Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Exclusive: BMD director on HoW

Craig Heffernan technical sales director, EMEA, on working for houses of worship

Has the houses of worship installation moved beyond being a sound/performance system for music in churches etc into being a multimedia environment (with video recording/editing and live/video on demand streaming)? What doest his mean in terms of the technology being specified?

Like many others, our customers in house of worship faced challenges during the Covid pandemic in how they could still connect with their communities and congregations, especially at a time when their support was needed most. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a majority of customers move to live streaming and on-demand platforms to offer webcasting of services and ceremonies, and the scale of the production and equipment involved has varied massively – depending on the budgets available, the technical ability of their people and the scope of the coverage required.

Most often, we’ve seen products like ATEM Minis used to offer both live switching and streaming profiles from a small, affordable solution, and paired with PTZ based cameras these have allowed coverage of venues and engagement with audiences at home with a minimum of crew and an ease of setup. Where existing live production systems already existed, with camera and switching for in-venue AV already installed, we’ve assisted with products like our Web Presenters that quickly and efficiently can add encoding and streaming capacity for online delivery. Now these production solutions and online services are in place many of them are keeping them running to continue to support and reach their audiences.

What are the main technologies being used in terms of loudspeakers, audio processing, networking, video editing and distribution (streaming)?
Our customers are predominantly streaming via YouTube or Facebook – both platforms that are widely accessible by their congregations and provide a reliable and accessible streaming services. Our ATEM webcasting products are simple to setup and they can be online in a matter of minutes when they’re ready to offer live services to their members.

Away from live production streaming, it’s been interesting to see HoW customers develop other forms of content for online and on-demand services. Many are have branched from live production to include content recorded live and then put through post-production – using DaVinci Resolve to cut-down services or shooting entirely new content for online only. In a few examples we have customers using Ultimatte and ATEM Chroma-keying tools with green screen setups to add virtual sets and backgrounds to recorded content to creatively engage with online users and offer richer content on their channels.

Is there still a demand for basic installations (especially on the audio side) or are houses of worship now on a par with secular venues?
Very much so, and while budgets and technical proficiency may determine the products and solutions chosen for a specific partner, the want and need to reach out and communicate with their members is the greatest requirement. Not all HoW customers have the need or budget for large AV installs for online delivery with multiple URSA Broadcast cameras or large M/E switchers, so the scalable options in our range have been very useful in matching the right setup and products to the budget and overall needs of the customer.

Our dedicated feature on houses of worship will be live very soon.