Mega Church Makes HD Upgrade with FUJINON Lenses - AvNetwork.com

Mega Church Makes HD Upgrade with FUJINON Lenses

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With over 30,000 attendees in its main and regional locations and 12,000 viewing on the Web, Calvary Chapel needed to significantly upgrade its aging broadcast video equipment.


The church recently invested millions of dollars in broadcast video equipment — including FUJINON HDTV lenses from FUJIFILM North America Corporation’s Optical Devices Division and Ikegami HDTV studio cameras—at its 82-acre main campus in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Later this month, Calvary Chapel will switch to its new (1080) HDTV control room with dual 2-M/E Ross Vision switchers and an Evertz/PESA routing solution.

“Since the picture quality we produce must hold up when displayed as image magnification (I-MAG) on large-screens or when streaming over the Internet, we’ve invested heavily in acquisition gear,” said Jack Chew, Video Operations manager for Calvary Chapel. “After careful evaluation, we’ve chosen what we feel is the best of the best in HD cameras and lenses—a combination of Ikegami HDK-55 studio/field cameras and FUJINON HDTV lenses.”

The lens package includes two XA77x9.5 box lenses, two HA14x4.5 wide lenses, and one HA22x7.3 for shoulder-mounted ENG style shooting.

Chew said they decided to buy the new cameras and lenses after their SD cameras reached 15 years in service. Because they knew video production would soon transition to a tapeless HD infrastructure, they bought the HD cameras and lenses ahead of schedule.

There are five Ikegami HD cameras (three mounted on tripods, one handheld, and one on a Jib), situated around the sanctuary on the church’s main campus, which seats close to 4,000 people. Video is projected onto a large screen center stage, along with two large screens on either side of the sanctuary.

Regional campuses request video on demand of the service from the church’s central Omneon video server at the main, Fort Lauderdale campus. Video files move over dark fiber via the DiVA Hybrid multi track editor to the regional locations for display by Christie digital projectors onto large screens. Three Digital Rapids encoders and Panasas Active Store hard drives deliver a live media stream accessible via the church’s website or for display at its regional campuses. Services are also carried on local NBC affiliate WSVN-TV, Fort Lauderdale. Such a multi-faceted video distribution strategy enables people to participate in services without having to drive to Fort Lauderdale.

“Before we make a huge capital investment in equipment like this, we consider every aspect including price-performance, reliability, and technical support,” added Chew. “We want to invest in manufacturers we know will stand behind their products, so we can keep our cameras, lenses, and other equipment in service as long as possible. When we’re spending our congregation’s money, we take our purchasing decisions very seriously. I’m proud of the video decisions we’ve made, and FUJINON is one of those decisions.”

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