The Bridge Christian Church is a non-denominational church with two campuses in the greater Tucson area. Each campus has a live band, classrooms for kids of all ages, a food court, and many different ways for congregants to be involved. The church’s goal is to offer a live experience for the congregation at both campuses simultaneously. To that end, The Bridge streams services between the main and satellite campuses so that worshippers can experience the service in perfect synchronization, with the aim of providing both flawless video and low latency so that the streaming experience is as smooth as possible.
Traditionally, such quality of service was only possible using a very expensive broadcast satellite service or one-way fiber link that is financially out of reach for most organizations. The alternative was to record the service onto a portable storage device and then physically take it to the other campus for later playback - a cumbersome process that meant the congregants at the satellite campus would not be able to experience the service in real time. The technical team at The Bridge had been looking for a more affordable way to connect the two campuses by seamlessly live-streaming services and events from the main church to the satellite, or vice versa.
To make seamless bidirectional streaming a reality, The Bridge installed a VITEC MGW Nano HD encoder and MGW Premium HD decoder at each location. VITEC offered a balanced combination of high quality and low latency that is ideal for both point-to-point streaming and two-way, interactive streaming, both of which The Bridge does regularly. The Bridge uses the VITEC solution most often for point-to-point streaming, whereby the output of the TriCaster system at the main campus is fed into the MGW Nano HD encoder for streaming to the MGW Premium decoder at the satellite campus. In this way, The Bridge congregants at both campuses experience the Sunday service in parallel.
About twice per month, The Bridge uses both sets of VITEC encoders and decoders for two-way communication between the two campuses - an important way to bring worshippers closer together during services, Bible studies, and other events. In this scenario, an easy signal-switch allows the main sanctuary to accept the feed from the satellite campus and vice versa so that people can communicate with each other. It’s as simple as selecting an input.
In fact, the simplicity of the solution was an important selling point for The Bridge. The technical team appreciated that it was easy to set up and use. Once a signal is present and the settings are adjusted using VITEC’s intuitive interface, the encoder and decoder handle the job automatically, so it’s easy to set it and forget it.
Even more critical was, of course, the ultra-low latency, a key component in seamless bidirectional streaming between the campuses. With VITEC, The Bridge experiences minimal video streaming delays. Furthermore, the pristine quality of the live HD video looks flawless on The Bridge’s IMAG screens.
What was most impressive to The Bridge’s technical team was that those high-quality, low-latency streams could be achieved over the public Internet, which can be notoriously unstable. This benefit is due in large part to VITEC’s cutting-edge hardware - which uses advanced video compression technology to encode and stream up to 1080p60 video - coupled with Zixi™ Stream Protection for zero-error delivery over unmanaged networks. Being able to use the Internet rather than a costly satellite transmission service makes the VITEC solution a much more affordable streaming option.
With a VITEC MGW Nano HD encoder and MGW Premium HD decoder installed at its main campus and satellite location, The Bridge can ensure worshippers at both campuses experience the same live service simultaneously. The ability to share high-quality HD video between the campuses - and especially to do so in both directions - fosters a sense of community among the church members who might not otherwise have the chance to interact with each other. And the ability to do so over the public Internet, without delay or error, is a technical and financial win for The Bridge.
"The Bridge is committed to offering a live-streaming solution so that our campuses can experience the weekend services and other church events together. The VITEC solution allows us to use high-end technology over the public Internet, which is a huge cost savings versus satellite. And with it we can bring both locations closer together. At no time is this benefit more evident than when the two campuses are engaged with each other using bidirectional streaming." Jay Patton - Technology Operations Minister of the Bridge Christian Church
The Bridge’s IP Streaming Solution
• Real-time video delivery between the main church and the satellite campus.
• High-quality streams up to 1080p60 for pristine video even on IMAG screens.
• Low-latency encoding and streaming with delays of less than two seconds.
• Zero-error Internet delivery with Zixi™ Stream Protection.
• Ability to use public Internet for significant savings over satellite and fiber solutions.
Project System Integrator
• EAR Professional Audio and Video (www.EAR.net) was the VITEC solutions partner involved with this project. EAR is the Southwest’s most experienced value added reseller and integrator for products and services for broadcast, post production and music recording industries.