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viewing for nursery & video streaming
First let me say I am trying to gather the info to present to our church leadership - equipment, software, prices, etc. so I have very limited knowledge.
We would like to set up a video feed into our nursery for the workers that are caring for the children so they can hear and see the service. If possible we would like to also be able to stream our services on the internet. Can we use the same equipement to accomplish both? What equipment do we need? Best play to purchase?
There are ALL KINDS of different ways to do this, so I will just describe our setup:
We use this Vaddio PTZ camera controller/switcher with 3 Sony EVI-D70 cameras. This way, we can have 3 remote, robotic cameras and 1 operator.
The controller/switcher has both a s-video output and a composite video output:
We run the s-video ouput to a 1x2 distribution amp that sends one s-video signal to our dvd recorder and the other s-video signal to our projector scaler/switcher for IMAG.
We run the composite video output to a CV distribution amp. One CV signal goes to a VCR. Another CV signal goes to our webcasting computer. A third CV signal goes to an RF modulator that converts the CV signal to an RF (antenna) signal that then goes to a TV in the nursery.
For webcasting, I use the ustream.tv service along with FME (Flash Media Encoder). I use a dedicated computer with an Osprey 210 video capture card.
This entire system probably costs somewhere around $11,000-$12,000. $9,000 of that was the Vaddio camera system with the 3 cameras.
I am pretty happy with everything, but the robotic PTZ can be a little jerky and a trick to run smoothly.
As to whether you'll be able to use one set of equipment for the two purposes (nursery feed and web stream), chances are you can if you build it out for the "broadcast" purpose. The nursery could get by with just a security-style POV camera that doesn't move, and just one of them, but that's lousy for the web (and there is plenty of bad church video out there and on the airwaves and the Cable TV).
A couple of basic decisions you'll have to make:
What kind of cameras? Remote Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) jobs, or manually operated cameras on tripods here and there?
Do you have the manpower to operate two or three cameras and a production switcher, or will one guy have to do it all?
What sorts of throw distances are you looking at for your cameras? The rule of thumb I use is one magnification factor for every three feet of shot distance (so a 75-foot camera shot needs at least a 25X lens). Lenses longer than 20X are almost impossible to find for an ENG (that is, portable, can live on shoulders) camera.
Do you have a good way to get cable to the camera positions from where the production switcher will be?
Also, if you're going with manual cameras, you'll want to invest in good panheads. You don't have to have Vector 70s, but something decent is important. You'll also want to put in at least the infrastructure for an intercom system so the director can talk to the camera operators.