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Author Topic: Public access  (Read 3000 times)

Ole Anderson

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Public access
« on: February 12, 2012, 07:28:51 pm »

We have been recording our service for weekly public assess for at least 15 years, starting out borrowing cameras, tripods and a switcher from the public access folks, then purchasing our own equipment on a real budget.  Our local access station has probably 5 churches providing a weekly DVD and use everything from embarrassing one camera shoots using camera sound to full video booths using folks with broadcast experience.  We use 2 operator and one fixed DV cameras cabled s-vhs, mixed live with a Videonics 4 camera switcher and recorded on a Panasonic consumer DVD recorder.  The DVD is ripped to our presentation computer, then edited and burned to DVD with Womble's MPEG Video Wizard DVD.  We are getting to the point of needing new cameras, I would love to go to HD, but I don't see the support for a big outlay as our entire annual church budget is $200k and some leaders see a minimal benefit.  We don't really need a camcorder, but they are much more common than just a camera.  We also use the setup for very limited IMAG, children's message only when the pastor is sitting on the floor so he can't otherwise be seen.  Anyone else have any experience in this area that you would care to share?
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Lee Douglas

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Re: Public access
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 07:58:05 pm »

I would offer that until public access starts broadcasting in HD and as long as it's your only media outlet, HD may not be nesessary.  And with other entities making the move toward HD, there are bound to be some great deals on the used market, allowing you to get the cameras and equipment you need now at a great price, while building a budget that will allow you to go HD when you really need to.
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Brad Weber

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Re: Public access
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 07:51:59 am »

Probably not what you wanted to address and likely already taken care of but if you are broadcasting more than just the message/sermon and are including music performances, shots that include projected graphics/lyrics or direct graphics/lyrics and so on then you might want to make sure that someone had addressed the rights for the content.  In the US the 'religious use' exclusion for some copyright extends only to live performances that are part of a worship service and not to displaying lyrics or recording or broadcasting, which may get into multiple other rights.  If you are not sure, you might want to verify who is responsible for securing all applicable rights and that they have been obtained.
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Clayton Ganzer

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Re: Public access
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 11:39:27 am »

We have been recording our service for weekly public assess for at least 15 years, starting out borrowing cameras, tripods and a switcher from the public access folks, then purchasing our own equipment on a real budget.  Our local access station has probably 5 churches providing a weekly DVD and use everything from embarrassing one camera shoots using camera sound to full video booths using folks with broadcast experience.  We use 2 operator and one fixed DV cameras cabled s-vhs, mixed live with a Videonics 4 camera switcher and recorded on a Panasonic consumer DVD recorder.  The DVD is ripped to our presentation computer, then edited and burned to DVD with Womble's MPEG Video Wizard DVD.  We are getting to the point of needing new cameras, I would love to go to HD, but I don't see the support for a big outlay as our entire annual church budget is $200k and some leaders see a minimal benefit.  We don't really need a camcorder, but they are much more common than just a camera.  We also use the setup for very limited IMAG, children's message only when the pastor is sitting on the floor so he can't otherwise be seen.  Anyone else have any experience in this area that you would care to share?

There is a lot to consider here and I might be long winded in this but I want to give you as much info as I can.

Wow, that is a lot of steps to get your video out of the camera, onto the computer and back out to the TV station. I will tell you what I do at my church and what I have helped other churches do also.

There is the argument to not go HD right now. Some say that the public access isn’t HD yet or DVDs are only 720x480 or whatever their reasoning. Here is my two pennies worth. GO HD. That doesn’t mean you have to shoot HD right now. That doesn’t mean that you have to start using blu-rays or anything. When the public access channel goes HD you will be read and ahead of the curve and not be needing to upgrade again. Another factor is you won’t find too many new cameras that are not HD. You can just change the setting in the camera menu to shoot in SD or 16x9 SD for widescreen.

I would start going HD-SDI on your camera setup. HD-SDI is an amazing asset to have, it allows far greater image quality, ease of computer video capture, and a simplified process. HD-SDI is an output found on higher end cameras that send an UNCOMPRESSED, HD, 4:2:2 signal, plus 4 channels of audio from the camera over a single cable. Not every camera has it so below I have listed a few cameras that do.

You need a HD-SDI capture card on a computer, I recommend the Blackmagic DeckLink Duo $500. http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/decklink/
This will allow you to send your cameras video output directly to you computer. No need to record to DVD, rip from DVD, edit, then burn back to DVD. You can edit your clips and burn right to DVD, that will greatly reduce the amount of time you spend on this process. Time is money.

Then you can run the 3-wire, component out from the camera to your projector screen video switcher so you can do IMAG any time you want without changing what is being recorded.

Panasonic AG-HPX170 P2HD Solid-State Camcorder $3,400 – This guy is awesome. It is a great camera, it has the great features of its big brother but in a smaller form. It is nice and portable if needed. It records to P2 cards instead of tapes. It has HD-SDI output.
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Ole Anderson

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Re: Public access
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2012, 04:25:21 pm »

May seem like a lot of steps, but I just walk the raw DVD up to the presentation computer and rip it during the coffee time after church, takes about 15 minutes, and then return to do the edit and burn which in total takes another 45 minutes.  Our video room is in the basement beneath the sanctuary so the switcher person can communicate to the camera operators without disturbing the congregation, and we can keep all of the video stuff locked up.  Setting up all 3 cameras takes less than 10 minutes as all cables are permanently installed.  Because we do a live 3 camera edit the computer edit just consists of adjusting sound levels, removing unwanted material and adding a stock opening and closing, shooting for a goal of just under 60 minutes. 

Clayton, how close are your camera(s) from your computer and what do you use for cabling, cat5?  Ours are between 40 and 75 feet from the switcher.  Also you are doing a single camera shoot or do you have a live switcher between the cameras and the capture card?  Do you use any sound from the camera, or just the sound board?  I presume the video capture card allows a direct feed from the sound board to maintain sync.

Our primary reason for considering HD is that the beginning image quality is much better and if we get SD cameras, we are limiting our future options, and as mentioned, HD cameras are now far more common than SD cameras.  Our 120 inch front presentation screen above the altar is is 16x9 format, (rear is 4x3 as we have room) but we convert from a 4x3 in the front projector.  Unless you really look, nothing looked squashed.  Keep in mind that we only have a single service and we seat well under 300.  Average attendance at about 140.  I don't see financial support for three $3500 cameras anytime in the near future, so I am likely looking at consumer level equipment, not prosumer.  Hey look at some of the shots Dirty Jobs gets with almost disposable video cameras these days.  Now if they would just put a zoom lens and an HD-SDI output on one of those $200 Hero helmet cams (only slightly kidding).  What I am saying is that someone is missing the boat by not offering a real affordable video camera  somewhere between the Hero and the low end Panasonic prosumer offerings.  We have no need to record within the camera, we have never had a tape in our DV cameras in all the time we have had them.  Oh, our existing cameras are tiny JVC DV format that cost us $500 each almost 10 years ago. 

Our Videonics camera switcher was about $1200 if I remember and the DVD recorder was about $250 3 years ago and we use a pair of 19" Panasonic TVs as monitors.  Communications consist of 2 pair of Motorola walkie talkies from Radio Shack, using earphones for the camera operators. So you can see it is a real budget system.  But being able to rotate between three camera views and having sound board quality audio gives the final product some credibility.  Three years ago we went to projection using Hitachi projectors and a Kramer 719 switcher which allows us to switch between our presentation software computer, IMAG and a personal DVD player.  We are saddled with now defunct Sunday Plus presentation software, but it still fits our needs and is volunteer friendly.  Besides we have over 300 songs input in S+ format for presentation.  Our cable run to between the sanctuary sound booth and the video room for IMAG is about 100 feet using two parallel Belden video breakout cable sets for S-VHS output and inputs.

We do not capture projected song lyrics on the video, however we do have a CCLI license for all of our songs.  I would like to avoid a discussion regarding this issue if we could, please.  Another day, another time.

I am throwing out a lot of info here, but I have been able to find so little regarding a budget go-to-public-access system that I felt I would give out what has worked for us.  I know a lot of folks guffaw at using a budget setup for public access, but they are often the ones that have a big budget to work with and would say go big or go home.  Look around and you will see that a most churches don't fit that category, yet still look to technology as one tool for outreach.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 04:39:54 pm by Ole Anderson »
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Clayton Ganzer

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Re: Public access
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 07:28:55 pm »

At my church I am about 40’ from the computer but I have about 60’ of cable to go up the wall and back to the computer. We only use 2 cameras and the other is only about 15’ away from the computer. I use good quality Belden 1505A cable with BNC on both ends.
At some other churches I have ran up to 100’, sometimes longer, with no problems using good quality cable. My second camera is next to the sound booth so I run an aux from the board directly to the camera input and then send the audio with the video over the HD-SDI cable to the computer, that way the audio is already synced. I also run both cameras directly to the computer capture card and inside of my editing software I just select the camera that I want to use at that time. I like having each camera direct into the computer instead of a pre-mixed master out of a switcher so I have more flexibility and the ability to correct anything in case of a problem or sudden camera jerk.

I definitely understand your budget constraints, I have been in your same boat for many years. My setup didn’t happen overnight. I started with 1 camera that we rented once a month and I found clever ways to make it seem like there were more than one camera. Like on the Sundays that we would record we would sing every song extra long so I could record the singers for half of the song and then go to the band, keyboard player, backup singers, guitar player, ect for the other half of the song and then with the magic of post production it would look like a multi camera shoot. So I know your pain. Our 1st step was to buy a used Canon XL2 and record to tape and then put onto the computer and edit. Then I bought a capture card that had component in and HD-SDI inputs and connected the XL2 via analog component to the computer to eliminate the tape. I made sure the card had HD-SDI input so that when I upgraded the camera I didn’t have to spend the extra cash on a new input card. Then we upgraded the camera to a Canon with HD-SDI output. Then eventually we found another camera used on craigslist. It took well over a year to get to where we are but with a little forethought and planning ahead we managed to make it happen.

If you recorded your camera directly to computer and edited it together afterward instead of live then you could do away with you camera switcher and DVD recorder, sell them and have some money for a camera. Used cameras with HD-SDI outputs are out there on craigslist, you just have to look every week.
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: Public access
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2012, 07:49:47 am »

We have been recording our service for weekly public assess for at least 15 years, starting out borrowing cameras, tripods and a switcher from the public access folks, then purchasing our own equipment on a real budget.  Our local access station has probably 5 churches providing a weekly DVD and use everything from embarrassing one camera shoots using camera sound to full video booths using folks with broadcast experience.  We use 2 operator and one fixed DV cameras cabled s-vhs, mixed live with a Videonics 4 camera switcher and recorded on a Panasonic consumer DVD recorder.  The DVD is ripped to our presentation computer, then edited and burned to DVD with Womble's MPEG Video Wizard DVD.  We are getting to the point of needing new cameras, I would love to go to HD, but I don't see the support for a big outlay as our entire annual church budget is $200k and some leaders see a minimal benefit.  We don't really need a camcorder, but they are much more common than just a camera.  We also use the setup for very limited IMAG, children's message only when the pastor is sitting on the floor so he can't otherwise be seen.  Anyone else have any experience in this area that you would care to share?

I see a ministry issue that probably overrides the rest. What is this weekly service adding to the Kingdom? How many people are actually watching it?  Is it bringing in a steady flow of visitors? Does it have an adequate following of shut-ins who are being blessed by it? Or, are you spinning your wheels with this aspect of your ministry?

It is said that there are churches that are multipyling their ministries by 100s of percent with this kind of offering. I'd like to see you look at the actual numbers.

If the bang is there, then you might be able to fund significant enhancements by going outside of the annual budget.
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Ole Anderson

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Re: Public access
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 11:36:12 am »

I see a ministry issue that probably overrides the rest. What is this weekly service adding to the Kingdom? How many people are actually watching it?  Is it bringing in a steady flow of visitors? Does it have an adequate following of shut-ins who are being blessed by it? Or, are you spinning your wheels with this aspect of your ministry?

It is said that there are churches that are multipyling their ministries by 100s of percent with this kind of offering. I'd like to see you look at the actual numbers.

If the bang is there, then you might be able to fund significant enhancements by going outside of the annual budget.

Good question.  Every time I say something about my wondering if anybody really watches our service on cable, someone mentions an instance where a shut in or even a stranger says to someone that they saw us on cable.  I see it as much of a mechanism to keep volunteers engaged as is is a mission of reaching out to others.  No one have ever come up to me and said, hey I am here because I saw your service on the cable access channel.  We do have occasions where members ask for a video copy of the service, particularly for cantatas, children's Christmas programs or baptisms.
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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Public access
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 11:36:12 am »


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