Streaming, Video Solutions Stand Out At InfoComm

On the last full day of the exhibit floor being open at the Las Vegas Convention Center, there was an array of video and streaming options to suit a church's needs worthy of review.

LAS VEGAS – On the second day that the InfoComm exhibit floor was open on Thursday, there were several intriguing video and streaming products that would be well suited for churches, particularly those with small- and medium-sized congregations, seeking new solutions in that realm.



For example, among the more notable projectors was NEC Display Solutions’ PX-1005QL, a 10,000-lumen 4K UHD projector. The new model, set to begin shipping sometime in either August or September, stood tall for its ability to deal with ambient light, and doing so with large format screen sizes, up to 120 to 150 inches in diagonal size. When not contending with significant ambient light, the PX-1005QL can even work with a screen size of up to 500 inches. Some of the useful tools built into the projector are edge blending, stacking and geometric correction software.


An even more powerful NEC projector was also highlighted on the show floor, the PH-3501QL, a 35,000 ANSI lumen projector. The resolution is slightly higher than that of the PX-1005QL, running native 4K, or 4096x2160 resolution.


An ideal pairing for the two projectors, noted Richard McPherson, Senior Product Manager for NEC, would be in a large sanctuary that is burdened by significant ambient light, “where to make an impact, you might need the larger (35,000 lumen) projector. Then you could have the 10,000-lumen projector be used for side screens, or for side walls when doing IMAG, to set the mood for the sermon, or also for overflow rooms.”  


On the streaming side of things at InfoComm, a notable product that is slated to begin shipping this week, was the Epiphan Pearl Mini. A successor to the Pearl 2, a 2016 New Product Awards nominee, this latest model (in the works for the past year-and-a-half) aims to do achieve what its predecessor can, but in a more streamlined package.


For example, as noted by Victor Doubrovine, Marketing Consultant for Epiphan, “There were some in the church market that said they didn’t need six outputs (included in the Pearl-2), and the Pearl Mini is about half the price, with the ease of use and flexibility still there.”


The lightweight and mobile Pearl Mini features two inputs, full HD, with the ability to record and stream at the same time, with a single touch on the display screen, to go with being able to switch up to 2 HD inputs. The flexibility within the Mini is thanks to it having a wide variety of inputs and outputs, including a pair of XLR/TRS inputs, two RCA inputs, two HDMI inputs, one mic level input, one HDMI out, two USB ports out, an HD-SDI out, and an Ethernet connection out.


For anyone interested in streaming direct to Facebook Live or YouTube, Doubrovine added, “the Pearl Mini is really straight forward to set up, working along with a camcorder and a basic condenser mic.”


Another worthy streaming solution on the InfoComm floor was at the Stream Monkey booth. For a company that has had a number of staff members that have worked on church tech teams, the company was borne in seeking to find an ideal church streaming solution.


In its infancy, the company created options such as live streaming to an iPhone and creating a Roku channel, after which churches began approaching the company to handle streaming in general.


As Chief Operating Officer Nicholas Roselius explained, “We’ve been providing solutions, and are passionate about simplicity, quality and reliability.” One such solution, he detailed, was one created for South Carolina-based Seacoast Church about five years ago, “created over the summer, called Simulated Live, and now hundreds of churches are using that solution.”


Recognizing that for many churches, their issues often crop up during a Sunday service, Roselius noted that “we are available on Sundays, and you can reach us by chat, by phone or email, and we can also remote into your hardware to fix things. We’ve got the experience to help figure it out, whether it’s a problem on their end or a problem on our end.”


A new offering that the company was previewing at the conference, he said, was its roll out an update to its live stream player, adding, “It looks different and is better looking, providing the runway to grow,” with it set to be released in a couple of weeks.


Another intriguing streaming solution at InfoComm was provided by Carousel, a division of Tightrope. For churches that are interested in integrating video signage in their lobby or elsewhere on their premises, the current version of Carousel, can be paired with Apple TV. That version, available since January 2017, allows a church to use a wide array of TVs to serve as displays.


With the Carousel software, a church can easily manage and schedule partial or wholesale content changes to their display content throughout the week. For example, as noted by president Eric Henry, “For a facility that is used a lot during the week, (the church) might have a Spanish service in the middle of the week, and a youth group that takes over on Thursday, and you can change all the content, where you can customize the content shown on those days.”


The last notable item from that day on the InfoComm exhibit floor, was ROE Visual’s launch of their new Sapphire LED wall display. With a 1.5mm pixel pitch panel, the resolution from the individual panels was incredible eye-popping enough. What stood out in particular, though, was that each panel featured a strong, high-end glass finish paired with a separate supporting frame. In addition, each of the panels have integrated push motors, allowing panels to be ejected safely, preventing individual LEDs along the panel edges from being damaged during assembly and disassembly.


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