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  1. #1
    Nat
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    Video Cableing for live editing / projection

    Our church has 3 cameras, mix live directly to a dvd recorder and also project the video images on a projector. We have very good cameras but are getting poor quality images on the projector and video. We are currently using all SVGA cables. Should we consider replacing all of these with composite? What is the best cable to use and why?
    Thanks,
    NV

  2. #2

    re: Video Cabling for live editing / projection

    S-video cables provide really good quality. It's better quality than composite would be.

    Also, how are you routing your cameras? Are they all going into a switcher or device? And do you have really long cable runs. If you do. it could mean that you need to boost your video signal with some type of amplifier.

    Derrick Freeman
    Video Streaming and Compression Specialist
    www.geniusdv.com
    E-mail: derrick@geniusdv.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    Hi Nat,
    The way to properly do this is to:
    1 - Generate color bars from your cameras.
    2 - Look at each signal coming down the line with a waveform monitor & vectorscope setup, prior to the input of the video switcher.
    3 - Determine the quality and make level adjustments as needed. If your color bars look normal then,
    4 - Open the cameras and look at your stage with the proper lighting and a chip chart.

    Without this type of setup, you can't determine quality.

    SVGA signals are only good for 50 - 75 feet without amplification. It's possible a signal can run further (up to 100 ft) depending on the SVGA driver but I wouldn't want to push the envelop on that one.

    And just to be redundant, verify the proper video cables are being used and has not been substituted in order to get a better bargain or someone cutting corners.

    Hope this was helpful...
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  4. #4
    Nat
    Guest
    Any comments on using video baluns with twisted pair?

  5. #5
    Nat
    Guest
    I dont have all of that fancy equipment (waveform monitor and vestorscope). Is there an alternative? I have a lot of cable to troubleshoot. Our camera are about 150-200 foot from our switcher and then it is about 300 foot to our projector. I am considering replacing all of the svideo cable with coax or cat6 with baluns. I know they make svideo baluns and that claims over 1000 feet but I dont know the quality. My colors bleed pretty bad on the projector when doing the color bars using svideo but considering the distance I'm running, I'm probably lucky to get any signal at all. I also cant tell the difference in svideo and composite when I go directly into a monitor. Actually, I think the composite looks better.

    Thanks for your help,
    NV

  6. #6
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to say that from my own experiences, there is no other way. A 3 camera shoot is a complicated and exact science and can be reproduced correctly or incorrectly depending on what you do or don't do. A 3 camera shoot has no short cut to looking proper - if there is, I'm open to learning all the time. The owner(s) have parts of a system but it is incomplete and cannot perform to the expectations of being partially acceptable.

    OK, here's where I stick out my neck that may create some discomfort for others but just take this as from someone who has no intention of doing so. I understand what the church is trying to do. I know and understand that it is for His glory. But when you do something for Him - shouldn't it be the best thing possible? Shouldn't it be done right? This 3 camera shoot is a visual enhancement and will make an impact. Without the cameras, the service goes on and the attention is still about God's message. But if your going to enhance, then enhance... bad video will have a negative impact. Good video will be seamless and will result in a good impact.

    You can correct mistakes but you shouldn't build on top of them, otherwise everything comes crashing down.

    Baluns and twisted pairs are ok but for what type of application?

    I apologize if my answers seem to be over zealous yet blunt but I just want to give it to you straight from the hip as open and honest.
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  7. #7
    Nat
    Guest
    OK. I agree, but we are on a shoestring budget and cant afford ANYmore equipment right now. Back to my original question:
    Considering the distance of my runs, should I consider replacing the svideo with composite? I know that more expensive cameras use coax with BNC connectors. Is this the best solution? I only have composite and svideo coming out of my cameras. I already have a spool of coax and I'm ready to rerun of necessary.
    Thanks - NV

  8. #8
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    When comparing composite to s-video in the same length, it is my belief that composite will hold out better. I say this because composite video is an industry standard while s-video is more consumer oriented and meant for much shorter runs. However due to the length of the run, you will still have a loss of signal without amplification, especially in the high end of the bandwidth, where you will lose more of your chroma signal.

    But to verify and confirm, spool off the amount you need, take the camera and cable to the recorder and make a recording from within the room. Who knows - maybe the camera manufacturer had built pre-equalization on the video output.
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    Sorry I missed out on your comment on using CAT6 to replace the video cable. I have no experience in this but I am reading up on it now that you have mentioned it (Belden the cable manufacturer has a white paper on the subject).

    This is an eye opener!
    SC358
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  10. #10
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    Video mixing for church live

    I mix live camera with dvd iWorship or contemporary/alternative christian music videos for our church services. We use a Panasonic Digital WJAVE5 mixer that will allow 2 sources A or B (decks) & a live external camera which could be if you want it to be 3 camera signals, it has a record output to a recording deck of choice and BNC outputs for monitors to keep track of what is coming in and going out, we send the record output to our projector via composite cable, the signal does need to be boosted since it is over 100' - we use a transcoder to convert the VGA stuff from our computer worship projection software (Sunday Plus) to a to a signal via S-Video or RCA to a simple entertainment switchbox then to the AV mixer so we can select the source, it sounds a little hodge podge but it works great and we didn't spend over $2k for a switcher/fader/mixer. The old but very capable old school digital WJAVE5 can be found on ebay for around $300, the switch box a decent one with multiple input/outputs can be found for $75 to $130, the transcoder around $200, signal booster or balun depending on the model can run from $100 to $200 which you would need using the high end switcher in most cases. We are on a shoestring as well and found this solution could be acquired over a years time and serves our regular Sunday service as well as our youth evening service quite well even before we boosted the signal it wasn't too bad an image. The comment on how a bad video or signal can ruin the message is very true, we had to restrain ourselves from not trying to "push" equipment beyond it's capacity, you'll only get less than accepting support for trying to bring the new technology to the service and even undermine future attempts at enhancing the service/sermon, when it is poor quality. It should happen seamlessly as stated, and not be the focus or the priority when try to capture or project larger images of the sermon/worship. Just my humble opinion

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