Ransomed Heart Ministries
We were recently able to work with Ransomed Heart Ministries to install a video podcasting system! This was a fun job to do and plan. Ransomed Heart (RH) came to us looking to expand their audio podcast and studio into a video podcasting setup. They have a great little room already set up for recording, and a great audio system in place. They just needed cameras added to their system and an easy way to control them without adding a large workload for their crew. It needed to be easy to use and completely integrated with their existing setup, so it would feel natural to use right away.
Since video podcasting was a whole new field for RH, we wanted to make sure it felt like an easy step from what they already do into something new. To accomplish this we chose to partner with Datavideo for our cameras. Datavideo makes a number of ‘trick’ video devices that we have used for many years. Specifically, the fabled, super converter DAC-70. In fact, it is often said that the DAC-70 is only beaten by Chuck Norris himself and even he knows that most video problems can be solved quicker by it than a round house kick to the face. :)
We started with three inexpensive, but high visual quality PTZ or (pan, tilt, zoom), cameras strategically placed in the room. The PTC-140, to be specific, offers control over ethernet and SDI 1080P video output allowing for clear quality and excellent streaming options. We added a user-friendly video switcher to manage the camera control. The switcher is simple and is interfaced by an ipad, which was already familiar to the RH team. But that wasn’t the end! For the actual recording we used the NVS-40, a 4 channel video recorder that allows simultaneous recording of each of the three cameras in the room as well as the switcher mixed feed. All of these recordings allow for a quick finish switch, and the ever important ability to do post production editing. Just like that, RH was set up to expand their podcasts and begin producing new, quality video to grow their brand. We couldn’t be more excited to see what they are able to produce with their newly integrated cameras.
In addition to the new cameras and control system, we added a video monitor on the wall and a small portable video monitor on the desk. This allows them to have a ‘multiview’ look at the cameras in the room while podcasting and interacting in a conversation. This way they can make subtle adjustments during production to ensure they still have the frames they need later in editing. To complete the package, we added 4 soft panel LED lights around the table. They are arranged to add even back and front lighting for the cameras ensuring there are no strange shadows across each speaker. We used one of our favorite lighting control panels from Doug Fleenor to complete the control of the lights for easy dialing of brightness as their video needs.
There was still one other thing to do. At Lambda we like to go beyond simply wiring in new AV gear for you, we also want it to look good and be the most functional system you can have. There is no point to plugging something new in if you can’t find which wires belong to it later. With this in mind, the whole video system is contained in a beautifully organized rack done by our own Trevor Fisk. He constantly keeps thing organized for us in our shop too! The rack was designed for airflow and easy serviceability as well as a clean, clutter free look.
To finish the project we had an afternoon of training. One of the things we love to do at Lambda is training. Our training for this system involved meeting with the team of RH around the table just like one of their podcasts. We discussed control of the system, played around with setting camera position presets on the Ipad, and helped the team envision how they would fit video podcasts into their usual workflow.
Lambda was essentially able to integrate a video system for RH making as little disturbance to their existing methods as possible. With easy to use camera control, desk display and lighting control, we were able to keep it simple and ensure none of their staff would get lost in a load of work for their additional production. We love our clients and love helping them to tweak the system to their specific needs, to understand it and to make it part of their daily workflow without a second thought.
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