There is a new variant of COVID-19, the BA.2 evolutionary branch of the Omicron variant strain, which is now spreading worldwide. In such an environment, it becomes a serious discussion matter how to provide a secure and reliable house of worship for the congregation, where they can pray with peace of mind while safeguarding their physical health. Through our observation of various social media, we found that live streaming is a good way to meet the needs of the public. So how can we get better results from live streaming, with a more sense of presence and participation? We combine our product characteristics, from different use scenarios to the actual use of scenarios, for example, to recommend practical, cost-effective microphones and PTZ cameras, to help chapel operators spend less, achieve better results, and provide a richer choice of integrated buyers. To establish a live broadcast, you need to solve the audio, video, transcoding, transmission, storage, and distribution problems, then we will solve them one by one.
1. Audio and Video
For the small area of the chapel, there is generally no video equipment, only a set of amplification equipment. Such a system can only amplify the presenter’s microphone and cannot separately capture the presenter’s voice, much less separate the choir’s voice. A chapel like this, which wants to do online live streaming, may face a series of problems such as the sound cannot be effectively distinguished, which will make people feel noisy and unclear, and there is no image.
To solve the audio problem, the best solution is to increase the number of microphones, at least one microphone for the host and one for the choir, so that they can be captured and mixed independently, which will greatly improve the clarity and accuracy of the audio and facilitate network transmission.
We recommend the EM500 as a sound collection device. Both of these are plug-and-play devices. The EM500 has 10 meters of intelligent sound pickup, which greatly simplifies wiring and saves hardware renovation costs. EM500 will be integrated into the existing PA system, So you can complete the audio amplification upgrade, not only saving money but also greatly improving the audio quality.
The first arrangement is a fixed location to install the camera. The advantages of fixed installation are it can be used directly， with almost no debugging. The installation location will generally be chosen in the high places which impact the service less & affect the scene participants and provide more audience view impact. However, the disadvantages of fixed installation cameras are also obvious. As the camera is fixed in one position, the shooting angle is fixed. Unless you use a PTZ camera, which can automatically pan, zoom, and focus, making the picture more flexible. In addition, you can only get a fixed shooting angle. Note here, be sure not to use security cameras to do live equipment, which will make the whole serious picture becomes odd and difficult for the audience to accept. In addition, the ordinary fixed camera installation later, when the need for firmware upgrades or maintenance, will be particularly cumbersome.
The second arrangement, which we call simple installation. The camera is fixed by tripods and other auxiliary equipment. This arrangement advantage is very flexible. It can be arranged at various event spaces & various scenes. If the popularity of the church is high and congregation participation is high, volunteers are willing to participate in operating the equipment. The temporary equipment provided by the faithful increases the richness and sense of participation in the picture, and the on-site effect is better. At the same time, since the equipment is not fixed, it becomes more convenient to upgrade and maintain. However, the disadvantages of arranging the equipment in this way are also obvious, because the position and angle need to be adjusted before each shooting, and the operation of these equipment requires certain operating skills, otherwise, it is impossible to take a picture with a direct feeling. What needs to be emphasized here is that the composition of the picture is very, very important in the sense of the shape of the scene! Finally, the need to set up cameras in the aisles, which may affect the worship activities of the congregation, must also be considered.
After Summarizing various camera arrangement advantages and disadvantages, let’s figure out how to choose a suitable camera. Our advice is to start with what you can find on hand and don’t rush to buy additional equipment until you get actual feedback.
Smartphones and Tablets
We are most familiar with smartphones or tablets we use every day. They’re perfectly capable of handling the demands of live streaming without difficulty. But their downsides are just as obvious. First, they’re easily disturbed. Your footage may turn around and be less stable with a little inadvertent touch. Second, you almost can ignore its pickup function. Your audience may not hear what you’re saying clearly unless you’re speaking into the phone microphone.
It works on a computer. The picture quality and sound quality have been improved, but because it is computerized, the equipment layout has become a problem of where the computer is placed. The sound pickup function of the webcam is also limited by the usage scenarios of the device. Based on the 3A directional intelligent algorithm, Eyqoo EK800 not only has a stronger directional pickup function, which can identify specific sound sources but also has a super noise reduction function, which can effectively reduce ambient noise and make the sound clearer. In addition, Eyqoo EK800 is equipped with a 4K UHD COMS sensor, and a 121° ultra-wide-angle camera that can transmit 4K 30fps images. It is the ultimate replacement for traditional webcams.
Whether it is a consumer-grade or professional-grade camcorder, its advantages are that the pictures are clearer, the color reproduction is more realistic, the pictures can be freely zoomed with the lens, and the shooting angle and position are more flexible. However, the camera also needs to be tuned and charged before it can be used. In fact the higher the requirements for professionalism, the more auxiliary equipment is required to complete the work of video shooting, collection, and transmission.
1.3 DSLR camera
Here I have to mention the development of DSLR cameras in the field of video shooting. At present, most Internet celebrity bloggers will choose DSLR cameras for the live broadcast. It has better video quality, especially in low light. Due to the small size, it is more convenient to carry, and the position can be adjusted at any time to obtain a better shooting angle. While the DSLR camera can also improve the applicability of the device through various accessories. Although the DSLR camera has so many advantages, the price is also very expensive. A set of Sony A7R4 needs to be close to 5,000 US dollars. Especially for smaller houses of worship, which is indeed a lot of expense. Moreover, DSLR camera operators, also need to accumulate certain skills and experience for good-looking pictures.
1.4 PTZ camera
In the next few years, especially after the COVID-19 epidemic, PTZ cameras have become more &more widely used in the field of teleconferencing because of their high-definition image quality, easy operation, and the ability to directly upload to streaming media servers without a capture device. With the development of technology and the addition of functions such as Auto-tracking, AWB, and intelligent noise reduction, the difficulty of using PTZ cameras is still decreasing. Its advantage is that it integrates directly into the streaming system without any specialized video capture equipment. At the same time, combined with the software operating platform, it can also realize multi-device control and real-time transmission. Since the PTZ camera itself is configured with a ‘pan-tilt-zoom’ structure combined with a smarter algorithm, it can present a more flexible and immersive high-definition picture. For example, EK902RF integrates a UHD CMOS, which can transmit 4k high-quality images, and with 12x electronic zoom, you can have higher-definition and more delicate images. The most perfect part, the device adds the AWB function to achieve intelligent automatic white balance adjustment, so that the picture does not burst under strong light, and can be seen clearly in low light.
2. Encoding and transmission
As mentioned earlier, the mobile phone live broadcast can be directly encoded by the built-in software and transmitted to the streaming media platform. This is why live video streaming is so popular on streaming platforms. Because everyone, including kids, can start live streaming from their phone any time anywhere.
Other devices, such as cameras, video capture devices, transcoding devices, and streaming media service providers are needed to obtain high-definition and smooth images. At the same time, professional operators are required to operate the devices.
To solve the deficiencies brought by hardware devices, various platform vendors have also developed a lot of adaptation software, such as OBS, which enables PTZ cameras to be efficiently controlled through software and directly transmit images to the streaming media server without additional video capture devices. Through the various functions and operation modes integrated into the software, the whole picture can be presented more vividly and with a more strong sense of participation.
3. Network connection
After discussing the issue of encoding transmission, we also need to decide how to choose our network links. Believing me, this is also very important. Because it will determine whether your video will occur freeze when audiences are watching. There are many tools for testing bandwidth and internet speed, and most of them are free, you can easily find out by using www.speedtest.com. Under normal circumstances, to form a live stream, the network speed needs to be > 0.5Mbps. Therefore, we recommend that your network speed is in the range of 1.5~4Mbps, and the live broadcast effect is more guaranteed. Of course, the faster your internet speed, the better the user experience. If you have an internet speed of over 6 Mbps, you may try streaming in 4K.
4. Streaming media service providers
Streaming media service providers are also necessary what we need to choose. There are many such service providers on the market, some are free, such as YouTube, Facebook, Tiktok, etc, and some need to pay, such as Vimeo, Dacast, etc. You can choose according to your congregation.
According to different actual use cases, it needs to be treated differently. The level of participation of your congregation, budget, number of volunteers, capacity, and even the size and content of the church, etc. These actors will all influence your decision. Therefore, we still recommend that you start with the equipment you have on hand, and then according to the actual situation, find the improved points to carry out equipment upgrades and modifications.
Eyqoo has a highly professional AV solution service team. We are ready to solve your PTZ camera-related problems at any time. Any problem, pls feel free to contact us: Mobile/ WhatsApp:+8615651790689.