inexepensive video equipment, but on balance nobody complains about the quality of the DVDs we make. If they did, we could move up incrementally and without a lot of expense.

This eliminates the need to have a special camera with pro grade audio input jacks, and produces a DVD that can be viewed and duplicated immediately after the service, or further edited on just about any modern PC with inexpensive software such as Premiere Elements.

Along the way we've added some refinements. We have a Roland video mixer that allows us to bring in other video sources in real time including another video camera for the baptistry, and scaled RGB feeds from two different computers runing presenation software.  Our video presentation operator mixes the video as she operates the video presentation on her PC.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Video Project
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 01:02:46 pm »

Greg Hertfelder wrote on Fri, 01 January 2010 10:41

Publishing: If you want to publish your video to a video propagation service like YouTube, you will need to provide a compressed video file, such as Windows Media (.WMV) or .MP4 .
- If the video will be edited, you may convert the video file using the appropriate software.
- If you elect to purchase stream encoding hardware from Vbrick or Viewcast, you may encode directly to a compressed file format, for speedy uploading and publication. You can still edit the video if you choose, or circumvent the editing phase altogether.

Don't forget to consider the potential copyright issues related to recording and distribution of anything other than original content, including music, graphics, video, etc.  Recording and distributing a spoken sermon is one thing, recording and distributing a copyrights graphics or a choir or praise band performing a copyrighted work is another and requires additional licensing.

As far as the physical system, factors such as the size of the space, the expected or desired quality, the number and locations of displays, the budget and so on can all impact the equipment and system.  For example, would the camera be a fixed shot of do you want zoom and maybe pan/tilt?  If you do want any camera operation would it be preferable to be manned or remote controlled?  Would you be recording and distributing just the camera video or adding in graphics, etc. either live or in post production?  Would the camera output possibly be run to a projector or other local displays?  Do you have any existing equipment?  Who would be installing this?
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Brad Weber
muse Audio Video
www.museav.com
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