Video Worship

Houses of worship are presently involved with video or planning to get involved.

There are many considerations to understand when moving to video. Budget is the primary concern because it determines everything: the quality, operation, the number and complexity of tools.

The average person is very familiar with television, and some of the associated equipment because they are used to broadcast and cable television, video rentals, computer streaming and a wide variety of consumer video products.

What the average consumer does not understand are the wide variety of processes necessary to ultimately reach a high quality video. The editing procedure can add unpleasant artifacts to the final picture. The main culprit is the generation losses from the necessary copying, etc.

The video camera is the primary component that determines picture clarity, brightness, detail and color. Most cameras, today, are decent quality but why do their costs vary from a few hundred dollars to¬†several thousand dollars. Apparent picture quality is not the only issue but one of the many technical details contained within that contribute to the ultimate product. Consumer camcorders are essentially “point & shoot” cameras with zoom capabilities. These, and the next level (semi-profesional/industrial) have more controls but most cameras require an operator, with a tripod which takes up valuable space. Professional studio cameras are also mostly used with a tripod and a separate camera control unit (away from camera operator) with infinitely more con trolls which have to be set before each “shoot”. Robotics (remote pan/tilt/zoom) exist but are generally expensive. Close-circuit (CCTV) equipment is less costly but does provide a wide range of features such as integrated pan/tilt/zoom remote control and some other key camera adjustments.

The recording medium can be magnetic tape (mini DV, etc.), optical discs (DVD), and computer hard drives, etc. The higher the quality of the medium, the better the picture will hold up through finalization. Whatever medium is used for the original recording, the system should be of the same quality or higher.

Lighting represents the least understood aspect of video but separates the beginners from the professionals. Although you may get a decent picture with your low-priced camera, the lack of good lighting will certainly make the difference when compared with any camera with good lighting. Lighting is not just to make the picture bright, but can add to the contrast, the color purity, and detail. Varying sunlight combined with normal room illumination, which also is not constant, can play havoc with any video camera even though many have automatic features. The temperature of the lighting is as important as the brightness when determining the color purity. Normal incandescent and fluorescent lights each add unnatural color to a video picture.

The processing chain includes several pieces of equipment that are connected with wires/connectors. The type of wires/connectors can be more important than the selected equipment. Using the proper composite signal wire, component wire and/or digital wire and their associated connectors may affect the results of the processors. These units may be switchers, routers, special effects processors, graphics generators, video recorders, monitors, etc.

The audio portion of the video signal should be obtained from your microphone mixer which is more professional than may be gained from camera microphones.


Houses of worship may wish to make videos simply to replay for shut-ins, etc., or may want to distribute copies or may wish to produce programs for cable/broadcast/internet. Budgeting is the primary consideration to determine what equipment and techniques will be practical.


  • Long-range planning is recommended with development of a video system in stages.
  • Personnel acquisition should be determined in advance.