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Saddleback Church Taps MultiDyne to Help Create ‘Cinematic Look’

Saddleback Church used MultiDyne’s SilverBack V camera-mountable fiber-optic transmission systems to seamlessly tie new cameras. providing a more cinematic look for its productions. (Image credit: Multidyne)

LAKE FOREST, Calif.—Saddleback Church is one of the original “megachurches” from more than 30 years ago. They helped pioneer the large church movement and have just kept growing, with 19 campuses across the globe. The multicamera content they produce using a traditional control room in Lake Forest is seen at all those locations and streamed on YouTube.

Saddleback wanted to upgrade to RED KOMODO cameras for a more “cinematic look,” so they reached out to Amplio Systems, which works with hundreds of churches around the country to help improve their operations. Saddleback loves the RED color science and the fact that it’s a global shutter camera. 

Another reason Saddleback selected this camera was so their team could shoot on location and have the same look and feel as their weekend service content. Plus, it’s a sub-$6,000 camera, so that allowed them to increase their camera count and helped their camera dollars go further.

Equipped With SilverBack V
The challenge was that RED KOMODO cameras do not have all the connections required to properly integrate into a live broadcast workflow. 

We needed another partner to make the digital cinema camera function in a true broadcast environment so we equipped eight of Saddleback’s 12 new cameras, including four handheld cameras, with MultiDyne SilverBack V camera-mountable fiber-optic transmission systems. 

The SilverBack V is about the same size as a V-mount battery. However, since it’s powered from the base station, it requires no battery, so it mimics the broadcast workflow that had been in place at Saddleback for decades. 

Once you move to a cinema-style camera, the rig becomes a fairly complicated structure to build. Thankfully, the SilverBack fits into it beautifully. The SilverBack ships with all the cables and accessories you need, so it was plug-and-play once we received the system. It has worked straight out of the box, and the price point provided an incredible value that checked another important box. 

We take the signal from each SilverBack and send it via fiber back to the control room. From there, the camera signal is routed to a base station, which manages the I/O and other connectivity. 

The entire control room was built around having a traditional CCU in that space. From an integration standpoint, it became very easy to completely shift to a cinema-style camera but still maintain the same sort of infrastructure and overall room design. 

Enabling Broadcast Workflows
There’s a network link, so we connect the camera over the production Ethernet for camera control through the SilverBack. We also send serial data from the Skaarhoj remote control panel as well as RS-232 to the Fujinon lens that travels through the SilverBack. We also have two intercom channels—tally and GPIO through the SilverBack.

The viewfinder mode in the SilverBack is very helpful because it allows the camera operator to switch between an operator monitor and a return video feed, same as a traditional broadcast-style camera monitor—something they were used to having in a broadcast workflow. 

All the outputs at the base station allow us to send signals to a router, engineering setup or the switcher. Because that mirrors a traditional broadcast CCU, it has everything that’s needed in the live broadcast environment at Saddleback.

Ultimately, the SilverBack choice was all about reliability. MultiDyne was the key to making this project successful. We couldn’t have supported the church’s desire for this camera choice without the partnership we have with MultiDyne and their commitment to excellence. 

Joel Smith is project development at Amplio Systems, which works with churches to help them carry out their mission. He can be reached at 800-267-1437 and

For more information on Multidyne, contact Jesse Foster at or visit

Joel Smith

Joel Smith handles Project Development for Amplio Systems.