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Namibia’s Emmanuel Church delivers messages with Blackmagic Production switcher

The fresh approach from the Pentecostal church comes as production values on television are higher than ever and in order to remain relevant houses of worship (HoW) are having to adapt.

Namibia’s Emmanuel Church has implemented a new broadcasting facility driven by Blackmagic Design’s ATEM 1M/E Production Switcher.

Based in the Namibian capital Windhoek, the 2,000-strong Pentecostal church is a single campus ministry affiliated with the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM). With congregation engagement high on its list of priories and with TV production values increasing, the church’s inhouse AV team approached Event Technology to help build a multi display, multi camera and multi video source system that could stream content live online. Being a volunteer run organisation simplicity and functionality were two major conditions – but these stipulations were not to affect the quality of the system.

Emmanuels AV team chose a Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher to handle mixing of all of the video sources.”With its array of digital inputs, multiple SDI outputs, powerful video processing and a software control panel, while providing professional broadcast switching at a fraction of the price of full hardware units, the 1 M/E was the ideal solution for our client,” said Joppie Maritz of Event Technology.

Multiple Blackmagic Design SDI to HDMI Mini Converters take care of delivering an SDI signal to three Christie Projectors while two Audio to SDI Mini Converters take care of embedding eight channels of analogue audio to SDI for multi-track capability. The output is shown on three Da-Lite screens and two 46in Samsung LED television screens while the audio is played out over over a d&b audiotechnik Q-Series sound system.

The system is used Wednesdays and Sundays to deliver multi screen media to the congregation while recording services and streaming live video over the internet. “Three HD-SDI cameras are connected to the ATEM 1 M/E, whose multiview output makes mixing the footage much simpler,” revealed Maritz. “The ATEM’s chroma key function is then used to overlay lyrics and messages while various picture in picture (PIP) and transitions are used to keep the on screen content dynamic and exciting.”

A HyperDeck Studio broadcast deck records a master mix from the ATEM along with embedded audio onto solid state drivers (SSD) after which material from those drives is transferred via thunderbolt to an archiving system for offline editing. This enables lyrics and messages can be overlayed on the screen, while various picture in picture (PIP) and transitions can be used to keep the on screen content dynamic.

UltraStudio Express and third party streaming software are used to stream sermons. A live video output from the ATEM with embedded audio is captured via the UltraStudio and volunteers upload the content to Ustream, a video on demand platform, for storage and streaming

“We have been able to offer a far more professional looking product to our parishioners since the introduction of the new Blackmagic video rack,” revealed Lizermari Maritz, ministry support pastor at Emmanuel Church. “The flexibility of the multiple assignable outputs of the ATEM switcher, enables us to send different live feeds to different locations on our premises with the option of overlaying lyrics and scripture. The new setup means that we have plenty of scope for future expansion as our congregation grows.”