Forestgate Presbyterian Church, another church affected by covid-19 and unable to meet in person, turned to Lambda for a solution to connect with their congregation. They hoped to be able to have a quality way to connect on a lower budget by using as much existing technology as possible.
We have worked with Forestgate Presbyterian church for many years helping them transition through several different major changes in technology ability. Several years ago we put in a projection system for lyrics and announcements in the main area for worship. We also helped them set up a “cry room” to allow families with fussy children a comfortable place to sit where they could see a camera view of the service and the projected lyrics. The “cry room” system used a small black magic design block camera mounted on the back wall of the main room. This camera fed an HDMI signal into the building system, but also had an SDI output that wasn’t used.
As we looked at designing a simple streaming setup for the church, we decided to use the empty SDI output and an HDMI conversion to tie the camera into a Blackmagic ATEM Mini switcher. We also used one of our favorite converters, the Blackmagic Up Down Cross HD, to split the projection signal out from the computer and bring it into the switcher as well. The church purchased a $300 laptop which we tied in via USB along with a hardline network connection to the internet. Just like that, they were off and running streaming to their congregation with no hassle. The ATEM Mini even allows for picture-in-picture to show lyrics next to the worship leader as he sings so the congregation can join in from home.
This was a fun project for us because small changes, and just a few pieces of new equipment, allowed the church to make big changes for the congregation. The church was able to go from streaming with an iPhone to using a quality camera and sound system fed through an awesome switcher. It made all the difference to the congregation, even earning us a shout out to the church on their new stream!
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