Twelve years ago Trinity Baptist Church outgrew its facility in historic downtown Lake Charles, La. and headed to a spacious 40-acre lot on the southern tip of the city. Because of the scale of the new multi-building campus, new communication technology upgrades were a necessity. Phase-by-phase and building-by-building Porché Advanced Systems used Vaddio pan/tilt/zoom camera systems to transform Trinity Baptist Church into a remotely controlled, high-definition, multi-camera facility.
The Phases of Trinity
Phase 1 consisted of an extensive Sunday school classroom space and what is referred to as the main Worship Center. The main Worship Center holds about 1200 people, including an additional platform for the orchestra and choir loft.
Phase 2 continued in 2005 with the Trinity Center, a combination gymnasium-fitness area and a wing devoted to youth ministries – which would eventually house a contemporary worship center called the Cavern.
The Cavern was originally designed to house 300 students. “We came in after-the-fact and started the idea of a contemporary worship venue,” explained Randy Monroe, Associate Pastor at Trinity. “The idea was to run a contemporary worship service and a regular service at the same time – each with a different style of music. At 9:15 and 10:45 every Sunday there are a total of four worship services – two live with the pastor preaching in the main Worship Center and two with live video fed to the Cavern.”
Currently Monroe delays the live video feed to the Cavern on a TiVo DVR in the event both services don’t finish at the exact same time. “Usually within three or four minutes the songs come to conclusion, they hit the Play button, the hi-def screen comes down on the big stage and they start running the video feed.”
“Because the pastor was very adamant about keeping the contemporary venue onsite, the Cavern was really the only option. The challenge was making the Cavern go beyond its original design.”
This is where Porché came into the picture.
“We first encountered Vaddio at InfoComm when we were looking for a high definition video feed from the main Worship Center to the Cavern,” explained Jason Ryder of Porché. “We ended up installing the Panasonic HE-100 PTZ camera and at first that worked really well.”
In 2010, TK’s Place (Trinity Kids Place) was completed with 33,600 square feet of space specifically designed for children and preschoolers. “The construction of TK’s Place really started the additional upgrade of the Worship Center,” said Ryder. “We installed the newest and best technology and they were so impressed it triggered the snowball effect of moving everything to high definition. They were looking at small projection systems for the main Worship Center and they said ‘wow this seems so inadequate compared to TK’s Place’.”
Into the Worship Center came two 22-foot 1080p HD projection screens and a need for even more HD cameras. “After debating and looking at different options, they really wanted more camera angles but didn’t necessarily have enough spots to put them where people could man them. So we looked to Vaddio again,” stated Ryder. “Our solution was to add three Vaddio HD-19 PTZ cameras for supporting-angled shots and a studio-quality JVC 1080p manned camera.”
The JVC studio camera is recessed into the center back wall of the Worship Center – positioned next to a wall-mounted HD-19. The additional two HD-19 cameras sit far left and far right. The HE-100 was moved as a rear shot. The center HD-19 is the live video feed to an HD projection system located inside the Cavern.
The cameras are controlled by two Vaddio Precision Camera Controllers. The left and right shots are hooked up to the first controller and the center/cavern and rear supporting camera shots are on the second controller. Staff and volunteers run the camera controllers.
“I’ve had a lot of experience with Vaddio in other installations,” explained Ryder. “As far as a robotic PTZ camera goes, nothing beats installing with Cat. 5 and still getting a high-quality, high definition image. Price is always a big factor and because these cameras are reasonable, we were not only able to get more shots, we could also get the additional controllers.”
Future of HD on Trinity Campus
In addition to the Cavern overflow, the video is also recorded, archived and burned to DVDs for elderly shut ins and volunteers. Monroe added, “On a regular Sunday morning we have 300 babies, birth through 2-years-old, in our preschool department and because its mostly volunteers who take care of the children we also provide them a DVD of the service they missed.”
They even make their own commercials. While some of the commercials are shot offsite, shots of the worship services and instrumentalists are used for B-roll footage.
Eventually they hope to upload the services and stream live but their partial T1 just doesn’t cut it. “At the moment it’s just not feasible,” explained Monroe. “But because we have all the backend cameras in place we are much closer to that reality – now we just need to get the other parts and pieces into place.”
“We’re happy with the new HD system – because it’s so new we’re still learning how to use the system. One of the biggest challenges for some of our volunteers is getting used to the robotic controllers. Our younger generation is a joystick generation so they’re having a great time with it – but they still need practice on moving the cameras left/right, up/down and zoom in/zoom out. There’s a learning curve, but every day they’re doing better and better.