Posted in news
on September 21, 2015 12:58 pm EDT
Pope Francis’s Mass in Philadelphia to be Captured by Panasonic Technology
Live video feeds of the mid-morning mass, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, for 2,200 congregants as well as for worldwide viewers will come from several newly installed remote production cameras.
The AW-HE870N is a cost-effective, versatile 2/3-inch, HD/SD convertible camera that supports 1080i/720p/480i image acquisition.
The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, will provide a backdrop for Pope Francis's first stop on his visit to the city, a special papal mass to be celebrated for the people of the Archdiocese. Live video feeds of the mid-morning mass, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, for 2,200 congregants as well as for worldwide viewers will come from several newly installed Panasonic remote production cameras, including six AW-HE130 integrated 1/3-inch pan/tilt/zoom and two AW-HE870 2/3-inch 3-CCD multi-purpose units.Architecture of note -- technology of necessity
With its grand façade, vaulted dome, and main sanctuary that comfortably holds up to 2,000 worshipers, the Cathedral Basilica is the largest brownstone structure and one of the most architecturally notable structures in Philadelphia. Daniel Kearns, technology specialist to the Communications Office of the Archdiocese (and currently broadcast engineer at Princeton University), reports that the Basilica’s prior 4:3 robotic camera system sustained its AV requirement until earlier this year when the papal visit was announced. Event production company ESM Productions of Philadelphia, assigned to handle all on-Benjamin Franklin Parkway activities during Pope Francis's stay, understood that the Cathedral Basilica would be a focal point and approached Kearns to determine if his longtime plans to upgrade the robotic cameras to 16:9 HD models could be implemented.
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
With funding for the project from a church donor in place, Kearns consulted with longtime colleagues Dave Barletta of Cenero (Malvern, Pa.) and Joe Pagano of RGB Broadcast Video Service (Philadelphia), and chose the Panasonic remote production pan/tilt/zoom cameras, which excelled in side-by-side comparisons. “Our criteria are unique for a large venue,” says Kearns. “We're not in the entertainment business, our 'productions' require a reverent, unobtrusive approach: we don't want to notice the cameras during the celebration of a mass.”
“Our criteria are unique for a large venue. We’re not in the entertainment business, ‘productions’ require a reverent, unobtrusive approach: we don’t want to notice the cameras during the celebration of a mass.”
—Daniel Kearns, Technology Specialist, Communications Office of the Archdiocese; fomerly Broadcast Engineer, Princeton University
“Beyond these considerations, the Basilica Cathedral is an historic landmark, the largest Catholic church in Pennsylvania, with vintage lighting and long vistas (approx. 30,490 square feet). The cameras' technical specifications had to be top-notch,” Kearns adds. Reaching the masses, unobtrusively
Panasonic representatives visited the Basilica Cathedral, and demonstrated that the HE130s--several to be placed in the main sanctuary--would be discreet and that camera movements would not disturb the congregants. Ultimately, four HE130s have been installed in the body of the church, one each on the front left and right pillars, facing the altar; a third on the second left pillar, facing back to take in pews and processions; and the fourth on the last left pillar, looking back at the church entrance and the baptistery.
A fifth HE130 is placed on the right side of the altar, looking back at the congregation; and the sixth is in the choir loft, on top of the organ, looking forward through the church to the altar.
Kearns chose critical placements for the two HE870s, with their bigger, 2/3-inch optics, superior light handling and longer, 20x zoom lensing. One is placed on the left side of the choir loft, trained in the opposite direction on the pulpit and also able to capture the wider shot of processions moving from the rear of the church to the altar.