A long-term solution for live-streaming in church
When the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions came into force, audio and visual specialist Darren Butler, owner of south Norfolk based Audio Electronic Design (AED), knew straight away that many churches would be facing a big problem.
For over 30 years, AED has supplied audio and audio visual systems to literally hundreds of churches across East Anglia. As soon as churches were forced to close their doors in March and live streaming became the hot topic in church circles, Darren started thinking hard about what he could see was going to be an urgent need to provide a more professional, and permanent solution, for churches across the region, and created a cost-effective twin camera system that he says can be adapted to churches big and small.
Once setup, it can provide multiple camera views and angles, yet be controlled simply with a small remote control
device and no other operators needed to replicate what much more expensive systems offer. “The beauty of the system is that it provides up to 16 different shots from just two fixed cameras,” said Darren. “They can zoom, pan and tilt and are fully controllable from a small hand-held radio-controlled remote control, that the priest or a member of the congregation can easily operate. There is no need for camera or control desk operators as all the shots from the cameras are pre-programmed and transition automatically at the press of a button.
“I see this system being a simple long-term solution for those churches which want to stream services but want to do so with as little involvement as possible. It offers a sustainable solution which is both cost-effective and much more engaging for the viewer. “We use two high-definition cameras in fixed positions, one close-up to the altar and the other one further back in the church to ideally give a wider view of as much of the church as possible. We can include a small TV monitor so that whoever is controlling the system can see what is being broadcast and also a small computer to control the system, with a joystick if required, unless a church already has one which we can adapt.”
Darren says the system can be adapted to suit the needs of everything from a cathedral to a small chapel and, because of his good connections with suppliers, can provide and install it at a very a cost-effective price. He is also working on a smaller single fixed camera solution which can be upgraded at a later date if required. Years of experience means he is also used to installing the equipment discreetly and in line with any historic buildings regulations. The system can broadcast live online and be recorded and, Darren believes, will also come into its own for events such as weddings.
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