Beth Israel Worship Center Chooses Canon BU-50H Robotic Remote-Control 16:9 HD PTZ Camera Systems

Audio Visual Associates (AVA) of Denville, N.J., has chosen two Canon BU-50H robotic remote-control 16:9 HD pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras for Beth Israel Worship Center (BIWC) in Wayne, N.J. One of the largest Messianic Congregations in the United States, BIWC is led by senior pastor and messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn.

“Achieving a broadcast-quality picture was key for BIWC,” stated Carl LaGrotteria, Jr., senior account executive for AVA. “When we demonstrated the HD video quality of the Canon BU-50H, the choice was obvious; pastor Cahn and everybody else saw the incredible level of detail that these cameras can achieve.”

Capturing worship services for Internet distribution requires a camera that’s not only small enough to be relatively inconspicuous to the congregation but also capable of delivering high-quality HD video that will withstand Internet compression.

Incorporating a Canon HD camera equipped with three 1/3-inch (1.67 million-pixel) CCD sensors (1440 H x 1080 V), a Canon 20X HD zoom lens, and Canon’s advanced Auto Focus and Image Stabilizer features, the two BU-50H robotic remote-control HD PTZ cameras are used to capture worship services at BIWC’s 70,000-square-foot facility, as well as conferences and other events. Facing the stage from either side of the 500-person capacity synagogue, the cameras overlook the Inspirational Space, an immersive replication of Jerusalem that includes a complete stonework re-creation of the Wailing Wall complemented by a service-spanning digital LED sunrise-to-sunset light show. Imagery from the two Canon BU-50H robotic remote-control HD PTZ cameras (and an additional manned Canon XF305 professional HD camcorder) is projected in HD onto three 16×10 foot screens.

“The A/V capabilities and the overall presentation at the BIWC are simply overwhelming,” LaGrotteria stated. “The Canon BU-50H robotic remote-control HD PTZ cameras are an ideal fit in many ways. In addition to the superb picture they deliver, the cameras are remote-controllable and extremely quiet. They don’t create a distraction in the sanctuary, whereas having multiple manned cameras can draw attention away from the service and its message.”

Featuring a maximum noise level of NC30, the Canon BU-50H robotic remote-control HD PTZ camera is designed not only for houses of worship, but also other environments – including concert halls, audio and video studios, and conference rooms – where quiet operation is essential. Compact and weighing only 24 lbs., the Canon BU-50H provides extremely smooth 300-degree pans and 40-degree tilts. Users can program the camera for repeatable and simultaneous panning, tilting, and zooming to up to 32 preset coordinates. The control protocol of the BU-50H is non-proprietary and open. Users or system integrators can interface the cameras with their own control system or that of third-party providers to operate the pan/tilt system while also facilitating remote operational control of the 20x HD zoom lens and camera-video functions.

“In the control room, these cameras are operated via Vaddio controllers, and it’s a seamless integration,” LaGrotteria noted. “In fact, the A/V Director at BIWC often speaks of the Vaddio controllers and the Canon BU-50H cameras as if they were one unified piece of equipment.”

The Canon BU-50H robotic remote-control HD PTZ camera also provides advanced connectivity features, including genlock input for video synchronization in broadcast television systems. Outputs include uncompressed HD-SDI (SD-SDI available on request) with audio for external recording, and a standard-definition composite NTSC video output for monitoring purposes. Short- and long-distance control systems interface via RS-422 connections and an optional third-party E/O (electrical-to-optical) converter is available to enable extended connectivity via fiber optics. The BIWC features full fiber connectivity to facilitate Internet transmission, as well as fast production and DVD distribution of the day’s sermon for departing parishioners.

“The support from Canon has been out of this world,” LaGrotteria noted, regarding the relationship between the AVA team headed by lead engineer Shelby Tuhari, BIWC, and Canon. “Whenever there were any issues, a local Canon rep has been on hand the same day. You know you’re going to get personal service right then and there, and from a dealer perspective, that’s huge.”

“Houses of worship today are incorporating appropriate technology to complement their services without overpowering them,” LaGrotteria concluded. “BIWC is not your typical religious center; it provides a transcendent experience. Their choice of the Canon BU-50H cameras shows that they’re committed to sharing their message with the world at the very highest level of quality.”

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