PTZOptic’s 20X-SDI-G2 1080p Live Streaming PTZ Camera

In Lighting, Product Reviewsby tfwm

PTZOptic’s 20X-SDI-G2 1080p Live Streaming PTZ Camera

By Luther Ramsey

As it states on our website, at one, our dream is simple: to lead people into growing relationship with Jesus Christ by creating environments that make it easy for people to turn to God. Our focus as a church in on our community in totality, so every week, we work hard to be a church that people love to attend. We partner with North Point Community Church and imPact Churches to reach the Clarksville/Nashville, TN area.

Since we are based out of Clarksville, TN, our church is primarily military, which presents some unique challenges. We lose about 35% of our church every year due to people being re-stationed, deployed overseas, or leaving the military and moving on. We decided about 7 years ago that videoing our services would be a great way to help people stay connected with church when deployed or after they had moved away. In 2017 when we realized that our video venue would need to be used by more people because of space limitations we knew it was time to make an upgrade.

By adding a live streaming and VOD, our active military personnel are able to watch services live, from as far away as Iraq or Afghanistan, with their families remaining in Clarksville, and still maintain relationships within our church community.

We meet in a movie theatre, and while we have plenty of time for set-up, we have limited time for tear down (need to be out by 12:30). We average about 600 people on Sunday, and our services consist of a live service in theatre 16 (where the cameras are) and a video service (which is only video in a separate theatre in the facility). We also average about 400 people online watching the service weekly. On top of that, a recent renovation at the theatre has cut back our seats from 300 before to 120 now, and we run three services every Sunday. With the loss of more than half our seats, we could no longer afford to take up the entire back few rows of the theatre for cameras and broadcast equipment.

While the theatre renovations were happening, we were also provided the opportunity via a generous donation to upgrade our broadcast ministry to full HD-quality streaming. We knew we needed to find cameras that would work with the limited space we had, fall within our budget, and also have the full feature-set we were looking for.

PTZoptics 20X-SDI-G2 PTZ cameras easily met all our criteria. Their feature set was exactly what we needed; PoE+, 3G-SDI, and 20x zoom is really just the tip of the iceberg. The advanced optics of the cameras enable superior 1080p video quality at 60fps from HDMI, and h.264 or h.265 IP streaming for maximum flexibility. Their wide field of view can capture images at 60.7 degrees to a narrow 3.36 degrees, and a 3.5m audio input supports embedding audio onto HDMI and ethernet for IP streaming. The cameras also offer the functionality of live RTMP streaming directly to our favorite CDN (like Facebook Live), and our IP video streaming is open source so it can be customized to meet the needs of our church as those needs change.

We currently have one person who directs the shots, and another who switches between cameras based on what the director calls. We have the PTZ Optics IPJoy Gen 2 controller but also can control the cameras via a PTZOptics Camera Control iOS app. Most of our operators actually prefer the iOS app over the joystick because they feel the motion is smoother and the pre-programmed shots are easier to access. The theatre allowed us to permanently mount three cameras in the theatre, which helps us avoid spending a lot of time setting up and tearing down. If you are standing at the back of the theatre, we have a camera set their for a room shot, plus two cameras on either side, about eight feet forward from the center, so about 15 feet apart from each other.

We also had to get super creative with the way we run our services. With the loss of space due to the renovation, our pastor actually delivers the message from between two rows, in about eight feet of space, with the worship band set up on a very small stage behind him.

The PTZOptics 20X-SDI-G2 PTZ cameras have helped us meet our goals by improving our broadcast and streaming ministry, and will allow us to serve all our members – both at home and abroad – for a long time to come.