Bellevue Baptist Turns to Grass Valley for Advanced HD Broadcasting Solutions

Nearly 7,000 people attend the morning worship services each Sunday at Bellevue Baptist Church, situated on just under 500 acres in the Memphis area. The church provides a weekly broadcast feed for a local TV station, simulcasts Sunday services to two satellite locations, produces a selection of live streaming and on-demand content for its own website and hosts a variety of community events at its facility throughout the year. Church leaders had been using an aging SD system and knew it was time to make the move to HD. With an eye on ease-of-use and a simple path for upgradability, Bellevue Baptist chose solutions exclusively from Grass Valley, a Belden Brand.

77686_GrassValley_Logo_4c_cleanFounded in 1903, Bellevue Baptist was the first church in the world to own and operate its own broadcasting equipment, starting with its first installation in 1958. From the very beginning, the organization had particularly high standards of quality to meet its value of Ministry Excellence in everything it does.

“Our broadcast and production capabilities are central to our mission, extending our ability to reach our members, the community and those searching for resources or answers on their spiritual journey,” says Larry Anderson, director of media, Bellevue Baptist. “First and foremost, we were looking for a system that would be able to keep us relevant and make it easier for our broad congregation to consume content. Second, we wanted to be sure our investment was in a solution that would grow with us.”

To fully upgrade its capabilities to HD and prepare for future enhancements such as 4K UHD and HDR, Bellevue Baptist purchased two GV Node Real Time IP Processing and Edge Routing Platforms with integrated Kaleido KMX-4911 multiviewers, one NV9000 Router Control System, six LDX 86 WorldCam cameras, one RS-LDX Premier Integrated Robotic Camera Solution, a Karrera K-Frame S-series 3 M/E Video Production Center switcher and the new GV Korona 1 M/E and 2 M/E Control Panels.

The church selected GV Node with Kaleido multiviewers for the main infrastructure building block because it offers extreme flexibility, providing routing and processing the group needs today with the ability to expand both size and functionality in the future as their needs change or an IP environment becomes necessary. Anderson notes that, “It’s very flexible and it’s modular, so we can add capacity as our needs increase. No other vendor offered that type of flexibility.” The NV9000 system adds advanced control with seamless integration across the entire router ecosystem.

The LDX 86 WorldCam, which provides Bellevue Baptist with traditional HD/3G acquisition, as well as the ability to upgrade directly to 4K functionality, 3X HD or 6X HD/3X 3G, and then to all LDX 86 Series formats via software upgrades, will be used primarily in the worship center. The church was immediately impressed with the camera’s image quality and format flexibility and the fact that it holds up against cinema-style cameras. The RS-LDX Premier will be mounted on the wall to supplement the LDX 86 cameras, and will be used for worship services as well as the annual Singing Christmas Tree performance, a Broadway-style show that draws huge crowds from the community.

Anderson goes on to say that the Karrera was a perfect fit because of its scalability and the horsepower of a large system. “We selected 3 M/Es with the DoubleTake option to extend the number of M/Es and provide us with simultaneous clean feeds. The Karrera really serves multiple purposes for us and is the backbone of everything we do. It gives us robust AUX for dissolves and dedicated positions for our IMAG with three large screens.”

The 1 M/E and 2 M/E GV Korona panels are ideal for broadcast and webcast, and because of the GV Korona’s size and the fact that it’s modular, can be moved around easily as needed.

“High-quality production is an important element of the ministry for Bellevue Baptist,” explains Kyle Luther, VP of sales, North America, Grass Valley. “Leaders there recognized the need not only for robust, easy-to-use solutions, but also for solutions that would be a smart investment and would enable them to upgrade as technology advances. These products are Future-Ready and adaptable in all the right ways.”

The new equipment will be up and running in time for the church’s Fall Kick Off, which includes a new sermon series as well as other seasonal events such as the Singing Christmas Tree.

“I really appreciate the partnership with Grass Valley,” adds Anderson. “They took the time to understand what would make our ministry more effective and we were able to meet with the development teams for the routers and cameras—which really blew me away. No other vendor offered this much transparency.”

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