In 2021 Redeemer Lutheran Church in Scottdale Arizona identified the need to provide live streaming and recording services to their congregation. This allows their seasonal congregation to participate while they live elsewhere avoiding the Arizona Summer heat. Several integrators were given the opportunity to propose a solution to meet specifications and overcome the challenges the church leadership had identified. The chapel needed an audio system upgrade, new wireless microphones, a PTZ camera, and to replace an outdated analog mixer-amplifier. In addition to equipment upgrades, the church also needed a streaming solution that would make live streaming simple and effective.
Meeting the project budget was a large factor, as was the need for a simple and intuitive system that, as specified, “the pastor’s wife could use.” In addition to simplicity, the church also had to overcome the obstacle of a slow internet connection. Due to the location of the north Scottsdale church, high-speed broadband internet is not available and live streaming would need to be limited to 3Mbps.
Starting with the audio system, E1 needed a cost-effective loudspeaker with exceptional sound quality while not disrupting the distinct southwest aesthetics of the chapel. “I knew a partnership with HARMAN Pro on this project was crucial as soon as we met with the Pastor, and he showed us the space.” Said E1 Solutions Engineer, Tyler Larkey. “The church had a reasonable budget for the project. Our goal is always to deliver the best bang for the buck to our customers and exceed their expectations.”
The JBL CBT series Constant Beamwidth Line Array is a tried-and-true solution. For those unfamiliar, the JBL CBT-series are small and compact surface-mounted line-array columns that come in several sizes and provide excellent audio pattern control, exceptional audio quality, and comes in a compact profile that blends into the aesthetics where AV should be heard but not seen. At the rear of the room, a small BSS Audio controller gives simple volume controls over the new audio systems. The new Shure wireless microphone system, the ambient room microphone for the streaming, and the organ volume are all managed by the controller which provides control in the room as well as on the streaming and recording system.
The performance of the camera system was basic in our first conversation with church leaders. The church wanted quality video and a camera that can pan/tilt/zoom to eight presets. This is an easy specification to meet but E1 Solutions Engineers saw a great opportunity to exceed the project requirements. The new VC-TR1 auto-tracking camera from Lumens provides 256 PTZ-presets, in addition to working autonomously using facial
recognition to auto-track subjects. The new system relieves the pastor’s wife of her control duties during the service. Three tracking partitions were identified over the church Altar, Lectern, and Pulpit. When the pastor moves to any of these locations, the camera will automatically focus into the PTZ preset. Multiple exclusion areas were identified so the camera would not use facial recognition to identify people in the congregation and interfere with the auto-tracking of the pastor. The intelligent camera also has the ability to identify multiple people in the framed area, and can automatically adjust to frame both presenters or worshipers in this scenario.
The Lumens Camera and BSS audio system feed into a Pearl Nano, a streaming and recording device from Epiphan Video. Low internet speeds meant the streaming quality needed to be limited to a lower resolution. The
church leadership wanted to record at a higher resolution to be uploaded later Sunday after the service. The Perl Nano provided simultaneous streaming and recording and would allow both to be done at different resolutions and data bitrate. The live stream is started at the beginning of each service and goes directly to YouTube Live with a bitrate limitation of 2Mbps. While the recording is done at an unlimited bitrate and resolution set to 720p.
“After they got their hands wrapped around it, I was able to view the result on YouTube and even I was blown away at the end product. The audio and video quality was incredible. I knew the system was capable of this level of performance, but what I saw right out of the gate without a professional AV tech running the system really made me feel like we nailed this design” said Larkey. “We put so much effort and pride into what we do here at E1, nothing makes me feel more gratification than seeing our customer’s dreams come to life.”