What is the best camera for your Town Meeting, Council Meeting, Subcommittee Meeting, Public Access Cable TV Streaming, etc?

Best camera for your Town Meeting, Council Meeting, Subcommittee Meeting, Public Access Cable TV Streaming, etc.?

What is the best camera for your Town Meeting, Council Meeting, Subcommittee Meeting, Public Access Cable TV Streaming, etc?

What is the best camera for your Town Meeting, Council Meeting, Subcommittee Meeting, Public Access Cable TV Streaming, etc? The fact of the matter is, the answer isn’t that simple. It has a lot to do with the size and set up within your meeting space. So, the best camera for your application is going to depend upon several factors.

PTZ cameras are advised as with the power of PTZ (Pan, Tilt, and Zoom) you effectively get a lot of virtual cameras. That is the same camera can focus on many different aspects of your service within vision of the camera. Since the Jimcom PTZ cameras allow over 200 set points, with a single click of a mouse or push of a button, they camera focus moves to a new visual target.  These targets might include; elected officials, groups of elected officials, public address podium, seated guests, etc. Since this PTZ control is fully automatic, no one needs to sit near the camera and the camera doesn’t need to be physically located for someone to readjust its focus. A single administrative assistant or volunteer can control the cameras from a central location.

When producing a live broadcast have a minimum of two cameras available. Use one camera as the source for the live broadcast and the other camera can be moved through the PTZ mechanism or a PTZ joystick to find a new visual target for better broadcast. The same really goes for prerecorded services as this eases the production process. In some cases, it might be nice to have a third camera pointed back at the audience. If this is a PTZ camera as well, you will get the greatest flexibility as to be able to zoom in on certain individuals or to pan out to larger groups. Depending upon the size of your meeting area and the architectural considerations there may be fixed objects that may interfere with certain views from cameras which may require additional cameras to see around those objects.

Those are some of the considerations when choosing the amount and location of cameras but the next consideration is really around the technology of the camera.  There are numerous types of technologies for PTZ cameras; HDMI, NDI, SDI, USB, and standard IP-based cameras. To select the proper camera technology for your solution, you need to consider the equipment that is broadcasting or recording the service.

For new low-cost solutions, Jimcom USA recommends using an NDI based solution. Certainly, if SDI or HDMI cabling were already run to the camera mount locations at your site this would simplify installation. With new installations, NDI technology only needs CAT5/6 LAN cable run to the location the camera where it will be mounted. Most NDI cameras, such as the Jimcom NDI series, support Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE) meaning that the mount location of the camera does not need an AC power outlet. This reduces the cost of installation as an electrician is not required to run an outlet to where the camera will be mounted. Power can be provided over the low voltage LAN cabling directly to the cameras.

With the low latency for the NDI technology synchronization of audio and video will be easier at the broadcast location/platform. Jimcom USA recommends the use of a free broadcast platform OBS Studio. This tool supports the NDI protocol for very professional broadcasts at a very low cost. We recommend upgrading older technology to the newer NDI technology due to its cost benefits, quality, and ability to scale at a later time.

Synchronization of audio and video can be the most complicated aspect of setting up a broadcast or recording for your services. We recommend that you don’t use standard IP-based cameras (RTSP) because of the latency/delay inherent in the transmission of the video signal. If you have a single camera, this technology may suit your need at a very low cost, but once you add more than one camera to your production equipment, synchronization is almost impossible as timing drift will occur independent of each camera. Audio and video timing delays can be added with OBS but only if those timings are fixed.

So, to answer the question, “What is the best camera for my Town Meeting, etc?” Jimcom USA would recommend the NDI PTZ 20X or 30X Camera series for the most flexibility. These cameras offer the most flexibility and support older technologies such as the SDI and HDMI outputs. These cameras also support VISCA and ONVIF for remote control of the PTZ camera system.

What is the best camera for your church or house of worship

What is the best Camera for Church?

What is the best camera for your church or house of worship?

What is the best camera for your church or house of worship? The fact of the matter is, the answer isn’t that simple. It has a lot to do with your set up within your sanctuary. So the best camera for your church is going to depend upon several factors.

In almost all cases PTZ cameras are advised. With the power of PTZ (Pan, Tilt, and Zoom) you effectively get a lot of virtual cameras. That is the same camera can focus on many different aspects of your service within vision of the camera. Since the Jimcom PTZ cameras allow over 200 set points, with a single click of a mouse or push of a button, they camera focus moves to a new visual target.  These targets might include; the podium, choir director, choir, soloist, organ, band, special guests, seated guests, etc. Since this PTZ control is fully automatic, no one needs to sit near the camera and the camera doesn’t need to be physically located for someone to readjust its focus.

When producing a live broadcast it’s usually advisable to have a minimum of two cameras available. This is so that one camera can be the live broadcast and the other camera can be moved through the PTZ mechanism or a PTZ joystick to find a new visual target for broadcast. The same really goes for prerecorded services as this eases the production process. In some cases, it might be nice to have a third camera pointed back at the parishioners or guests. If this is a PTZ camera as well, you will get the greatest flexibility as to be able to zoom in on certain individuals or to pan out to larger groups. Depending upon the size of your sanctuary and the architectural considerations there may be fixed objects that may interfere with certain views from cameras. In this case additional cameras may be needed to be able to see around those objects and view all aspects of the service.

Now those are some of the considerations when choosing the amount and location of cameras but the next part is really around the technology of the camera. There are numerous types of technologies for PTZ cameras; HDMI, NDI, SDI, USB, and standard IP-based cameras. To select the proper camera technology for your solution, you need to consider the equipment that is broadcasting or recording the service.

For low-cost solutions, Jimcom USA recommends using an NDI based
solution. This would be best for new installations, certainly if SDI or HDMI
cabling were already run to the camera mount locations this would simplify installation. With the new install, NDI technology only needs CAT5/6 LAN cable run to the location the camera where it will be mounted. Most NDI cameras, such as the Jimcom NDI series, support Power-Over-Ethernet (PoE) meaning that the mount location of the camera does not need an AC power outlet. This reduces the cost of installation as you don’t need an electrician to run an outlet to where the camera will be mounted power can be provided over the low voltage cabling directly to the camera. 

With the low latency for the NDI technology synchronization of audio and video will be easy at the broadcast location/platform. Jimcom USA recommends the use of OBS Studio as a broadcast platform. This tool is free for use and supports the NDI protocol for very professional broadcasts at a very low cost. We recommend upgrading older technology to the newer NDI technology due to its cost benefits, quality, and ability to scale at a later time.

Synchronization of audio and video can be the most complicated aspect of setting up a broadcast or recording for your services. We recommend that you don’t use standard IP-based cameras because of the latency inherent in the transmission of the video signal. If you have a single camera this technology may suit and a very low cost but once you add more than one camera to your production equipment synchronization is almost impossible as timing drift will occur independent of each camera. Audio and video timing delays can be added with OBS but only if those timings are fixed.

So, to answer the question, “What is the best camera for my church?” Jimcom USA would recommend the NDI PTZ 20X or 30X Camera series for the most flexibility. These cameras offer the most flexibility and most of them support older technologies such as the SDI and HDMI outputs. These cameras also support VISCA as well as ONVIF for remote control of the PTZ camera system.

OBS RTSP Set up

RTSP Set-up for OBS Studio

RTSP Set-up

How to add your Jimcom IP / NDI Camera to OBS as a RTSP stream?

Within the Camera’s Web Interface, select:
Configuration -> Video Configure -> Video Encode

Configure the Main/Sub Stream the way you wish. Then note the “Stream Name” at the bottom, default is “live/av0” & “live/av1” respectively.

In OBS, select the scene you wish to add the RTSP source. Click the “+” in sources and Add a “Media Source“. Give the source a good name and click “OK“.

Add Media Source - OBS

Unselect “Local File” so “Input” shows. Enter the rtsp url in the following format:
rtsp://{IPADDRESS}:554/live/av[0|1]

In this example, the Main Stream is selected:

rtsp://192.168.0.179:554/live/av0

You should check “Use hardware decode when available” if you have a GPU in the PC, always safer to check this for performance.

Select “OK” and the source will be added to your scene.

Jimcom Video Encoding Configuration
Jimcom OBS Add Media Source RTSP Setting

Thats a RTSP Stream source.

Get started with OBS Studio

Get Started with OBS Studio

OBS Studio is the leading Open Source and Free Video Broadcasting software Packages. Use OBS with your Jimcom IP or NDI PTZ Cameras to get the most of your investment for your House of Worship, eSports, DJ & Music Production, or business broadcast.

A tool like this can easily get your local Town Government / Selectmen streaming to the town, Church streaming to its parishioners, eSports events out to fans, produce your next music video, or create a business video for market your product and services.

OBS Studio allows broadcasters to create scenes with multiple inputs on the same screen allowing picture-in-picture. This tool will help create professional broadcasts and bring in multiple guests/videos via different sources. There are move advanced features that can be enabled such as being able to change your video source order, rotate them, or even add filters.

With the addition of Plug-Ins, the main program can be extended beyond the base product. Jimcom USA recommends you add the NDI plugin to connect your cameras via a low latency for your broadcast. The OBS Studio 27 release has new feature such as Undo/Redo, Improved Display Capture for Laptops, Missing Files Dialog, Source Visibility Transitions, and many more improvements. This project is community support and new features and add-ons are being created all the time.

This tool can even be run as a Portable Application. This enables having OBS on a thumb drive and able to get started on almost any PC with no installation. It also facilitates multiple “versions” of OBS with different plugins and configurations if your site needs different styles for different equipment, etc.

Why NDI Summary

5 major reasons to use a NDI PTZ Camera | Why NDI | NDI PTZ Streaming Cameras

5 Major Reasons to use a NDI PTZ Camera

Why NDI? Why use NDI PTZ Streaming Cameras?

This video will help you understand why selection of #NDI capable PTZ Cameras are good for your facility/church. The cost of the NDI upgrade needs some explanation as to the value for your organization. Why should you consider choosing a PTZ camera that supports the NDI protocol?

There are 5 major reasons to consider using the NDI protocol within your facility:

1) NDI Cameras are discoverable to simplify installation.

2) They provide a Professional Broadcast Quality for both streaming and recording.

3) NDI is the newest video standard.

4) For new installs, NDI would use Cat-5 or Cat-6 cabling so the cameras don’t require any special cabling and they are easy to move to a new location.

5) They have a low latency and are easier to sync a separate audio channel with the cameras video feeds.