Tuesday, 25 January 2022
Fathers Gerard Aynsley and Fivins Chittilappilly lead the Mercy Parish at St. Patrick's Basilica in South Dunedin. They came to the Vision team with a challenge: the Basilica's 10 year-old audio visual system wasn't up to scratch. More specifically, the nation's response to Covid-19 changed what the parish needed their AV system to do. Not only did the parishioners need to see and hear mass clearly, no matter their position in the church. The Fathers also wanted to be able to live stream masses via YouTube, in the best quality possible.
Enter the Vision team. AV Project Manager Gustav Teitge, with the assistance of Neville Rumble, met the with Father Aynsley and Phil Cahill (the music director of the church’s musician volunteers) at the Basilica to establish exactly what was required, and how the new hardware would be integrated with the existing 10-year old system. Then Gustav, alongside Vision's AV Integration Technicians Craig Findlay, Tim Burt and Andrew Harrison, spent a few days running cables at dizzying heights, connecting and testing the new installation.
St. Patrick's Basilica now has a broadband quality network camera system using the latest broadcast ethernet technology called NDI from Newtek. Three BirdDog P100 pan-tilt zoom cameras are connected to a networked hardware camera controller with a joystick to allow easy pre-set control of the three cameras. And a video production computer loaded with V-Mix video production software ties it all together by creating elegant video programmes which are streamed online. The systems’ network integration also allows easy interception of the camera feeds by other service providers like funeral service conductors.
This new design of the Video production system acted as a springboard for the 10-year-old audio system to get a refresh as well. The original sound system was oriented in the traditional position of the altar being on the short side of the Basilica. When the Basilica underwent earthquake strengthening, the decision was made to orientate the altar and podium on the long side of the church. This brought the Priest closer to the concentration of the congregation. Re-purposing their original speakers but complimenting the system with a new multichannel amplifier and digital mixer provided a worthwhile upgrade of speech intelligibility and focus of audio to the priest.
Gustav and the crew designed the system with ease of use in mind, as it's operated by a group of parish volunteers each Sunday. Masses are live-streamed every Sunday at 9:30 am on the Mercy Parish's YouTube Channel.
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