Point-to-Multi-Point House of Worship Solution
Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia is “one church, multiple locations” but needed a more efficient way to connect those locations. It wanted to move from physically driving the pastor’s message on hard drives to its satellite campuses to streaming the message to those campuses in HD. Bon Air Baptist bought new video equipment and chose Streambox as its video streaming solution for Streambox’s video quality, reliability, stability, and ease of time-shifting.
Before implementing its Streambox solution, Bon Air Baptist would record Senior Pastor Tom Stocks’ message in SD to two hard drives. The production team would check the files to make sure nothing had been corrupted then hand the hard drive to a driver ready to go to his designated campus 15 minutes away, leaving little cushion for errors (or traffic).
In addition to connecting The Village and James River campuses with Pastor Tom’s messages, the members of Bon Air Baptist wanted high-quality, no fail video. The media team modeled itself after broadcast producers and demanded broadcast quality.
As part of the bigger audio-visual upgrade and streaming implementation, Bon Air Baptist purchased new cameras, controllers, and mixers to replace its analog SD equipment, and used Streambox AVENIRMicro mobile encoder, Streambox Cloud, and Streambox 9200 rackmounts for its point-to-multipoint streaming solution.
Bon Air Baptist’s new Panasonic AW HE130 remotely controlled PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras feed into a Roland VR-50HD Multi-Format AV Mixer for live camera switching. All the camera feeds are recorded with Atomos Ninja 2 recorders, giving Bon Air Baptist a file library of all its messages. The produced video feed then goes to a Streambox AVENIRMicro mobile encoder for encoding and delivery. The AVENIRMicro was originally intended as a mobile unit, but the small form factor with all the rackmount encoder capabilities is perfect for Bon Air Baptist. It has all the power in a tidy package. One of the key reasons that Bon Air Baptist chose Streambox is the quality and reliability of Advanced Compression Technology – Level 3 (ACT-L3). ACT-L3 is Streambox’s proprietary codec optimized for efficiency and low bandwidth use. Since video quality was paramount for Bon Air Baptist it needed compression that would ensure the integrity of the video through the encoding, delivery, and decoding process and Streambox’s ACT-L3 delivered.
The Streambox AVENIRMicro sends the encoded video to Streambox Cloud which features a robust and easy to use video management system. Using automated metadata-based routing and advanced user and group policies give Bon Air Baptist secure, authenticated, worry-free video contribution, distribution, and playout. Bon Air Baptist currently only streams to locations around the Richmond, Virginia area, but Streambox’s global network of servers is ready for fast and efficient streaming, routing, and video archiving whenever it is needed.
Time-shifting was another key selling point for Bon Air Baptist so Pastor Tom’s messages are routed automatically from Streambox Cloud to Streambox 9200 rackmounts, set to decode (the 9200 can also work as an encoder), at each satellite campus. From the 9200 the video feed goes through a Blackmagic Design Micro Converter to an iMac running ProPresenter software for projecting graphics and videos on four different screens.
With Streambox infrastructure in place Bon Air Baptist is set up for future expansion with minimal costs. It can add Cloud software encoders as need arises, a strategic way to make sure its money is spent reaching more people with its ministry.
The Buford Road Campus, where Senior Pastor Tom Stocks delivers his message live for streaming, and The Village campus both have fiber internet. Since fiber is not available to the James River Campus it uses a wireless router with Verizon SIM cards to connect to cellular towers for receiving live video streams. Streambox bonds all available IP networks to create the best possible streaming conditions, in this case, cellular carriers, but Streambox will also bond WiFi, ethernet, and internet at the same time. Streambox’s exclusive Low Delay Multi-Path (LDMP) technology is critical for reliable video transport and is integrated into Streambox encoders, decoders, and Cloud. LDMP continuously monitors encoders and networks to automatically adjust video parameters for the best quality video and network path over multiple IP networks. LDMP is enhanced by network bonding and allows quality video delivery even where network bandwidth fluctuates. LDMP means Bon Air Baptist does not have to worry about people on the nearby highway congesting a carrier’s tower with cell phone usage and the eating into Bon Air Baptist’s available bandwidth at critical moments.
While the most important factors in Bon Air Baptist’s choice to go with Streambox were the ACT-L3 codec (for it’s quality), stability of the system, and easy Streambox Cloud time-shifting, there were also some smaller benefits that played a part. Bon Air Baptist liked Streambox’s hardware encoder option. Some competitors only make software versions, but Bon Air Baptist wanted separate hardware units and it liked that the 9200 feels just like a windows computer. The media team was able to hook up a monitor and keyboard and have the familiar interface, but specific to its video production needs. The AVENIRMicro’s magnetic connectors (intended to easily add accessories) were also a nice bonus, allowing the media team to attach the unit to a metal tower, keeping the system tidy and tucked-away.
In the future, Bon Air Baptist will download free Cloud software encoders at its remote campuses to allow Pastor Tom to give his message from there with no additional cost. It will also start to stream live to Facebook and YouTube to allow members unable to attend a service the opportunity to hear the message.
Since implementing the Streambox solution Bon Air Baptist Church is now more “one church, multiple locations” than ever before. It has high-quality HD video on a stable system that is easy to use and expandable for the future. With its streaming video taken care of by Streambox, Bon Air Baptist can focus on spreading its ministries.