Livestreaming Worship with Panasonic LUMIX BGH1

Social180Group’s John Porterfield talks church livestreaming and integrating the LUMIX BGH1 box-style camera. Livestreaming has indeed become a popular solution for churches to continue their services during the pandemic and reach a wider audience. It's great to see how John Porterfield was able to use his experience at his local church to start his own business and help other churches with their livestreaming needs.

Porterfield was able to start his own business, Social180Group, to help other churches with their livestreaming needs. The fact that he specializes in internet-based cloud technologies for video mixing and multi-streaming solutions shows that he has a deep understanding of the technical aspects of livestreaming. Moreover, his YouTube channel, JP'sChalkTalks, is an excellent resource for individuals interested in the livestreaming industry. By sharing his knowledge and hosting conversations with industry leaders, he is helping to advance the field and promote collaboration among professionals.

John Porterfield has worked in the livestreaming industry for over eight years and his Social180Group helps create and deliver managed production services for livestreaming.

Church Livestreaming Pre- and Post-Pandemic

John Porterfield has an interesting perspective on the different levels of livestreaming solutions that are suitable for churches of various sizes. It makes sense that smaller churches may not have the in-house expertise or budget to invest in a livestreaming solution, especially if their congregation was primarily attending services in-person prior to the pandemic.

On the other hand, larger churches like Harvest, with more resources and a larger congregation, may have had some form of a livestreaming production workflow in place already. This would have enabled them to more easily adapt to the challenges posed by the pandemic and continue to connect with their members virtually.

It's important to note that livestreaming solutions can be customized to fit the needs and budget of each church, regardless of size. As more churches recognize the benefits of livestreaming, there may be an increased demand for cost-effective and user-friendly solutions that can help smaller churches get started with livestreaming as well.

“When the pandemic hit, it changed the whole format structure of going completely online, which forced even the smaller churches to adopt a livestreaming solution for their environment. It was like the wild west, trying to get cameras, audio and PCs – whatever you needed to try and produce something. At Harvest, we had a plan in place, and we were fortunate that we already had a basic setup to support a fully online church and playback for live simulated live services for the church. Post-pandemic, I think most churches are working to fine-tune what was pulled together during the pandemic and transition everything to a more structured livestreaming platform.” -John Porterfield

It's understandable that churches would be eager to invest in new equipment and technology to improve their livestreaming capabilities, especially at the start of the pandemic when in-person gatherings were not possible. However, as John Porterfield notes, the availability of technology alone is not sufficient to produce a high-quality livestream broadcast. The church also needs to have the people and resources in place to put together a production, or to modify their current environment to ensure that the broadcast is of good quality. In particular, having a team of trained volunteers or staff members who are familiar with the equipment and software involved in livestreaming can be essential to producing a professional-quality broadcast. Without the right people in place, even the best equipment can't guarantee a successful livestream.

Integrating the LUMIX BGH1

The LUMIX DC-BGH1 is a professional-grade box-style camera that is designed for broadcasting, livestreaming, and cinema capture. It features a Micro Four Thirds sensor and a variety of professional video features, including 4K 60p video recording, 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording, and V-Log recording. It also has a variety of inputs and outputs, including HDMI, 3G-SDI, and XLR, which makes it compatible with a variety of professional audio and video equipment. Additionally, the camera is compact and lightweight, which makes it ideal for remote productions or livestreaming setups where space is limited.

To use the LUMIX DC-BGH1 camera in the livestream broadcast at Jesus City Church, Porterfield set up LUMIX Tether on Powell’s laptop and used Splashtop to remote into his laptop to talk directly to the BGH1. This allowed him to configure the camera and have everything set up in place for the livestream. The BGH1's features, including its Micro Four Thirds sensor, dual native ISO technology, and 13 stops of dynamic range, allowed Porterfield to capture high-quality footage for the livestream. Additionally, the camera's compact size and lightweight design made it easy to move around and position in various locations throughout the church.

BGH1 Versatility

John Porterfield has found the LUMIX DC-BGH1 camera to be extremely flexible for livestreaming, as it can be used as a single camera for small churches or for specialty shots and unique angles in larger churches. The camera also allows for direct streaming without a production switcher, which is a value add for churches looking for another way to livestream. Moreover, the camera can be used with the Datavideo PTR-10 Mk II Robotic Pan Tilt Head and RMC-180 Mark II Camera Controller, enabling Pan, Tilt, Zoom functions through other technologies like NDI, through other third-party vendors in the industry. John is excited about the camera's versatility and plans to incorporate it further in his work.

Read the full article from Panasonic HERE

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