—Congregation Beth Israel is
the oldest Reform Jewish congregation in
Texas, celebrating its 160th anniversary
this year. Beth Israel is an active and vibrant
congregation with a diverse membership
and for the past year, we’ve been diversifying
that membership further with the
live streaming of weekly Shabbat worship
services from the synagogue’s sanctuary or
Our viewers include not only congregation
members, but also those in our local
community and beyond who want to engage
in weekly services, and for reasons of
health, distance or lack of transportation,
cannot travel to the synagogue. We are
available to anyone with an internet connection
and an e-mail address.
The professional quality of our broadcasts
helps online viewers feel very connected
to the service experience. At the
heart of the operation is a Panasonic AVHS410
multiformat production switcher.
The switcher is fed high-definition video
from two Panasonic AW-HE120 remotely-controlled
pan/tilt/zoom cameras located
in the sanctuary. A director controls the
broadcasts, with a separate video producer
responsible for streaming and graphics.
Our services are streamed over computers,
Apple TV/Roku and all mobile devices (Android
The HS410 is a compact 1+ ME live
switcher that provides nine signal inputs
(eight HD-SDI, and one scalable HD DVID.)
The unit provides five HD-SDI and one
DVI-D output as part of the standard configuration.
Option boards can expand this
to 13 inputs and/or 10 outputs.
LOADED WITH FUNCTIONALITY
In the video streaming operations at the
synagogue, we use a lot of basic switcher
functions such as cut
and mix, and typically
take video from the
two HE120s cameras
and a character generator.
We’ve found the
keyer to be easily accessible,
and when it’s used
in conjunction with
Pro Presenter software,
provides really nice and
clearly visible keyed captions.
feature that we rely on
a lot is the auto mix function. It’s great for
setting up automatic transitions and is also
very easy to program. The switcher’s “T-bar”
is very handy for manual camera transitions.
We’ve found that there’s no lag and the end
results are quite aesthetically pleasing.
The switcher’s built-in multiviewer
function is also very nice too as it provides
very clear and highly visible images. Multiviewer
screen divisions are assignable into
four, five, six, nine, 10 or 16 sections and
support time display and audio levels.
Beth Israel’s Shabbat services are archived
at Livestream, with a link from our
synagogue website. I’m impressed with
how often viewers play back our content,
and how far-flung our audiences have now
become. During the past month alone, we
have had international viewership from individuals
in 12 different countries.
Our Senior Rabbi, David Lyon, has observed
that the Internet is breaking down
the barriers for participation and is also redefining
the sacred community. For many
years, our motto at Congregation Beth Israel
has been that Jewish life is relevant,
modern and joyful, and with the broadcast-quality
video production results that our
Panasonic switcher provides, we are able
to put the emphasis on “modern.”
Joan Gelfond has been with the Congregation
for 24 years, and can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information, contact
Panasonic at 877-803-8492 or visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.