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Church complex embraces AV with Blackmagic streaming

The baptist Friedenskirche in Braunschweig, Germany has brought in Blackmagic Design live production equipment for streaming of special events around the complex and through its online feed.

Technical lead, Hans-Christian Schaub, commented: “We have always filmed special events happening at the church, and we had also helped to produce content if local television channels wanted to cover an event. The church that we now worship in was purpose built in 2005 and we ensured that a SDI multicore infrastructure was prescribed in our architect’s plans. This has formed a very reliable backbone for every evolution of our AV production and has allowed us to continue to experiment with new technologies.”

AV signals throughout the church complex are handled by a Smart Videohub 40×40, which feeds large screens situated in the church’s main auditorium and two smaller side rooms, including a family worship room.

“It is important for us to provide families with a comfortable and welcoming space for them to worship together, but at the same time feel connected to the wider congregation,” said Schaub. “The router gives us greater flexibility to screen our services to any part of the church providing it has a screen.”

Hans-Christian leads a technical team, which look after all areas of audio, lighting and production, to deliver live coverage of the church’s range of worship services. Alongside the core team, an eight-strong production team is also deployed, including three camera operators and a vision mixer, who also acts as lead creative director.

“The production desk takes the three live camera feeds from across the auditorium into an ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K, and content is pushed back out to screens around the complex. In addition, we also encode the content live streaming via our website,” explained Schaub. “We then take the sermon element of the service and produce a separate recording, which is saved into our online archive, so that people can view this key element of our worship whenever they wish.” The church has also recently updated its audio capabilities with a Yamaha CL5, so that sound for the live stream can be mixed separately.

The live stream will not only be used to grow the congregation online, but it will also be used as the Friedenskirche establishes satellite congregations in various other locations. The live stream will be streamed into those smaller groups, which will allow them to worship together with those in the main complex.

Schaub stated: “We knew that Blackmagic would deliver a great price to performance ratio, but what’s also apparent is that every aspect has been designed to meet the end user’s needs. We find the switcher and router extremely easy to use, and robust enough to stand up to regular use from a very demanding production team!”

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