Catholic Media Ministry is the premier provider of technical support and production services for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. With the Diocese recently looking to begin broadcasting masses on TV, it became clear that the churches and production team would need an equipment upgrade. The production company selected JVC Professional Video’s KY-PZ100 PTZ Cameras to provide the video quality and versatility necessary for live television.
While livestreaming church masses is commonplace today, the Diocese found it difficult for members to navigate through the web and software apps to find the videos, which resulted in the decision to broadcast the services. “When I first joined Catholic Media Ministry, I was given the crucial task in helping to set up our daily masses to broadcast on TV,” says Arturo Santoyo, Video Producer at Catholic Media Ministry. “Since we didn’t initially have a big budget for the livestream productions, we were originally using very cheap cameras. I knew we needed better cameras to produce the broadcast quality video necessary for television, and that’s when we came across JVC Professional Video.”
Prior to upgrading to JVC PTZs, Catholic Media Ministry was using handheld production cameras, which were typically operated by volunteers. “I remember one event in particular where I was in a desperate situation; it was 15 minutes before the show was set to start and no volunteers had arrived,” he says. “That night, I called my pastor, Fr. Dan McBride, the founder of Catholic Media Ministry, and explained that if we purchased PTZ cameras, I would be able to run an entire show without any volunteers, and he was sold.”
After testing the KY-PZ100 in a dimly lit church, the team knew the cameras were the perfect fit not only for broadcasting mass, but for other applications as well. Catholic Media Ministry initially purchased nine KY-PZ100s. Six of the cameras went to the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Parish of Chandler, Arizona – and were divvied evenly between St. Mary’s Church and St. Juan Diego Church, while the other three were incorporated into Catholic Media Ministry’s fly-packs for productions between churches and other events.
Since then, the production company has added six additional JVC PTZ cameras, resulting in a total of 15 KY-PZ100s spread throughout various church campuses and in their mobile production system. The company also purchased three RM-LP100U Remote Production Controllers to manage its cameras, which proved helpful when Santoyo needed to rely on assistance from his volunteers. “We set up a control table where a single volunteer can run cameras and also be switching at the same time,” he says. “So, we can have one single person running three or four cameras, which is awesome.”
For Santoyo, one of the best features of the JVC PTZ KY-PZ100 camera is its presets and long-range 30x optical zoom capabilities. “We stream many different events from daily and weekend masses to outdoor processions, masses and parades,” he continues. “We use different presets for each application and venue, which makes things super convenient for us. The zoom function is also great for that same reason; it’s really nice to have.”
Most recently, Catholic Media Ministry added four GY-HC500 Handheld Production Cameras to its collection, which the team often relies on for productions that require a quicker shooting response, such as sporting events. “We have a basketball game we call ‘Game for the Vocations,’ where priests play against seminarians, for which we deployed the GY-HC500s alongside the PTZs,” says Santoyo. “We especially love the optical and dynamic zoom of these handheld cameras; the ability to shoot in 4K and record to SSD is an added bonus. The IP remote control and viewing features are also spectacular.”
When it comes to JVC as a brand, Santoyo feels the company has been a standout in its support. “I’ve had problems with other companies in the past, where if I have an issue with a product, it could be really hard to reach someone to fix what you need,” he says. “Whenever I have any questions for JVC, they are always extremely responsive and helpful, which is nice to find in a manufacturer.”