Case Study: Video Production Hub

When Faith Assembly Church moved from its main campus in Orlando, Fla., to a nearby and significantly larger 300,000-square-foot space, the organization had big plans of making its megachurch technic 7/26/2013 9:35 AM Eastern

Video Production Hub

Jul 26, 2013 1:35 PM

When Faith Assembly Church moved from its main campus in Orlando, Fla., to a nearby and significantly larger 300,000-square-foot space, the organization had big plans of making its megachurch technically savvy on a tight budget. After two and a half years of construction, the first phase of the process is finished, and the church recently opened its doors for services. Included in the list of new equipment installed and key to the church’s video production is a For-A HVS-350HS HD/SD 1.5 M/E video switcher, which is set in the video control room of the complex. The Encore Broadcast Solutions team, led by Jeff Cameron of the company’s Winter Springs, Fla., office, provided systems integration services on this large-scale project. Encore was tasked with design, sales, and installation of all audio, video, and lighting systems in the entire complex.

“We put a lot of time and effort into determining the products that would best fit the church’s needs,” says Gadiel Marquez, Encore’s systems design engineer. “We chose For-A’s switcher because [it] has the ability to easily accommodate all of Faith Assembly’s video production needs.”

Faith Assembly uses video in a variety of ways, including live streaming of church services to reach its audience in multiple continents, streaming of baptisms, concert production, and production of wedding ceremonies.

The main campus includes six main venues, each with full audio, video, and lighting capabilities. The entire complex is completely integrated, with HD/SDI capability from one location to the next, and a common intercom channel runs throughout the entire campus. To simplify the learning curve for the church’s mix of paid employees and volunteer staff, all its buildings have the same video package.

“We did this to allow our personnel to familiarize themselves with the technology in one control room, then walk into another venue and have the exact same setup to deal with,” says Robb Hawks, Faith Assembly’s executive pastor. “We’ve made video production easier in other ways, too. All of the equipment in our dining hall is on rolling racks, so that we can easily transport the gear to another room if needed. The ability to quickly move production equipment from one venue to the next is particularly handy as we move forward with our next phase of construction in different areas of the complex.”

The 2,700-seat auditorium in the main sanctuary features a multi-screen configuration, including a 60ft.-wide main center screen and Digital Projection Quad projectors. Faith Assembly selected Hitachi HD cameras, which they felt offered excellent high-definition quality with a reasonable price tag. The cameras are equipped with Angenieux lenses and are set in the sound booth in the back of the auditorium. The church is also equipped with Turbo Sound speakers.

In the design criteria was a strict attention to detail. For example, to streamline the process of checking people into the church for various activities, an automated system was installed to quickly sign family members into different venues. A 9x16 LED jumbo screen videowall was purchased from the Orlando Magic NBA team to provide digital signage in the church’s bookstore. Three of the venues have robotic camera systems, including the wedding chapel, which was custom built to switch wedding ceremonies live, then quickly render a DVD for viewing during the reception.

The church looked for ways to cut costs in the long term, in addition to selecting cost-effective equipment. Faith Assembly purchased LED light fixtures for use on the main floor of their sanctuary, which cut the church’s electrical use down by 75 percent. With this lighting, the church continually saves money on both electricity and air conditioning, since the lighting fixtures use only a fraction of the heat as typical lighting solutions.

“So much time and effort was put into this project and in working with Encore, we were able to put together a very open infrastructure with a lot of flexibility,” said Hawks. “We’re extremely pleased with the level of sophistication we’ve been able to achieve technically and within our budget. Using For-A’s video switcher has greatly contributed to our success, and Faith Assembly is confident that our efficient video production setup will help us thrive as an organization.”

Product at Work: For-A HVS-350HS HD/SD 1.5 M/E video switcher

The 1.5 M/E model in the For-A HVS-300HS series offers a full range of functionality, including mixed HD/SD input, frame synchronizer, 2D and 3D wipe effects, DVE, keyer with chroma key (two channels), DSK (four channels), still stores (four channels), picture in picture (two channels), and 16-split multiviewer (two channels). It retains the unique specifications that allow selection of operation style and can be used on all types of locations for most applications (live, events, news, outside broadcasting vans, sports, editing, presentations, etc.).

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