Oct 19, 2011 2:24 PM, By Cynthia Wisehart
Case Studies in Media Capture and Distribution
Fuhlbruck found that at each of the sites, as with many AV applications, the focus of the initial system specification did not include key streaming components, if they were even considered at all. “For a start, it’s important to not only determine the selection of the codec, but it is also important to understand the limitations of choice for the correct codec based on application, how to distribute the stream over IP and its integration to the network environment, and how to choose the correct ISP based on the project needs,” Fuhlbruck says. “Companies looking to implement video delivery for a multisite model should understand that there are specialized products that not only simplify that effort, but they also enable easy duplication across sites so that a reliable, straightforward operation for the non-technical end-user can be achieved.”
The Celebration solution relies on a Haivision Makito high-performance low-latency H.264 encoder, which pushes a single 4.5Mbps SD video stream and two channels of stereo audio (265Kbps per channel) to each location. The Makito can easily address video-over-IP encoding anywhere on a resolution/bandwidth scale from CIF as low as 150Kbps to full HD at 15Mbps. “For Celebration Church, it is the combination of the Makito’s exceptionally low latency with ZiXi technology for timely delivery and recovery of lost packets that was critical to the use of low-cost common IP connections,” Fuhlbruck says.
Eastgate paired the Makito with the ZiXi, media broadcaster which distributes the live stream from the main Celebration Church campus over the public Internet to remote sites. Each site is equipped with a small rack that includes an Enseo set-top box, audio and video confidence monitors, and a DVR for remote playback. The system allows the local team to monitor and record the live video and audio streams to cue and play out the recording when it fits into the local service schedule. This delay gives the system a healthy buffer, and the solution itself is robust enough to ensure that even distant sites plagued by connectivity issues can maintain a consistent stream.
At Celebration’s main location—the source of the media content—Eastgate evaluated and made minor changes to the existing technology environments. Most of the adjustments were made to the network environment to ensure for a smooth migration to the new IP video delivery system. “We also optimized both image quality and stream distribution and outlined possible upgrade paths for the future,” Fuhlbruck says. The Eastgate team further helped Celebration Church to setup rules and provisions for its corporate environment and to prepare for the launch of live streaming via the public Internet.
Celebration Church broadcasts the message of both its primary worship services and youth services throughout the week and on weekends. Currently each of the sites equipped with a live streaming solution are set up with one central large screen and two smaller screens at each side. The signal sent to all three displays is the same, but the screens are positioned to maximize the presence of the pastor and foster an intimate environment that resonates with the character of the location. Fuhlbruck says this approach enables a connectivity that successfully engages remote sites and helps the church as a whole grow and embrace new locations.
Installation and training for each site required only a few days, Fuhlbruck says, and the streaming solutions deployed so far have been performing just as expected. “However, in every installation we outline a set of best practices to ensure that churches establish routine maintenance. These best practices also empower church staff to recognize the cause of any issues and where to look for the solution.” With the right combination of tools and knowledge, he says, Celebration Church can continue to roll out live streaming to new locations and remain confident in its ability to maintain a compelling and consistent connection to the pastor and primary broadcast campus.
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