Inavate + AJA Video Systems: Streaming for modern houses of worship

As the world population has become more mobile and increasingly connected via digital devices and platforms, the Houses of Worship (HOW) sector is adapting, and quickly. Modern religious facilities are exploring more efficient ways of reaching congregants online when they’re unable to attend in person. With this shift, streaming technology is becoming crucial to integrators that work with houses of worship.

Robert Stacy, general manager for Asia Pacific at AJA Video Systems, has a unique take on the trend. He shares: “A lot of churches today have become broadcasters in essence. A traditional broadcaster is perceived as an entity with a high degree of infrastructure for the purpose of distributing content, and modern religious institutions operate in a similar way. They’re looking to create an audio and visual experience akin to the quality experience that congregants see on TV or their mobile phones, and with tools from AJA Video Systems like HELO, U-TAP, KONA and Io, it’s becoming easier for them to deliver more visually compelling video.”

Stacy highlights one particular AJA Video Systems product that is incredibly versatile for HOW deployments: “AJA HELO is an H.264 streamer and recorder that provides houses of worship the flexibility to set up a high-quality live stream in seconds. With the push of a button users can be up and streaming live to popular content delivery networks, such as Facebook and YouTube. It doubles as a recorder, allowing religious facilities to use it in a live context and record footage to edit and share on-demand with congregants, for archive or to compile future outreach and compilation materials.”

HELO is advantageous to houses of worship, as it requires little training. Whether a seasoned operator or a first-time volunteer is running the device, it’s easy to understand and use. Stacy details: “What makes HELO powerful for churches in particular, is that it has a very simple, intuitive UI and physical buttons on the device for the record and play functions. Just about anyone can use and access the core functionality of the HELO. It also has a REST API, however, so that it can be integrated with third-party control systems. Depending upon the size and scale of the church, they can opt to stream one live feed with a single unit or if looking for a multi-camera setup to share multiple different angles, multiple HELOs can be set up to support a multi-camera stream. HELO easily scales with the level of complexity of the application.”

Houses of worship that opt for a switched stream approach, including sources from multiple cameras and sermon presentation materials, can also look to the KONA HDMI PCIe card for use in workstations with software like Wirecast or vMix. In these scenarios, KONA HDMI provides the flexibility to affordably ingest four streams of HD video over HDMI from cost-effective HDMI cameras and other sources, and then switch and transition between them throughout live delivery. AJA’s powerful Control Panel software and software drivers also allow users to work with multiple cards simultaneously for delivery as inputs to streaming software when four inputs may not be enough, ensuring that a wide range of sources can be utilised to support complex productions.

At its core AJA Video Systems seeks to provide customers with products that help them overcome pressing challenges. Stacy concludes: “Our background as a company is designing products for the industrial user, the broadcaster that has an expectation of operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Every product we make comes from the idea that the user has a critical, time sensitive need and that the product must be reliable, and HELO and KONA HDMI deliver on that promise. We provide a three to five-year warranty on most of our products depending on the product category and they are built for continuous use.”

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