Water of Life Community Church Enhances Video Experience With MultiDyne

With the need to bring live video from its outdoor baptismal area to worshipers in its indoor venues and online, Water of Life Community Church selected the SMPTE-HUT universal camera transceiver from MultiDyne Fiber Optic Solutions to enable quick and reliable camera connectivity to the church’s single-mode fiber backbone.

More than 8,000 congregants attend services at the non-denominational church’s main campus in Fontana, CA each week. The last stage of a multi-year expansion project, the outdoor baptism space can hold approximately 300 people around its centerpiece pool and fountain.

“We wanted to perform our live baptisms outside rather than the traditional indoor approach, and to make them an integral part of the worship experience for all of our followers,” says Joe Chappell, Production Manager, Water of Life. “However, there isn’t space to bring 3000 attendees from our main auditorium outside to our baptismal, so instead we bring live video of the baptisms inside, as well as streaming it online.”

Video of the baptisms is acquired with one of the church’s four HITACHI Z-HD5000 cameras, which are equipped with SMPTE hybrid fiber connectivity. Rather than purchasing a dedicated camera for the outdoor area, a unit from the auditorium is brought outside for the live events. While MultiDyne’s SMPTE-HUT is often used to extend camera reach beyond the distance limitations of SMPTE fiber, Water of Life faced a different challenge in linking the camera to the control room.

“While the control room is only a 900-foot run away, it would have been difficult and expensive to put a SMPTE fiber drop in the baptismal area,” says Chappell. “One of the main hurdles was that we would have been running through conduit and going through at least two IDFs (intermediate distribution frames). Connecting to our campus’ existing single-mode fiber infrastructure is far more efficient, and we can just borrow two lines for our baptisms as needed. The SMPTE-HUT lets us easily interface our SMPTE fiber equipment to that backbone.”

The two-piece SMPTE-HUT system carries a complete array of signals between the camera and the control room, including the camera video feed, program audio from two camera-connected wireless microphones, Clear-Com intercom and return video.

A MultiDyne HUT-CP camera-end unit is connected to the HITACHI Z-HD5000 by 50 feet of SMPTE fiber cable and supplies power to the camera over this same connection, simplifying wiring while maximizing operator freedom. The HUT-CP is linked by a pair of single-mode fibers to a compact HUT-BS unit in the control room, which converts the transport back to SMPTE hybrid fiber for connection to a HITACHI CU-HD500 CCU.

“We were drawn to the SMPTE-HUT by MultiDyne’s strong reputation and virtually ubiquitous recommendations, and we found that it fit our requirements perfectly,” says Chappell. “We looked at other products, but they didn’t offer everything that MultiDyne did, from the system’s rugged durability to its ability to power the camera.”

Chappell cites the SMPTE-HUT’s robust reliability as one of his favorite attributes, and recently bolstered the unit’s rugged design with MultiDyne’s weather-proof hard case for additional protection from the elements.

“I rarely use the equipment in the rain, but now I don’t have to worry if the weather changes while we’re shooting, and the case also protects the unit from dirt, dust and moisture,” he said. “With its custom ports and weather-proof connectors, the system is fully functional even with the case closed, providing ongoing protection during operation. The case also keeps the unit cool even in direct sunlight.”

Meanwhile, system’s ease of use and the quick setup and strike times for the SMPTE-HUT and HITACHI cameras – taking as little as 10 minutes – have enabled Water of Life to provide live video of their baptisms more frequently, now eight to ten times per year.

“MultiDyne’s SMPTE-HUT has enabled us to incorporate this important spiritual and creative element into our services for all of our worshippers to experience live,” concludes Chappell. “It’s a simple, super-unique and rock-solid problem solver that works very well.”

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