Applied Electronics Upgrades CrossRoads Church’s Live Production Control Operation for Increased Community Outreach

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CrossRoads Church has served the community of Central Alberta for over 50 years. Located in Red Deer, Alberta, the Church houses over 2,000 people every Sunday, while it shares its weekly worship service online for those unable to attend in person.

Modernization to Meet the Demands

Witnessing a steady growth in the congregation and an increasing demand for access to videos of recent sermons  online, CrossRoads decided to overhaul and modernize its SD production control system.

By upgrading its production facility to HD, CrossRoads would be able to create higher quality—broadcast quality—worship videos for its multiple large  screen displays around the church, stream live to remote audiences around the world, as well as record and make sermon videos available on demand through the Church’s website.

Live Production in Houses of Worship

With high hopes and a limited budget, CrossRoads required a new production control system that was robust, agile and simple to use. CrossRoads approached Applied Electronics for technial consultation and assistance with product evaluations.

CrossRoads contracted Applied Electronics to design, supply and integrate a full Blackmagic Design HD live production control solution, which included the first application of three brand new Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K PL digital cinema cameras in a house of worship environment.

Dynamic, Powerful and Affordable

Each camera system is equipped with a Fujinon Exceed Series 2/3” ENG XA telephoto lens with ergonomic digital servo, quick zoom, and inner focus; an Ikan 7” 3G-SDI on-camera field monitor with signal conversion; and a Sachtler FSB 6 75mm multi-functional award-winning fluid head, with a Sachtler pan bar DV (telescopic).

Videos of the weekly sermons are also captured by a Panasonic HD integrated pan/tilt/zoom camera, which incorporates recently-developed high-sensitivity; low-noise 1/3” 3-MOS imagers that produce stunning pictures; even in low light conditions.

Streamlining the Live Production Workflow

Live production control is achieved with a Blackmagic ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K switcher, which can drive large high resolution LED screens and projectors in high resolution by simply switching to Ultra HD for incredible quality. For this demanding live production environment, a hardware based ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Panel, featuring the highest quality buttons, knobs and faders for even faster switching, was added to the control system.

A Blackmagic SmartScope Duo 4K with built in waveform monitoring allows the Church’s production crew to analyze image quality more accurately than simply looking at the picture.

The system also includes a Blackmagic HyperDeck Studio 2 disk recorder and a SSD case; two Blackmagic mini converters (HDMI to SDI 4K); four mini converters (SDI to HDMI 4K) used for projector conversion and HDMI to DVI cable, the rear projector, the Green Room, and multiview display; two mini converters (SDMI to SDI 2) used for the on-stage computer connected to the ATEM; and a final mini converter for SDI distribution in 4K.

Delivering Quality Content to a Global Audience

To achieve distribution of live footage of CrossRoads’ worship services, Applied Electronics supplied and integrated a Teradek VidiU web streaming appliance with the LiveStream video live streaming platform to enable CrossRoads to broadcast their live video content.

Applied Electronics also supplied and integrated a new 3G infrastructure throughout the church, allowing 3G feeds of 1080p60 to reach the Church’s new 250-seat Youth wing and 300-seat chapel.

Working Hand-in-Hand Throughout the Process

Applied Electronics worked closely with CrossRoads over the course of three months to evaluate, plan and design the new production control system.

To avoid disruption to the Church’s weekly worship service,  Applied Electronics pre-built much of the system at its Calgary facility, prior to the schedule on-site integration window of just six days. Commissioning and testing of the systems, as well as operator training was successfully completed within this timeframe, and the CrossRoads production crew was able to ‘go live to air’ that following Sunday without a glitch.

“Applied Electronics tailor-made a complete broadcast system that met our budget,” says Wally Hildebrant, Technical Director at CrossRoads Church. “They exceeded our expectations with a system that will grow, as we grow. Thank you.”

CrossRoads now runs five cameras every Sunday: three URSA 4.6K cameras, one URSA 4K stage camera, and one PTZ robotic camera—all running at 1080p60. They have immediate plans to add a second Panasonic PTZ robotic camera to their production system.

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