Bidwell Presbyterian Church in Chico, California has many digital offerings, including a mobile app and live video of its worship services available to all – offerings that went from impressive to critical during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“About two years ago we looked to video to enhance what we’re already doing, and start being more relevant to younger generations and integrating our services with technology,” said Miykael Goodwin, Director of Technology at Bidwell Presbyterian Church. “When the pandemic started, we were in lockdown and it was a little bit of a growing pain like everyone else had. But we also knew we had this resource available to us that we could take advantage of.”
That resource is NewTek’s TriCaster live production system.
NewTek’s line of TriCaster live production systems offer powerful and affordable tools to help craft more stories, better told. TriCaster systems put an entire suite of media production capabilities at a creator’s fingertips. The systems offer native Skype integration – perfect for bringing remote callers into a video. TriCaster live production systems also offer many social media integrations, allowing live streaming to Facebook Live, Microsoft Azure, Periscope, Twitch, YouTube Live, and more.
Further, when combined with NDI – the free-to-use, video-over-IP protocol that allows video signals to be made instantly available over the network – the TriCaster can make use of NDI PTZ cameras. These cameras require only a single Ethernet connection for setup, power, operation, and signal flow.
The video control room sits in a building across the street from the church. This helps meet social distancing requirements, and as the two locations are on the same network, there is no issue with taking complete control of the production remotely thanks to NDI.
“It’s been very convenient to where if we need to adjust cameras at the main campus, we don’t have to walk across the street or phone somebody to make those quick adjustments,” Goodwin said. “We can do it all on the fly. Or if we do see a problem, we’re able to address it quickly.”
NDI allows individuals and organizations to access the benefits of IP-based, software-defined visual storytelling for a fraction of the cost of other IP protocols or traditional video transport methods. Many manufacturers have adopted NDI, and many free-to-use NDI tools are available for download. With NDI, nearly any video source can be utilized for creative storytelling.
Goodwin praises the user-friendly layout of the TriCaster system and said the support offerings from NewTek have helped Bidwell Presbyterian with its broadcasts. Further, he says the system has been mission-critical for the church during COVID-19 restrictions.
“Using NewTek Technology, and using this equipment, allows you to reach more than just your immediate community,” he said. “It allows you to reach the hard-to-reach or the hurting…they can access it from their phone, they can access it from their computer.”
Goodwin said those results – coupled with the ease-of-use and flexibility of the system – make NewTek solutions easy to recommend.
“If you’re on the fence, or you’re looking for a solution to bring your house of worship into a digital world, then I highly recommend looking into the NewTek products and their offerings,” he said. “They have so many solutions that could help enhance what you’re already doing or help expand to people you are trying to reach.”