After just two months of live streaming, the Olivet United Methodist Church in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, has been able to connect with church members from all around the world, including some who have moved away, some who were temporarily home-bound, and other who were on vacation. The new live streaming system was in place just before Christmas in 2018. In that time, the church media team has been able to live stream a candlelight service, the 2018 Christmas service, and a special baptism. The live streaming system has connected house bound parishioners like Tori Parker who commented “Glad I can be here, even from my couch as I recover from surgery.”
The system has also connected members of the church who have moved away from the area, like Agnes Miner who says “What a blessing to happen (though I’m not convinced things just “happen”) to check my Facebook feed just a few minutes before 10 this morning and discover the first live feed of your service! And then to discover Pastor Spiegelhalder was participating, and the service included the baptism of his great-granddaughter! It’s been 40 years since our family lived in Coatesville and were active at Olivet. What a joy to participate in the service remotely!” It’s comments like these that remind us why we live stream church services.
In the included video above, you will get the chance to see a behind the scenes look at the new church video production system installed in the Olivet United Methodist Church. This system includes two PTZOptics cameras, the PTZOptics Producer Kit and a whole lot more!
The church decided to use a PTZOptics Producer Kit as their core live streaming and video production system. This system is powered by the superfast Intel NUC Skull Canyon computer. As you can see, the cameras are each connected to an SDI capture card which plugs into the computer via USB 3.0. The computer is connected to three monitors. One monitor is displaying the video production software, one monitor is showing a fullscreen camera preview, and the third monitor is dedicated to PowerPoint.
The monitors are laid out in a way that is intuitive for the volunteers that the church relies on every Sunday. To make things easier for the volunteers, the church also has a “little cheat sheet” right next to the joystick controller to show the PTZ presets assigned to each camera. In this way, volunteers can simply click a single button to have the cameras move to a specific area like the podium or baptismal area. Finally, all of the volunteers know that whatever is being displayed on monitor 3 will also be going out to the projection and LCD system. Therefore, if they want to switch between the PowerPoint presentation and the live camera feeds they simply need to toggle on or off the “full screen” button inside vMix which is the live streaming software they have selected.
As you can see the Olivet United Methodist Church is using an HDMI distribution system to extend the video from their live streaming computer to two projectors and four television displays located throughout the church. The projectors are used to provide image magnification inside the church. This gives the entire church larger than life views of the pastor and members of the choir. Two of the LCD monitors are used in overflow spaces showing the presentation and live camera feeds in areas that couldn’t otherwise see. Two of the LCD monitors are used to give the folks on either side of the stage a better view of the subject material from PowerPoint or the live cameras.